NWA becoming beer capital of Mid South?

Discussion in 'South' started by BrewAskew, May 8, 2013.

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  1. BrewAskew

    BrewAskew Meyvn (1,407) Feb 28, 2002 Oklahoma

    I have been encouraged by the number of breweries popping up in NW Arkansas. What once was home to one brewery is now home to six. That is almost double what we have in Central AR. Have you had any? What are your favorites? I have sadly been neglecting this area of my state entirely. I'm in beer hell, a.k.a., south Arkansas, "L.A." (lower Arkansas) and I hear we may have a beer festival down here in El Dorado (el duh RAY doh) in the next 12 months.
     
  2. CRJMellor

    CRJMellor Poo-Bah (1,684) Nov 12, 2003 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    Saddlebock is probably best of the bunch and believe that Steve is now brewing for Hog Haus. Core has a few solid offerings as well. JT is making some decent beers at Tanglewood Branch but last time in their was disappointing. Fossil Cove seems to be in stealth mode, never even seen a bottle around here. New one supposed to open this summer called Apple Blossom or something like that in Fayetteville. Have not been to West Mountain lately but about 6 months ago they had a few decent ones on.
     
  3. CRJMellor

    CRJMellor Poo-Bah (1,684) Nov 12, 2003 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    cmon up some time and we'll buy you a beer ! Favorite of all of them is the Core ESB but JT at Tanglewood had a really nice stout around the holidays.
     
  4. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (318) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    I really like Core's stout. Very good.
     
  5. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (7,243) May 24, 2005 Oklahoma
    Beer Trader

    They still have miles to go for bar/store penatration (sic). I look for these beers when I'm down that way, but haven't stumbled on any except for one rare exception.
     
  6. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (318) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    All of these breweries are in their infancy. Fascinating time here.
     
  7. TheBishopco

    TheBishopco Devotee (451) Feb 4, 2011 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    NWA is definitely an up and coming area in the region, but I think a long ways from being dubbed "beer capital." Rtrasr has it right, we're in our beer infancy. There are a handful of decent breweries, a couple good brew pubs, and not much else. None of their beers are currently available in stores (I know Core will be canning/bottling soon). I don't think there is, as of yet, a large demand for local beer. But it is catching on and growing.

    All of these places have only just a few really good beers with the rest being average or worse. Tanglewood is fairly hit and miss with their beers. The American IPA at Blue Mountain has been different every time I've tried it; tasty, but still inconsistent.

    I don't mean to be so disparaging. It can certainly be worse. I just think there is a room for lots of improvement. Ask this question 2-3 years from now and I think NWA could be a serious contender.

    Edit: To add on to this thread - If not NWA, what would you guys say is the beer capital of the Mid South?
     
  8. protton

    protton Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Florida

    Good to know about all these up and coming breweries in NW Arkansas. I visit at least once per year to visit family so this might have to be planned into my next trip.
     
  9. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (318) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    Not sure any one place qualifies. It is wide open. NWA would be a great place for a microbrewing and microdistilling center to emerge. It has lots of good water and climate. Somewhat similar to Asheville NC. Lots of limestone springs very similar to TN and KY.
     
  10. EgadBananas

    EgadBananas Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2009 Louisiana

    Am i the only one who saw NWA as North West Alabama?
     
  11. TheBishopco

    TheBishopco Devotee (451) Feb 4, 2011 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, I hear you. It's a fairly blank slate upon which to build a beer culture. I think Nashville is certainly leading the way, especially with the new Embrace the Funk program at Yazoo. Birmingham, AL also has some good potential as well.
     
  12. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (7,243) May 24, 2005 Oklahoma
    Beer Trader

    Tried a Saddlebock Farm House ale & a Core ESB, both were good! @ Rogers, AR Mellow Mushroom. They had some beer from Paleo also, but that keg was blown.
     
  13. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (318) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    Need to make it over to the Mellow Mushroom.
     
  14. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (7,243) May 24, 2005 Oklahoma
    Beer Trader

    There may be better options, but I hate cigarette smoke & don't really want to go further into Fayetteville unless headed that way. I enjoy their food as well as long as I can keep it to twice a week...

    I suspect the "Paleo" beer was Fossil Cove...
     
    capnamerica likes this.
  15. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (318) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    I believe all the cities up the I-540 corridor have smoking bans in place at bars and restaurants.
     
  16. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (483) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Haha, ah arkansas. 6 breweries = beer Capitol. Let see some of this beer magic down here in LR. I'd kill for a hoppy pale ale, where you can actually taste the hops, and have some in the nose as well. Keep up the good work though with new breweries, you'll catch up to west coast standards some day.
     
    Buff0910 likes this.
  17. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (318) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    It is amazing that NWArkansas has 6 start up breweries. Now, that is the sign of an improving economy. I really believe the South could emerge as a great beer region.
     
    capnamerica likes this.
  18. leftymgp

    leftymgp Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2013 Texas

    Having grown up in NWA, it's great to see so many breweries popping up now. I still have yet to try Core, Tanglewood, and Saddlebock but I intend to visit them next time I'm in town.

    On one of my most recent visits I stopped by Fossil Cove and tried a few beers. The ones I tried seemed pretty solid. I also found out the guy serving me my beer was the owner/head brewer, so I talked with him a bit and he seemed pretty cool.

    I also tried out West Mountain and was overall pleased with what I had, but I also felt like they could do a little better.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing how the brewery scene progresses in the area. Hopefully the market can supply enough demand for continued growth of local craft beer.
     
    capnamerica likes this.
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