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:
For the second time this year, The Water Buffalo will play host to an Arkansas craft brewery’s first commercial brew. On Tuesday starting at 4 p.m., Shannon Hills-based Steinforge Brewery will debut its Blood Raven dark chocolate raspberry porter. In addition to the beer, the Steinforge team dropped off the spent grains from the brew at Doe’s Eat Place, which turned them into a biscotti that will also be available. With the very limited supply, there will be no growlers for sale; only pints sold in the taproom. While Steinforge Brewery is still in its infancy, it has made plenty of rounds on the beer festival circuit, winning the people’s choice award at Little Rocktoberfest in 2012.
Flyway Brewing is releasing its annual Valentine’s Day beer on Tuesday with the return of Lord God imperial chocolate stout. This massive brew weighs in at 11 percent ABV after gaining on cacao nibs from Izard Chocolate. The beer gets its name from the legendary ivory billed woodpecker, which is nicknamed the “Lord God bird.” This will be Flyway’s final winter seasonal release, and one that owner Jess McMullen says he is particularly excited about. It’s sure to be tapped out pretty quickly, so make sure you get there Valentine’s Day or soon after. Also at Flyway this week is Leap of Faith’s Brother Bewetz Bunkelweiss, an 8 percent ABV dunkelweizen, which is a dark wheat beer.
Lost Forty’s recent Barrel-Aged Love Honey Bock sold out faster than the brewery expected, so if you’re looking to buy one of the Lost Forty/Loblolly combo gift packs, you won’t get that particular brew. However, Lost Forty is substituting your choice of a 12-pack of Day Drinker or standard Love Honey Bock for the gift purchase, so it’s not a total loss. Stop in on Monday to get your gift package and you can try out the brewery’s latest Freshcut Monday: the No Coast IPA. This is a 6.5 percent ABV brew that takes its influences from the different IPA styles made around the country.
Some of my favorite collaborations in the beer community are those between professionals and amateur home brewers. You’ll get a taste of that partnership at 4:30 Thursday at Rebel Kettle Brewing Company with the release of Willy Wonka’s Wonky Willy. It’s a big imperial stout created by home brewers Samual Atcherson and Josh Wooding. The stout has plenty of dark chocolate and coffee flavors, and is only available for a short time at Rebel Kettle’s taproom.
Vino’s Brewpub is releasing its first beers brewed entirely by new head brewer Brandon Mize this week. On Tuesday, it’s the release of Fat Old Bastard (just in time for Fat Tuesday). It’s an old ale-style beer that was last brewed in April of last year, when it came in at 7.2 percent ABV. And on Friday, Mize is tapping a new cinnamon cream stout for your weekend enjoyment. That goes on tap at 4 p.m.
Don’t forget, this Thursday is February’s Stone’s Throw beer dinner at The Southern Gourmasian. Tickets are $50, or $90 when you buy two. Then on #NewBrewFriday, Stone’s Throw is releasing its Magnum Trip Belgian Trippel. It’s a big, 10 percent ABV trippel that was last on tap in February of last year.
Diamond Bear Brewing Company has started up what it’s calling Small Batch Fridays. Every Friday, the brewery plans to release a small batch beer that is only available at the Arkansas Ale House taproom. The first one up is this Friday at 5 p.m., and is called The Angry Landlord. It’s a sessionable hefeweizen at 4.4 percent ABV, made with 50 percent wheat and plenty of orange peels. We’ll keep an eye on future Small Batch Friday releases from Diamond Bear in upcoming Growlers features.
And if you want something sweet and tart for Valentine’s Day, be sure to stop in at Blue Canoe Brewing Company. All day Tuesday, the brewery is selling its cranberry gosé for $1 off to mark the holiday.
Do you have some beer news you would like to share with us? Email me at email@example.com.