The Power in a Growler

By Dylan Whitsett

A question we hear at Colonial frequently is "Wow! What is this?" in reference to our state-of-the-art Growler Station.

With the cool steel, glowing lights, shiny knobs, and hissing CO2, it's easy to understand why some people could be intimidated by this interesting bit of beer tech. 

A Growler Station is how we fill 32-64 oz. containers (The Growlers) with beer.  Colonial’s station is high tech, with CO2 chambers that force out oxygen in the growler to ensure that you get the freshest beer possible! With this process, an unopened growler filled at our station can stay fresh generally for 2-4 months, with some extreme cases reporting a growler remaining fresh a year after filling.

Not only do we offer the freshest beer in town, we also have our entire growler menu on untappd.com, and if you subscribe to us on Untappd, you will get a notification every time we update our menu!  With 8 beers available at all times, and a constantly updating menu, you'll be sure to see a beer you absolutely cannot pass up. Come and see your friendly neighborhood beer team today! 

Celebrate More! 

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Cooking With Beer

By Dylan Whitsett

Adding beer to food might not be intuitive, but I can tell you that adding the right beer to the right recipe can take you on a one-way trip to flavor town!  In this blog, I'll give you 3 beers and 2 dishes that are ideal matches for each. Worry not, you can easily use your favorite recipe instead!

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin 

This beer's got a bite! Try using this beer the next time you make cheese dip, or cheese soup.  The pepper stings as quickly as the hops soothe, so you can keep coming back for more.  In addition to cheese dip, try using it as a marinade for fajita meats. Absolutely a delight for your taste buds.

Founders Porter

What a brew!  One of the highest-rated porters in the world, this brew can add something special to any hearty stew. Creamy and thick, try using this with any roux you might use for your stew.  Try using a Founders Porter the next time you make fresh bread, the rich nutty flavor makes bread taste hardy and strong, an excellent companion for that hearty stew.

Lindemans Lambics 

Lindemans has several different tart fruit beers that are truly wonderful.  My personal favorites are the apple and raspberry. Try adding the raspberry flavor to some heavy cream and mixed frozen berries to make a filling for shortcake.  Next time you make a pie, or make filling, just soak your chosen filling in a lambic of your choice for a truly delightful twist!

Thanks for reading folks!  Remember, cooking is as much an art as a science, so don't be afraid to experiment. Have fun with it, add your favorite beer to your favorite dish and see how it turns out.  If worst comes to worst, you can order pizza and drink the rest of your beer as a consolation prize! 


Celebrate more, my friends!

WHEN A 12-PACK WON'T DO

By Josh Liddy

Summer is officially here.  And what better way to spend the weekend on the lake or by the pool than with a nice cold beer? BUT, what do you do when a 12 pack isn't enough but a 30 pack is just overkill? FEAR NOT! We have a variety of offerings in.... wait for it... 15 packs! Here is what we've got:

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Founders All Day IPA


This is the beer and brewery that started both the 15 pack and session IPA. This is my personal go-to session ale. Crisp, light, and refreshing; on the nose, you get nice aromas of pine and citrus. On the tongue, the citrus is very prevalent, with hints of grapefruit. At 4.7% ABV, the brewers describe it best: "Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp."

Founders PC Pils

Another fantastic offering from Founders. This beer is a spin on the classic pilsner style. This isn't your dad's pilsner; with the use of a variety of hops, this beer is much more aromatic than you would expect from this style. This beer comes in at a very close second for me in the 15-pack format. at 5.5% ABV, this beer is equally crushable!

Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA

This is a great beer from a great brewery. These guys stepped it up a notch, though, and this beer is released in a 16 pack! At 4.9%, this brew lives up to its name as a throwback IPA. The aroma is very fruity and citrusy. I will be taking this beer with me next time I go on water!

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SweetWater Hash Session IPA  

Another awesome session IPA.  SweetWater became available in Little Rock a few months back, and it has been flying off the shelves since. This 15-pack arrived just in time for summer! Very aromatic with fruit and citrus. At 4.2% ABV, this is another great pool or lake beer!

FLOATING ALONG WITH GREAT RAFT BEER

By Josh Liddy

Colonial had the pleasure of hosting Great Raft from Shreveport, Louisiana, for a tasting to showcase the release of their seasonal double IPA, Grace and Grit. Lucky for us, we got to try this beer two days after it was packaged; it was incredibly fresh. It was a fantastic beer! So good, in fact, that we sold out during the tasting!  (Never miss another Tasting Event; sign up for our e-newsletter on our home page.) The citrus was very prevalent on the nose and equally so on the taste. The bitterness was perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the honey malt. This beer was a 10/10 for me and is probably one of my new favorite double IPAs.

If double IPAs aren't your thing, why not grab one of their awesome year-round brews? Their session pale lager, the Southern Drawl, is a great warm-weather pick. An easy drinking, German style lager that will go along perfectly with a day at the pool. 

Their Commotion APA is a great American pale ale. On the nose, you get a heavy fruit aroma, and in that first sip you get a refreshing hint of grapefruit and citrus.

Lastly, the Reasonably Corrupt black lager is a great dark malt lager. Don't let the color put you off, this black lager is sweeter than you'd think! A very easy and accessible black lager perfect for your weekend BBQ.

Click to see what we've got at the Growler Station this week!

Click to see what we've got at the Growler Station this week!

SWEETWATER BREWING ARRIVES IN LITTLE ROCK

By Josh Liddy

THIS JUST IN!
SweetWater Brewing from Atlanta has made its way to Little Rock! SweetWater was founded in 1996 and has been going strong ever since; earning over 20 different awards during their 21 years of brewing. We currently offer five of their fantastic brews. 

SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale is a great west coast style pale.
The use of centennial and cascade hops give it a nice, crisp, citrus flavor.

If you're looking for something a bit heavier, their IPA is a great choice. This IPA is dry-hopped and unfiltered, leaving all the natural flavors intact making it a very tasty beer.

However, if you want great flavor and low ABV, their Hash Session IPA is a great alternative.
Low on the malts and loaded with five different hops, gives this session IPA a great flavor profile.

With spring and summer quickly approaching, Goin' Coastal IPA with pineapple is a great choice!
Fruity and hoppy, this will be a great beer to take to the lake or pool.

Last, but most certainly not least, their seasonal release Grass Monkey is a hoppy wheat ale with lemongrass. A great flavor profile that gives you a piney and lemony taste, along with the citrus of the hops.

Come on by and pick up a six pack or one of the variety twelve packs today!

STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.

By Dylan Whitsett

There are so many craft breweries out there, and it's a tragic fact of human nature that once we find something we like, we are loathe to step out of our comfort zone to try something new.  A byproduct of this means that a great many excellent breweries get lost on the shelf, never to be picked up. Well dear readers, I'm here to shine some light on three breweries that don't get the love they deserve and to encourage you to give them a try.

3. Sudwerk

"We choose to brew lagers not because they are easy, but because they are hard."  This is the attitude that defines Sudwerk -- hard work and dedication to their craft. They are also determined to undo the damage done by Macro brews to the reputation of the noble lager. Sudwerk just werks!

2. Piney River

Piney River is the lovechild of two home-brewers who made it to the big time. Joleen and Brian Durham turned their old, rundown barn into an open and inviting brewery and taproom that they dubbed The BARn.  Made in the Ozarks, these brews are full of Southern charm!

1. Caldera

Caldera was the first west coast craft brewery to can instead of bottle. They are VERY focused on being as green as possible, showing that civic pride and responsibility can go hand-in-hand with drinking a few brewskies.

There you have it folks! Three breweries that (in my humble opinion) do not get the praise they deserve. Come by any Tuesday and take advantage of Tuesday Brewsday to get 10% off! 

Some restrictions may apply. See a Celebration Specialist for details. 

Some restrictions may apply. See a Celebration Specialist for details. 

BELGIAN BARREL AGED GULDEN DRAAK – THE BELGIAN BEAST!

By Dylan Whitsett

I've learned over the years that Belgian beers are my real favorite in the beer world. The Gulden Draak is consistently among my top 3 picks. So imagine my delight when I discovered they make a whiskey-barrel aged version!

The barrel aging takes this animal of a beer and turns it into a true mythical beast. The beast has very fruity aromas, strongly reminiscent of apples, with that classic Belgian yeasty goodness that I love so well. There are strong notes of toffee, caramel, and nice tingly spiciness throughout. What strikes me most about this beer is how insanely creamy it is! At an ABV of 10.5, and in a 750 ml bottle, this is a beer to sit down and have a long conversation with. 

$18.99 a bottle, but if you come in on Brewsday Tuesday, you'll enjoy a 10% discount on Gulden Draak and all other craft beers.

Celebrate more friends!

ARKANSAS BIDS FAREWELL TO A TITAN

By Colin Maxwell

The world of craft beer is in constant flux.  As competition becomes increasingly stiffer, and as breweries young and old, big and small find themselves stretched beyond their capacity to supply these ever-emerging new markets, even some of the largest players have begun to feel the pinch.  Often for a new brewery to rise, another must inevitably fall.  And so it is with heavy hearts that we must announce the departure of the venerable Summit Brewing from the Arkansas market.  The St. Paul, Minnesota brewery, having seen their growth in steady decline nationwide during recent months, has chosen to pull back and focus on their home market. 

Summit is a brand that we at Colonial Wines and Spirits supported from the moment they landed.  We lauded them for both their dependability and their innovation.  Saga IPA, among others, became a staple in the homes of many a Colonial employee.  The good folks at Summit, for their part, were always appreciative of Arkansas and the business we did for them here, never taking our fair state for granted while we consistently outsold some of our neighboring states with the brand.  And while we are certainly sad to see Summit go, as we have been for so many others, we would also like to thank them for providing us with some of our favorite beers during their time here in Arkansas, and to wish them well in the coming years, whatever they may bring.  

However, every story should have a silver lining and, though ours is bittersweet, we are happy to announce that, for now, there is still plenty of Saga IPA and Extra Pale Ale available, and that Colonial Wines and Spirits would like to celebrate the brewery’s time in Arkansas by offering some unbeatable sales on our entire remaining inventory of Summit beer.  

Until the moment they’re gone, all 6 packs of Summit Extra Pale Ale and Saga IPA will be featured in our store for $6.99, while 12 packs of Summit Saga IPA will be discounted to $11.99.  Please join us in bidding a fond farewell to these titans of beer as they begin their next journey. 

Thanks again, Summit.  We’ll see you around.

THE 'PUMPKING' OF BEERS!

It's fall folks, and that means pumpkin spice is a fact of life. Rather than resist, why not enjoy the ride with this list of my top 3 pumpkin beers!

3. New Belgium Pumpkick! Slides in at #3. The Pumpkick is a solid pumpkin brew that I enjoy quite well and at a nice price of $9.39.

2. O'Fallon Pumpkin Patch Mix Pack!  This is excellent! Four different varieties of pumpkin beer: Vanilla, Pumpkin Cream Ale, Apple Cinnamon and Pumpkin Peach! On sale for $16.99.

1.  Schlafly Pumpkin! This is my favorite pumpkin beer...the Pumpking if you will. Coming in at the reasonable price of $11.39, this is truly liquid pumpkin pie. 

There you have it folks, my 3 favorite pumpkin beers here at Colonial, so come in and let us help you Celebrate More!

Cheers!

Dylan

ALE AND LAGER - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

By Dylan Whitsett

A common question for beer is --  "What is the difference between Ales and Lagers?"

The easiest answer is that Ales are top-fermented at warmer temperatures, while lagers are bottom-fermented at cooler temperatures. 

This means that ales tend to be more aromatic, have more nuanced and complex flavors, and include such styles such as IPAs, Tripels, Porters and Stouts. Lagers, on the other hand, tend to be smoother, more crisp, more highly carbonated, and show a more subtle flavor. Beers in this style include Pilsners, American Adjunct Lagers and Bocks.

These are general guidelines, but there are always exceptions and complications in the world of beers. 

Colonial's staff is passionate about all beer styles.  Stop by and let's continue the conversation.

Celebrate More!  And always Celebrate Responsibly.

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