Growlers: Lost Forty Festival of Darkness, Rebel Kettle Grape Must Brew, Bubba Brews Taproom Update

The biggest beer release of the year is this Saturday when Lost Forty Brewing will unveil its 2017 Nighty Night Imperial Stout at the Festival of Darkness, which will be held in the Lost Forty parking lot. This is the third version of Nighty Night that Lost Forty has produced. The team puts its imperial stout recipe into a series of three barrels (bourbon, rye and red wine) and then blends them together for a final product that is rich and boozy. The Festival of Darkness is your first chance to buy Nighty Night; it won’t hit the market until mid-November. And in case you’re wondering, the festival itself promises to be a blast. Lost Forty has brought in breweries from around the state and beyond, including Flyway, Rebel Kettle, Diamond Bear and Superior Bathhouse Brewery. There will also be plenty of entertainment, and food trucks like Excaliburger, Count Porkula, Slader’s Alaskan Dumplings and Loblolly. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Lost Forty is selling a limited batch of Nighty Night at the festival for $18.99 a four-pack. This is a can’t-miss night for beer lovers, so make plans to attend. By the way, if you need a Lost Forty fix earlier than that, get to the taproom today for an extremely limited release of its new Wild Barrels Project. The brew team fermented its pale ale with wild yeast in a new foeder (giant oak fermentation barrel), and is putting it on tap today at 4 p.m. for Freshcut Monday.
Rebel Kettle this week is producing a special collaboration brew for its 4:30 Thursday event. Rebel Kettle brewers partnered with Chateau aux Arc Vineyard and Winery in Altus for a new beer called Biere de Cynthiana. This one is a farmhouse-style ale brewed with Cynthiana grape must taken from the fermenter at Chateau aux Arc. It was also fermented with a blend of yeast strains and fortified with additional grape must, then refermented. From the sound of it, this one will be tart and crisp, and a beer that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
With its new Lake Hamilton location up and running, Bubba Brews is turning its attention to finishing its new taproom in downtown Hot Springs. The spot is 2-3 weeks away from being complete, but early pictures from owner Jonathan Martin show a stunning space with rich dark woods and plenty of hunting lodge accents (just wait until you see the chandelier). We will update you as soon as the taproom across from Bathhouse Row opens up.
One of my favorite fall beers is coming back today at Flyway Brewing with the release of Thrasher Black Lager. This one is a Schwarzbier, a style of German lager that is brewed black as night with loads of toasted malt flavors that finishes far more easily than it looks. Try it tonight, or wait until tomorrow for Audubon night, when Flyway puts all its beers named after birds on sale for a dollar off (and yes, Bluewing is a bird, for those who were wondering).
Stone’s Throw Brewing this week is releasing a spin-off of its classic California Common beer for its #NewBrewFriday release. Mosaic Common Sense is a steam beer that replaces its traditional New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops with Mosaic hops grown in the Pacific Northwest. The original steam beer is 5 percent ABV and 40 IBU, so imagine a traditional pilsner and you’ll be close to the bitterness and alcohol levels. By the way, Stone’s Throw will be selling this alongside its Mosaic Pale Ale to see which version its customers like most, so make sure to stop in and voice your opinion.
Core Brewing is set to release their new monthly beers this Thursday at the Argenta location. New on tap the Schwarzbier, a German style black lager; A coffee milk stout brewed in collaboration with Bolder Coffee in Rogers; and the Exit 65 Porter which should be a solid cold weather beer. All will be available on draft at the release party, and the Exit 65 will be available in cans starting next week.
And finally, it seems there’s a festival every weekend these days, and this week is no exception. The Arkansas Cornbread Festival once more will be open on South Main Street, and this year there is a lot of local beer on hand. Flyway, Stone’s Throw, Lost Forty and Buffalo Brewing are all confirmed for the festival, and you might find a few more as well. There has been a wonderful trend lately of local festivals heavily (if not only) featuring local beers, and it will continue as long as you get out there and support their efforts.
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