International Beer Day serves as a great excuse to take in local beer

Today is International Beer Day. This weekend, look no further than Little Rock for a smattering of good beers to help you revel. Diamond Bear, Stone’s Throw Brewing and Vino’s all have beer for even the pickiest palates.

LOCAL BREW - A chilly pint of Firehouse Pale Ale from Vino's Microbrewery. From Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

LOCAL BREW – A chilly pint of Firehouse Pale Ale from Vino’s Microbrewery.
From Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

First things first, Vino’s started crafting brews in ’93 when they started calling themselves a brewpub. Their most popular beer is their Firehouse Pale Ale. IPAs have seen resurgence in recent years as craft breweries are taking up the task of making hoppy beers, but this beer doesn’t bombard mouths with unmitigated hops. Instead this subtle brew uses light, pungent flavors to fill gaps left by the hops. While you’re out, you might as well get one of their pizzas, too.

1/16/14 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON Little Rock brewed beer flowing from the taps Thursday at Stone's Throw Brewing.

1/16/14
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON
Little Rock brewed beer flowing from the taps at Stone’s Throw Brewing.

Stone’s Throw is a year old Saturday and they’re celebrating with their Block on Rock Birthday Bash. Beer lovers will be remiss if they don’t go visit this brewery and watering hole. The local, craft brews on tap vary widely, and brewmasters often infuse beers behind the counter. One time they took to infusing hops into an IPA, to my delight. The block party will have food trucks, vendors and live music. 

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/JOHN SYKES JR.  - Russ Melton of Diamond Bear brewing.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/JOHN SYKES JR. – Russ Melton of Diamond Bear brewing.

Diamond Bear started brewing in 2000 and they distribute to many local stores. But if you want to go to the source, they just opened a restaurant. The Arkansas Ale House complements the brewery’s tours nicely, giving tourists a place to sit and enjoy the beer with traditional fare. The Presidential IPA and the Diamond Bear Pale Ale are my favorites, but they just started canning their Southern Blonde, and the Irish Red is nothing to sneeze at. If you’re in North Little Rock or downtown, don’t hesitate to go check out the dining room that allows clear view of the brewery.

Check out the descriptions on the websites and find something you think you’ll enjoy. This worthy holiday shouldn’t go without celebration in such a great metro area for beer.