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Three heartland breweries

In Arkansas, I sampled the beers of three breweries:

* In downtown Little Rock (923 W. 7th), the winey-sounding Vino's is a brewpub and pizza restaurant, with live folk music and occasional performances by theater troupes. I tasted a yeasty, quite bitter, tasty, ESB; a smooth, rounded dryish, South; and the toffeeish, fruity (bananas, lemon?) Rainbow Wheat, made with a Bavarian yeast.

* In Fort Smith, the 1848 Joseph Knoble brewery (later a fort) has in recent years been restored by the local Weidman family. Under the name Old Fort, they started out as a brewpub, but have now become a micro. Their landmark building is at 801 S. 24th, in an un-rehabbed warehouse district about four blocks from Garrison, the main street. My favorite among their beers is their nutty, chocolatey, dry, Danny Boy Stout.

* In Fayetteville, the Ozark Brewing Company is a brewpub at 430 W. Dickson, opposite the (Sam) Walton Arts Center. Buildings from 1880 and 1910, extensively restored, house this beautifully-fitted bar and restaurant. I enjoyed the fruity, melony, Coachlight Ale; a juicy, toffeeish, Oktoberfest Lager, the fruity-chocolatey Six-in-Hand Stout; a leafy, hoppy, heady, IPA (my favorite at this tasting); and a fruity (bananas), nutty (almonds), Horseshoe Hefe-weizen. Why the equine names? Owner John Gilliam's wife owns horses, and they seem to be a family passion.

I saddled up and headed north...

Published Online: OCT 1, 1997
Published in Print: OCT 1, 1997
In: Beer Hunter Online

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