Arkansas Beer Blog was recently invited by the Fayetteville Visitors Bureau to a special Fayetteville Ale Trail weekend blogger get-away. We decided to send our intrepid blogger Chris Butler, who is the top gun in our Arkansas Spotlight Series. Let’s give Chris a sad, sad nod at his horrible duty to travel, drink beer, eat food, and recount his experiences.
A couple weekends ago I enjoyed a special invitation to experience The Fayetteville Ale Trail with several other writers from Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. In addition to getting to tour the numerous breweries in the region, we were able to take in a couple more of Northwest Arkansas’ sights. It was a great group of beer lovers touring breweries, drinking beer, talking beer, and sharing beer…..
Yeah, I think you can guess how that went.
Those of us from outside of Fayetteville were generously provided accommodation at The Chancellor hotel, just off the historic square downtown. The hotel has great views in all four directions from atop the hill, is well appointed, staff is helpful, and did I mention that location? It was exceptionally nice; I would certainly direct friends and family in the area here.
Let’s get going, shall we?
We started Friday night off at Fayetteville’s answer to the corner pub, Tanglewood Branch Beer Company. The furthest south of all the breweries, it’s the place to go where everybody does know your name; cyclists get happy hour, any hour, games sit waiting to be played, and coffee is at the ready at a separate counter. They have a small number of taps divided between their own beers and other craft selections. We arrived and were greeted by the owner and brewmaster, JT Wampler, better known as Wamp. Sitting down with our group, he described his thought process, his philosophy and some great beer stories. Very engaging and likable, it’s easy to see why Fayetteville has rallied around his bar and helped maintain it through ups and downs. This magical place most likely has the best atmosphere of the bunch, and that is saying something. It was a great starting point for our weekend’s journey.
*PROTIP: Best corner bar atmosphere. Proper 1420 is a nice twist on an English Mild
Our second stop on the first night was Apple Blossom Brewing Company, whom I wrote about not long ago. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay long as I had a previous commitment with the wife and oldest two daughters. There are some things more important than craftbeer folks: prioritize! I made the most of my time by grabbing a newer offering, their Gose, while chatting with brewmaster/co-owner Nathan Traw. I was able to grab a quick word with Ching Mong, one of the owners and my interviewee not long ago as well. The Gose was light and refreshing, more salty than sour, but very nice. Sadly, I missed the brewer dinner and tour, which I heard from several other attendees was brilliant.
*PROTIP: Under a year old and full service with lots of promise. The Soulless Ginger is unique and tasty
I’ll skip the extra-curricular activities from the evening after I rejoined on Dickson Street and move right along to Saturday…another time, another post perhaps…
Saturday morning after a stroll in a soft, misty rain through the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market on the square, we convened for lunch at West Mountain Brewing Company for some pizzas, beer and QA with brewmaster Will Gallaspy. They had five of their own offerings on, the Black IPA on nitro chief amongst them in my opinion. As a surprise treat, Will brought out some of his homebrew, a lambic from 2012. This beer proved very nice, and a good showcase of his talents. Buoyed with pizza and beer, we ventured on.
*PROTIP: Located on Fayetteville’s Square provides access to pre or post beer and meal activities. The Black IPA on nitro was the winner.
-To be continued!-
Sounds like Chris is having fun! We shall continue his Fayetteville Ale Trail series next week. In the meantime, we will point out that we aren’t jealous of him AT ALL. Who would want to hop around a beautiful place like Fayetteville and drink beer anyhow? NOPE, NOT JEALOUS AT ALL. SHUT UP.
Special shout-out again to the Fayetteville Visitors Bureau
You can read Chris’s blog here: http://astonesthrowandacenturyago.blogspot.com/