Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year, for beer

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:18 AM

What a great year it's been in Arkansas for beer lovers, and as the last month quickly gets crossed off the calendars it's becoming pretty evident that 2015 is going to be just as rewarding. With several new breweries entering the state this month and another great addition announced for next month, plus two new local breweries opening their doors in the last few weeks, there's no sign of things slowing down anytime soon.

Lost Forty Brewing, the new local brewery from the folks who brought you Big Orange, Local Lime and ZaZa, debuted its beers at a series of events starting a week ago today with a monstrous release party at The Flying Saucer and still has more planned to finish the year. Here's a few growler events and a debut party you can still make:

Metro Wine & Spirits: 4-7 p.m., Dec. 17
107 Liquor: 4-6 p.m., Dec 19
Springhill Wine & Spirits: 11-1 p.m., Dec 23
Old Chicago in North Little Rock: 6-8 p.m., Dec. 30

In addition, look for their taproom at the brewery to be open to the public soon, hopefully before the end of the year. 

A new brewery to the area is Oklahoma City's Coop Ale Works. Co-founder JD Merryweather was in town for the launch last week with several events at local bars and liquor stores. Thus far they have their Gran Sport Porter, F5 IPA and DNR Belgian-style dark ale available on draft but expect more from them soon including more styles and some canned product. 

Another new brewery you can expect to see around before the end of the year is Sprecher Brewery, based in Glendale, Wis. No newcomer to the beer game, it was founded way back in 1985 in by Randal Sprecher and produces an assortment of popular beers including Special Amber, a Vienna Lager, and 
Black Bavarian. In 2014, Sprecher Brewing tied for 4th in the best brewery competition at the U.S. Open Beer Championship that was held in Atlanta.

Back a few months ago when I posted my list of "A six-pack of breweries I'd like to see in Arkansas", I hoped we'd see at least one of them pretty quickly. As it turns out, Sixpoint Brewery, who I strategically placed at No. 6 on the list (see what I did there?) has announced they'll be coming to the Natural State in early January. Expect all sorts of events to accompany this launch, so start watching for details soon. I've been a fan of this brewery since their beer first hit my palate a few years ago. Their Sweet Action, Righteous Ale, Bengali Tiger and The Crisp are all wonderful.

click to enlarge sixpoint.jpg

So even with the 2014 Arkansas beer scene going out like a lion, don't expect 2015 to come in like a lamb. There is a lot happening and more to come.

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