words: Addi McNeel
Images: courtesy venues
The air is crisp, the leaves have fallen, and we’re in the mood for some of the best beers in Arkansas. We’ve gathered a list of several breweries for you to try this season. Enjoy! And remember, always drink responsibly, and never drink and drive.
Core Brewing & Distilling Co.
701 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith
Core was founded in 2010 and has been expanding ever since. It is one of the fastest growing breweries in the state with Core beer now expanding to Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, South Dakota and Oklahoma. Core pubs are popping up left and right, but one of their newest locations in Fort Smith is sure to be a mainstay for years to come. The founder, Jesse Core, is a Fort Smith native, and it was only a matter of time before he opened up a pub in his hometown. The Core Public House in Fort Smith was built with community in mind. It’s family-friendly, casual, and welcoming. Although food is not sold in the taproom, it may be brought in. This fall and winter look for the Pumpkin Pie beer and the Kaya Imperial Chocolate beer, which will be introduced in the winter. The Pumpkin Pie, despite its name, is surprisingly light-bodied. “It was brewed with sixty pounds of pumpkin with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices,” said Jay Richardson, vice president of Core. “This brew is fermented clean and carbonated cleanly. It is an extremely drinkable beer and not overly sweet as one would expect. It is definitely one of my favorites!”
Apple Blossom Brewing Co.
1550 East Zion Road, Suite 1, Fayetteville
This restaurant and brewery is a jack-of-all-trades. It’s a brewing company, a restaurant, and a bakery. The Fayetteville taproom is a slightly upscale brewery with a traditional Irish pub vibe. Apple Blossom has a constant rotation of fun events going on, and on Fridays, they introduce new beers that are just slightly tweaked from existing versions, as a way to experiment and keep things fresh. The Polka Party Oktoberfest is a traditional Oktoberfest brewed with Vienna and Munich malts, which has a rich, clean flavor and leaves a crisp finish. The Biere de Garde will release in mid-November. It is a farmhouse ale with touches of caramel and nougat and subtle hints of herbs and spice. The Bloodhouse English Barleywine will arrive just in time for Christmas. It is a malty beer with dark caramel and toffee flavors, making this beer one that will carry you through the fall months all the way to the end of winter.
Columbus House Brewery
701 West North Street, Fayetteville
This three-barrel brew house is exceptional. Columbus House Brewery is small, friendly, and a great place to grab a beer after a long day. Two of the brewery’s regular taps are perfect for the fall and winter season. The Nutty Runner Nut Brown Ale is packed with flavor but not too heavy. It’s a traditional nut-brown ale that is slightly roasty, but not overpoweringly so. The chocolate malt flavor gives way to a smooth finish with a lingering nutty flavor and aroma. The Spottie Ottie Oatmeal Stout is also a great fall or winter beer. It is bold, dark and complex. Each sip starts with surprising sweetness, which quickly gives way to coffee and chocolate malt flavors. All of the flavors blend well to make it easily drinkable, smooth and warming.
1946 North Birch Avenue, Fayetteville
Fossil Cove is one of the most popular and fastest-growing breweries in the area. Although the tasting room is relatively small, patrons can sip their beer while watching where it’s made. Large windows provide a view of the brewing area. Outside, a patio welcomes the community to mingle and try different brews, and food trucks will often make an appearance. Their popular fall seasonal beer, Blizzle, is a black IPA that features notes of roasted dark malts and cacao, which is balanced by a crisp pine and grapefruit character. This winter Fossil Cove will release its Coffee IPA. This India Pale Ale is brewed with locally roasted coffee beans from Northwest Arkansas’ own Onyx Coffee Lab.
New Province Brewing Company
1310 West Hudson, Rogers
New Province Brewing Company is one of the newest breweries in the region. It opened in March of this year and has been well received by the community. The taproom is refined but rustic, and modern with a homey feel, which makes it the perfect place for a casual date or meeting up with friends. The brewery is dog-friendly too, not only on the patio but also in the taproom, so feel free to bring your pup along! They recently launched their first fall seasonal beer, a Belgian-style tripel called Citadel. It is not your typical dark, heavier, fall seasonal beer, but still has the flavors and scent of crisp autumn leaves with a mild spice. It’s light, malty, sweet and has notes of apricot or white peach. Citadel uses a lot of raw cane sugar during the beginning of fermentation to get the beer to ferment at a higher rate but doesn’t leave behind residual sweetness. The new Wheat-stout launched in mid-October and will run throughout the fall and winter months. It’s thick and smooth. The wheat adds extra body, making this creamy stout rich, with a lot of chocolate notes and some undertones of dark caramel.
Ozark Beer Company
1700 South First Street, Rogers
At Ozark Beer Company in Rogers, you get a sense that everything is crafted with precision – down to the tiniest detail. This fall, stop by and try the new October Saison beer, which will be offered in November until their supply is depleted. Brewed with rye and Munich malts with a Belgian yeast strain, this beer is the perfect choice for someone who enjoys fall seasonal beers but not so much the heaviness that comes with most. The October Saison is hopped with the German hop Hersbrucker, as well as the American hop Sterling, and is a light-bodied ale. It has notes of black tea, lemon, and has a crisp finish.
Bentonville Brewing Company
1000 Southeast 5th Street, Bentonville
Since opening in June of 2015, COO Katie Boykin has reported a twenty percent increase in production and said Bentonville Brewing Company is now in more than seventy locations in and around Northwest Arkansas. The taproom is casual, eclectic and welcoming. “There is a really good variety of people who come in,” Katie said. “Some people come right out of the office, some people right off their bikes, so there could be someone with helmet hair sitting next to one of the CEOs of Walmart. It’s just a place where everyone can come and be comfortable.” Down the middle of the taproom are long, wooden tables, inviting customers to sit next to one another, as opposed to individual tables in separate groups. Although this will only be the brewery’s second fall and winter season, it has already brought back a popular winter beer from last year, the Roundabout Chocolate Milk Stout. This stout is brewed with locally sourced cocoa nibs from Hello Cocoa in Fayetteville. Kölsch, a German-style beer, is new to the brewery. It came out in late September and is extremely flavorful, tastes a lot like a lager, but is light-bodied—a perfect choice for those who want a fall seasonal beer with all of the flavor, but none of the heaviness.
There you have it, several breweries to try in the fall and winter months. As you do, let us know what you think. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.