Heres To You

The best Arkansas beers for the outdoors

ByDwain Hebda

 

There’s nothing quite like a cold beer after a day’s hike or hunt; something to sip by a creekside campfire or drink in along with the view. Arkansas’s craft breweries provide plenty of quality brews, many of which were inspired by The Natural State’s great outdoors itself. Here are some of our favorites, made better when enjoyed out in the wild. 

Na zdrowie!

THE RULES

There’s nothing wrong with having a cool one during your outdoor adventures, as long as you follow some very simple guidelines. Please don’t be an idiot.

1. Never drink and operate vehicles, including watercraft.

2. Firearms/archery and alcohol do not mix.

3. Stick to cans outside, no glass bottles.

4. Pack out your trash.

5. Enjoy in moderation.

 

 
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Dig the Ride

Lost 40 Brewing, Little Rock

STYLE: IPA
ABV: 6.3%
IBU: N/A

Lost 40’s namesake is a rumored 40 acres of virgin timber somewhere in Arkansas and their beers are meant to come along as you search for them. Dig the Ride, introduced this summer, is the latest in the brewery’s beer juggernaut. Citrusy and clean, it’s our new go-to no matter the weather or activity. 


 
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Flying Duck

Flyway Brewing, North Little Rock

STYLE: Amber Ale
ABV: 4.9%
IBU: N/A

This was our favorite release from last year and we weren’t alone. The mellow, malty collaboration between Flyway and Rich N Tone Duck Calls flew off of shelves almost as soon as it landed. Happily, there appears to be no shortage at RNT’s Flying Duck Taproom, located at its Stuttgart headquarters.


 
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River Water

Ozark Beer Company, Rogers

STYLE: Vienna Lager
ABV: 5%
IBU: 14

Another cool collaboration debuting this year is River Water, developed by Ozark and outdoor lifestyle brand Fayettechill. River Water’s more than a great beer, it’s also a great cause with a portion of sales supporting local conservation groups. (Sadly, it’s currently only available in NWA, but fear not. The company’s Ozark Lager, available statewide, is a worthy substitute.)


 
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La Brea Brown

Fossil Cove Brewing Company, Fayetteville

STYLE: Belgian Brown Ale
ABV: 6%
IBU: 18

As the weather turns, we like our beer darker to pair with changing leaves and crisp evenings. Among the best is La Brea Brown, a well-balanced, chocolate-tinged number from the mad scientists at Fossil Cove. A little hard to find statewide; you can always get La Brea Brown at the brewery, a joint of folks who love the outdoors as much as their beer. 


 
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Pale Ale

Diamond Bear Brewing, North Little Rock

STYLE: English Pale Ale
ABV: 6.2%
IBU: 33

Familiarity is often the strongest magnet for what we crave most. Diamond Bear’s perfect marriage of malt and hops, like your favorite fishing hole or well-worn hiking boots, is consistently satisfying no matter what. In a world where so much changes, it’s nice to know there are some things that still feel like home.