There are a lot of exciting things happening in our Arkansas beer community right now, so many it’s almost hard to keep up. But fortunately for those wanting to be in the know I tend to make notes which I’ll gladly share with those who thirst for local beer news. So let’s get right to some brewery updates and new releases.
* The guys at Rebel Kettle Brewing say they got approval from the city of Little Rock to begin construction (demolition!) within their building on 6th Street. They’re still hoping for an early summer 2015 opening, but are in the very early stages now.
* Tonight at 6 p.m. at Mellow Mushroom in West Little Rock, there will be a a Schlafly XIPA Cask Ale Tapping. This just might be the very last of the XIPA ever poured in Little Rock as Schlafly has retired this great English Style IPA.
* Vino’s Brewpub brewed Holidaze this past week, an annual holiday brew with fresh cranberries, oranges, vanilla and assorted spices using a brown ale as the base. This one only comes around once a year and they’ll be tapping it during the week of Thanksgiving. Pairs well with turkey and dressing no doubt. Also calzones.
* And also during the week of Thanksgiving, on Black Friday to be more specific, Stone’s Throw Brewing will be bringing back their Black Hops Cascadian Dark Ale, sort of a cross between an American IPA and a British Porter. There will be door buster deals and new winter merchandise also in the brewery’s tap room.
* Josiah Moody from Little Rock’s own Moody Brews teamed with the crew at Apple Blossom Brewing in Fayetteville to brew an Earl Grey ESB last week, Arkansas’s first Central – Northwest AR collaboration ale, which will be on tap at Apple Blossom’s brewpub. They are still working out distribution, but hopefully we will see it pop up at other taps around Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock as well.
* Flyway Brewing‘s Free Range Brown Ale was back on tap at South On Main last week, but might run out rather quickly. Look for their session IPA to replace it this week and a chocolate coffee cake stout next week. New releases will follow weekly. South on Main also has Stone’s Throw on tap now too I’ve noticed.
* Diamond Bear Brewing Company is hosting a release party from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25 at the brewery for its latest seasonal beer, Oatmeal Stout. There’s no cover charge and they’ll be giving out some free glasses while they last.
* Saddlebock Brewery released a couple of new beers on draft only at their taproom, a 5 percent abv Bavarian Dunkel and Vanilla Oak Bourbon Porter, the brewery’s biggest beer yet at 10 percent.
* I visited with the guys from upcoming brewery Leap of Faith this past weekend and they are hoping to get to work on a physical location and get their paperwork going to start making beer for public consumption by the end of 2015 or early 2016.
* Growler fill stations are popping up all over and now there are several bars getting in on the fun. You can now get your growlers filled at both Professor Bowl and Big Orange Midtown. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in West Little Rock also fills growlers.
* Speaking of BJ’s, the area in the McCain Mall parking lot, on the corner of Warden and McCain, has been fenced off and machinery is tearing up the pavement for the latest location of the brew-centric restaurant chain. No word on if they are building this one so close to my house expecting me to keep their taps drained, but they just may be.
* Destination: Craft Beer is an upcoming TV show exploring brewing craft beer across the nation, and hey were at several breweries in Northwest Arkansas last week shooting some footage.