In Staff Picks, each of us tells of our favorite foods around town. We each get three top picks, so if a dish or drink falls on this list, you know it’s got to be good. This time, we’re embracing the warm weather with our favorite easy-drinking beers in Central Arkansas.
2nd Rodeo by Lost Forty Brewing – This new light offering drinks like a cream ale with the rice addition. It’s super refreshing and crisp.
Working Glass Hero by Rebel Kettle Brewing Company – This Little Rock classic is such a light, clean blonde ale. It’s on year-round, but it’s especially good for any summer occasion.
Bluewing Berry Wheat by Flyway Brewing – This one is the beer that just about everyone in Arkansas knows about. The blueberries give it just the right amount of sweetness.
Summer Jam by Rebel Kettle Brewing Company – Summer Jam was the beer that got me hooked on Rebel Kettle. It is, well, my summer jam when it comes to drinking. It also always reminds me of a Raspberry Lambic in flavor, which was coincidentally my first fruit beer love.
Honeybird by Flyway Brewing – I love a good honey beer in the spring and summer. Maybe it is the bees (cue the Chris Farley – Tommy Boy scene). Honeybird has become my favorite honey-based beer in the state, the honey comes through strong and finishes crisp.
Seasonal Cider by Stone’s Throw Brewing – Not really a beer, but I love whatever seasonal cider Stone’s Throw puts on each year, especially in the summer. They do a great job with a drier-than-American-standard ciders, which is the only way to go with ciders.
Swimming Hole by Rebel Kettle Brewing Company – This beer is light and summery, and ideal for front-porch or patio drinking in the heat of the Arkansas summer. It’s also a light enough beer for the lake, pool or beach. It starts off a little sour then mellows out.
Strawberry Fields Whatever (Nitro) by Rebel Kettle Brewing Company – This beer is like a warm hug. It has a silky strawberry flavor and is light and fruity. Great for day drinking or for a night cap. If you love strawberry milkshakes with a little kick, this beer is for you. It’s brewed with over 400 pounds of strawberries, vanilla lactose and more.
Keyed Up Key Lime Pie Sour Ale by Rebel Kettle Brewing Company – This is one of my favorite sour beers I’ve tasted in Little Rock. It definitely lives up to its name, with its initial key lime kick. It’s brewed with real key lime purée, graham crackers and vanilla beans. It’s a great beer to sip on during a summer evening.
Peregrine Pale Ale by Flyway Brewing – Flyway does traditional styles as well as anybody in Arkansas, including this clean, crisp pale ale. It was so good that it knocked the original Migrate Pale Ale off the menu. Bonus: it’s now easy to find in cans.
Hitchcock Spring Kolsch by Superior Bathhouse Brewery – It was a surprise to me when Superior made a kolsch beer its first to go in cans, but this one just works well. It pulls off that malty balance that only the best beers of this style manage.
Lost Forty Trash Panda IPA – Summer time comes and I reach for my hopped beers. Trash Panda is Lost Forty’s ongoing hazy IPA hop experiment. The current version has Mosaic hops, which is a fantastic brew; I’ve also been very fond of the Sabro and Amarillo versions. The fact that a hazy IPA this good would be available in cans in Little Rock is something that we wouldn’t have thought possible just a few years ago.