Arkansas

Hops in Heaven: Stone’s Throw Brewing in Little Rock, Ark.

Like many craft breweries across the country, Stone’s Throw Brewing started because a group of homebrewers decided to live out their dream of starting a brewery.  These four guys (Theron, Brad, Shawn, and Ian) met through Central Arkansas Fermenters and started a Kickstarter campaign in April 2013 with the goal of opening a taproom.  The brewery and taproom dreams became reality in July of that year.

The brewery sits on the southern edge of downtown abutting MacArthur Park and the surrounding historic district. If you’re a history buff you may want to check out the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur, which has been converted into MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History (admission is free).  The museum is a four-minute walk from the brewery.  There is plenty of parking near the brewery, but visitors should be mindful to avoid parking on some streets where there are signs restricting street parking to residents.  Customers see a large patio before coming up to the front door.

View of the taproom from the intersection of Rock and 9th streets.

Although it was quite hot and humid, my wife and I opted not to sit outside.  However, as the banner above the door highlights plans for the brewery’s birthday celebration at the end of July.

Main entrance to the brewery.

It may not be clear from the outside of the building, but it covers a lot of space.  Off the main room with the bar there is another space that runs perpendicular to the main room.  First impressions based upon the large patio may lead people to think the taproom lacks the space to accommodate, but that is not the case.  When we arrived at around three o’clock the brewery was pretty full, but it did not feel overcrowded.

When you belly up to the bar you see a VERY extensive beer list, but there is no reason to be intimidated.

Beer menu behind the bar.

Flights at Stone’s Throw consist of eight choices.  The flight contains the brewery’s three all-year beers, three seasonal brews, a cider, and one limited release.  Deciding which of the limited release beers to order was difficult because there was such range from a Dortmunder export to a hoppy wheat to a barrel-aged sour to two variants of an imperial oatmeal stout.  Ultimately the decision Katie and I made came down to the 2016 versus the 2017 anniversary ale.  We opted for the 2016 vintage because it was smoother.

On Saturday’s at four o’clock, the brewery taps a Randall (seen to the left in the above photo).  Credit for creating the Randall goes to Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione.  The purpose of a Randall is to infuse draft beer with extra hops or spices or in general other flavors.  It’s a great way to experience your favorite beer with some unique flavors.

So what does a flight of eight beers look like?

A flight of beers.

Believe it or not, but those eight beers are sitting on a food tray.  I didn’t expect a tray for our beers, but it makes perfect sense.  There are also labels for each of the beers, which means the bartenders don’t have to write out the names and customers just need to pick up the beverage to see precisely what they are about to drink.

We did not order any food at Stone’s Throw, but food is available through its partnership with The Southern Gourmasian, who has been the been providing food for the brewery’s beer dinner.  During the week, the SoGo Bistro offers cheese fries, sandwiches, and hamburgers.  They also provide a Sunday Brunch menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The brunch menu includes waffles, biscuits, omelets, and more.

Besides beer and food, the brewery also offers a selection of clothing and stickers available for sale.  The T-shirts are displayed by the bar along with a selection of hats.  Hanging below the shirts is a poster thanking all of the contributors to the brewery’s 2013 Kickstarter campaign.

T-shirts hang above the bar top along with a poster thanking all of the brewery’s Kickstarter donors.

Stone’s Throw Brewing is slightly off the beaten path on the southern edge of downtown Little Rock.  However, it is only half a mile from the city’s three other downtown breweries.  So it is actually quite accessible to residents and visitors alike.  The brewery has an extensive beer offering, which means that whether you’re a novice craft beer drinker or an experienced craft beer tourist you will find something that suits your tastes.  For good measure there is also a unique food menu that provides Southern and Asian influenced flavors.  With a large patio and a large interior space, the brewery offers something for everybody.

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