Craft beer festivals such as tonight’s Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival in Argenta are great for the novice craft beer lover and veteran drinkers alike, as they present a great opportunity to try out plenty of beers in many different styles. While I do love plenty of standard styles, such as a well done pilsner, kolsch or a nice wheat beer on a hot day, one of my favorite parts of the festivals is getting a chance to try some of the more interesting and creative beers. Obviously, these aren’t going to appeal to everyone, but I’ve put together my list of 10 beers I want to check out before my taste buds get overloaded. Check some of these out for yourself and see if they’re your thing perhaps.
I’ll start with Blood Eagle Two Ravens Black Rye IPA, but If you haven’t tried any beers from our Viking-themed brewery-in-planning just go by their table and try anything they have. I’ve found their hoppier beers to be really nice and one of my personal favorite styles is black IPA, plus I love the extra spice kick from rye, so this Two Ravens sounds great to me.
Northeast Arkansas’ Brick Oven Brewing is bringing what sounds like an intense beer, El Diablo’s Inferno. I’m told it’s a Mexican chocolate milk stout brewed with jalapeños and cocoa nibs. All of those words sounds great, especially together.
Here’s one that I’ve already had, but I highly recommend Lost Forty’s Nighty Night, a wonderful, almost chewy 9.8% ABV three-barrel-aged imperial stout. Because apparently aging in just one barrel isn’t enough now, it’s been aged in bourbon, rye whiskey and Cabernet barrels.
Josiah Moody has a treat in store, bringing Moody Brews Dunbar Garden Wild Ale with Pluots. It’s a wild ale refermented atop Dunbar Community Garden grown pluots in French Chardonnay barrels.
Speaking of Josiah, he also tells me not to miss Vino’s Weizenbock aged in Rocktown Distillery rye whiskey barrels.
Rose Schweikhart from Superior Bathhouse in Hot Springs has listed something that caught my eye, Pumpernickel Porter, which I must try as I can’t think of a single beer I’ve had with pumpernickel, a slightly sweet rye bread.
Personally I’ve been waiting on this beer since I first heard about it months ago, Charleville’s Late Night Karate Kicks Coffee Stout. I love coffee stouts and I’m hearing this one has some maple to it as well. This may start being paired with pancakes at my house (on non-work days of course).
Ommegang’s Rosetta Ale, which is matured on cherries, has been out for a few weeks but I haven’t found it yet. This will be a perfect chance to score a taste of this new brew from one of my favorite breweries. It’s a traditional Belgian Kriek (think tart) brewed exclusively for them by Liefmans, a sister brewery, in Belgium.
Another beer that should be out in our market, but I haven’t found yet, is Tallgrass Big RICC, a 10.5% ABV Russian imperial stout with coffee and chocolate.
I’ve really enjoyed Summit’s Unchained Series, and their latest is Unchained Release No. 20 Sticke Ale, a limited release sticke alt Dusseldorf-style ale. That’s a pretty unique style which I haven’t gotten to try many of. It’s a maltier and hoppier version of traditional Altbier.
For more information about all the local, regional and national craft breweries who will be pouring the good stuff at tonight’s festival, check out our recent cover story—there’s sure to be something for every taste available. Let us know if you tried any of these brews, or if you found something you really loved that you hadn’t tried before. And if you still need tickets, you can get them here.