The Little Rock beer front has remained fairly quiet over the last few years, aside from a couple of second projects from Lost Forty and Flyway. That is all about to change in a big way starting with a return from one of our favorite brands, Moody Brews, which is looking to open a new brewery in Pettaway Square early next year.
If you are not familiar with Moody, or have not been around the local beer scene for more than five years, then you are in for a treat. Josiah Moody was the former head brewer at Vino’s Brew Pub, which is the longest standing brewery in the state. While there he launched a side project of his own called Moody Brews. Over the years some was brewed on Vino’s, mostly what went into growlers and kegs, and some was brewed out of Oklahoma that made its way into bottles and sold through retail. The first of these was Half Sea’s Over, later came Sixes and Sevens (my personal favorite) and Cuban Pull.
Ask any local craft beer lover and you will find Moody Brews are still a fond memory and even coveted. I personally have a couple bottles of Sixes and Sevens held back for a special occasion. Moody took the brewmaster position with Bike Rack (Bentonville) in 2017 and many of us thought the Moody Brews brand was lost forever.
After a leaving Bike Rack Moody has toyed with the idea of bringing Moody Brews back in a big way, and now those plans are shaping up for a micro brewery in the new Pettaway Square development at 21st and Rock in the Pettaway district of Downtown Little Rock. (story continues below photo)
“My plan is to start with a 1 barrel system and do things on a small scale so I can use as many fresh local ingredients as possible,” Moody says. “I am on the board with Dunbar Garden, and would love to bring some of their produce into the brewery.”
Moody says to expect the famed Cuban Pull to be a year around beer in the unaged form along with 4 or so others to start that grows over time.
The brewery itself is going to be a 2 story brewery and tap room with a bar and some seating downstairs, the brewing system and a few more seats upstairs, then patio area on both levels.
“The square is what made me interested in finally landing here,” Moody says. “There is a collective energy in the Pettaway Community, and it is that community feeling that I want for my brewery.”
There are a number of other projects going into Pettaway Square, which is focused on providing first time store fronts to entrepreneurs like Moody, according to developer Michael Orndorff.
“Our goal with Pettaway Square is to provide that first storefront opportunity for people. We are doing that by focusing on smaller footprint spaces that allow entrepreneurs to get started,” Orndorff says. “Along with Moody we are adding other businesses like a coffee shop, barber shop, yoga and dance studio, food truck parking, and more in phase one. Then we are planning phase two which will offer even more mixed spaces like that.”
The plan for Pettaway Square is to hold a grand opening before the end of the year. Moody Brews will follow shortly after that with a planned opening sometime early next year pending the necessary permits and interior construction. We will keep you updated as the space progresses and an opening date is set.