Rock City is cooling down – and that means one thing: beer festivals. We’ve checked in with various local breweries to bring you a rundown in upcoming news and info, and highlighted a few sudsy options for beer lovers in Central Arkansas for the upcoming festival season.
First, the festivals. By now you’ve probably heard people throwing around names like Little Rocktoberfest and Arktoberfest and are wondering the who, what, when where, whys mixed into the details. Dive in.
Little Rocktoberfest will take Central Arkansas by storm at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. If you’re wondering just how big of a deal Rocktoberfest is, a spokesperson says, “We’ll have over a hundred gallons of home made beers, lots of local breweries, regional and international beers. We’re one of the largest craft beer festivals in the state, and our fest is the same day as the starting of the official German Oktoberfest in Germany.” A donation of the proceeds benefits the Arkansas Food Bank, so as you sip your suds, take hear in the fact that you’re also giving back.
If you love craft beer, don’t miss this premier event – “Little Rocktoberfest is a celebration of craft beer and bringing the community together.” Currently, there are VIP tickets still available, which include an hour early entrance to the event, a special tasting glass, and a glass-holding lanyard. These are limited and liable to sell out quickly. There are also advance tickets available. Check out prices here.
If you can’t get enough of Arkansas breweries in a festival environment, don’t miss Arktoberfest in Arkadelphia on Saturday, Oct. 10. Although beer is a prime focus, the festival is paired alongside a Catfish Cook-off, a 5K, a beard competition, live music, and so much more.
If you’re prime concern is the beer, however, don’t fret. Arkansas breweries will be well-represented, as a spokesperson said, “We’re pretty excited about the Marzen dubbed ‘Arktoberfest’ that Josiah Moody is brewing for us in collaboration with Damgoode.” Don’t miss the tapping party at the River Market location on Sept. 27. The party includes 3 pints of beer and all you can eat pizza for Friends of Arktoberfest. Not a friend yet? Individuals can reach friend status for $75 which includes the tapping party, a craft beer and catfish pass for Arktoberfest, plus 5 additional beer tokens (20 total), and an express line for the festival. Check this out for more information on tickets and pricing information.
If beer isn’t your thing but you like to drink, and locally at that, keep your eyes peeled for Arkansas wineries. Who’s to say you can’t mix and match?
The festival includes an AHA/BJCP-sanctioned Homebrew Competition.
Homebrewers have until Sept. 20 to send in beer entries. There will be cash prizes for the top three in the Best of Show competition.
If you’ve got catfish questions or are wondering about the Rock City Eats Appetizer Challenge, click here.
If you’re happily anticipating attending these festivals, you might also want to anticipate a few brewery openings. Look closely for Flyway Brewing’s Argenta location, as Jess McMullen says, “Things are happening. We will begin test batches at the beginning of September and hope to open mid-October. The space is going to be beautiful.” If you can’t wait to see their progress, follow Flyway on Facebook and check out their media updates.
Remember our friends Caleb Looney and Alisyn Reid of the Asana Ale House? The fellow North Little Rock based brewery has been working hard, currently searching for a location in Park Hill, although now they’re including Argenta in that search. If you’ve still not had a chance to try their brews, get excited. Reid says, “We’re planning on pouring at both Little Rocktoberfest and Arktoberfest, so that’s exciting. We might have a couple of special beers for those occasions, at least one idea from each of us.”
Joe Mains of Leap of Faith Brewing is also getting geared up for Little Rocktoberfest. He says, “I will be serving up Righteous Indignation, my Belgian Trappist, but with a twist. I’m going to do secondary fermentation with honey, and I’ll also have my Beautiful Steph Hefeweisen.” He’s also honing in on a space, but he can’t give more concrete details at the moment, saying only, “It’s going to be a unique concept not seen in this state or many others that I know of.”
Don’t count Blood Eagle Brewing Company out. The group is in the midst of gathering equipment for the brew system, as well as solidifying details and legalities for a location. They say, “We’re consistently learning that patience is a virtue, but keeping ourselves well tasked and motivated.” Look for the fellas at Rocktoberfest and give them a try.
Stone’s Throw as always, is keeping it busy and interesting over at 9th and Rock. There’s still time to get involved with a beer naming contest they’re running in conjunction with The Rep until Friday, Aug. 21. If you’re a Macbeth fan get your pens and puns out – and click here. Also, the brewery notes, “The winning name of the Macbeth beer will be released along with the beer itself at the brewery taproom on Friday, Aug. 28, with members of the cast present.” Don’t miss it.
Tomorrow the brewery plans to release a few new (yet old favorite) beers, including the popular Kupfer Munich Dunkel as well as the official Beer of Kickball, the Korn Fed Cream Ale. Next Friday the brewery will release its first Alt style beer – the Bremehaven. In September look for their seasonal IPA, Amer-Belge Belgian IPA. Perhaps the best news, is that you can now get Stone’s Throw even longer on the weekends, as they said, “We will now be open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sundays.”
Check out more detailed information about upcoming events including a Southern Gourmasian farm to table beer dinner featuring Prestonrose Farms next week, on Stone’s Throw Facebook page.