The origins of Native Dog Brewing, a craft brewery in Camden that owners Bobby and Lauren Glaze plan to open in early December, can be traced back to UAMS pharmacy school, where the couple met.
“I had a buddy who asked if I wanted to do a craft beer kit with him,” Bobby Glaze said.
“It was a whopping $39.99 on special,” Lauren Glaze added with a laugh.
“It turned out absolutely terrible,” Bobby Glaze said, but “it kind of drove this passion. My buddy quit, and I kept going and really got into the science behind brewing. That’s really what’s driven me over the past 10 years,” he said.
The couple did a pharmacy school rotation at an Indian reservation in South Dakota. It was there they rescued the brewery’s namesake, a dog they named Baxter.
“We call him our native dog,” Lauren Glaze said. “Bobby’s a native of Camden, so it just kind of worked,” she said. “We really wanted to bring a sense of community and a place where everyone could come and spend time, whether it be with their kids, family, friends or pets.”
The closest brewery to Camden is 93 miles away in Hot Springs, Lauren Glaze said. “Camden is a craft beer desert.”
Native Dog Brewing is situated near the banks of the Ouachita River and the back patio overlooks the waterway. The interior of the brewery is 2,400 square feet and the patio is 800 square feet. The Glazes hope to feature local food trucks and already have a couple lined up. “It’s a perfect symbiotic relationship for the food truck and ourselves,” Lauren Glaze said. Eventually, there will be grassy area for outdoor games like Baggo and also “for people who bring their furry pets,” Bobby Glaze said.
The brewery will start out with eight beers on tap. In time, the Glazes hope to have 12 on tap at a time.
“Right off the bat we’re going to have a Kölsch,” Bobby Glaze said. “We call it the Queen City Kölsch; Camden is the queen city of the Ouachita River. Kölsch is a German hybrid between ale and lager,” he said. Also on draft will be Ouachita Amber, a pale ale, a New England style IPA, a stout and, even though the brewery is opening after Oktoberfest, the Glazes are going to put their Baxtoberfest on draft. “We were hoping to be open a little bit earlier, Bobby Glaze said, “but we can’t pass up the opportunity with that name.”
“We wanted to do a variety,” Lauren Glaze said, “because, honestly, in South Arkansas, there’s not a lot of exposure to breweries and the different varieties, so we’re really starting broad.”
Bobby Glaze said before they start with distribution they’re going to make sure they can keep up with the in-house production first.
“If we do distribution, it will be very local, so we’re going to try to strategically place beers in communities around us. We’re going to self-distribute. We know that forces a challenge at first, so we can’t really get too far away from Camden at the beginning,” he said.
The Glazes said the news of the brewery has been met with a lot of curiosity from locals.
“We often hear ‘how’s your bar going?’ ” Lauren Glaze said. “We’re not a bar, we’re a brewery. It definitely has a different connotation. A lot of it is just exposing others in the area who have never really experienced a brewery and that sense of community. And it’s family friendly, so I think it has a lot of curiosity and excitement too.” She said there aren’t a lot of bars in Camden. “Probably just two or three. It’s not a thing really. It will be brand new, a learning curve for all of us I, think.”
When the brewery opens in December, the hours will be 4-9 p.m. Thu.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat. and noon-6 p.m. Sun.
“We’re going to start slow,” Lauren Glaze said, “because we’re crazy and we’re going to keep our day jobs.”
Native Dog Brewing
125 Madison SE, Camden