Arkansas, a state known for its incredible natural beauty, has recently embraced another passion – craft beer.
With a growing number of breweries in Arkansas, beer enthusiasts are discovering a world of unique flavors and local ingredients that reflect the state’s rich agricultural heritage.
In this journey through Arkansas’s craft beer scene, we will explore the best breweries in Arkansas, diving into the stories behind their creations and uncovering the perfect destinations for those who appreciate good beer.
- Explore Arkansas’s craft beer scene with its 14 breweries producing high-quality creations.
- Discover unique and flavorful beers made with local ingredients reflective of the state’s culture and environment.
- Experience award winning brews, special events, European pub fare, cycling culture initiatives & more at Arkansas’ top breweries!
Exploring Arkansas’s Craft Beer Scene
The craft beer industry in Arkansas has seen a surge in popularity, with an emphasis on local ingredients, distinctive flavors, and seasonal beers. With 14 breweries currently operating in the state, there is no shortage of delightful brews to explore.
From the high-quality creations at Ivory Bill Brewing Co. and Fossil Cove Brewing Company, to the signature Armstrong American Pale Ale of Apple Blossom Brewing Company, Arkansas is quickly becoming a haven for craft beer lovers.
In recent years, the state has seen a significant rise in tax revenue generated from consumer purchases of Arkansas brewery products, totaling $68 million, and business and personal tax revenue generated by the breweries and related industries amounting to $129 million.
This growth is a testament to the quality and innovation found in Arkansas’s craft beer scene.
The Rise of Craft Breweries in Arkansas
The popularity of craft breweries in Arkansas has been on the rise, demonstrated by an increasing number of establishments across the state.
These breweries have become sought-after locations for beer aficionados, providing a selection of distinct beers and experiences.
From the Ozark Beer Company in the picturesque Ozarks to the Core Brewing Company in the bustling city of Little Rock, there is a brewery for every taste and preference.
The use of local ingredients greatly enhances the taste and quality of craft beer, leading to delightful brews.
Many Arkansas breweries incorporate local ingredients, such as hops, grains, and fruits, into their delicious beers, allowing them to craft unique and flavorful beers that are reflective of the local culture and environment.
For example, Prestonrose Farm and Brewing Company in Arkansas endeavors to utilize the highest quality seasonal ingredients grown on the farm to create a distinct farm-to-glass brewing experience, perfect for beer tastings.
The Role of Local Ingredients in Arkansas Breweries
Distinctive and flavorful beers in Arkansas owe their character to the use of local ingredients. Similar to how grape varieties affect the taste of wine, the type of hop and the region in which it is grown can affect the flavor of beer.
The most regularly employed local ingredients in Arkansas’s craft breweries comprise:
- grains from Arkansas, such as barley and rice
- locally sourced hops
The overall flavor profile of craft beer can be significantly influenced by the use of high-quality ingredients, including:
Craft brewers often source their ingredients locally, which not only supports the agricultural industry but also allows for the utilization of fresh and unique ingredients that contribute to the singularity of the beer.
By using locally sourced ingredients, Arkansas breweries are able to craft beers that are truly a reflection of the Natural State.
Ozark Beer Company: A Taste of the Ozarks
Located in Rogers, Arkansas, the Ozark Beer Company is a craft brewery that offers a taste of the Ozarks through its handcrafted beers.
Established in 2013, the brewery is renowned for its unconventional and distinct flavored beers, inspired by the founders’ experience in the brewing scenes of the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
With signature offerings like the Onyx Coffee Stout, a favorite among beer enthusiasts, Ozark Beer Company is a must-visit destination for those seeking unique and flavorful beers.
Signature Beers and Offerings
Ozark Beer Company’s passion for quality and flavor is evident in their award-winning beers, such as:
- Ozark APA: an American Pale Ale with a perfect balance of hoppy bitterness and smooth maltiness, culminating in a crisp and refreshing finish, similar to a White Indian Pale Ale.
- Cream Stout: a full-bodied dark beer characterized by its creamy texture and subtle notes of chocolate and coffee.
- Onyx Coffee Stout: a stout beer infused with the rich flavors of Onyx coffee.
In addition to their core offerings, Ozark Beer Company also provides unique beers like the Ozark Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Cream Stout and collaborations with Onyx Coffee Lab and BlackMan Brewing.
These limited-edition brews showcase the brewery’s dedication to innovation and experimentation, ensuring that there is always something new and exciting to try.
The Brewery Experience
Visitors to the Ozark Beer Company taproom are greeted with a range of beers, from limited-edition seasonal brews to award-winning signature offerings.
The inviting atmosphere of the taproom, combined with the delicious beers on offer, makes for an unforgettable brewery experience.
Moreover, Ozark Beer Company:
- Is committed to supporting local food businesses by providing opportunities for them to serve their offerings during meal times
- Has a focus on sustainability, with low-pressure boilers for energy efficiency and refraining from using Styrofoam in their taproom operations
- Offers special events, such as birthday parties and Oktoberfest celebrations, making it a hub for community gatherings and beer aficionados alike.
Diamond Bear Brewing Company: European Flavors Meet Southern Charm
Diamond Bear Brewing Company, based in Little Rock, Arkansas, brings a unique blend of European brewing techniques and Southern flavors to its award-winning craft beers. By combining:
- two-row malted barley
- Arkansas water
Diamond Bear Brewing Company creates superior beers that have earned gold medals at both the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup.
The Brewing Process and Philosophy
Diamond Bear Brewing Company adheres to the traditional methods of European brewers in their brewing process.
- Two-row malted barley
- Arkansas water
The beer is brewed in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516, which stipulates that only water, yeast, barley, and hops are utilized. This dedication to traditional brewing methods and techniques allows them to produce high-quality, artisanal beers that reflect their European influences.
Diamond Bear Brewing Company’s brewing philosophy revolves around:
- Providing the people of Arkansas and the surrounding regions with a local brewery producing top-notch, all-natural beer
- Drawing upon the abundant brewing traditions of Arkansas
- Incorporating local ingredients and flavors into their beers
By following this philosophy, Diamond Bear Brewing Company has become a popular destination for craft beer enthusiasts.
Visiting Diamond Bear Brewing Company
Visitors to Diamond Bear Brewing Company can enjoy:
- A laid-back atmosphere
- A variety of seating options, featuring a generous outdoor patio
- A wide variety of food items, such as BBQ, burgers, sandwiches, and more
These offerings provide the perfect accompaniment to their delicious beers, also known as delicious brews.
Diamond Bear Brewing Company offers:
- Public tours of the brewery, allowing visitors to gain insight into the beer manufacturing process and sample freshly-brewed drinks
- Special events, including the Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival
- An on-site restaurant serving European pub fare with a Southern twist
- Private tours and meeting spaces for groups
This makes Diamond Bear Brewing Company an ideal destination for beer lovers and those seeking a unique Little Rock experience.
Bike Rack Brewing Company: Where Bikes and Brews Collide
Bike Rack Brewing Company, located in Bentonville, Arkansas, combines a love for cycling and craft beer to create a unique brewery experience.
Established by Jeff Charlson and Evan McDonald, Bike Rack Brewing Company offers a selection of craft beers, such as the Bike Rack American Amber, Bike Rack Angus Chute Oatmeal Stout, and Bike Rack Coler Coffee Stout, that cater to both beer enthusiasts and cycling aficionados alike.
Popular Beers and Seasonal Favorites
Bike Rack Brewing Company prides itself on its classic and seasonal beers, such as:
- Slaughter Pen Ale: fragrant, hoppy taste, smooth maltiness
- Angus Chute American Stout: full-bodied
- Dinos & Unicorns IPA: unique and distinct flavor, gratifying even the most discerning palate
With a focus on quality and innovation, Bike Rack Brewing Company continually strives to create new and exciting beers for their patrons.
Their selection of stouts, wheat beers, and sours ensures that there is a beer for every taste, making Bike Rack Brewing Company a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts in the Bentonville area.
The Bike Rack Community
Bike Rack Brewing Company serves as both a brewery and a community hub, where beer enthusiasts and cyclists unite over shared passions.
Located in Bentonville’s Arts District, Bike Rack Brewing Company provides cyclists with a desirable destination after a ride on the trails, complete with an outdoor seating area and dedicated bike parking.
Bike Rack Brewing Company’s features include:
- Welcoming atmosphere
- Commitment to community engagement
- Diverse selection of craft beers
- Regularly hosts events
- Participates in community initiatives
- Collaborates with other breweries to educate the public on quality craft beer
- Unique blend of cycling culture and craft beer
With all these features, Bike Rack Brewing Company is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Stone’s Throw Brewing: Small Batch Brews with Big Flavor
Stone’s Throw Brewing, a nano-brewery in Little Rock, Arkansas, captures the essence of small batch brewing with their focus on creative and experimental recipes.
The brewery offers a range of unique beers, from the rich and creamy Shamus Stout to the refreshing and fruity Jean Petit Pear cider, providing a diverse selection for craft beer enthusiasts to enjoy.
Experimental Beers and Unique Recipes
Stone’s Throw Brewing emphasizes creativity and experimentation in its brewing process. They draw inspiration from various beer styles, ingredients, and brewing processes to create something truly unique.
From their Pear Guavara Cider, a fruity and refreshing beverage, to their Riverdale Pale Ale, a hoppy and balanced beer, Stone’s Throw Brewing offers a diverse selection of beers that cater to a wide range of palates.
Collaboration is also a key component of Stone’s Throw Brewing’s approach to crafting unique beers. By partnering with other breweries and participating in brewing competitions, they continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in craft beer.
With their focus on creativity and experimentation, Stone’s Throw Brewing has established itself as a must-visit destination for those seeking innovative and distinctive brews.
The Taproom Experience
Stone’s Throw Brewing welcomes visitors into a cozy and intimate atmosphere in its historic storefront taproom, evoking the charm of small European neighborhood bars.
With a diverse selection of their experimental beers on tap, guests can sample the unique flavors crafted by the talented brewers at Stone’s Throw Brewing.
In addition to the inviting taproom, Stone’s Throw Brewing also features a beer garden where visitors can enjoy their beers alongside local food trucks.
The brewery’s features include:
- Inviting taproom
- Beer garden
- Local food trucks
- Commitment to supporting local food businesses
- Dedication to creating innovative and unique beers
These factors make Stone’s Throw Brewing a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts in Little Rock, especially after a day spent at Hot Springs National Park.
Lost Forty Brewing: A Brewery Steeped in History
Lost Forty Brewing, located in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a brewery with a fascinating historical background and a focus on Arkansan beers.
Named after the “Lost Forty,” a forty-acre forest in the state that remained unscathed during a tree massacre due to its concealment from timbermen, the brewery seeks to embody the spirit of this natural beauty in its craft beers.
Beer Selection and Pairings
Lost Forty Brewing boasts a wide array of beers, including:
- Love Honey Bock
- Trash Panda IPA
- Forest Queen Stout
- Rockhound IPA
- Baltic Porter
Complemented by a menu of mouthwatering food including smoked meats and artisanal pizzas, there is something for every craft beer enthusiast at Lost Forty Brewing.
To enhance the overall experience, Lost Forty Brewing also provides suggested food pairings for their beers. They suggest their Have an Ice Day beer to go with a smash burger.
By offering these delectable pairings, Lost Forty Brewing ensures that guests can enjoy a complete and satisfying culinary experience.
The Lost Forty Story
Lost Forty Brewing’s history and inspiration draw deeply from the natural beauty of Arkansas and the importance of its conservation.
The brewery’s focus on traditional brewing methods and techniques, as well as their devotion to craftsmanship, are reflected in their high-quality, artisanal beers.
Lost Forty Brewing’s taproom offers a selection of culinary options, including homemade bratwurst and smoked brisket, to accompany their beer.
With its deep connection to the natural beauty and history of Arkansas, Lost Forty Brewing provides visitors with a unique and memorable brewery experience.
From the Ozark hills to the bustling streets of Little Rock, Arkansas’s craft beer scene is brimming with unique flavors, local ingredients, and passionate brewers.
With a rich tapestry of breweries that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences, Arkansas is quickly becoming a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts.
So, whether you’re a local or just passing through, be sure to raise a glass and toast to the Natural State’s burgeoning craft beer scene.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular beer in Arkansas?
It appears Budweiser is the most popular beer in Arkansas. This finding is based on surveys, opinions and other sources of data from Arkansans.
What 3 states have the most craft breweries?
California, Colorado and New York have the most craft breweries, with more than 500 each.
What city in the US has the best breweries?
Portland, Oregon is renowned as “Beervana” due to its plethora of high-quality breweries. With more than 70 breweries crafting small-batch beers exclusive to the city, it’s no wonder Portland is one of the best beer destinations in the US.
How many breweries are currently operating in Arkansas?
Currently, 14 breweries are operating in Arkansas.
Are there any breweries in Arkansas that focus on using local ingredients?
Yes, several Arkansas breweries focus on using local ingredients such as hops, grains, and fruits in their beers.