Beer business booming in Little Rock as brewery expands

Blue Canoe brewing is expanding to east Little Rock.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The beer scene in Little Rock is getting a little bit bigger as another local brewery is expanding to the East Village.

Blue Canoe Brewing Company is opening up its Warehouse Saturday on East 15th Street.

"It's really just going to be a backyard barbeque vibe, but with craft beer," Blue Canoe Brand Rep Macie Fellow said. “We’re going to make it a really great place for everybody to come and hang out and get to know what we do and what we’re about.”

Blue Canoe already has a location downtown, but Fellow said the company wanted a place where they could experiment even more.

"We wanted to be in more of an industrial area because you don't find a lot of buildings like this you know in more of the downtown area,” she said.

The new warehouse includes a large outdoor space where people can play games and hang out on the lawn.

"It's just going to be a really relaxing place for everybody to hang out, bring dogs, kids," Fellow said.

The outdoor hangouts at breweries are becoming a trend nationwide, and can be seen in breweries in Memphis and Houston.

"I think sitting around next to a fire outside getting a cool breeze drinking a craft beer is pretty, pretty popular," Fellow said.

John Wells, or as he is known online, "John the Beer Snob," said the beer business is changing the East Village.

"Now with Blue Canoe coming over here, who else is going to come you never know. Turning out to be a great location for beer," Wells said.

He said it also helps make Little Rock a tourist destination.

"I think the thing we got going on here in Little Rock that is so cool is that people really do travel for beer. I mean, if we've got a nice collective of craft beer places, people will come in from out of town," Wells said.

But the booming beer business was not always like it is now in Central Arkansas.

"Lost Forty, Stones Throw and Diamond Bear have really kind of paved the way and started this whole kind of craft beer uprising," Fellow said.

With Blue Canoe's grand opening just around the corner, business is brewing in Little Rock.

"Not only do we have a good robust beer scene but we have a beer scene that's making really, really good beer," Wells said.

Blue Canoe Brewing’s Warehouse grand opening is Saturday from 12-4 p.m. The owners promise games, live music and of course, craft beer.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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