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Rapp's Barren Brewing Company is named after one of the original names for the Mountain Home area. DEAN CURTIS FOR LIVING WELL


Arkansas Beer Industry


While the industry in Arkansas is smaller than most, it is fast growing. In 2011, there were six craft breweries in Arkansas, and that number grew to 28 in 2016 (latest numbers avail- able).


Number of craft breweries: 28 Ranks 38 in the U.S.


Number of Barrels Produced: 35,846 Economic impact: $406 million Source: Brewers Association


we thought we could be in brick and mortar. It turned into less than a 1 year,” Tucker said. Despite being the first, Gordon said


they knew there was a pocket of beer en- thusiasts who would help support them, plus tourists and transplants to the area. The response has been overwhelm-


ing.


As soon as they opened, they were behind. Already they are shopping for new equipment to grow and expand. “It’s been quite a ride. It has exceeded our expectations by a long shot. We started as one barrel system. That means that to keep up with demand, we are brewing three to four times a week which is pretty laborious,” said Russell. With the planned expansion, they


will go to a four barrel system, more seating and add cold space. Had they


18 ❚ MAY/JUNE 2018 ❚ LIVING WELL


had an inclination the brewery would be so popular, they would have started big- ger, said Russell. They recently hired a part-time brew-


er to help out. Both men hold down full time jobs —


Russell works for a utility company, and Gordon is a licensed counselor with a private practice — so the brewery has limited hours.


It is only open on Fridays and Satur-


days, but the men hope that will change one day. There are 10 beers on tap; usually two


or three of those are rotating beers and the rest are flagships. There are no televisions because it


was designed to feel more like an Irish pub.


“We want it to be a place to gather, to celebrate friendships and relationships,


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