Welcome to Growlers: your weekly roundup of news, events and specials from Little Rock’s breweries and taprooms. Little Rock’s beer scene is growing and improving at a rapid pace, and we’re dedicated to keeping you up to speed on all of it. Here’s what’s happening this week:
Sour beer lovers need to be at Lost Forty Brewing at 4 p.m. today for the debut of the Wild Barrels Blending Project. These sours are sold by the bottle and have been both barrel- and bottle-conditioned with different strains of yeast. Wild Barrel Blend Bottle No. 1, which debuts today, is a farmhouse saison aged in white wine barrels with Brettanomyces, a funky yeast that was once hated by brewers but is now used in sour production. And it almost feels like burying the lead here, but Lost Forty is serving up pizzas to pair with these sour beers … and the pizzas are being made by DeLuca’s Pizzeria owner Anthony Valinoti along with Scott McGehee and John Beachboard of Zaza. Bottom line, you need to be at Lost Forty by 4 p.m. Quantities of the beer and the pizza are both extremely limited. By the way, when you get there you’ll see the newest brewery expansion on display. Three 240-barrel tanks have been installed outside the brewery and will largely handle production of Love Honey Bock, freeing up the indoor brewhouse for the rest of Lost Forty’s products.
Kudos to Rebel Kettle on a fantastic one-year celebration on Saturday, complete with great weather and outstanding food and beer. Rebel Kettle is kicking of its second year this week with a larger release of “It’s a Hefe, Brah!” for it’s 4:30 Thursday event. This hefeweizen was released on a smaller scale earlier this year, but it proved so popular that John Lee and his team decided to make a much bigger batch. It’ll be available in growlers to take home as well as by the glass in the taproom.
Warmer weather means lighter beers coming to taprooms around town, and Stone’s Throw is getting things started with the debut of its new That’s the Way the World Gose. Gose beers are typically light and tart, ideal for enjoying outdoors. It’ll be out for Stone’s Throw’s #NewBrewFriday. Also, it will be Stone’s Throw Night at The Rep on Thursday for Jar the Floor, where you can enjoy complimentary pours of Stone’s Throw beer before the show starts.
Flyway Brewing is participating in several awareness events this week, starting with the Blue Out Blitz benefitting A-Camp, an organization that provides a summer camp experience for children with autism. All this week, Flyway is donating $1 of every pint sold of Bluewing Blueberry Wheat in the taproom to A-Camp, so make it a point to visit this week. On Tuesday, Flyway is taking part in Equal Pay Day, which raises awareness of the gender pay gap in the United States. Women will get 20 percent off food and beer at the taproom Tuesday evening. And tonight, Flyway is holding an actual Rock Paper Scissors tournament at the brewery from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The tournament benefits The Lymphomaniac Society, which helps provide relaxing vacation trips for cancer patients.
We jumped the gun by a week on Diamond Bear’s small batch release. The Smash Beer with Azacca we told you about actually comes out this Friday. It’s a single-malt, single-hop brew, using Maris Otter for the malt and Azacca hops for the bittering component. This one will be out at 5 p.m. Friday at the Arkansas Ale House. Also, Diamond Bear is now hiring for head brewer as its current man is heading out of state. Jeremy Whitehead has accepted the head brewer job at Rough Diamond, a new brewery in the Austin, Texas area.
Finally, a few beer events to remind you of, starting with the biggest one of the year. Food and Foam Fest returns to Dickey-Stephen Park on Saturday, April 14. This is the place to come to taste craft beer from all over Arkansas and the United States, as well as the only place you’ll find special homebrews from the Arkansas Brewers Guild. Also, don’t miss the new Cottontown Brews Festival coming up June 3 in Scranton, Arkansas. This is the only Arkansas beer festival I know of where you can rent a campsite and stay the night. Space is limited, so make sure to get your ticket and campsite reserved soon.
Do you have some beer news you would like to share with us? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.