Fossil Cove is pumping out tons of beer

Kort Castleberry, assistant brewer at Fossil Cove Brewing Co., leads a tour of the brewery during a Hogshead tour.

Stephen Ironside, Ironside Photography

Over the next few weeks I’ll check in with each of the area breweries to see what’s going on. There will be tons of new beer, several familiar faces, and a few brewers new to town. First up is Fossil Cove Brewing Company.

Fall and winter seasonals abound at Fossil Cove. A quick scan of the menu board reveals Pumpkin Ale, Blizzle, Fall Saison, and Imperial Stout – with a few more on the way soon.

Assistant brewer Kort Castleberry tells me that Fall Saison – which was released at the brewery just a couple of weeks ago – is moving fast. It was spiced with grapefruit peel and clove and has been extremely popular with Fossil Cove patrons. You better hurry if you want to grab a pint because it will soon be gone.

Pumpkin Ale won’t be around for much longer either. Owner and brewmaster Ben Mills recently discussed the beer with KUAF’s Ozarks at Large.

Another recent release is SMaSH #7. It’s the latest in a series of “single malt and single hop” beers. SMaSH brewing allows you to distinguish the particular characteristics of each ingredient since they’re not intermingled with other varieties. Homebrewers have been brewing SMaSH beers for years to help them dial in their recipe formulations. Fossil Cove’s #7 is clean and slightly sweet thanks to the Bolander Munich malt. Bravo hops lend a fruity and somewhat floral character to the beer.

On Wednesday the guys at the Cove brewed an IPA that will sit on coffee beans (quasi-dry hopped) from Onyx Coffee Lab before being kegged. Castleberry said the result should be an amber beer with strawberry notes from Belma hops and the coffee beans themselves. (Isn’t strawberry character exactly what you would expect from an IPA brewed with coffee?) There aren’t many examples of coffee IPAs in the world, let alone Northwest Arkansas. Fossil Cove’s version will be ready for local consumption aroundthe first of December.

But, wait – there’s more.

“We’re still brewing the winter seasonal [Winter Ale] from the last two years,” said Castleberry. “And the second in a series of porters. Both exclusive to the tap room.” The first porter was an English brown. Expect the newest version to be an American interpretation of the style.

Of course all the old favorites are still there – Paleo, La Brea, T-Rex, et al. They represent the core and can be counted on regardless of the season.

The guys at Fossil Cove are pumping out tons of beer in Midtown Fayetteville. If you can’t find something that suits your fancy, well…you’re just not trying hard enough.

Brian Sorensen (@EBSorensen) is an admitted beer geek, occasional home brewer, and member of the Fayetteville Lovers of Pure Suds.