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:
One of the year’s most anticipated beer releases is this coming weekend, when Lost Forty Brewing will hold its annual Nighty Night release party. Lost Forty has been aging its imperial stout in bourbon, rye whiskey and cabernet barrels for several months now, and is ready to mix the barrels and put the final product on tap. To celebrate the event, Lost Forty is holding a “zombie lumberjack ride” on Friday. The event features a one-hour, Halloween-themed bike ride that anyone can participate in, plus live music from The Coasts. If you only want the beer, however, get to the taproom at 4 p.m. when it goes on sale by the pint and by four-packs. Oh, and check back here tomorrow for a detailed look at how Nighty Night is made and why it’s such a special beer.
And just up the block, Rebel Kettle Brewing Company has a barrel-aged Halloween beer of its own coming out. At 4:30 Thursday, Rebel Kettle will tap its Redrumpum, an imperial pumpkin amber ale aged for four months in Caribbean rum barrels. Brewmaster John Lee says there’s quite a bit of toffee, vanilla and chocolate flavors present in this one. This is also a very limited release, so you’ll want to get there Thursday for a shot at trying this one.
I got a chance to check out Arkansas Brews Cruise this weekend, the state’s newest brewery tour company. Arkansas Brews Cruise has three different brewery tours for Central Arkansas. Each tour includes stops at three breweries for a private tour that includes several tastings. The tour van is also outfitted with an ice chest, so you can pick up cans, bottles and growlers to go. This will be a really good introduction to Little Rock’s craft beer scene for tourists, and overall just a fun way to spend an evening even for the locals. Tours are filling now, so check out their website for booking and pricing information.
Congratulations are in order for Flyway Brewing, which one the Most Innovative Cheese Dip award at the 2016 World Cheese Dip Championships this weekend. Flyway created a duck confit white cheese dip for the event, and I certainly hope it finds its way on a special menu sometime. As far as the brewery goes, you should definitely stop by to try the new Thrasher Black Lager, a low-ABV Schwarzbier that has a wonderful, well-rounded flavor. Also, Flyway and Diamond Bear conclude their cornhole tournament on Thursday.
As for Diamond Bear, the brewery has renamed its porter and put it back on tap after taking it off for several months. Paradise Porter is now Pigtrail Porter, after the famous route from Little Rock to Fayetteville. Diamond Bear manager Akku Howard says Pigtrail Porter keeps the same recipe as before, though I thought it tasted noticeably better than the last time I tried it. You can purchase Pigtrail Porter at the taproom now and soon in liquor stores and restaurants all over the state.
Stone’s Throw Brewing is doing its part to help the employees of Midtown Billiards, who were left out of a job when a fire hit the building last month. Stone’s Throw has created a Midtown Chipotle Porter that will be released Friday. The beer is a tongue-in-cheek joke on the dive bar (“What’s smoky and burns a little?”), but it’s all in good fun. A portion of the sales will go to the Midtown Employee Relief Fund. And in case you don’t like beer (or spicy beer), Stone’s Throw is also releasing its pear cider on Friday.
Core Public House in Argenta has released a new Pumpkin Pie Lager to celebrate the fall season. That beer is available in pints or in growlers to-go. Also, the taproom has reopened the kitchen and is selling food again, albeit on a limited basis compared with former chef Jeff Wetzel’s menu. You can find sandwiches, tacos and even the donuts still on the menu. Core is developing a new menu that it hopes to unveil later this year.
There’s not too much new from Moody Brews and Vino’s this week. However, brewmaster Josiah Moody is almost ready with the first of four barrel-aged beers he will be releasing over the next few months. The first will be a Cuban Pull Imperiale, which is Moody Brews excellent Cuban Pull aged over espresso beans in a Rock Town Distillery bourbon barrel. Moody doesn’t have a release date for this one yet, but it could come as soon as this week.
Do you have some beer news you would like to share with us? Email me at email@example.com.