Arkansas,  craft beer

Exploring Little Rock’s Locally Labeled craft beer scene

As microbreweries continue to grow across the country, craft beer has blossomed in parts of the United States that people don’t usually associate with beer.  Central Arkansas is one of those places.  To help promote its growing craft beer scene, Little Rock has the Locally Labeled Passport.  So next time you’re in the Greater Little Rock area, you need to pick it up to help you explore the region’s craft breweries, brewpubs, wineries, and distillery.

Although the program focuses on breweries, there are two wineries and a distillery are also part of the program.  The inclusion of wineries and a distillery really sets the program apart from others that focus solely on breweries/brewpubs.  The passport has all the necessary information about each place and an excellent map that will help you identify spots that are close to each other to maximize your visits in the region.

Collecting stamps isn’t just a fun way to explore the area, but also to earn prizes.  At any point, people can submit a passport at three levels to collect rewards.  At the lowest level, visitors can earn sandstone coaster. The next tier gets people a Locally Labeled T-shirt.  If you complete the booklet, visitors receive the coaster and T-shirt.

Map of downtown Little Rock with an opened Locally Labeled Passport to the left and an opened passport on the right showing stamps from two breweries.
A view of the Locally Labeled Passport with some stamps.

During my visit to metro Little Rock, my wife and I picked up passports and have set about visiting all 14 places in the program.  Over about two days, we collected eight stamps and got to experience a lot of the region while enjoying some great drinks and equally outstanding food.

Some of the Little Rock breweries

Lost Forty Brewing (501 Byrd St., Little Rock, AR 72202)
We received two very strong recommendations to have brunch here, so we delayed our departure on Sunday morning.  The beer was great, but it’s the pimento cheese and bacon omelet that made it the best brunch choice we could have made.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d come just for the beer, but the food puts this place over the top.

Stone’s Throw Brewing (402 E. 9th St., Little Rock, AR 72202)
On the edge of downtown Little Rock nestled next to MacArthur Park.  On the edge of downtown, the patio at Stone’s Throw opens up to a residential neighborhood and one of the city’s largest parks.  A partnership with an Asian-fusion restaurant means they have one of the most unique food menus in the area.

Some of the North Little Rock breweries

Diamond Bear Brewing Co. (600 N. Broadway, North Little Rock, AR 72114)
One of the stops in North Little Rock, we stopped here for lunch on our return trip through the area.  It’s close to the interstate, which made it easy for us to enjoy a sandwich and flight before getting back on the road.  The decor of the Arkansas Ale House will remind you of a log cabin.

Flyway Brewing Co. (314 Maple St., North Little Rock, AR 72114)
After attending an Arkansas Travelers game at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, we visited one of three spots across the river that are part of the program.  We didn’t get to sample the food, but the choices were unique with wild boar bratwurst.

Recapping the passport

The Locally Labeled Passport is a great way for visitors and residents to see more of Little Rock and North Little Rock.  With breweries on both side of the river plus two wineries farther out from town, the program gives people a fun way to explore more of Central Arkansas.

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