Growlers: Little Rocktoberfest Saturday, Fort Smith Brewing Co. is Open, Lost Forty Wild Barrels #5

It’s Little Rocktoberfest week as we count down the days to one of the best beer festivals in the state. This year’s event is Saturday, Sept. 23, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock. What makes Little Rocktoberfest special is the homebrewing. There’s an entire area dedicated to private brewers with Central Arkansas Fermenters, meaning you’ll get to taste beers that you would never get to try otherwise. The price of admission also gets you a bratwurst dinner and access to hundreds of brews from Arkansas and beyond. Tickets are on sale now, and you can still get the early-bird rate of $30 until the day of the festival when it will go up to $40. The $65 VIP ticket gets you in an hour earlier to try some really rare beers, a glass taster and some other merchandise. This is always one of the best beer events of the year, so get a designated driver or call an Uber and make sure you don’t miss it.
Congratulations are in order to Fort Smith Brewing Company, which opened its taproom Friday evening and enjoyed a massive turnout over the weekend. By Saturday evening, the taproom had run out of every last drop of beer, which is not the worst problem to have. Currently, Fort Smith Brewing’s own beer is not yet ready, so the taproom is selling some excellent local options like Bubba Brews, Apple Blossom, Prestonrose, Diamond Bear and a host of others. We’ll make sure to let you know when FSBC’s own brews are ready to be released into the wild, but for now, make sure to follow them on Facebook and stop by if you’re in the area.
Lost Forty Brewing today is releasing the fifth iteration in its outstanding Wild Barrels Project series. This one is a collaboration with Void Cellars that started with Day Drinker, a summer saison brew, and wild yeast from Dunbar Gardens. The blend was then aged in white wine barrels with Brettanomyces for nine months and given a mixture of Arkansas honey and honeysuckle flower. So far, every sour in this series has been worth seeking out, and this one appears to be no different. It’s available in the taproom starting today at 4 p.m. There is a two-bottle to-go limit per customer. While you’re there, make sure to pick up a six-pack of Trash Panda IPA, Rock Candy Belgian Abbey Ale or one of the brewery’s other limited can offerings.
Rebel Kettle this week is getting into the fall spirit with the release of Show ‘Em Your O’fest, the brewery’s traditional Oktoberfest brew. This Märzen ale blends German malts with Noble hops for a classic flavor profile of caramel and toast. The brewery is also holding its regular Beer Yoga event on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Oh, and head brewer John Lee tells me he’s bringing more beer to Little Rocktoberfest than Rebel Kettle ever has to any one event. You know, in case you needed another reason to buy your ticket.
Wednesday night promises to be a unique beer dinner at Flyway Brewing. The brewery is partnering with the Arkansas Wildlife Federation for a four-course venison dinner, each paired with a different Flyway beer. The event will also include some raffle opportunities and speakers talking about the importance of public land hunting opportunities. A few tickets are still available for $50. If you can’t wait for Wednesday, though, drop by today for the release of Coffee Cake Stout, the fall seasonal in Flyway’s traditional cake series. In case you missed it last time, this is an 8-percent ABV stout aged on Izard Chocolate cacao nibs, bourbon-soaked vanilla beans and cold brew coffee from Mugs in Argenta. That one goes on tap when the brewery opens this afternoon at 4 p.m.
And Stone’s Throw this week is a classic created for the Arkansas State Fair three years ago. Barton British Standard is a classic English bitter that comes in at a very light 3.5-percent ABV. This one is unique because it uses Arkansas rice in the mash as a tribute to the fall harvest. The Arkansas State Fair is still a few weeks away, but you can get Barton British Standard at Stone’s Throw for #NewBrewFriday at 4 p.m.
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