Earlier this month, James, his best friend Jake, and I went to the Arkansas Times' Craft Beer Festival. There were over 50 breweries (national and local) and many local restaurants serving samples.
We sampled Brazilian rice and beans, barbecue, bangers and mash, and brats, but the beef stew from Cregeen's Irish Pub in North Little Rock was my favorite.
Everyone was given a scorecard for keeping track of impressions of the different samples.
We tried beers from Abita, Anchor, Evil Twin, Green Flash, Hermitage, New Belgium, Ommegang, Tommyknocker... We tried a beer from Marshall Brewing out of Oklahoma City, which is the brewery that made the special Gentlemen of the Road Guthrie Stopover beer. One of my favorites was a Pumpkin Pie beer from Core Brewing & Distilling out of Springdale, Arkansas. We also got to try a sour beer for the first time (which was one of the last ones we tried...so far the life of me I can't even remember what brewery served it!). I actually really liked it, but I can't say that I'd rather have a glass of that than some of the others we tried. There were some local breweries, too, but we decided to stick to more of the harder-to-find-around-here brews because we get a lot of local beer anyway.
My hands-down favorite was North Coast's Old Stock Ale.
We didn't attend the festival last year, but heard from several people that it was much better this year. We had an awesome time and for $35, it was money well spent! I will definitely try to make it next year...and bring more friends!