Growlers: Rebel Kettle’s Headbanger’s Ball, Lost Forty Debuts Wild Barrel Project, Blue Canoe Turns Two

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:

Making calls around town, it’s pretty easy to tell who is excited about the week ahead. Rebel Kettle head brewer John Lee is clearly pretty stoked about his 4:30 Thursday release called Headbanger’s Ball Double IPA. This beer starts off with the same base as Half-Century Headbanger Double Pale Ale from this summer, but instead of the more restrained version, this one is hopped to an incredible 90 IBU with Mosaic, Amarillo and Citra hops. A hop-lover’s dream come true, Lee says nonetheless it drinks really smoothly and almost has a sweet flavor to it. Thursday at the taproom will be your first chance to try it.

Starting today, Lost Forty Brewing is debuting its Wild Barrel Project series, which inoculates various brews with strains of wild yeasts in oak barrels then blends them into a unique final product. The first blend is a Farmhouse Saison aged with a wild yeast strain in white wine barrels mixed with Love Honey Bock aged in red wine barrels with a different strain. This is a unique sour that you won’t want to miss, and you can only get it today starting at 4 p.m. in the Lost Forty taproom.

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Across the river, Flyway Brewing has started a new trivia night on Thursday evenings that has proven popular to start. It is also hoping this week to release its Old Decoy oak-aged Old Ale, a style traditionally brewed in simple fashion by English monks centuries ago. Also, Flyway will release the imperial golden stout collaboration between Leap of Faith and Stone’s Throw called Thunder Thighs on Wednesday. And finally, Flyway Brewing is coming up on its one-year anniversary. On Saturday, Dec. 17, it will hold a special customer appreciation day to mark the occasion. Details of the event are still to come, so keep an eye on Flyway’s Facebook page for more.

If you want to feel appreciated before then, though, head to Core Brewing Public House in Argenta this Friday evening from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. The taproom will hold a special customer appreciation event, featuring happy hour prices all day, $4 wings and sliders, and plenty of giveaways. You will also get to try two rare beers from Core: a robust porter and a French saison.

This week is Blue Canoe’s second birthday, and the 3rd Street taproom is celebrating with the release of bourbon barrel-aged Holiday Express in 22-ounce bombers. This is a dark ale with peppermint and chocolate flavors, and at 12 percent ABV is guaranteed to warm you up in cold weather. And since Holiday Express is in bottles to go, it makes a great holiday gift idea. Get there Wednesday when the taproom opens; there are only 275 available.

A popular Moody Brews beer returns on Thursday in the form of the Rock Island Steamer. This is a California common brewed in the style of an American pale ale, with Columbus hops added in very late. Moody says orange citrus and pine are the obvious notes, while the beer has a crisp, almost lager-like finish. At 5.5 percent ABV, it won’t be too hard to down. It’ll be available and Vino’s Brewpub.

If you’re looking for a fun night out this week, head to The Rep on Thursday for Stone’s Throw night at the play A Christmas Story. Every admission over the age of 21 will receive a complimentary beer tasting from Stone’s Throw. Then the next day, the taproom will release Winter Warmer for #NewBrewFriday.

If you’re looking for a gift idea for the beer lover in your life, be sure to check out the package deal from Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Company. The brewery is offering growler gift baskets that you can customize with t-shirts, beer soaps and even produce from the farm. Orders must be placed by Dec. 22.

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

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Growlers: Rebel Kettle’s Headbanger’s Ball, Lost Forty Debuts Wild Barrel Project, Blue Canoe Turns Two