NWA beer updates: New breweries, expansions, anniversaries and more

(Brian Sorensen)

It’s been a while since we last took a spin around the local beer scene. Here are a few updates of interest for fans of Arkansas-made beer.

Social Project Brewing Co. is celebrating a full year in business with a party on Saturday, Sept. 17. The Bentonville brewery will host 10 breweries and feature 40 beers. Social Project will release a barrel-aged stout at 4 p.m. Last week the brewery opened a satellite taproom at 205 E. Johnson Ave. in Springdale, making the brewery’s hazy IPAs, sours, and stouts more accessible to folks who live in Washington County.

Hawk Moth Brewery & Beer Parlor opened its own satellite location back in May. “The Beacon” is located at 410 SW A Street in Bentonville. Some will remember the space as Bike Rack Brewing Co.’s home when that brewery opened in 2014. Hawk Moth is commemorating four trips around the sun with an anniversary party on Saturday, Sept. 17. Anniversary Blend will be available in bottles and on draft during the festivities, which will take place at Hawk Moth’s taproom in east Rogers.

Another anniversary party is happening on Thursday, Sept. 22. Saddlebock Brewery has reached 10 years in business. A lot has changed in the local beer scene over the past decade, but owner Steve Rehbock is still churning out batches of beer near the White River in east Springdale.

Natural State Beer Co. is throwing an Oktoberfest party on Saturday, Sept. 17. The brewery will host a pub run, with teams of up to four runners drinking beer between laps around the lake. The Rogers brewery will release its Oktoberfest beer and will offer special deals on steins, including a 1-liter stein with a full pour of beer for $20. The stein is yours to keep and you’ll get refills for only $10.

Ozark Beer Co. is getting into the Oktoberfest spirit as well. The Rogers brewery will feature German food, games, and live music from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. Ozark made beer fanatics happy when it announced that online orders for this year’s Bourbon Double Cream Stout (BDCS) will open on Sept. 27. The big, boozy and highly-touted stout will be available in the taproom on October 14, with pre-order pickups beginning Oct. 15, and some limited local distribution soon after.

In other party news, a reader wrote in to tell us GOAT LAB Brewery, which recently upgraded to a new 10-barrel system in Lowell, will host an Oktoberfest party on Oct, 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with beers from several local breweries and live music throughout the day. Tickets are $30 and all proceeds go to the NWA Food Bank.

(Ozark Beer Co.)

A couple of new breweries-in-planning are making progress. Mad Rooster Beer Co. is putting the finishing touches on electrical and plumbing work and should be open around the first of November. Brothers Eric and Jeremy Hahn are involved in the project. Jeremy currently operates Excalibur Brewing in Spring, Texas, but both are natives of Fayetteville. Mad Rooster will be located at 1107 S. West Ave. and will feature a 7-barrel brewhouse. Black Howler Beer Co. recently broke ground on its new brewery, located at the corner of Highways 12 and 264 in Highfill. Last month Black Howler brewers took first-place at the inaugural Heat Wave Beer Festival homebrew competition, hosted by Core Brewing & Distilling Co. Rumor has it that they make some tasty chile beers.

Homebrewers will get another shot at victory during the High Gravity Home Brewing Tasting & Competition on Oct. 22. The event will be hosted by philanthropic organization Girls on the Run NWA and will take place from 6:30-9 p.m. at First National Bank of Northwest Arkansas in Bentonville.

Northwest Arkansas is the epicenter of brewing activity in the state, but there are a few noteworthy things happening elsewhere.

It’s no surprise that Lost Forty Brewing Co. is still king of the mountain now that last year’s brewing statistics have been reported. The Little Rock brewery produced nearly 15,000 barrels of beer in 2021, which is almost 6,000 barrels more than the next biggest brewery in Arkansas by volume, Core Brewing & Distilling Co. Lost Forty is gearing up for its annual Festival of Darkness on Oct. 22, which features the release of its popular Nighty Night Imperial Stout.

(Brian Sorensen)

Country Monks Brewing is now available in Northwest Arkansas. The brothers from the Subiaco Abbey recently dropped some canned beer at Liquor World in Fayetteville and Sodie’s Wine & Spirits in Fort Smith. Country Monks is one of the more unique breweries in the state, so it’s nice to see some of the Benedictine-made beer make it into distribution.

Prestonrose Farm & Brewing Co. in Paris, Arkansas announced the opening of a full-service restaurant and general store in nearby Clarksville. The businesses will occupy a historic building owned by the University of the Ozarks, located at 107 W. Main Street. The organic farm and brewery will continue to operate its original “Beer Farm” until the new location opens, likely in early 2023.

And finally, Fort Smith Brewing Co. is celebrating 5 years in business with an anniversary and Oktoberfest party tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 10. It’s a short drive down I-49 for those in Northwest Arkansas, so check it out if you can.