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:
The sale of Kent Walker Artisan Cheese meant Stone’s Throw Brewing was temporarily without a food partner for its taproom. However, that vacancy was quickly filled by The Southern Gourmasian, Stone’s Throw’s longtime beer dinner partner. The team at Gourmasian has taken over the food truck at Stone’s Throw and is creating SoGo Bistro, an offshoot of the restaurant with more of a focus on Southern food than Asian. Think burgers and fries rather than steamed buns and ramen. Right now, SoGo Bistro is in its infancy and only has a few items available. However, with C.C. Key heading up the overhaul, you can expect some excellent food from SoGo Bistro when all is said and done. By the way, Stone’s Throw has a busy week ahead, starting tonight at 6:30 with a special beginner’s sushi class. Then Thursday, you can find Stone’s Throw at the Good Earth food truck meet on Cantrell Road from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. And don’t miss #NewBrewFriday at the Stone’s Throw taproom, where you’ll get to try the debut of British SMASH. A smash beer is a single hop, single malt ale, and this one uses only British ingredients.
With this weekend’s dangerous weather, Diamond Bear Brewing Company smartly moved its Brews and Barks event to this Saturday from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. If you didn’t catch the details last week, this is a beer festival to benefit the Humane Society of Pulaski County. Of course, Diamond Bear will have its beers available, but you’ll also be able to get a pour from Stone’s Throw, Lost Forty, Mother’s Brewing Company and many more. And since this is a Humane Society event, feel free to bring your four-legged friend along for the fun (there will even be a booth where you can microchip your dog). Tickets are $35 before the event and $40 at the door. Brews and Barks does offer a designated driver ticket for $10.
If you like barrel-aged beers, you won’t want to miss Rebel Kettle’s 4:30 Thursday event this week. The taproom is releasing Preachers and Pimps, a Belgian quadruple that is aged half in Caribbean rum barrels, half in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels for four months. The two were then blended and carbonated for what promises to be a unique, complex brew. This one is a 10 percent ABV, so sip slowly. By the way, if you missed Rebel Kettle’s Olde In ‘N’ Out American Barleywine-style Ale the first time, head brewer John Lee tells me they found a keg in the cooler this weekend and are putting it on tap today, so make sure to drop in soon for a taste.
Lost Forty Brewing today continues its Wild Blend series with a dry-hopped sour brew that should be both enjoyable and a bit challenging. This one started as two brews: a farmhouse saison aged two months in white wine barrels with two strains of yeast, and a Love Honey Bock aged two-and-a-half months in red wine barrels with one strain. The two were blended and then dry-hopped with Simcoe and Citra hops for a one-of-a-kind sour that should have plenty of notes to break down. No crowlers, growlers or cans for this one; Lost Forty is only making it available in the taproom by the glass. It goes on tap at 4 p.m.
Plan on getting away this weekend to Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Company in Paris, Arkansas, for Cinco de Mayo on the Beer Farm. Prestonrose will debut its Mariachi Stout made with Mariachi Mexico roasted coffee out of Fort Smith, as well as peppers grown at Prestonrose. There will also be plenty of live music and tacos for you to enjoy. Admission is free.
And as you start planning ahead, the next big beer festival in Central Arkansas is the Hot Springs Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, May 20. The festival will feature at least 90 craft breweries from Arkansas and beyond, as well as food from the best restaurants in Hot Springs. Tickets are on sale now for $25 each, though $55 will get you VIP access with early admission and access to rare beers that normally aren’t available in the state.
Do you have some beer news you would like to share with us? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.