Locals plan monthly downtown beer tasting series

Local brewmaster Andy Coates (left) and arts promoter Jason Bigbee sample beer inside the brew room at West Mountain Brewing Company on the Fayetteville square.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

Craft beer lovers will have an opportunity to further expand their brew knowledge during a series of planned beer tastings in downtown Fayetteville.

Local brewmaster Andy Coates and arts promoter Jason Bigbee have partnered to host a monthly event for those looking to learn more about craft beer and the growing craft brew scene in Northwest Arkansas.

“The idea is to give the local people who are into craft beer some exposure and to show that there are a lot of different interpretations of the same beer,” said Coates, who is a brewer at West Mountain Brew Co. and who has previously worked at Great Divide Brewing Company in Colorado.

“What’s Brewing” event poster


The two said the idea for a monthly event was inspired by similar tastings held in other cities around the country where local brewers are able to showcase their versions of particular craft beers alongside the more popular brands.

The series, called “What’s Brewing,” kicks off tonight (July 2) at West Mountain Brewing Company, 21 W. Mountain St., where it will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first Monday of each month through December.

The cost for each event is $10 and includes a 3-ounce serving of 15 different beers. The initial event will be limited to the first 50 people who show up, but future events may allow for more participants.

Bigbee, founder of the Fayetteville Arts District, said each event will highlight a different kind of beer in hopes of providing an intimate, educational look at the wide range of craft beers that are brewed locally or that are available in Northwest Arkansas. Up first is a sampling of IPA and Pale Ales from several local breweries and area distributors.

Aside from West Mountain, locals Fossil Cove Brewing Co., Hog Haus Brewing Company, and Core Brewing & Distilling Co. are on tap to provide a regional take on several craft beers. Distributors include Premium Brands of NWA and Glidewell Distributing.

Selected beers for July 2

West Mountain Brewing Co. – IPA, Pale Ale
Hog Haus Brewing Company – Hog Haus IPA
Core Brewing & Distilling Co. – Core ESB
Fossil Cove Brewing Co. – Paleo Ale, IPA
Premium Brands of NWA – Avery Maharaja, Avery IPA, Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA, Sam Adams Pale Ale
Glidewell Distributing – Joseph James Hop Box IPA, Moylan’s Hopsickle, Moylan’s double IPA, Moylan’s Tipperary Pale Ale, Pale Horse Hopyard Dog

2012 “What’s Brewing” schedule

July 2: IPA & Pale Ales
Aug. 6: Brown Ales & Stout
Sept. 3: Belgian Styles (Light & Dark)
Oct. 1: Fall Seasonal Beers
Nov. 5: Specialty & Wheat Ales
Dec. 3: Winter Seasonal Beers