Ever wonder what makes some of Little Rock’s food personalities tick? Rock City Eat’s latest series, Food Insider, takes a look at individuals who are helping change the landscape of our city’s culinary scene. Whether they’re in the kitchen, managing a storefront, farming land or running a food truck … we’ll delve into both the professional and personal side of these dynamite people. This week, we have Ian Beard of Stone’s Throw Brewing.
How long have you co-owned Stone’s Throw Brewing?
Since November 2012
How long have you been into brewing?
Got a homebrew kit for my 22nd birthday while I was still in college; living in a dry county certainly provided a little extra incentive to put it to use!
Can you briefly describe the tap room for anyone who hasn’t been in yet?
Our tap room is an intimate space reminiscent of the small neighborhood bars found throughout Europe. Regulars from the neighborhood and local beer lovers mingle with travelers from around the world seeking out local brews. Strangers routinely pull their tables together to join in on a game together. We also feature great local bar snacks and a rotating schedule of wonderful Little Rock food trucks.
Have you noticed any Stone’s Throw brews that have been fan-favorites? Which ones are they?
We adopted three of the most popular beers as year round brews: Shamus Stout, Amadeus Vienna Lager and Common Sense California Common. All of our seasonal IPAs and high gravity beers have a loyal following, though, and our Ripple Effect Rye has something of a cult behind it.
What have been some of the best parts about co-owning a taproom and brewery in Little Rock?
It’s been great making new friends, meeting our neighbors, getting to know the beer lovers in the local bar & restaurant community and be able to share both my passion and my product with them.
Do you have a regular base of customers?
Yes! We have some regulare who are in every night, others that come a few times a week, and other any time they’re in town. On any given night the bartenders will know most of our customers by name.
In regards to the future, do you guys have any exciting brew news lined up?
We are always trying something new! Usually we come out with one brand new brew at the beginning of every month, but somehow in January we’re on our fourth! Keep an eye out for our Chocolate Stout in February and a Berliner Weisse in March.
What is the best ‘beer city’ you’ve ever visited?
That’s a hard one … Portland, Fort Collins, Asheville and St. Louis have all been fantastic beer cities to visit. But the combination of great beer, great location, and perfect weather put San Diego over the top every time!
What do you do when you’re not brewing or heading up the tap room?
There’s something else? I actually don’t do any of the brewing, another co-owner Theron Cash does. But between the tap room, our outside sales, marketing, events and keeping up with our social media, the brewery still takes up about 25 hours a day.
What is one thing you would change about Little Rock?
I love Little Rock! We could really use an upgraded public transportation system. When I’ve been brewery hopping in Denver, St. Louis and New York, having a bus or train to catch at the end of the night (and I mean the END of the night, not 8:00 p.m. when the buses around here stop running) is a fantastic convenience and half the fun is often the ride home and the folks that populate public transit after last call!
What is your favorite non-beer alcoholic beverage?
Horchata, the Mexican rice drink you get at taquerias. I love that stuff.