January 4, 2015

Last Night In Little Rock, Put Me In A Haze

To kick off this new year, we decided on a whim to hit all of the central Arkansas breweries yesterday and see what's up. I'm going to call it the "Central Arkansas Hop District" as opposed to whatever name people trying to make money selling t-shirts and such come up with. There are 5 breweries all within about 2 miles of each other in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. Each offers something different, each is quite unique, each have their own charms and here's the kicker... they all make beer. See how this works?

I've done the Fayetteville Ale Trail a couple of times (all in 1 day once actually) and love it, but the difference is that around Little Rock the breweries are all packed pretty tightly. We actually are going to walk the entire thing often I'm sure, but yesterday's rain and cold made that not sound like much fun.

So we decided while finding something for lunch that Arkansas Ale House sounded like a good place to eat. And hey if you're having a beer at a brewery at noon on a Saturday, why in the world WOULDN'T you just hit them all? AMIRIGHT?

The new Diamond Bear brewery is really great. There is tons of room, free parking, really good food in the restaurant and a nice atmosphere. I had their Oatmeal Stout, a very nice version of the style. We hit the grandfather of Arkansas breweries, Vinos, next for a nice ESB, then Stone's Throw for a pint of their hot, hot, hot Chipolte Porter, which they're calling "Hawt"... for good reason. Great beer. Next we stopped by and visited with the great people at Blue Canoe over their milk stout, hit The Flying Saucer for a Saddlebock Java Stout (to keep the Arkansas theme going you know), then visited Little Rock's newest brewery, Lost Forty. These guys have just nailed it with everything they've done this first month. Excellent food, facility, atmosphere and oh yes... beer. I've called their operation "world class" and I mean it.

So there it is, the first of many days spent just wandering around the Central Arkansas Hop District. The beer lovers of this state should all do the same, and we actually saw many groups of people at multiple locations. Call some friends, make a plan, get a designated driver (or load the UBER app)... this is going to be HUGE.

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