Fall is festival season in Arkansas, and not just for restaurants and food trucks. Beer events kick off this week with Zoo Brew 2017 at the Little Rock Zoo. The event is Thursday night from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Expect to find all your favorites there, like Lost Forty, Flyway, Rebel Kettle, Stone’s Throw and other local brews. In addition, there will be craft beer from all over the country and the world to enjoy. Early bird tickets are on sale now for $30; grab them before the price goes up. And then, in less than two weeks, make sure to get Little Rocktoberfest on your calendar. The event is Saturday, Sept. 23, at Dickey-Stephens Park. This festival is put on by Central Arkansas Fermenters, meaning you’ll get to try a wide range of Arkansas homebrewers in addition to your favorite beers from Arkansas and around the world. Tickets to Little Rocktoberfest are on sale now for $30; they go up to $40 the day of the event.
Lost Forty has a lot going on, starting today with the 2017 debut of its Rock Candy Belgian Abbey Ale. This 9 percent ABV ale is powerful, but with plenty of nuance for beer lovers to enjoy. It’s available in crowlers, growlers and 4-packs at the taproom; those 4-packs can also be found at select liquor stores around the state. Also, Lost Forty has released its Trash Panda IPA in cans. It started out last week only at the taproom, but should be available around the city sometime this week. And finally, Lost Forty is brewing its popular Baltic Porter for a canning release sometime in October. We’ll keep you posted on when that one will be ready to go.
Speaking of busy, there are plenty of goings-on at Rebel Kettle this fall. For its 4:30 Thursday, the brewery is debuting Caribbean Joe, a double brown ale brewed with coffee and barrel-aged in rum barrels. This one spent a whopping eight months in the oak barrel, and the rum and the coffee combine to make what Rebel Kettle is calling one of its most unique barrel beers yet. Expect this one to be tapped out quickly. Also, the brewery says its next beer to be canned will be Purple DinoSour, Rebel Kettle’s golden ale soured with fresh boysenberries. Rebel Kettle’s first canned brew was Headbanger’s Ball Imperial IPA, and Purple DinoSour continues the brewery’s practice of canning special brews rather than flagships. Purple DinoSour cans will be available late this fall.
Bubba Brews is bringing another beer festival to Hot Springs. The brewery has teamed up with Garvan Gardens and Signature Events for the first ever Hoptoberfest. This is being billed as a traditional Oktoberfest celebration at Garvan Gardens Pavilion. Expect long tables, German food and plenty of beer to enjoy. Hoptoberfest is Saturday, Oct. 21, from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Tickets are $55, and there are only 200 seats available. To purchase, call 501-701-7271.
Stone’s Throw Brewing starts its events this week tomorrow night at The Pizzeria in The Heights for a special beer dinner. This is going to be a five-course dinner paired with Stone’s Throw beer, including a charcuterie with Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weiss and a beer tenderloin course paired with Amadeus Vienna Lager. Tickets are $75 and still available by calling 501-551-1388. Then for its #NewBrewFriday release, Stone’s Throw is putting out its George Bros. Historic Arkansas Ale. It’s a 6 percent ABV farmhouse ale that is an interpretation of how beer might have been made in Arkansas in the 19th century. It’s the first time this year that this one has been out, so make sure you get to the taproom Friday to try it out.
And cider fans need to get to Flyway Brewing on Wednesday for the latest edition of the brewery’s small batch employee brew program. The staff at Flyway created Apple-y Ever After, a cider with honey crisp apples and champagne yeast. The team says the yeast gave the cider a more tart flavor that drinks almost like a dry champagne flavored with apples. At 5.1 percent ABV, you’ll have room to try this one a couple of times. However, it’s a very small batch, so make sure you’re there on Wednesday if you want to try it.
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