Growlers: Mardi Gras Events at Local Breweries, Rebel Kettle Cider Release, Diamond Bear Black IPA Out Friday

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:

Mardi Gras is tomorrow, and there are a few beer-themed events planned around the holiday. Flyway Brewing is releasing its King Cake brown ale, the latest entry in its micro-batch employee brew program. King Cake brown ale was completely designed, brewed and kegged by taproom employees; the same people who pour your beer and bring food to your table. Flyway’s Jess McMullen says this one is loaded with chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon flavors. This is an extremely small batch, so make sure to get there Tuesday to give it a shot. Also, Flyway has on tap its new Belgian raspberry ale, a 6.8 percent ABV beer that has elements of golden ale and lambic beers. This one will be on tap for at least a few weeks. By the way, Lord God Imperial Chocolate Stout is still on tap at Flyway and well worth crossing the river for a glass.

Also on Tuesday, Lost Forty Brewing is partnering with At the Corner for a special Fat Tuesday pancake supper. At the Corner is making five variations on the classic pancake and pairing each with a Lost Forty beer. Two of the beers are the excellent Barrel-Aged Love Honey Bock and Barrel-Aged Rock Candy, so you’re going to get your money’s worth. Tickets are still available, but you need to order today. If you can’t wait until tomorrow for some Lost Forty, today’s Freshcut Monday release is the Forest Queen raspberry milk stout, a variation on its popular winter stout. This is a very small batch; no growlers, crowlers or cans will be available.

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Rebel Kettle is taking a break from beer this week for its 4:30 Thursday release. The taproom will have Elle D apple cherry cider on tap this week. It’s an 8.2 percent ABV brew made from tart apples and a hint of cherry, so the flavor and the punch should be unmistakable. Also, there is a little Barrel-Aged Wake ‘n’ Flake left from last week. I had two glasses of it; this is everything a barrel-aged beer should be. Get it while it lasts.

I never thought I’d see a beer called Stripper Sweat from Diamond Bear Brewing Company, but that’s what sold out on Friday in less than 15 minutes. Now, head brewer Jeremy Whitehead is continuing his suddenly popular small batch series on Friday with a black IPA that should be relatively more traditional that last week’s glittery kolsch. Also, Diamond Bear last week put its Irish red ale back on tap at the ale house.

Hot Springs beer lovers will want to get to Superior Bathhouse Brewery on Thursday for the release of Killer Irish red ale. To celebrate the debut, Superior is holding a special beer dinner event at the restaurant. $30 gets you two pints of the new Killer Irish Red, a commemorative pint glass, a special bangers and mash dinner, and some “Foul Play” cupcakes for dessert. Reservations for the dinner are required, so make sure to get your tickets before the event.

And finally, I thought I’d share that I made my first visit to Legacy Wine and Spirits this weekend. I don’t get that far out in West Little Rock all that often, and I was really surprised and pleased with the liquor store’s beer selection and growler fill-up. There are plenty of great Arkansas beers on tap for very reasonable prices (including Moody Brews 2017 Katchiri’s Bier), as well as a good lineup of regional and national craft beers. Several of the options were under $10 for a 64-ounce fillup, which is a great bargain. If you live in the area, you owe it to yourself to check in regularly there to see what’s on tap.

Do you have some beer news you would like to share with us? Email me at steve@rockcityeats.com.

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Growlers: Mardi Gras Events at Local Breweries, Rebel Kettle Cider Release, Diamond Bear Black IPA Out Friday