Brewery News: Bike Rack expanding, JJ’s breaks ground, Core adds new taproom, and more

An artist rendering of what a new Bike Rack Brewing Co. facility might look like in Bentonville.

Source: City of Bentonville

It’s time for another roundup of happenings inside the local beer scene. Included below is a variety of tidbits from most of the area’s breweries, including a few items you might not know, and others that have been previously reported here on the Flyer or on social media.

Apple Blossom Brewing Company has hired Brian Youngblood as the company’s new brewmaster, replacing Marcus Ward who left the industry earlier this year. Youngblood began his brewing career at Vino’s Brew Pub in Little Rock before becoming head brewer at Transplants Brewing Co. in Palmdale, California. According to a recent Facebook post, Brian’s first new recipe is a White IPA.

Bike Rack Brewing Co. is gearing up for an expansion. The company was recently approved for construction of a 6,600-square-foot brewery and a 1,300-square-foot taproom inside a former Tyson processing plant at 801 SE Eighth Street in Bentonville. Aside from pints and growler fills, city planning documents indicate the brewery will also include a canning line and an outdoor seating area with enough room for an additional 100 customers. The new brewery will share the building with the Northwest Arkansas Community College’s new culinary arts program as part of a potential partnership to help NWACC students learn the production brewing process and achieve national Cicerone certification.

Columbus House Brewery visitors now have some food options available at certain times. Natural State Sandwiches and Chunky Dunk are set up just south of the brewery on North Street in Fayetteville. Make sure to check each company’s Facebook page (see links above) for their hours.

Core Brewing is planning to open another taproom at 109 South Main St. just off the downtown square in Bentonville. The new 100-seat taproom the latest in a string of satellite pubs opened by Core in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Fort Smith, Little Rock, and at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

Fossil Cove Brewing Co. recently began a two-month summer partnership with Fayetteville Underground that includes art on display in the taproom from local artists David Bachman and Octavio Logo. The brewery also recently unveiled its newest canned seasonal, a White IPA called The Whizzle.

Hogshead Tours, is now offering a wine and cider package that includes a scenic, round trip tour of Tontitown Winery, Sassafrass Springs Vineyard, and Black Apple Crossing cidery in Springdale. A by-request Grapes and Olives Tour is also available with stops at the two wineries and a local olive oil and balsamic vinegar shoppe in downtown Fayetteville.

A new brewery and beer garden is planned at the southwest corner of Van Asche Drive and Steele Boulevard in Fayetteville.


JJ’s Beer Garden & Brewing (JBGB) recently broke ground on its new facility in north Fayetteville. The 12,000-square-foot building will include a 15-barrel brewhouse with a taproom and restaurant, along with an outdoor patio and gaming area with a live music stage and lawn seating. Brewing operations will be led by Jennifer Muckerman, a veteran brewer and graduate from the prestigious Siebel Institute in Chicago. Muckerman comes to Fayetteville from Stamford, Connecticut where she was head brewer at Half Full Brewery. Her previous brewing jobs include brewmaster of the former Marble City Brewing Co. in Knoxville, Tennessee, and head brewer at Trailhead Brewing Co. in St. Charles, Missouri. Andrew Porter, also from Half Full, will be the head brewer. He and Muckerman are currently developing recipes at a temporary facility in Springdale, but are expected to move to the new brewery later this year.

Ozark Beer Co. will soon move to a new location inside the former Rogers Flour Milling building at 109 N. Arkansas St. in downtown Rogers. The new facility offers 10,000 square feet of warehouse space with ceilings high enough to allow Ozark to install taller tanks, which means more beer and more distribution.

Saddleback Brewery is now offering food through its White River Cafe. The new kitchen opened earlier this month and serves pizza, pasta, wings and more. The cafe is currently open for dinner on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Weekday lunch hours are expected to resume in the next few weeks.

Notable local releases include a salted cherry sour at Bentonville Brewing Company, a Black IPA at West Mountain Brewing Company in Fayetteville, and the Mosaic/Centennial/Galaxy hopped Philosopher IPA at New Province Brewing Company in Rogers.

In central Arkansas news, Stone’s Throw Brewing will begin a month-long third anniversary celebration this weekend that includes the release their famous annual Anniversary Stout. Events, scheduled for each Friday in July, include the premiere of an interpretation of an 1841 Little Rock beer that was developed with the Historic Arkansas Museum; release parties for a barrel-aged Imperial Oktoberfest and a barrel-soured Imperial IPA; and tastings of a whiskey barrel-aged Anniversary Stout and the final keg of last year’s Anniversary Stout.

Finally, the state’s craft beer options continue to expand. Cascade Brewing, known for its award-winning sour ales brewed in Portland, OR, recently hit shelves thanks to a deal with Arkansas Craft Distributors, the same company responsible for bringing Stone Brewing, Oskar Blues, Bell’s Brewery, and many more craft companies to Arkansas. Other recent additions include Wiseacre Brewing Co. and Ghost River Brewing, both from Memphis. Oh, and coming soon is Cedar Creek Brewery from Seven Points, TX. Bring on the Texas beer!

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