Stone’s Throw Brewing

What’s on Tap: New location

Where: Little Rock’s Stifft Station neighborhood

When: End of 2018

Despite having one of the tinier taprooms among Little Rock craft breweries, Stone’s Throw Brewing still pours more than its fair share of pints. So many, in fact, that the brewery is expanding from its original spot on downtown’s Ninth Street to a second location—this one in Little Rock’s Stifft Station neighborhood, just down the block from The Oyster Bar. The brewery actually did a bit of a trial run in the area this summer by setting up a temporary taproom during the neighborhood’s PopUp in the Rock event, an initiative to stimulate development in stagnant areas, and the response was so positive, Stone’s Throw decided to make the expansion permanent. Considering that two of our staffers live in the neighborhood, we’re excited to have a new happy-hour destination.

Rebel Kettle Brewing

What’s on Tap: New brewing space and canning

Where: Little Rock’s East Village

When: 2019

Thanks to the state’s flourishing craft-beer scene, more and more Arkansas breweries have been progressing from business models centered around taprooms and keg-producing operations to canning and bottling in an effort to meet popular demand. And now it looks like Rebel Kettle Brewery, located in the capital’s East Village, will be the next one to make the jump. Earlier this summer, the brewery acquired a massive warehouse space on 17th Street, not too far from its current location, which will allow the brewery to exponentially increase its production and distribution. While the existing taproom and restaurant will continue to operate as usual, plans for the new space include a larger-scale version of Rebel Kettle’s sour program and a dedicated room for barrel aging. We’ll drink to that.

The Rail Yard

What’s on Tap: Beer garden

Where: Little Rock’s East Village

When: Open now!

There’s been something missing in Little Rock. At least that’s what sisters-in-law Murry and Linda Newbern, along with Murry’s aunt Virginia Young, thought when they decided to go into business together. And after a visit to Texas Truck Yard in Dallas, they knew what it was: a never-ending backyard bash complete with barbecue, booze and baggo that they’re calling The Rail Yard. Business partners and popular local food truck Count Porkula will provide the ’cue and serve as the urban beer garden’s house kitchen, while an ever-rotating roster of food trucks will ensure a unique and delicious culinary experience every time. And The Rail Yard’s large indoor/outdoor gathering space just down the street from Cathead’s Diner means there’s room for all your friends and then some. We know where we’ll be this weekend!

Atlas Bar

What’s on Tap: Cocktail bar

Where: Little Rock’s South Main District

When: December 2018

As if Little Rock’s SoMa District wasn’t already one of the best happy-hour destinations in the city, a new Main Street cocktail spot is upping the ante once again. At Atlas Bar, the name of the game is international travel—think Singapore slings, caipirinhas, Negronis, absinthe and the like, served alongside international bites such as ham-and-butter baguettes and chicken satay. The drink-around-the-world concept isn’t a surprise, considering the venture is helmed by Tony Poe of the Poe Travel agency, who plans to decorate Atlas Bar with various tchotchkes and souvenirs from his father’s adventures around the world.

The Foreman

What’s on Tap: Cocktail bar

Where: The 1907 in Rogers

When: End of 2018

There’s plenty to be excited about when it comes to The 1907, the forthcoming redevelopment of the old Dollar Saver building in Rogers: Onyx Coffee’s new headquarters, the reopening of Jason Paul’s acclaimed Heirloom restaurant, the Doughp bakery (that’s not a typo, mind you; try saying it out loud) that lives up to its name. But we’re particularly looking forward to grabbing drinks at The Foreman. If the mysterious, curio shop-inspired branding wasn’t enough to pique our interest, owner Brendon Glidden’s plans for the space sure are. Experimental cocktails? An elegant, intimate lounge with tufted leather banquettes and a giant skylight? A cellar program featuring high-end wine, beer and spirits? We don’t need to be psychic to see many visits to The Foreman in our future.

Hot Springs Sake Company

What’s on Tap: Sake

Where: Hot Springs

When: Summer 2019

We’ve been following Ben Bell’s ambitious sake project since we first started hearing rumblings about it in 2014, back when he traveled to Japan to apprentice for the Nanbu Bijin sake brewery. But now, Ben’s dream of opening a brewery to craft sake from Arkansas rice and Hot Springs’ famous waters appears closer to realization than ever. With the help of George Wied, Ben’s new full-time business partner, he hopes to begin construction on the Hot Springs Sake Company by the end of the year and have the first kegs ready by next summer. Ultimately, Ben says he’d like to see multiple sake breweries launched throughout the state in an effort to establish the Arkansas Delta as a sake rice-growing region, akin to Napa Valley’s relationship to wine grapes, and give rise to an Arkansas sake trail like Kentucky has for bourbon.

Arkansas Distilleries

What’s on Tap: Spirits of all kinds

Where: Helena-West Helena, Rogers and Hot Springs

When: 2019

It seems like a new Arkansas brewery is opening just about every day, and now distilleries appear to be following the same trend. In addition to the three distilleries currently operating in The Natural State, three more are on the way. Fox Trail Distillery will craft, barrel-age and bottle small-batch bourbon at a site in Rogers, where whiskey fiends will be able to sample offerings in the tasting room and dine at a stable of local food trucks. In Hot Springs, Crystal Ridge Distillery is tapping into the Spa City’s history by producing the spirit most common during the city’s Prohibition-era heyday: moonshine. Strong drink is coming to east Arkansas as well, where Delta Dirt Distillery is planning to craft vodka and, later, bourbon in an old grocery store being renovated by Little Rock architect Tommy Jamison on Helena-West Helena’s Cherry Street. Distill our hearts!