One of the most sought-after seasonal beers in Arkansas has arrived at Ozark Beer Company in Rogers. Ozark this weekend released BDCS 2018 in a series of private and public events at its taproom. BDCS 2018 is still on tap there and is available in four-packs in Northwest Arkansas. Central Arkansas beer enthusiasts can expect to find it here in a week or two, and this year there will be more available than ever before.
“BDCS” stands for bourbon barrel-aged double cream stout. The “cream” is actually powdered lactose, which contributes to the velvety texture Ozark Beer coaxes from its recipe that features a number of different malts. Ozark has been producing BDCS since 2014, though the brew didn’t make it into cans until a year later. Today, BDCS is the top-rated beer in the state of Arkansas according to RateBeer.com.
“We’re extremely pleased with how this has turned out,” said Marty Shutter, marketing director at Ozark Beer Company. “When we started BDCS, the demand shot up so fast, it’s been amazing. We’ve had to work to make the beer something that we are proud of, and the release parties something that everyone can enjoy, and I think it’s gone well.”
Demand for BDCS is likely higher than for any other beer Arkansas makes. When Ozark posted tickets for sale back in April, more than 100 sold out in less than 10 seconds. More than 500 people attended the public release party this past weekend, with many of them waiting for hours starting early in the morning. It’s all for a beer that Ozark has managed to make to a high standard every year so far.
“We know that the barrels are variables,” said Shutter. “We know that, if we brew the same beer and schedule everything the same across the board, that barrel is an X-factor. We’ve been able to use the same barrels from the same dealer since 2014, which has helped. But we’ve learned that we have to let go of our expectations and just trust the process.”
BDCS goes into bourbon barrels in August and sits in Ozark’s brewhouse until late April, when it’s blended, conditioned and canned. Some of the beer gets a special treatment with Onyx Coffee’s cold-brew; that particular beer is only found at the taproom.
“With Onyx, we just have to take the existing coffee note in BDCS and expand it,” said Shutter. “We wanted to get a concentrated cold-brew so that we didn’t wreck the mouth-feel that we worked so hard to build. Too much coffee, and we would have a watery beer where the bitterness holds on too long. We’re really happy with what the wizards at Onyx, and they are wizards, came up with.”
While you can only get BDCS Onyx at the Rogers taproom, BDCS 2018 will soon be making its way to Central Arkansas via Central and Moon Distributors. It should start to show up in liquor stores around town in the next week or two. This year’s version is a bigger batch than in years past, which means we will be seeing more here than we’re used to having on hand. When it does hit shelves, you should bring home whatever you can, because BDCS is a special beer that drinks beautifully now and will mellow even more as it ages.