With so much attention given to the burgeoning River Market and Main Street areas downtown, it’s easy to forget there’s a growing beer scene in the little hamlet of Argenta on the north side of the river. Diamond Bear Brewery and several other existing pubs and restaurants will soon be joined by 2 new breweries which have recently staked their claims, Leap of Faith and Flyway Brewing. There’s also one particular hidden gem I’ve been getting good craft beer at since their opening, The Joint. Yes, that place you thought was “just” a theater and coffeehouse is a quality place for craft beer.
Since their opening in May of 2012, their 8 draft taps have had a constant stream of great craft beer in addition to 30-35 different bottle choices with few domestics. The 8 taps always have at least 2 local beers and 1 nitro selection, often getting news beers on as soon as they hit the market for customers to try out.
Once a month, typically on a Tuesday or Thursday, they’ll feature a brewery for a night of tasting paired with entertainment. One of things about their tastings compared to most is that they always come with some entertainment towards the end. Typically a price around $10 will get you five 4-oz beers to sample, a chance to speak with the brewery representative and some trivia, live music or comedy. Many times I’ve enjoyed the beers offered and ended up staying around for stand-up comics or open mic entertainment.
Of course, they’ve got plenty of coffee choices, a full bar and although they don’t have a kitchen they have fruit and cheese trays, giant pretzels, panini and sandwiches.
Want to check it out for yourself? Head to Argenta this Thursday night, as they’re hosting a New Belgium Brewing beer tasting from 6:30-9:00, with trivia and prizes also starting at 8:00 and running until around 10:00. There will also be the NFL draft on the big screen to see where those Hogs land. All of this for $10.
Beers available to try include Skinny Dip (American Blonde Ale), Lips of Faith Cocoa Mole (Spiced Chocolate Porter), Hop Kitchen Oatmeal IPA, Slow Ride (Session IPA) and La Folie 2015 (Wood-Aged Sour Ale). If you’re a big New Belgium fan (and who isn’t) you’ll be pleased to know that they’ll also have Ranger IPA, Fat Tire (Amber Ale) and 1554 Black Lager in bottles. In addition, The Joint is the only place in central Arkansas where you can find New Belgium Abbey, one of owner Adam Ferrell’s favorite beers, on draft all the time.
Can’t make it Thursday night? Here are more regular events to check out:
*Tuesdays: Hogging The Mic with stand-up comics taking the stage
*Wednesdays: improv comedy featuring The Joint Venture
*Thursdays: Monthly artists series plus variety artists and more
*Friday and Saturdays: Original sketch comedy featuring The Main Thing
For cheap entertainment, good beers and tasty coffee, there aren’t many places doing it better than The Joint. It’s an overlooked gem, not only in Argenta, but in all of Central Arkansas.