February 28, 2017

Arkansas Beer Buzz Podcast #9 With Rebel Kettle

We're talking with John Lee from Rebel Kettle Brewing Company in Little Rock about their one year anniversary party coming up on April 1st, Beer And Loathing In Little Rock. There will be a lot of live music, barrel aged beers, food trucks and a hog roast. You don't want to miss this one!

February 27, 2017

Columbus House Brewery Creates Commemorative Beer for JMSR 40th

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – (Feb. 27, 2017)Columbus House Brewery in Fayetteville announced that it will create a commemorative craft beer in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Joe Martin Stage Race, one of America’s most popular stage races that takes place in Fayetteville every year. 

The commemorative beer will be called “Piles of Miles,” a common phrase used by the late race director, Joe Martin, and for whom the stage race is named.  Martin often referred to the “piles of miles” cyclists would ride when participating in the race.  The Joe Martin Stage Race was originally known as the NWA Classic and was renamed after Martin in 1989 after he lost a battle with cancer the previous year.

The founders of Columbus House Brewery, a member of the Fayetteville Ale Trail, are avid cyclists and are well connected to the cycling community. 

“This is an honor for us to have another opportunity to honor Joe’s contributions to the sport of cycling,” said Jason Corral, co-founder of Columbus House Brewery. “Joe was keen on ‘what was cool before it was cool,’ so we decided to brew a trendy beer style that hasn't quite reached Arkansas yet, a New England-style IPA. Known for being hazy, juicy, full of hop flavor and low on bitterness, it’s a perfectly refreshing fit for cyclists coming off of a ride, or anyone who enjoys dry-hopped IPAs, pale ales, fruit-influenced beers, or the next big thing in craft beer.”

Corral says production of the Piles of Miles beer has already begun and will be available on tap at Columbus House Brewery, located at 701 W. North Street in Fayetteville, during special events in March and throughout the race weekend, March 30 – April 2.  It will be sold in the beer gardens at the race as well.

The Joe Martin Stage Race celebrates the 40th Anniversary of its two-day, three-stage race for amateur men and women cyclists that now attracts participants from all 50 states and 27 countries.

In addition to the amateur race, JMSR has included a four-day, four-stage race for professional cyclists for the past 15 years. The race is part of the USA Cycling Pro Racing Tour, the national governing body for the sport of cycling that operates under the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The race also is part of the Union Cycliste Internationale American Tour. Union Cycliste Internationale is the international governing body for cycling that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.  Joe Martin Stage Race is recognized nationally as one of the leading stage races in the country on the professional and amateur cycling circuit.

The 2017 race is expected to attract approximately 750 cyclists. The route weaves through numerous locations throughout Fayetteville and Devil’s Den State Park, and culminates on Dickson Street, the heart of the city’s entertainment district.  Spectators are welcome at various locations along the route.  The event also includes a Gran Fondo, a children’s ride and a Townie Ride. 

To register or to learn more, visit joemartinstagerace.com.

For more information on Columbus House Brewery and other members of the Fayetteville Ale Trail, visit fayettevillealetrail.com.

February 11, 2017

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2017 Collaborator Announcement

Beer Camp is back and this time it's bigger than ever. Introducing: Beer Camp Across the World, an international collaboration project, coming June, 2017.
Avery Brewing Co.
Boneyard Beer
Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Surly Brewing Co.
The Bruery
Tree House Brewing Co.
Ayinger Brewery
Garage Product
Lots more info right here from All About Beer!

February 9, 2017

Press Release: Oskar Blues Hotbox Coffee IPA

Oskar Blues Brewery Brings Odd Couple Together With Hotbox Coffee IPA


Longmont, CO, Brevard, NC & Austin, TXOskar Blues Brewery, the original innovators of craft beer in a can, are making strange bedfellows of uppers and downers again.

Hotbox Coffee IPA (7.2% ABV, 70 IBUs) combines a burst of pine, citrus and mango from simcoe hops and blends them with a cold brew extract from Hotbox Roasters' Ethiopian beans, which bring cream, blueberry and cocoa notes to the mix. The beans were sourced from a family farm in the East African nation exclusively for this beer.

Hops and coffee = the perfect odd couple.

“We believe the citrus and fruit aromatics of an IPA, derived from the intense hops, pair well with the fruit of the coffee to produce a great, flavor-packed beer,” said head of brewing operations Tim Matthews. “The combination of coffee and hops in the Hotbox IPA serve to compliment and reinforce the delicious flavors and aromas both offer in this match up.”

Since the in-house coffee roasters at Hotbox Roasters share a space in Oskar Blues Brewery’s Longmont facility, it was a no-brainer to go back to the mat and follow up on the fall seasonal, Hotbox Coffee Porter.

“Teaming up with Oskar Blues to make an IPA is a great opportunity to show off the versatility of Ethiopian coffee beans,” said Matt Herren of Hotbox Coffee Roasters.  “I had just 'cupped' this Ethiopian coffee and was blown away by the obvious aromas of fruit: bright cherry, blueberry, and citrus jumped right out of the cup.  Since Tim enjoys Ethiopian coffees I knew the fruit-forward qualities of this particular one would make an awesome IPA.”

Hotbox Coffee IPA will feature as Oskar Blues’ new spring seasonal in cans from March to May; replacing GUBNA Imperial IPA, which will shift to a limited, national draft-only release with 12 oz. cans only available for retail in the ColoRADo and North Carolina Tasty Weasel taprooms.

Oskar Blues’ three taprooms will each host simultaneous release parties to launch the Hotbox Coffee IPA.

    Friday, February 24, 2017 – Oskar Blues Brewery (Longmont, ColoRADo)
    Friday, February 24, 2017 – Oskar Blues Brewery North Carolina (Brevard, North Carolina)
    Friday, February 24, 2017 – Oskar Blues Brewery Austin (Austin, Texas)

Hotbox Coffee IPA will be available in all 50 states on draft and in 4-pack 12 oz. cans beginning in March. Beer drinkers looking for a unique mix of uppers and downers can hop on over to oskarblues.com/beerfinder to locate their nearest watering hole or store carrying the new brew.

February 7, 2017

Beers To Cheer: January 2017

When Michael (aka @Fayettebrew on the Twitterer) approached Brian Sorensen and I about a new feature he was wanting to give a go to show Arkansas beers some love, we were both instantly all about it. His idea? All of us pick two Arkansas beers every month that we feel were some of our favorites over that month, be they new releases or already "classic", and say a little bit on what we loved about them. Sounds pretty simple for three Arkansas beer geeks right? Well, maybe it would have been a few years ago, but right now I have to say with all the breweries and all the beers coming out it's pretty damn tough to narrow the list to a six-pack every month. But we'll try. At least we'll hopefully get to spotlight 72 beers this year right?

So here's our first go at it to kick off 2017, and Michael even made a fancy header. What can't this guy do?!?!

Michael (@Fayettebrew):

Airship IPA, Bentonville Brewing Company - This coffee IPA has returned after debuting last winter and balances the coffee and hop bitterness more confidently than it did before. With local coffee roasters dotting the map in northwest Arkansas with a similar frequency to breweries, it is no surprise that there are no less than six local coffee beer/ cider offerings available in the area right now (including another coffee IPA at Fossil Cove). Airship IPA, a collaboration between Airship Coffee and Bentonville Brewing, makes a place for itself by virtue of being a big IPA (7% abv) with fresh coffee snap to it.

Coffee Brown, West Mountain Brewing Company - This easy going brown ale with coffee (once again featuring Airship Coffee) accentuates more of the roasty characteristics of the coffee-beer relationship, making it great for those evenings when the temperature drops with the sun. More than another coffee beer, it is representative of revival West Mountain Brewing Company has had in the last three months since Casey Letellier came on board as the brewer. The taps at this brew pub are, for the first time in a while, loaded with West Mountain beers thanks to Casey’s efforts, including West Mountain staples like the IPA and new additions like Meribel (a Belgian pale) and the Double Wheat IPA.

Brian (@EBSorensen):

Double IPA, West Mountain Brewing Company – As Fayettebrew already pointed out, brewer Casey Letellier is keeping the taps full at West Mountain. I have enjoyed just about every beer I’ve tried from him so far, but the one that really caught my attention in January was the Double IPA. The style can range from syrupy sweet to dry as a bone, with my personal preference being the latter. Letellier’s version trended towards dry (but not too dry) with some of the pine and dank characteristics that many west coast IPA drinkers have come to love.

Chocolate Ghost, Foster's Pint & Plate – One of the overlooked breweries in Northwest Arkansas is Foster’s Pint & Plate in Rogers. Perhaps more known for its food, Foster’s is putting out some interesting beers thanks to brewer Kyle Brummal. One of those interesting beers is Chocolate Ghost. This brown ale weighs in at 6.8% and 27 IBU, and uses ghost pepper to provide some bite. Subtle sweetness and faint hints of coffee greet you on the front end, with a peppery kick on the backside. Not for the weak or timid!

Scott (@WooPigBrewey):

Barrel-Aged Love Honey Bock, Lost Forty Brewing Company - Love Honey Bock is arguably the most popular beer from Arkansas at the moment, but it's actually not even one of my personal favorites from Lost Forty. So I guess that had me not expecting to like this beer as much as I've ended up liking it, truth be told. This sat in charred oak barrels and it seems to have really toned down the sweetness and added a nice, smooth booziness to it with nice hints of oak and vanilla. The nose has a nice eye-opening whiskey aroma, adding up to just an outstanding brew. Look for this around in cans and at the brewery.

Winter Plow, Rebel Kettle Brewing Company - In their nearly one year of serving beer out of their taproom, Rebel Kettle has introduced some crazy styles and cranked up the hops in some already familiar styles, but it's this Winter seasonal farmhouse-style  brewed with sweet orange peel and ginger that really got my attention lately. It's got a nice spicy finish that leaves me wanting another one while coming in at 7.8% alcohol by volume, it's a bit "sneaky" as well, being just so easy to drink. I guess I should say it would be easy to "get plowed" by this. Ha. See what I did there?

And there you go, the first all-Arkansas Beers To Cheer of the year! Let us know what you think and come back next month for another six-pack!

February 6, 2017

Sweetwater Brewing Coming To Arkansas in March!

Arkansas Craft Alliance Delivers 420 Extra Pale Ale, IPA & Seasonals Statewide
ATLANTA (2.6.17) – SweetWater Brewing Company announces distribution to Arkansas with the Arkansas Craft Alliance, consisting of Arkansas Craft Distributors and O'Connor Distributing.  Starting March 6, Arkansans will be able to find SweetWater’s signature 420 Extra Pale Ale, award winning IPA, Hash Session, Goin’ Coastal IPA with pineapple, plus seasonals and limited release styles like Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and Pit & Pendulum.   SweetWater will be on draft at bars and restaurants, in grocery stores, package stores, and specialty bottle shops.  
“For the Arkansas Craft Alliance, bringing SweetWater to Arkansas is the culmination of years of preparation. We are honored that our friends at SweetWater are partnering with us.  The people of Arkansas know SweetWater, and we look forward to fans finally raising 420 Extra Pale Ales all over the state, beginning on March 6.” says Trav Baxter, a partner of Arkansas Craft Distributors. 
Craft beer drinkers interested in finding SweetWater in Arkansas should follow SweetWater’s Facebook page for information on launch events, and where they can spot the brewery’s iconic rainbow trout tap handle.
To learn more about SweetWater Brewing Company and its full lineup of brands, visit www.sweetwaterbrew.com

February 4, 2017

Iconic Rogue Dead Guy Gets Facelift

Keep swimming or you'll drown. That's gotta be the mantra of all the OG breweries out there, and some of them are certainly trying to always keep things fresh. One of my original craft beer loves, Rogue Dead Guy, even recently got a bit of a face life and also is being canned now. I love it. Love the cans. Love THESE cans. The beer itself is just as good as it ever was so of course. Check it out...

From Rogue

"We are proud to showcase our brand new, state of the art canning line from the wonderful peeps at Wild Goose Canning in Boulder, Colorado. Watch it in action as we can our Dead Guy Ale."

"After 25 years of dedication, our iconic Dead Guy Ale has a new look. Same Maibock-inspired Ale, fresh new packaging. Also now available in 6pk cans."

Molson Canadian Global Beer Fridge

This commercial makes me smile. Have a beer. And a hug.
"What makes someone a Canadian? It’s the willingness to come together and show the world just how proud of a country we really are."

February 1, 2017

Arkansas Beer Buzz Podcast #7 with New Belgium

Randy and I talk to New Belgium Beer Ranger Daniel Bennett about their new beer line-up and a couple of launch events in NWA at Sideways Bar and North Little Rock at The Joint. Check it out!