Take flight in Arkansas

Take flight in Arkansas

 

Few things are trending in America right now like craft beer. I mean, there’s Lumbersexuals, but I’m hoping they’ll fade into the distance like neon stirrup pants and side ponytails. Until then, let’s focus on the positive.

My home state of Arkansas is on-point and we’ve got 6 dog-friendly breweries (and two more planning dog-friendly expansions) that you need to visit. There aren’t many things better than a craft beer, a sunny day, and (wo)man’s best friend. So here’s what we dug up.

The Fayetteville Visitor’s Bureau calls it the Ale Trail; Henri and I call it Sunday. We’ve been to all four of these dog-friendly breweries, and I know you’re not shocked. In fact, you’re probably tired of my Instagram photos.

Saddlebock
Saddlebock is located on the shores of the White River in Springdale (7 minutes from my front door). With an upper deck overlooking some stunning scenery, and a newly expanded taproom, this is one of our favorites. There is plenty of room outside for a safe, no-traffic-to-worry-about off leash romp, and on occasion, you’ll see someone with a beer in one hand and a ball in the other. Saddlebock co-sponsors canoe paddles in the spring, has open jams on Wednesday nights, and the occasional potluck. You’ll feel like family when you walk in the door. I am in love with the seasonal Vanilla Oak Bourbon Porter. Try it or buy it before it’s gone.

 

Relaxing in the sun.

Relaxing in the sun.

Core
Another Northwest Arkansas brewery, their logo features a Daschund. You low-ride lovers will want their swag with the slogan, “Take Pride in Your Weiner”. They make dog treats from their spent grain and Henri has been known to position himself in line-of-sight to the bar expecting the occasional freebie. The brewery itself is located in an industrial area of Springdale and features a dog-friendly taproom and patio. The recently opened Rogers location does not allow dogs. You’ll want to try the seasonal-turned-permanently available Hazelnut Brown Ale.

 

Apple Blossom
Located in Fayetteville along one of the many bike trails, Apple Blossom is one of the few breweries that boasts its own kitchen. The dog-friendly patio is a great place to watch the traffic come and go, or grab a post run/walk/ride brew. Try the cheese fries, and the Soulless Ginger Ale. I earn a freckle for every beer you drink.

Fossil Cove
Within biking distance of the University of Arkansas campus, this is a popular hangout for college students, University and downtown professionals, and wanderers from the bike trail. They don’t serve their own food, but they do have a regular schedule of food truck fare. Barley, the brewmaster’s Weimaraner, is a regular and he’s probably good at Wednesday night trivia. They rotate a lot of small batch interesting brews, so you aren’t likely to find the same thing twice. Try a Randall.

Now it’s on to Central Arkansas where I’m having a hard time keeping up with the growth in my hometown. Lucky for you that I’m a dedicated fun-finder. Moving into the area comprising Little Rock and North Little Rock (yes, they’re different!), there are three more places you need to visit.

Diamond Bear
On the north side of the river in ‘Dogtown,’ where I was born and raised, the Diamond Bear ‘Petio’ is full-service. Featuring food from the Ale House, which is located inside the brewery, it’s a great place to grab a sandwich and a brew with your pooch. The server brought Henri a bowl of water when he greeted our table and was more than happy to chat with me about their beer (and repeat the options). The Cuban sandwich is excellent, and the pretzel is also popular. Try the Dogtown Brown.

Blue Canoe Brewing Co
Across the river in Little Rock is Blue Canoe. With a paddlers theme and a garage style door that opens when the weather is nice, in addition to their beer they feature Brew Doggies dog treats. The treats are made using their spent grain and 10% of the proceeds go to the local Humane Society. Hang your purse on the under-bar hook (chicks dig this), and try the Whittler Milk Stout.

 

Love Honey Bock specs

Love Honey Bock specs

Lost 40
A collaborative effort from Little Rock’s culinary genius, Scott McGehee (Local Lime, Big Orange) and Yellow Rocket Concepts, you can probably expect great things to come out of this brewery. I went a few days after it’s soft opening to try the Love Honey Bock sweetened with Arkansas honey. They were already on top of things with excellent service, food and brews. I was told they’ll be adding a dog-friendly patio this summer, and you can bet I’ll be back there with Henri for more of the pimento cheese- please keep that on the menu- and to test the fried bologna and egg sandwich. Try the Bare Bones Pilsner, y’all!

 

 

Last but not least on the tour is Hot Springs. In addition to gambling, Spa City is now sporting her own brewery.

Superior Bathhouse
Home to Hot Springs’ first craft beer tasting room, and the world’s first brewery to use thermal spring water in their crafting, on January 22nd, Superior released their first beer, the Hitchcock Spring Kolsch. They have three more beers, Superior Pale Ale, Whittington Park Wheat a Hefeweizen, and the Foul Play Brewlesque, an Oatmeal Stout, fermenting. We don’t know if thermal springs make a difference but we know they hope to complete a beirgarten this summer and that will give your furry drinking buddy a lot more room. For now, try the Hitchcock.

With all the breweries come local beer festivals. Stay tuned to find out which ones are dog-friendly, and whether or not I can teach Henri how to drive.