March 28, 2014

A Documentary on Fayetteville’s Craft Beer Scene Coming Soon

There's beer in them thar hills!

There's no doubt that the craft beer scene is northwest Arkansas has really taken off over the last few years, and it's been fun to watch the growth. Just scan over to my list on the right side of this post to peruse all the breweries that have popped up. It just recently came to my attention that Danny Henkel and Alyssa Becker, a couple of journalism students from the University of Arkansas, are producing a documentary called "Tapping The Ozarks" for one of their courses about the emergence of craft beer in Fayetteville and the area. Below is the latest trailer and also an excellent article from Brian Sorensen for The Fayetteville Flyer and watch for more here hopefully on this very cool looking documentary:

"The final (for now) version of the promo for my documentary. Enjoy."

Music - Tossing Copper's "The Mason" by Jake Scott - used with permission.

March 26, 2014

Welcome To Arkansas: Leaky Roof Meadery

Get ready to get your mead on!

Alright, first question: What the hell is mead? Good question, so my old friend gets us started:

Mead (/ˈmiːd/; archaic and dialectal "medd"; from Old English "meodu"), is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and frequently fruits, spices, grains or hops. (Hops act as a preservative and produce a bitter, beer-like flavor.) The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to more than 20%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey. It may be still, carbonated or naturally sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet or sweet.

"It can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks."

Good enough? OK then, we're all set. Next question: Who is Leaky Roof Meadery? Well you'll need to check out their website for tons of info to answer that, but in short it's 3 mead lovers up in Missouri (north of Springfield in Buffalo, Mo.) bringing their gluten-free deliciousness to the Springfield/Lake of the Ozarks area and Arkansas in kegs, bottles and eventually pint cans (possibly as early as June).

They've signed with Glidewell Distributing and well be arriving in draft form in central Arkansas next week, with some launch events planned. Wednesday, Apr 2nd, there will be events at Big Orange and The Flying Saucer (glass night!) and on Thursday, Apr 3rd, they'll have a tap takeover at Superior Bathhouse Brewery in Hot Springs. They'll also be pouring at Food & Foam Fest on Friday, Apr 4th. Head mead-maker and general manager Todd Rock will be at all of the events. Todd has worked at Hanger 24 in California as a cellerman and also at one of my favorites, Mother's Brewing Company in Springfield, Mo. as lead packaging tech.

Looking over at Untappd, I see their top beers include:

KCC&S Cyser - Our flagship mead. It is a session-strength, slightly carbonated or “petillant”, semi-sweet mead made from a blending of honey and fresh pressed apple cider. It is pale straw gold, crystal clear and has a refreshing sharpness from our liberal use of Granny Smith apples in our cider. Our cyser is technically similar to a hard cider but is less tart and emphasizes both honey and apple flavors.

Berry Picker - Our super berry melomel. It is a session-strength, petillant and sweet mead made from a blend of wildflower honey with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and red raspberries. This beverage is sweet, but not too sweet, fruity and an explosion of fresh berry flavor.

High, Dry and Dusty - Our ginger methyglin. It is a sessionable, dry and slightly carbonated mead reminiscent of a very dry ginger ale. Bright, crisp and spicy, this mead can clear a palate and leave it feeling refreshed and thirsty for more. Exceptionably good over ice, this mead is perfect for a hot day in Missouri.

Spook Light - Our fall seasonal offering is a pumpkin pie spiced mead. A house blend of pie spices complements the flavors of wildflower honey to give you taste of pie that will send shivers down your spine.

2014 Foam Fest VIP Beer List

If you're in central Arkansas and a craft beer lover I'm sure you already know all about Food & Foam Fest, the annual event in North Little Rock put on by the Arthritis Foundation. But guess what? I'm going to tell you anyway because it's pretty awesome.

It's Friday, April 4th and this year is the 17th annual version and is once again at Dickey-Stephens Park. General admission is at 6pm and is $40. A VIP ticket will get you in the gates at 5:15pm so you can begin with some "rare beers" that won't be available to the general admission folks, and they're $65.

Here's more about the festival:

And here's a bit more about the VIP tickets:

 VIP $65 includes a t-shirt, lanyard, 5:15 - 6:00pm special VIP tastings of:

 (This is as of 3/25/14 and will be updated as more arrive.)

  • Founders Breakfast Stout
  • Founders Red's Rye IPA
  • Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout
  • Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
  • New Belgium Cigar City Brewing Collaboration
  • New Belgium Lips of Faith Wild2 Dubbel
  • Piney River Mule Team Imperial IPA

See you there!

March 25, 2014

A Closer Look at Springdale's Core Brewing & Distilling

This is a few months old, but I just now found it posted over on YouTube. It's a nice look at Springdale's Core Brewing. Check it out:

"One of the hottest new breweries is right in our own backyard. I'm talking about Core Brewing & Distilling, and this particular brewery has a little bit of everything. "

March 23, 2014

An Update From Vino's Head Brewer Josiah Moody

It's time to catch up with Vino's head brewer Josiah Moody on what's going on there lately and what they have coming up this Spring. 

ArkBeerScene: Last time I was by Vino's Brewpub (earlier this week) you had a nice Saison on tap and it seems like you've had several of those lately, what's been going on there?

Josiah Moody: Yeah, it's the Slaughterhouse Series of Saisons. Slaughterhouse is a reference to my former assistant, Brian Youngblood (who goes by "Slaughter"), who moved out to L.A. and became level 2 Cicerone certified, which is a big deal, so to kind of celebrate that we did this series. He'd been home brewing with a French Saison yeast and we brought that in to the brewery and to keep it interesting we change it up. I don't know what it is about it that just makes me keep experimenting but I can't brew just a straight-up Saison. This is the 2nd year of it and I've done everything from mangoes and habanero peppers to pluots to the most recent, an experimental hop called HBC 342, a New Zealand strain. I thought it came out with lots of melons, tropical fruit... that kind of stuff. I was pleased with it. Currently in the fermenter is a blood orange Saison which I think I'm going to add hibiscus flowers to. I was just talking to the good folks at Loblolly Creamery today actually and they convinced me to add some hibiscus. I've actually learned a lot about working with fruit from them. You know, that's what they do, and do it very well. They give me a lot of tips along the way.

ABS: So that's going to wrap up the Slaughterhouse Series?

JM: For the foreseeable future it is. We've got some other projects so I'll probably move the Slaughterhouse off for a little while.

ABS: Other projects you can share?

JM: I've been jonesing to do my single hop Amarillo IPA, one of my favorite beers I've made. Pinnacle IPA is more of an British vs American IPA, British malts with a heavy dose of American hops. The Amarillo IPA is obviously BIG on Amarillo hops, strong and distinct. Coming soon.

ABS: I also noticed some new nitro taps in Vinos the other day?

JM: Yeah, we did that for St. Paddy's Day, barely got it in, we already had Guinness tap so we had nitrogen gas going in so I split that line and added our refurbished nitro tap and put our Oatmeal Stout on for St. Patrick's and it will stay on probably indefinitely.

ABS: It sounds like Left Hand Brewing is trying to trademark the name nitro, better be careful. Ha.

JM: I'm so surprised, you know Left Hand is such a solid brewery that doesn't seem to be so corporate I guess. Nitro is nitro! There are thousands of tap handles all over the country referred to as nitro. Now they were probably one of the pioneers of putting it in a can, like Guinness.

ABS: It seems the industry as a whole now, the gloves are off a bit. There weren't as many and everybody was friendlier maybe and now there aren't as many pieces of pie? We'll see where it goes, maybe that's a whole interview itself. New subject, I saw some casks in the brewery the other day?

JM: Yes, 15 1/2 gallon cask kegs, 3 of them. I pulled off Oatmeal Stout as the base and added molasses to each as priming sugar. Added cocoa nibs to one, G3 Coffee beans to the second and added little of both to third one for more of a mocha style. Those will be coming as the standard Oatmeal Stout comes off.

ABS: Sounds great. Last question I had for you. It's almost baseball season, my favorite sport, and I'm hearing you guys won't have any beer at Dickey-Stephens Park this year for the Arkansas Traveler's games? As long as I can remember you have!

JM: It's with some regret that I will say we are not doing the ballpark this year. It's a combination of factors. Summer is our busiest time for sales with patios open and people out so it's enough to keep our beers and keep experimenting in the restaurant. So adding 30 kegs over to the park, when I only make 7 at a time, takes a chunk out. In effect it means I don't get to do pilsner, I don't get to experiment... we're going to just have to pull back.

ABS: I see. You're shipping beer up to Jonesboro's Vino's location now too right?

JM: Yes, we are. We have 1 tap and rotate our beers, maybe 6 kegs a month. We're starting to get around town, that's part of the calculus about pulling back from the park. I probably get more bang for the buck getting a keg out to the local establishments and the keg will last a bit long and get more exposure.

ABS: Once again, thanks for your time and we'll be talking to you again soon as I hope!

You can sample some of Josiah's excellent work for yourself at Vino's Brewpub. Get a growler while you're there.

March 19, 2014

Founders Launch Week Update

Information on the Little Rock area release of Founders Brewing is trickling in now. A pub crawl has popped up to go along with the beer dinner at The Flying Saucer, so let's do a quick recap shall we? The beer dinner at Saucer is sold out I believe also, so I hope you have your ticket. As for the pub crawl, the sign (posted below) just reads "signature beers at each location" so I'm not sure what all we'll see yet. There will be a lot of their beers here this first week I've heard, but some will be pretty limited. Rumor is that the KBS will be at the Saucer dinner, not sure on the quantity.

I'll update this as things are added and re-post... so keep checking!

Mon Mar. 31st:

Events at Mellow Mushroom in West Little Rock (All Day IPA will go on draft at opening, 6pm Dirty Bastard goes on tap and also at 6pm limited amounts of Breakfast Stout on sale in bottle.)
Launch Party at Superior Bathhouse Brewery in Hot Springs (6:00 PM rep on hand from Founders, 4 beers on draft, 4 in bottles)

Tues Apr. 1st:

Patio Party at US Pizza in Hillcrest (All Day IPA and Porter on draft and at 5pm Founders pint specials!)

Wed Apr. 2nd:

Pub Crawl in the Argenta Arts District Sponsored By The Arkansas Times (flyer is below, KBS will be somewhere...)

6:00 PM - The Joint
7:00 PM - Cregeen's Irish Pub
8:00 PM - Reno's Argenta Cafe

Thurs Apr. 3rd:

5:00 PM - Rare Beer Tapping at The Flying Saucer - Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale
7:00 PM - Founders Beer Dinner at The Flying Saucer (5 beers, 5 courses)

Fri Apr. 4th:

6:00 PM - 17th Annual Food and Foam Fest in North Little Rock

Let There Be Spring Beer Festivals!

 Screw the robin sightings, the way I always know when Spring is getting here is when my beer festival calendar starts to fill up. And guess what... it's Spring beer festival season! I've already got tickets to a couple of these, but you can shoot for them all! I believe the one in Tupelo and the one in Hot Springs are both new this year? I've been to the other 3 and all are very well done.

Click on the handy links I provided for more info...

March 29th - Ales & Tales (Fayetteville)

April 4th - Little Rock Food and Foam Fest 

April 26th - Memphis Brewfest 

March 17, 2014

Welcome To Arkansas: Southern Star Brewing Company!

Hot off the heels of the news of a great addition to our state, Founders Brewing, and before it's even hit the state, here comes another great addition to our market. Southern Star Brewing Company out of Conroe, TX will be in the state around the same time as Founders it looks like, early April. 

This is yet another great canning brewery to add to our already kick-ass selection with Tallgrass, Piney River and Finch's among others. Anybody besides me remember when it was difficult around here to find a nice canned beer to take the river or lake on the weekend? Or just lay around the pool with? Or just to crush on your head after you finish it (if that's your thing)? It's definitely no longer an issue as the shelves are stocked with great choices now, not just in the Summer but year round. Southern Star will fit right in.

I don't have any info on release parties or tap takeovers or dinner pairing or any of the usual offerings, but you can bet they are coming. I'll keep the Twitter feed full when we start hearing, so stay tuned.

Here's a bit more:

Southern Star's president is Dave Fougeron, former head brewer of Houston-based Saint Arnold Brewing Company. The brewery currently distributes in Texas, Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and South Carolina.

Their "flagship beer" is Pine Belt Pale Ale, an American-style pale ale that is roughly 6.3% alcohol by volume. It also produces Buried Hatchet, a Strong American Stout, at 8.25 percent alcohol by volume; and Bombshell Blonde, an American blonde ale at 5.25 percent alcohol by volume. Some of their seasonals include LeMort Vivant, a 6.6% abv French style beir de garde, Red Cockaded Ale, an 8.5% West Coast style imperial red and Valkyrie, a 9.5% double IPA that clocks in at 100 IBU.

Here's a visit to the brewery with the Beer Bros, Chris and Keith.

March 14, 2014

Talking 4 New Beers In Our Market

There are a lot of new beers hitting the area right now with the change of season, so I thought I'd take a few minutes and post a bit about 4 of them that I've recently had, from 4 different breweries. You'll notice I'm not rating them as I'm sort of against ratings. Who am I to say what something should rate? Check 'em all out for yourself and don't trust me, Ratebeer or anywhere else. If you like or dislike something, damn the "experts." Taste is subjective. But that's a whole other blog post.... so just read about the 4 new brews and then go check them out for yourself!

Tommyknocker Oaked Butt Head Bock 

From the brewery: Oaked Butt Head combines Tommyknocker's award winning Butt Head Bock with finely toasted oak. The vanilla and spice character of the oak melds with the malty caramel flavors of our doppelbock.

In my opinion: This brewery seems to have a lot more malt forward beers than hop forward and they do well with this. This one has tons of flavor from the caramel malt and the oak comes out just fine with just hints of vanilla. Rich, woody, creamy with a nice mouthfeel. I love this style and this is a quality beer overall if you're a fan of doppelbocks. Hop snobs look away.

Green Flash Ristretto Cosmic Black Lager

From the brewery: Hard to find anything on this one really, but I found a press release with this bit... "Drawing on the flavors from some of our favorite beer styles the Green Flash Geniuses have created an out of the world black lager using chocolate and roasted malts. They then added a dose of concentrated, cold pressed espresso – a brew so bold it has earned the name “Ristretto”."

In my opinion: Wow, this stuff is delicious. I love coffee and the nose of this one alone put me in heaven. Taste like an expresso almost with flavors of rich dark chocolate, bitter roasted malts and in the finish there's a bit of light smoke. A lot of these coffee style beers are porters or stouts and making this one more of a black lager really put the coffee at the front I think. Good mouthfeel but not as thick as the stouts. At 8.2% it's sneaky too. Fantastic beer and maybe my favorite thing I've had from Green Flash and that's saying a lot as I love this brewery.

 O'Fallon Zeke's Pale Ale

From the brewery: Zeke’s Pale Ale is brewed with two-row, Bonlander and Honey malt. Galaxy hops are added at the very end of the boil in a technique called burst-hopping that allows the beer to gain the hop flavor and aroma with just the right balance of bitterness. The result is a dry, crisp, light-bodied ale with a fresh hop aroma and just a hint of honey.

In my opinion: A dry, crisp, light-bodied pale ale that's real easy to drink. The Galaxy hops give it a citrusy, fruity flavor and aroma. It's actually quite a bit hoppier than I expected... think pineapple or grapefruit.This isn't a big hop bomb by any means, but a very nice brew I'll take to the pool or break out for some lawn mowing perhaps. Not high in alcohol and very sessionable. Nice.

Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale

From the brewery: We are from the city that invented the skyscraper. We constructed our Urban Pale Ale on a balanced malt backbone, so the citrus hop aroma and crisp flavor can stand tall.
5.4% ABV - 30 IBU 
Hops: Amarillo, Mt. Hood, Nugget
Malts: 2 Row, Crystal 60
We constructed our Urban Pale Ale on a balanced malt backbone, so the citrus hop aroma and crisp flavor can stand tall.
Recipe Information
Style: Urban Pale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.4%
International Bitterness Units: 30
Color: Marigold
Hops: Amarillo, Mt. Hood, Nugget
Malts: 2 Row, Crystal 60 - See more at:
We constructed our Urban Pale Ale on a balanced malt backbone, so the citrus hop aroma and crisp flavor can stand tall.
Recipe Information
Style: Urban Pale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.4%
International Bitterness Units: 30
Color: Marigold
Hops: Amarillo, Mt. Hood, Nugget
Malts: 2 Row, Crystal 60 - See more at:
We constructed our Urban Pale Ale on a balanced malt backbone, so the citrus hop aroma and crisp flavor can stand tall.
Recipe Information
Style: Urban Pale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.4%
International Bitterness Units: 30
Color: Marigold
Hops: Amarillo, Mt. Hood, Nugget
Malts: 2 Row, Crystal 60 - See more at:

In my opinion: Similar to the Zeke's Pale Ale but not quite as big of a hop flavor, this is another mellow, crisp, easy-drinker beer with a very sessionable ABV of 5.4%. Nice flavor that doesn't beat-up your taste buds, has some hints of spice. In a word: pleasant. In 3 words: I'll have another.

Find 'em and drink up!

March 9, 2014

A Visit With Flyway Brewing's Matt Foster

Flyway Brewing is a brewery here in Little Rock and if you've never visited their blog, I'd like to now suggest that you do that. I could go over how they got started and where their name came from and so-on-and-so-forth, but trust me, the blog is simply fantastic and full of great stories from their short history. Go ahead and read it (and bookmark it while you're there) and I'll wait here.

You're back? OK good. Then you now know that Matt Foster is the man behind Flyway, who is trying to get things up and running (or flying) while also balancing a full time job as a high school teacher (and husband, and father). He's a man with a passion for beer and a goal for making and sharing great beer. He's also just a genuinely nice guy.

The facility is a modest one, which doubles as the home of Little Rock's own fantastic Loblolly Creamery during the day. They share the kitchen and freezer and shelf space and Matt was kind enough to show me around and tell me a bit about his plans and what's coming up.

Arkansas Beer Scene: So what's the history of this place? A former bar?

Matt: This place was called The Flaming Arrow and it's an old restaurant apparently from the 70s and 80s. One of my good friends had her wedding reception here and a lot of big movers and shakers used to hang out down here, including Bill Clinton. Rumor has that this is where he met Gennifer Flowers and she might used to have lived in this building. Check on that one, but apparently some of the residents remember seeing him in the hallways.

ABS: Ole Slick Willy might have slept here? Great! Some history! Now you share this with Loblolly Creamery?

Matt: Yes. They've been extremely generous to me and made it possible for me to become a legal Arkansas native brewer.

ABS: And this building is where you plan on staying?

Matt: Yes, staying here indefinitely. I do have plans to move and get my own space in here in some business planning phases, working with the Arkansas Small Business Technology Development Center at UALR, something I can take to bankers and investors to get my own business loan and be able to get some more space and reasonable equipment.

ABS: What is your brewing capacity now?

Matt: It's the SABCO Brew Magic and it's a half-barrel brewing system. It's either a fancy home-brewing system or a great pilot brewing system, there are several ways of looking at it I guess. Maybe famous because Sam Calagione at Dogfish Head started on a Brew Magic as one of it's claims to fame. Piney River started on a Brew Magic too.

ABS: Piney is one of my favorites!

Matt: It's a long list actually. It's because it's affordable and allows you to control a lot of variables and create a really consistent and repeatable product. When somebody goes somewhere and gets your product you want it to all be the same.

ABS: Speaking of getting your product, where all are your beers now?

Matt: Since October I've had a permanent tap at South on Main, rolling out the Free Range Brown Ale. I've had a rotating tap at Superior Bathhouse in Hot Springs. The only other place, besides special events, so far was the collaboration with Rebel Kettle at Big Orange for Christmas.

ABS: Are you trying to expand to more right now?

Matt: No. That's a good question, but I'm pulled in so many directions and have turned my attention to more planning I'm actually going to scale back a little bit and brew less often with more variety. I feel like the Free Range Brown recipe is nailed down. I'll have it at Food and Foam Fest (April) and I think it's the best it's been. It's very approachable and it's a good gateway type beer.

ABS: It's very accessible and easy-to-drink for sure. Very sessionable. So this is your "staple" we'll say, or flagship at this point. What other beers do you have coming up?

Matt: I have another recipe for a "drinker" I'll call it. If Free Range is approachable then Migrate Ale I want to be known as "drinkable". It's a pale ale. I use some two-row barley malts, a little bit of wheat and some Northern Brewer and locally grown Dunbar Cascade hops. I'm proud to say that every batch of beer I've made and served in public has used some locally grown hops. We've gone out and hand-picked the hops ourselves, someone from Dunbar or one of us. I've got a freezer full of them. I may not always be able to do that but because of the size so far I can. I want to source more and more ingredients from Arkansas.

ABS: I saw on your website a Shadow Hands Stout coming up?

Matt: Yeah, definitely, that's part of the plan where I'm going to stop making as much Free Range. South On Main alone keeps me brewing that as I can make just enough Free Range to keep that tap up. That's a good problem to have. The Shadow Hands I have been working on for a while, it's inspired by coffee cake, sort of a coffee cake stout. I have a good brewing buddy that came up with it with me.

ABS: So where might we see these?

Matt: Migrate Ale will be at Food and Foam Fest. I'm going to start rotating a lot more often after that. South On Main has agreed to rotate so they'll have more variety too.

ABS: I love the Shadow Hands Stout label for the record.

Matt: A girl named Jennifer Perren, who graduated from Central High here, she's a senior art major at UALR and just the most talented artist. The original is actually an etching. She did the Free Range label too. She's so talented. There's no label for the Migrate Ale yet but I have tattoo artist here in town working on that one as we speak.

ABS: I hear you talk a lot about organic, you're big on that.

Matt: I feel strongly about organic and I really believe in organic farming practices, I'm not a fan of industrial farming. I'm a proud environmentalist. If I'm going to be making large quantities of beer I want to support things I believe in, you know? I think organic farming is cleaner. I think I'll have a line of beers that are organic, may have to be a little more expensive, and then a line of beers that aren't all organic. I also want to support the Arkansas Native Beer Project, it's something I'm probably the most excited about. It's something we conceived of a while back (ed. note: read the blog!). As recent as the late 50s barley was the number 2 or 3 cash crop in Arkansas. It was grown mainly as a feed crop for livestock. I wanted to grow it here. Now we've got barley growing at Dunbar Community Garden on Chester. We have other varieties growing at Victory Garden, 12th and Oak Street Garden, Laughing Stock Farm, and on research land at the U of A Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. We hope to harvest a couple of tons of barley, and when we do we'll malt it and make the first Arkansas Native Beer. An acre of barley will yield like 2 to 4 tons if I remember correctly. We planted about 150 lbs. so we're talking like 6 tons of barley. That's a lot of barley. I'm going to play around with malting the barley, mash it, boil it, brew it, hop it, ferment it, carbonate it, keg it... the first Arkansas native beer.

ABS: I love it!

Matt: It's going to be a long process, it's going to take years. But so worth it.

ABS: So where do you see yourself in a year from now with Flyway Brewing?

Matt: I'm learning so much. I'm still making mistakes, but I'm learning a lot about brewing and business. It's paying for itself, but I'm not making a living with it. But if going to do this I feel I need to set myself to be successful with my equipment and location. Get a storefront that will enrich my community, put in a brewpub and brewhouse. Be able to make a modest living. Everybody isn't going to be Founders or Dogfish Head you know, but you can make a living doing it the right way. The next year is going to be big. I'm going to try to do it the right way. I'd really like a larger brewing system that can support the business, but on a reasonable scale. I think I see exciting things happening in the next year. I think the scene here is right, in Little Rock and South Main.

ABS: I'll sure be pulling for you. Thanks so much for your time Matt!

March 7, 2014

Another New Beer At Stone's Throw

According to Stone's Throw's recent Facebook post, they'll have yet another new beer on the wall this weekend! In addition, the wonderful and popular Shamus Stout will be back. Here's more:

Stone's Throw: New beer Friday! We'll be open 4-9 w/ Mickey's Irish Red & Shamus Stout added to the tap wall. Join us for happy hour until 5 & enjoy dinner w/ The Southern Gourmasian. Here's the new beer:

Mickey's Irish Red gets its deep red color from the good portion of roasted barley in the grain bill. Slightly sweet with plenty of malt and caramel flavors, Mickey's finishes slightly dry (also from the roasted grain). There is just enough bitterness from single addition of English hops to bring a bit of balance. Mickey's is an easy drinking session pint.

Shamus Stout is our take on a classic oatmeal stout. Dark color and a creamy head meet the eye. Initial taste greets your mouth with a full body and silky smoothness until the roast malts shine through. Coffee kiln malt adds a hint of coffee flavor which increases drinkability. Shamus is an easy drinking stout for the seasoned aficionado and dark-beer newbie alike.

Looking at Untappd, Shamus is their highest rated and 2nd most checked-in beer since opening (41 total... see below). I've added 4 pints to the count myself (more to come!). I've also just added Mickey's to Untappd so start checking it in already!



March 4, 2014

Getting To Know Founders Brewing Company

So Founders is finally coming to Arkansas! Here's 3 great videos to either introduce you to them or maybe just educate you a little more on what this Grand Rapids, Michigan brewery is all about.

The Founders Family, a group of passionate beer enthusiasts, has grown around this simple philosophy: “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.”

They're ranked 30th in the Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies, based on 2012 beer sales volume.

As of 2013, two of thier beers, Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) and Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS), were ranked among BeerAdvocate's top 10 beers, with CBS ranked as the 4th best beer in the world by user reviews. listed Founders as the overall 3rd best brewery in the world in its 2013 poll; Founders was 2nd place in 2011 and 2012. In April 2010, Founders won four medals at the World Beer Cup in Chicago, Illinois, and the brewery went on to win two more medals at Denver's Great American Beer Festival in September. The brewery also won one award at the 2012 World Beer Cup in San Diego.

The story of Founders Brewing Company:

This is what we mean when we say "Brewed for us."

Founders Brewing Co. - Interview Mike Stevens & Dave Engbers:

March 3, 2014

Welcome To Arkansas: Founders Brewing Company!

When my friends and I have a beer tasting or just any get-together (which usually turn into beer tastings), the subject almost always ends up on what breweries we'd like to see in Arkansas at some point. Over the years a good percentage of these have arrived on our tap walls and the list has been ever-changing with new breweries popping up across the country every time you turn around. Breweries like Southern Tier, Stone, Sweetwater, Terrapin, Cigar City, Bear Republic, Bells, Oskar Blues, Sixpoint, Yazoo... this list could keep going. We want them all! But there's only so much shelf space, so you have to pick-and-choose-and-hope. We'll never see them all and not having some of these actually makes road trips more fun as you can seek them out and bring some home to share.

We've landed some good ones in our area lately too, there's no doubt about that. Just a few weeks ago Summit Brewing arrived and fully justified their hype, we've got Coop Ale Works very soon and last year saw Evil Twin, Stillwater, Bayou Teche, Green Flash and so many others I can't remember them all.

But a brewery that's always been on our lists is Founders Brewing Co. out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and we can now remove them as they've landed here with Golden Eagle of Arkansas and will be showing up late March or early April at the latest.

Here's the official press release:

I have been assured there will be a lot of events surrounding the launch, from pub crawls to tap takeovers to dinners and pairings. The only such event that has been released so far is a beer dinner at The Flying Saucer in the River Market on April 3rd (Thurs) and I'm told that your ticket prices to that will include a ticket to Foam Fest on the following night. This should be awesome!

I'll post more on events as soon as I get them, watch the Twitter feed.

In the meantime, check these guys out:

I'm not big on using ratings from or and such sites as I like to make my own opinions, so I'll just tell you my favorite Founders beer in case you're not familiar with them. Personally I think their Porter is one of the best I've ever had. They have a wonderful session IPA called All-Day IPA, an incredible stout called Breakfast Stout and other great beers like Centennial IPA, Red Rye IPA, the deliciously fruity Rubaeus, the scotchy Backwoods Bastard, Curmudgeon Old Ale... damn just typing these names in makes me thirsty. So many great beers. And then of course there's KBS, which is in it's own world. A tasty, ass-kicking world.

To use a phrase from another brewery here, but it just seems so apt... "Here. We. Go."