Growlers: John Lee Out at Rebel Kettle, Arkansas Craft Beer Week

Founding owner and head brewer John Lee has been bought out from Rebel Kettle Brewing Company. Lee was the originator of the Rebel Kettle name and helped grow the brewery from a homebrew team into one of the most popular brewing businesses in the state. Rebel Kettle released the following statement to Rock City Eats:

“With growth comes change. Whether it’s a neighborhood, city or business – sometimes stepping up to the next level requires a new direction, and RKBC is no exception. Moving forward in 2020 fans will begin to see changes in our overall branding. Among these changes, one of our founding brewers John Lee will no longer be a part of our team. John is a talented brewer and we wish him well in his future pursuits.

One thing that will never change is our dedication to brewing quality beer. Our brew team – founding brewer and co-owner Josh Davis, and Mark Sniff formerly of Flyway Brewing and Void Cellars – will continue to lead us down a new path paved with everything from a refinement of pastry stouts and fruited sours to mixed-fermentation beers and everything in-between.”

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We reached out to Lee for a comment, but he declined at this time. Neither Rebel Kettle nor Lee are discussing the terms of his departure.

The first week of March is Arkansas Craft Beer Week, a celebration held by the Arkansas Brewers Guild to promote craft beer in the state. Several local breweries are holding events, including a week’s worth of fun at Flyway Brewing. Today at 4 p.m., Flyway is holding a Girl Scout cookie beer pairing (and yes, the Girl Scouts will be there to sell you a box or two). Tuesday is Live Bingo at 7 p.m. to raise money for Potluck Food Rescue of North Little Rock. On Wednesday, Flyway is holding a High-ABV Happy Hour starting at 4 p.m. with discounts on some of its biggest brews. Then it’s Throwback Thursday with $5 flights of Flyway originals, followed by “Keep the Pint” Happy Hour on Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Finally on Saturday, Flyway will donate 10% of all beer sales to the Arkansas Brewers Guild. The guild does some important work promoting craft beer in the state; kudos to Flyway for going all out and bringing attention to our awesome beer scene.

S’morest Queen has been a big success for Lost Forty Brewing over the past couple of months, and today the brewery is celebrating with a barrel-aged variant release. Bourbon Barrel-Aged S’morest Queen is a 6.3% ABV milk stout brewed with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. The brew sat in a bourbon barrel from Rock Town Distillery for four months before its Freshcut Monday release today. This one is only available on draft at the Lost Forty taproom. Come in today and get a tabletop campfire S’mores setup to make your own campfire treat. Also, for Arkansas Craft Beer Week, Lost Forty is including a free sticker with all to-go beer purchases and is discounting all hats and beanies by $5. That deal is good at Lost Forty’s online store; just use the code ARBeerWeek at checkout.

Feel that warmer weather? That can only mean kickball season in Little Rock is just around the corner, and this week Stone’s Throw Brewing is tapping the Official Beer of Kickball. This week’s #NewBrewFriday release at the MacPark location is Buried Leg Pale Ale. Buried Leg by Crazy Cousins Brewing homebrew team won the Big Red Ball Competition last month. The pale ale beat out 80 competitors for the title. Stone’s Throw worked with Crazy Cousins on brewing Buried Leg, and now it’s ready for kickball season. Get your first taste Friday at 4 p.m. While you’re there Friday, take part in Stone’s Throw’s regular S’mores and Pours event, featuring a marshmallow roast in the biergarten.

Rebel Kettle doesn’t have any new beers coming out this week, but the brewery is hosting a fun event at Flying Saucer. On Wednesday, it’s the Battle of the Bands Rock Band 2 competition starting at 6 p.m. If you’re of a certain age (raises hand), you no doubt played Rock Band way too much. Now it’s time for those skills to pay dividends. Come compete or just watch, and enjoy plenty of hard-to-find Rebel Kettle brews, like Maple Cupping, RedRumPum, Whole Lotta Rose and Boom Pop.

Do you have any beer news to share with us? Email steveshuler@gmail.com.

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Growlers: John Lee Out at Rebel Kettle, Arkansas Craft Beer Week