GOAT Lab Brewery upgrades to new 10-barrel system in Lowell

(Brian Sorensen)

Bill Adams opened GOAT Lab Brewery in Lowell on March 15. The launch was soft, without much fanfare. Surprisingly, people came in droves.

“We went through so much beer in a week and a half it was mind boggling,” said Adams. “It has been non-stop since we turned on the open sign.”

Adams also owns the Grove Comedy Complex, which sits to the south of the brewery and has been open for a little more than six years.

“We are in the center of Northwest Arkansas,” he said. “If there was a bullseye for the region, we would be it.”

Adams and his son Collin are tag-teaming the brewing duties. They started with the old 5-barrel brewhouse from Rendezvous Junction Brewing Co., but now have a new 10-barrel system installed and producing beer.

“It’s not massive, but it’s an improvement over what we were using,” said Collin Adams. “We won’t have to worry about running out of beer now.”

The younger Adams is only 23 years old, but he’s no stranger to brewing beer. The habit runs in the family.

“I started brewing beer when Collin was 1 or 2 years old,” said Bill Adams “He has been watching me brew ever since.”

The elder Adams was born in Germany, but raised in Holly Grove, Arkansas. He initially attended Arkansas State University, where he served as the school’s mascot. He moved to Fayetteville in 1985 to become the Razorback mascot. Except for a four-year stint in the U.S. Army, he has been in Northwest Arkansas ever since.

Adams has a passion for German-style beers, which you can expect in steady supply at GOAT Lab.

“We leave soon to continue our training in Germany,” said Adams. “We are visiting many brewers in Munich, Cologne, and Dusseldorf to get some great training on the styles of beers we are making.”

Some of the first releases from the brewery were a pilsner, a Kolsch-style beer, a maibock, and—because every brewery needs to have one—an IPA. A chocolate brown ale has also proven popular with taproom patrons.

Collin Adams said local brewers aided him and his father as they worked to open and continue to troubleshoot their new brewery.

“The guys at Natural State Beer Co. have been helping out a lot,” he said. “They loaned us their keg cleaner and helped us iron out our operating procedures.”

GOAT Lab is located in a building that previously housed an auto repair business. The brewery has a pizza kitchen and seems to be event-minded.

A few weeks ago, it hosted a beer festival that served as a fundraiser for Michael Peerson of Rendezvous Junction Brewing Co. (who is suffering from a prolonged illness). This weekend is another special event.

“We are releasing our ‘Lowell Light Beer’ this weekend at the KC BBQ competition next door at the Grove,” said Bill Adams.

And of course, the comedy club next door should draw customers from the taproom. After all, doesn’t everything seem funnier after a beer or two?