Welcome to Growlers: your weekly roundup of news, events and specials from Little Rock’s breweries and taprooms. Little Rock’s beer scene is growing and improving at a rapid pace, and we’re dedicated to keeping you up to speed on all of it. Here’s what’s happening this week:
This coming week is when festival season really kicks into high gear, and you’ll be able to find Arkansas craft beer at two of them this weekend. First is Arktoberfest, a day-long celebration of locally made beer and fried catfish in downtown Arkadelphia. I got to go to this last year, and trust me, it is worth the trip. It is easily the most relaxed beer festival of the year, with crowds coming and going throughout the day, freeing up brewers to spend more time talking with their fans. And if you’re in Little Rock, you can get your craft beer fix at Hillcrest’s Harvestfest. This year, Harvestfest is only serving up Arkansas beer, which should pair nicely with any of the 13 food trucks that will be on hand.
Rebel Kettle has hooked up some new tanks at the brewery, doubling its beermaking capacity. Rebel Kettle had been running out of beer at the taproom, but these latest additions should fix that. In addition, you might start to see Rebel Kettle at a few more restaurants around town. This week, Growler Tuesday is back with the new Amazed and Infused, a rosemary-orange imperial IPA. Only 32-ounce growlers of this beer will be for sale. Then at 4:30 Thursday, Rebel Kettle is releasing two wine-inspired beers. Wine’em and Dine’em is a farmhouse saison-wine hybrid fermented with more than 100 pounds of Arkansas muscadines. And Wine Forever is a wild imperial brown ale aged on red currants and fermented a second time with wine yeast. Both the 4:30 Thursday options will be sold by-the-glass at the taproom.
If barrel-aged beer is your thing, you won’t want to miss this special Stone’s Throw event on Wednesday at Flying Saucer. Stone’s Throw has three aged beers for “flight night,” two of which are brand new. Customers ordering the flight will get a RoggenDunkelDoppelbock aged in Rock Town Distillery wheat whiskey barrels, an Amarillo Warrior imperial IPA aged in Rock Town bourbon barrels, and an Amadeus Vienna Lager also aged in a Rock Town bourbon barrel. Stone’s Throw will also be present at both festivals listed above this coming weekend.
Flyway Brewing has a new easy-drinking fall brew called Sapsucker Blonde Ale on tap at the moment. This ale has more malt flavor than hops, and at only 4.3 percent ABV is a good introduction to craft beer for a newcomer to the scene. Flyway will also be at both festivals above this coming weekend.
For those of you who live in Little Rock and haven’t gotten a chance to try Hot Springs-based Bubba Brews, this week is your shot. Jonathan Martin and his team will be at Colonial Wine and Spirits on Markham Rd. this Friday doing a tasting of Bubba Brews’ Southern Rok Oktoberfest beer. Martin says he’ll also be bringing along a few other brews that you can sample. Bubba Brews will also be at Arktoberfest on Saturday.
Probably my favorite beer that Lost Forty had on tap when it first opened is coming back on tap today. Forest King Imperial Stout is Lost Forty’s Freshcut Monday beer this week. This massive brew comes in at 10 percent ABV, so be careful not to drink it too quickly. That’s not easy, considering how smooth and drinkable it is. Forest King serves at the base for Lost Forty’s Nighty Night beer, which is aged in three barrels and will be released on Oct. 29.
Do you have some beer news you would like to share with us? Email me at email@example.com.