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Dispatches from the road: Little Rock

Nick Trougakos Modified: July 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: July 7, 2014

The annual Beagle Family summer road trip/Disney World vacation is officially in the books, so how about a week’s worth of posts to recap my beer journey across America?

The trip started with a one-night stop in Little Rock to check out the city’s River Market District, a sort of Bricktown-like area along the Arkansas River and just a stone’s throw from the Clinton Presidential Library.

My first impression of the district is that it’s got definite potential, but still needs some time to grow into itself. We were there on a Thursday evening about 7 p.m., but the majority of shops/eateries were closed for the day, and foot traffic in the area appeared light at best.

A little pre-trip research led us to a restaurant/bar called Boscos Restaurant and Brewing Co., which has franchises in Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville and Franklin, Tenn.

The restaurant offers growler fills and — as far as I could tell — only offers its own beers. Think of a Bricktown or Belle Isle brewery-type place, add a slightly higher price point on the food and bump up the alcohol content to full strength and you’ve got a pretty good idea about what you can get at Boscos.

Since Mrs. Beagle and I wanted to get a good feel for what they had, we ordered up an eight-beer sampler.

The lineup was:

-Bombay IPA

-Big Dam Pale Ale

-Export Stout

-Equinox Ale

-Ray’s Honey Rye

-Isle of Skye Scotch Ale

-Downtown Brown

-Famous Flaming Stone Old Ale

Of all of them, I’d have to say the Honey Rye was probably my favorite. It had a good strong hint of honey that paired quite nicely with the subtle spices imparted by the rye. Otherwise, nothing really knocked my socks off. Most of the offerings were fairly decent — no duds in the bunch, just nothing aside from the Honey Rye I would have wanted an entire pint of.

Tomorrow, things heat up with my stop in Birmingham.

Pints and Pins

-Heard word that COOP Ale Works last week was bringing online two 120-barrel fermenters, which will translate to an 80 percent increase in capacity. Looks like a flood of COOP beer is in the offing. Here’s a pic provided by COOP:

-Cans of Anthem Golden One, Arjuna Belgian Wit and Uroboros Belgian Stout should either be in stores now, or later this week, or maybe have already sold out. Sorry for the late notice on this one.

-In other Anthem news, check this label:

Ale aged in rum barrels with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Whoa!

-Mustang Brewing is hosting a fifth-anniversary open house this Friday. From their FB page: “Our 5th Anniversary Open House is this Friday, July 11th, from 4-8PM! New beers on tap, free schwag, live music from Brandon Clark, & food from Klemm’s Smoke Haus. Come see the new tanks & taste the next brews in the Mustang line-up. Tours/tastings are free. Must be 21 or over to attend.”

-Cafe 7 in Oklahoma City is hosting a three-course Prairie Artisan Ales pairing on Saturday. More details here.

-Prairie reports their beer will soon be distributed in Australia.

-The Monday pint nights at the McNellie’s pubs are: Dos Equis Amber in Tulsa; Angry Orchard Cider at Tulsa South; Estrella Damm Lager at Norman; and Sam Smith Winter Welcome at Oklahoma City.

-McNellie’s OKC is having a five-course beer dinner on Aug. 19. Brewery TBD. Email for more info.

-McNellie’s Tulsa is hosting a beer dinner July 24 featuring Unibroue beers and the a visit by the Unibroue head brewer. From their website: “Five courses and the head brewer from Unibroue. You read that right! Make your reservations now by emailing”

-McNellie’s Tulsa South is hosting a Beer University on July 15. E-mail for reservations. The cost is $25.

-Several of the McNellie’s branches are also featuring July and World Cup specials this month, so check their websites for details.

-The Mule is hosting a Founders pint night today at 5 p.m.


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