Benton County breweries on the move

I know I know…this is the Fayetteville Flyer, not the Benton County Flyer. But if you have been reading the brewery updates here over the last few years you know the Fayetteville Ale Trail encompasses all of Northwest Arkansas, not just the city it was named for. And it just so happens there’s a lot of brewery news coming out of our neighboring county to the north these days. So, let’s visit our last line of defense from Missouri for a quick update.

Bike Rack Brewing Co.

Photo: Josiah Moody

The grand opening of Bike Rack’s new location at 8th Street Market will take place on Friday, May 12. First batches from the new brewhouse include Urban Trail Golden Ale and Slaughter Pen IPA. Head brewer Josiah Moody has updated many of the recipes since his arrival in Northwest Arkansas. Not only is he busy with the new brewery, he also has his hands full with a new baby at home. He and wife Katchiri celebrated the birth of son Julian – their second child – on April 13. The new brewery shares space with the new culinary school, Brightwater, as well as several other merchants. Bike Rack’s ample square footage is a far cry from the tiny space it started out in on A Street. The brewery will keep that location as a pilot brewery and taproom as it grows into its new digs at the 8th Street Market.

Ozark Beer Co.

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Ozark officially introduced its new home to the public on April 22. The former flourmill, located at 109 N. Arkansas Street in Rogers, exudes character. The two-story taproom is reminiscent of Puritan Coffee & Beer in downtown Fayetteville, but on a much bigger scale. Rough-hewn timber and knotty wood plank floors make it an inviting place to drink beer. This weekend Ozark will unveil the 2017 version of its ultra-popular Bourbon Double Cream Stout (BDCS). Friday night is a sold-out special release party, but 4-packs will be available in the taproom starting Saturday. Beware all of you internet beer traders, because there is a limit of three per person.

Bentonville Brewing Co.

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Ozark’s old space won’t be vacant long. Bentonville Brewing Co. is moving into 1700 S. 1st Street in Rogers while it looks for a place to build a new facility. Partner Katie Boykin says the brewery will keep its name even though it will be one town removed from its namesake. She hopes to be in a brand new building sometime next year.

New Province Brewing Co.

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Earlier this week New Province introduced its new can for Fallen Queen Belgian Style Witbier via social media. Formerly known as White Queen, this beer is set to debut in aluminum sometime around Independence Day. BLKBOXLabs, the creative outfit also responsible for Ozark and Fossil Cove can designs, was behind the creative efforts. New Province’s Derek McEnroe thinks the can will go a long way towards creating more brand recognition for the brewery. “The overall goal with this can is to breathe more life into our brand,” he said. The brewery’s existing logo was adapted for packaging purposes, with a newly envisioned badge and a flag motif contained throughout.

Ivory Bill Brewing

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During an in-depth interview with Basic Brewing Radio’s James Spencer, current West Mountain Brewing Co. head brewer Casey Letellier discussed plans for his own brewery at 516 E. Main Street in Siloam Springs. He admitted there are challenges to opening a brewery in a town known for its teetotaling tendencies. Things are progressing, however, and Ivory Bill will soon take flight. In the meantime, Letellier has released a mole stout at West Mountain in Fayetteville. Owner John Schmuecker was so excited to release the newest iteration of the recipe (which Andy Coates brewed to much acclaim when he was at West Mountain) that he called me on the day of its tapping to tell me to stop by for a pint. It’s not the exact same beer, but it’s damn good. You’d be well served to get one before it’s gone.