Spring seasonal brews are in full swing in Central Arkansas, including one of my favorite pilsners. Cloudsplitter Pilsner is coming back on at Flyway Brewing this week. Last year, this was one of the best-balanced beers I had, with a slightly sweet malt framed by an assertive hop profile. The team is putting it on Wednesday. Then on Friday, Flyway is tapping the second round of its Free Range Origin series, which uses Free Range Brown Ale to highlight different varieties of coffee beans from around the world. This week, it’s Finca Peña Oscura from El Salvador roasted by Mylo Coffee Co. It’s a coffee bean that has been prepared using the “honey process,” where the skin of the coffee fruit is removed, but the pulp (or honey) remains on while the beans sun-dry. This is a very small batch that goes on Friday when doors open at 11, so you won’t want to wait long to give it a shot.
You know warm weather is here in Arkansas when the fruit beers start coming out to play, and one of the most popular hits the taproom today at Lost Forty. The newly rebranded Blackberry Bramble Wheat is the brewery’s Freshcut Monday release. The team added more blackberries to the brew and bumped the ABV up to 6 percent for this year’s release. The event starts at 4 p.m. today. Blackberry Bramble Wheat is getting the full distribution treatment, with growlers, crowlers and six-packs ready today, and 12-packs coming soon. Also this week, Lost Forty is teaming up with Fassler Hall for a special happy hour event. On Wednesday at Fassler Hall, you can get Look-See Hefeweizen for 50 percent off, as well as half off Fassler’s excellent duck fat fries and soft pretzels. That’s from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Rebel Kettle is pretty well known at this point for being willing to try something different with their beers. This week’s 4:30 Thursday is a prime example. It’s called the Cajun Asian Robust Porter, a recipe from homebrewer Sam Atcherson of Prospectus Brewing Co. The porter starts with a bowl of red beans and rice in the mash and adds cayenne pepper, ginger, curry powder, and other herbs and spices. The result, Rebel Kettle says, is a malty porter with some intriguing spice notes on the finish. Atcherson has served this beer at a couple of homebrewer events, and it’s exciting to see the recipe make it onto a professional system. This is a small batch, so it likely won’t last too long.
Speaking of experimenting, Stone’s Throw Brewing has a unique beer on tap for its regular #NewBrewFriday event. This one is an unnamed brew made with Arkansas scarlet rice. No, this is not a sake, which has to be made using a special kind of yeast, but it is the first rice beer in the market that I can remember. Stone’s Throw is holding a naming contest for the beer on its Facebook event page; be sure to follow the rules posted there. Also on Friday is Stone’s Throw’s rescheduled S’mores and Pours event, which had to be moved due to inclement weather. The brewery will be pouring its special Kottbusser beer to pair with the s’mores. That starts at 5 p.m. Friday.
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