In the South, a lot of people associate football with the cooler temperatures and leaves falling, but my thoughts lately turn to a new fall classic. I'm talking about the beer festival. You can find one around the South pretty much every weekend in September and October and in Arkansas there are several new ones to choose from lately. One of the new kids on the block is coming up this Saturday in Arkadelphia, the inaugural Arktoberfest Craft Beer Festival and Catfish Cookout.
But this festival is shaping up to be about a whole lot more than just catfish and beer, even though I'd be fine if it were just those two things. Attendees of this family friendly festival will get to eat a catfish dinner and enjoy plenty of fun activities like a 5K race, trampoline bungees, climbing walls, human foosball, Nerf wars, laser skeet, pumpkin catapults, live music, trike races, a beard competition and even the state's largest ever cupcake mosaic. Yes, Lauren Byrd of Sugar Belle Sweets is preparing a mosaic of 3,200 vanilla and chocolate cupcakes for the festival, which she and a team of volunteers will be assembling throughout the day to be eaten that evening.
But lets get back to the beer for a moment. Homebrewers from across the state will compete for $1,000 in cash prizes (and the satisfaction of a job well done) in the AHA/BJCP-sanctioned Arktoberfest Challenge Homebrew Competition, using the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. But, if you're more into drinking the beer than making it yourself, here's your solid line-up of Arkansas breweries 21-and-over attendees can sample:
Apple Blossom Brewing Company
Blood Eagle Brewing Company
Bubba Brew’s Brewing Company
Core Brewing Company
Damgood Pies River Market
Diamond Bear Brewing Company
Fossil Cove Brewing Co.
Lost Forty Brewing
Ozark Beer Company
Slate Rock Brewing
Stone’s Throw Brewing
Your Beer and Catfish ticket or a Beer Only ticket and receives 15 tokens in a souvenir pouch, each of which is redeemable for a 3-oz sample of beer, 1.5-oz sample of wine, or 1/4-oz samples of spirits (Rock Town Distillery will be there).
Gates open at 9:45 am. Beer sampling begins at 10 am. Last call is at 9 pm. The festival site closes at 10 pm.
Check out their website for plenty more information: http://arktoberfest.org/