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NWA Schools Best in State

Finding a house can be hard. Finding a house in a good school district is even harder. It may be true in other places but that is definitely not the case for Northwest Arkansas. U.S. News & World Report's annual high school rankings list has 7 Northwest Arkansas schools ranked in the top 10 in the state. Coming in at number 1 was Haas Hall Academy, a charter school based in Fayetteville. The rankings are a combination of several key factors including: College Readiness, AP tests taken, AP tests passed, math profenciancy & english profenciancy. The grades are then averaged out to provide a national and state ranking. Below we have listed the Northwest Arkansas schools that made the top 10!


Haas Hall Academy

Fayetteville, AR | Haas Hall Academy

 #1 in Arkansas Rankings | #60 in National Rankings

Haas Hall Academy is ranked 1st within Arkansas. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Haas Hall Academy is 100 percent. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 18 percent. Haas Hall Academy is the only high school in the Haas Hall Academy.

Arkansas Arts Academy High

Rogers, AR | Benton County School Of Arts

 #2 in Arkansas Rankings | #576 in National Rankings

Arkansas Arts Academy High is ranked 2nd within Arkansas. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Arkansas Arts Academy High is 65 percent. The student body makeup is 34 percent male and 66 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 20 percent. Arkansas Arts Academy High is the only high school in the Benton County School Of Arts.

Rogers High School

Rogers, AR | Rogers School District

 #4 in Arkansas Rankings | #859 in National Rankings

Rogers High School is ranked 4th within Arkansas. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Rogers High School is 73 percent. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 49 percent. Rogers High School is 1 of 3 high schools in the Rogers School District.more

Bentonville High School

Bentonville, AR | Bentonville School District

 #5 in Arkansas Rankings | #984 in National Rankings

Bentonville High School is ranked 5th within Arkansas. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Bentonville High School is 61 percent. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 26 percent. Bentonville High School is the only high school in the Bentonville School District.

Prairie Grove High School

Prairie Grove, AR | Prairie Grove School District

 #7 in Arkansas Rankings | #1116 in National Rankings

Prairie Grove High School is ranked 7th within Arkansas. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Prairie Grove High School is 78 percent. The student body makeup is 54 percent male and 46 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 6 percent. Prairie Grove High School is the only high school in the Prairie Grove School District.

Fayetteville High School East

Fayetteville, AR | Fayetteville School District

 #8 in Arkansas Rankings | #1156 in National Rankings

Fayetteville High School East is ranked 8th within Arkansas. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Fayetteville High School East is 53 percent. The student body makeup is 52 percent male and 48 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 27 percent. Fayetteville High School East is the only high school in the Fayetteville School District.

Rogers Heritage High School

Rogers, AR | Rogers School District

 #10 in Arkansas Rankings | #1508 in National Rankings

Rogers Heritage High School is ranked 10th within Arkansas. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Rogers Heritage High School is 61 percent. The student body makeup is 49 percent male and 51 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 49 percent. Rogers Heritage High School is 1 of 3 high schools in the Rogers School District.


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21c Bentonville One of Best in US

21c Museum Hotel's Bentonville location has recently been named as the one of "The Top 15 City Hotels in the Continental United States" by The Bentonville hotel ranked eighth in the country with a score of 94.95. According to Travel and Leisure, "Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value." Bentonville wasn't the only 21c property to make the list, the Oklahoma City location came in at #3 with a score of 95.77. The Bentonville 21c, which opened in 2013, features a 104 room hotel as well as 12,000 feet of museum exhibition space. The museum is free to the public and open 24 hours a day. Since its opening the museum hotel has been a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. The Hive a restaurant located within the hotel has also seen several write ups and awards since its opening. We are pleased to have such a wonderful establishment in our community to pair with Crystal Bridges. Their combined efforts have pushed Downtown Bentonville even further into the spotlight.


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Power of Music Festival Amps Up NWA

While much of the focus this week will be on the Bentonville Film Festival arriving to Downtown Bentonville, we aren't over a festival that just departed. The Power of Music Festival just wrapped up Saturday after putting on eighty shows in just three days.


The new Bike Rack Brewing building on 8th St served as one of the 8 stages for the festival (Photo credit: POM Festival)


As it goes with Bentonville, they put their own twist on the music festival genre. They didn't bring in the artists that sing your favorite songs you hear on the radio, they brought in the people who actually wrote them. Giving festival goers a unique insight into the meaning and inspiration behind some of the most popular songs from the past and today. Over fifty songwriters made their way to Northwest Arkansas to participate. The impressive lineup featured six Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members, the Billboard 2017 "Band to Watch", as well as alums from The Voice and America's Got Talent.


The Power of Music Festival brought in over 50 songwriters from across the country. (Photo credit: POM Festival)


The amount of artists these songsmiths have written for is impressive and varied. Some of these artists include: Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Chesney, Eric Clapton, & Garth Brooks. Brooks even Gave his time to help promote the event urging people in Northwest Arkansas to get out and take part in all the festivities.

Garth Brooks promotes the Power of Musical Festival and his movie The Last Songwriter


The best part of the whole event? It is a non-profit supporting the I'll Fly Away Foundation whose goal is to support music in local communities and improve lives through music. All said and done, the Power of Music Festival was a hit and we see it continuing to be a big success with Downtown Bentonville as its backdrop.

For more information on the Power of Music Festival please check out their website  or on their Facebook.

Make sure and visit the I'll Fly Away Foundation on their website:



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Lake Atalanta | New Beginnings

For many who’ve lived in the Northwest Arkansas area, and in particular, Rogers, Lake Atalanta was just a place to visit for the annual Halloween haunted house.  Fortunately, times have changed for the area known as Lake Atalanta, just east of downtown Rogers, and certainly the change has been dramatic and for the better.  The Lake Atalanta area and the park around it are set to become a destination site for Northwest Arkansas visitors and residents who are looking for an area surrounded by natural beauty and opportunities to enjoy a variety of outdoor fun activities.

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More than 50 years ago the Lake Atalanta area in Rogers was where  many went for miniature golf and fishing or to just enjoy the lake. Lake Atalanta was put on the back burner by many as the growth in Rogers went to the west side of the city.  But, like many things in life, what’s old is new again and such is the case for Lake Atalanta.

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 Closed completely for over a year in 2015, Lake Atalanta is ready to make its grand entrance again into the Northwest Arkansas area with a new look and new amenities for fun and relaxation.  Among the additions:

v  New concrete trails that circle the lake

v  New boardwalk ideal for fishing and strolling

v  Improved water quality for the lake as a result of dredging old sediment

v  New playgrounds for the young, and those who think young

v  The stream was remodeled  and is now ideal for cooling off on a warm summer day

v  Clark Pavilion was renovated and is ready for bookings of events

v  Addition of biking trails and a bike park

And that’s just the beginning for this beautiful and welcoming area east of downtown Rogers.

Here are also a few facts about the history of Lake Atalanta to share with new and returning visitors to the area:

v  Lake Atalanta is a reservoir

v  It was built in 1936 as part of the Works Progress Administration of President Franklin D.  Roosevelt

v  The area was named after Atalanta Gregory whose husband donated most of the land around the lake

v  The lake is surrounded by the second oldest park in Rogers

v  In 1948 and 1949 a pool and a miniature golf course were added.  The restaurant was added in the 1950’s.

v  Lake Atalanta was the water source for the city.

v  During a drought in the 1960’s Lake Atalanta was refilled by pumping water from Beaver Lake

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So there you have it.  Now just come back to the east side of Rogers and discover the gem that is Lake Atalanta and all of its new and wonderful opportunities for fun.


Check out all the pictures of the Grand Opening in the gallery below! 


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Downtown Bentonville Inc. | Driving Growth & Fun



Downtown Bentonville Inc's logo affixed to their office located at SW A Street

It was not long ago that Downtown Bentonville, Arkansas and particularly the Downtown Bentonville Square, was just a quiet neighborhood  where one could go and have a leisurely walk without much to do.  My, how times have changed. Today the Downtown Bentonville area and the Bentonville Square are vibrant and have become points of destination for many that want great entertainment, good food, and a variety of activities throughout the year. Much of this change came as a result of the magnificent Crystal Bridges of American Art. However one organization which has contributed tremendously to the success of  Downtown Bentonville and Square area, is Downtown Bentonville, Inc. or as many refer to is DBI.


Before many people wake up Friday mornings the DBI Team has been hard at work preparing the square for First Friday.

We wanted to know about DBI so we spoke to Monica Kumar, DBI Executive Director, who  along with her extremely capable and  dedicated staff, has worked hard  to make DBI a tremendous success. Monica and her staff are the people behind the scenes that put together activities that both locals and visitors have come to expect in the Downtown Bentonville. Monica informed us that DBI actually began as part of the Main Street Organization which preserves the histories of local downtowns. About six years ago it was decided that the DBI would be formed to find ways to bring entertainment to the area and  encourage business growth. At that time Daniel Hintz, with prior expertise in revitalizing downtowns, was hired as DBI Executive Director. Hintz is credited with initiating the First Friday events  and establishing a relationship with the James Beard Foundation with the goal of bringing experienced chefs and restaurants to the area.  And then there was the Crystal Bridges Museum………. The opening of the museum was the game changer and, according to Monica, really changed the caliber of events in downtown Bentonville.


Executive Director Monica Kumar helps unload tables on the square. On First Fridays it is "all hands on deck."

 DBI is a nonprofit organization  in charge organizing events at First Friday. First Friday events (held the first Friday of every month from April through November) require coordinating with vendors, food trucks, entertainment, traffic rerouting, among many other necessities.  The DBI staff plans all of this several months in advance and on the day of the event they get to work at 5:00 AM.  Funding for DBI comes from Visit Bentonville and the Chamber of Commerce.   All of these organizations realize the tremendous value in increasing the tourism dollars to this area. 


Corprate sponsers such as BOOMCHICKAPOP. (pictured above) help fund DBI's Downtown events.

 Additional funding and sponsorships come from Wal-Mart and corporate sponsors.  Since this is the home of Wal-Mart many of these corporations realize that becoming involved with DBI and its activities is a very positive way to further their own relationship with Wal-Mart.


Hundreds of NWA residents flock to the Bentonville Square to experience First Friday thanks to DBI's efforts.

As for Monica Kumar, she was not looking to get the job as DBI Executive Director, rather, the job found her.  A lawyer by profession, whose background was with human rights law and how community development affects its members, made her a natural to lead the DBI.  A DBI board member recognized her aptitude for this position and the rest, as they say, is history. Currently there are eight staff members at DBI. The hope is to get additional funding  to expand  the number of events. The DBI does have a board comprised of business and community leaders. The DBI Board reviews all programs at the beginning of each year. Furthermore DBI has a list of 200 members from the business community and many non profit members as well.  This list is ever growing. The Downtown Bentonville area has seen tremendous change and growth in the past several years due to many factors including the opening of Crystal Bridges and many new businesses in the area.  Added to that success is the hard work of Downtown Bentonville Inc, and its staff and director Monica Kumar. 


To learn more about Downtown Bentonville Inc visit their website:

Also check out more pictures from First Friday below!




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Northwest Arkansas Microbreweries | Saddlebock Brewery

Steve Rehbock, Owner of Saddlebock Brewing Co. | Published by Arkansas Green Guide 2015, photography by Karen E. Segrave Steve Rehbock, Owner of Saddlebock Brewing Co. | Published by Arkansas Green Guide 2015, photography by Karen E. Segrave

Owner of Saddlebock Brewery in Springdale, Steve Rehbock, was a home brewer 10 years ago when he noticed a trend hitting the country. Similar to the coffee explosion in the 1980's, the United States was beginning to buy and love craft beer. Since all of the large beer companies had sold to foreign investors, and the only way to get an American beer was local crafters, market projections showed continued growth for the industry. That's when Rehbock decided it was time to take his home brewing goals to a whole new level.
Now, Rehbock owns a successful brewing company that reaches throughout Arkansas, is taking on investors, opening a café, and continuing to expand production every year. We sat down with Rehbock to see what, besides great timing and an eye for business and great beer, made him a success.

What has made Saddlebock Brewery such a success for close to three years, while other brewery start-ups that opened the same time as you were not able to stay in business?

We started as a brewery to make beer. We didn't have a lot of profit goals, but we also wanted to have a business model. You have to understand what size brewery you need to be to stay in business. Some of the breweries also didn't treat their people and investors well, and we treat our people good here. In the end, it's about getting people to invest in your company, and then treating them right. Our location has helped us also. We're not quite in town. We're in the country, but not too far.

The Culture Trip


How far does Saddlebock beer travel these days, and when did you begin selling beyond Northwest Arkansas?

We now sell all over the state. We started distributing to central Arkansas a couple of years ago. We opened up a storage facility there and as our market grew into those other areas, we hired a distributor to take our beer everywhere but to Washington County, because we still deliver that ourselves.

How has the brewing process changed since you first opened to meet demands?


We are constantly adding equipment. When we started, we only had two good fermenter and four used ones. We sold the four used and now we have 16 fermenters, a bottling machine, a canning machine, a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse across the street from our tasting room so now we can buy packaged materials in bulk and keep our prices down. In the tasting room, we had to add more seating because we didn't expect so many people to come out. We didn't expect it to be as much of a destination as its turned out to be. I think we're just close enough and not too far, and we are on the river so people can float in. Because Arkansas is about 48th in craft beer in the country, we have a lot of room to grow. The Brewers Association monitors and runs studies to forecast nationwide craft beer sales -- nationally, craft beer makes up 10 percent of sales, while in Arkansas it only makes up 2 percent. That number is doubling every year in Arkansas.

What have you learned about being a success in the brewing business?

Number one is make a really good product. Don't sacrifice quality for anything. A lot more of the package goods are going to be drawing our sales. The cans and bottles available in liquor stores are going to be the big volume.
 [caption id="attachment_4955" align="aligncenter" width="605"]Courtesy Photo: Democratic Travelers Courtesy Photo: Democratic Travelers[/caption]

What's in store for Saddlebock's future?

We're changing gears a little bit, looking for a lot of growth. In the next couple of months, we're opening a corporation and taking on investors. We want to add a lot more fermenters and continue to grow. We're opening a café, because the most common request we have is for food. We have new creative drinks coming out, like a beer-wine blend. We're going to start going into more of the grain to glass. We grow hops but we're going to grow more hops, and also grapes to start making wines. We may be able to build a boat ramp because we back right up to the river.
Saddlebock Brewery is located in Springdale and is open Monday - Thursday 2 - 9 p.m., and Friday - Sunday noon - 9 p.m.You can buy merchandise, see more about their brewing operation and their newest ventures like their portable party barn by visiting their website at

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Northwest Arkansas Microbreweries | Bike Rack Brewing Co.

northwest arkansas beer

Bike Rack Brewing Co. held a big title in Northwest Arkansas when the owners opened its doors to an eager public in October 2014. As Bentonville's first small-scale brewery, there were a lot of expectations. Although now they're joined by at least one other craft beer company, they have created their own market and beers, making them a solid part of the NWA craft beer community.
"Before Bike Rack came into existence, we were just a bunch of home brewers supporting local biking events with a variety of styles [of beers] ... we've continued that tradition of catering to local enthusiasts and supporting growth in Bentonville and NWA through beer and cycling," explains co-owner Steve Outain.
Bike Rack BrewingAlong with four other owners, Outain and his partners combine bicycles and craft beer by supporting awareness of cycling events and activities. With a strategic location right off the growing Bentonville bike trail, Bike Rack is located within "The Hub," which is home to other bicycle-themed businesses, as well as the city's downtown association.

The five owners started as a small brew club, some of them co-workers, some neighbors, where one guy brewed and the rest of them wanted in. Like many home-brewers, once Outain started, he didn't want to stop. When he reached the point of brewing more than 20 gallons of beer each month, the group started hosting beer tastings. It was then they started thinking about opening their own brewery. When they got the chance to join The Hub in Bentonville's Arts District, they knew it was the perfect location for Bentonville's first brewery. Today the location offers bicyclers a place to come in off the trail and grab a cold  beer, and provides non-cycling patrons a relaxing, culturally-rich place to come after work.

 northwest arkansas beer
Because the owners work outside of the brewery, they hired Joe Zucca as their brewer. Zucca spent two years learning to brew at Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City. With Zucca's leadership in the brew house, Bike Rack has created a lineup of beers that include Fast IPA, Slaughter Pen Pale Ale, the Urban Trail Golden Ale, and Angus Chute American Stout, with Irish Ale and Farmhouse Ale on the future lineup. Outain said Bike Rack mainly focuses on American style beers so the four main ingredients can be found in the U.S. -- hops and malted barley from the Northwest, an American dry ale variety yeast, and, of course, water from NWA.
Besides making great craft beer in a strategic location, Bike Rack holds Bingo on Monday and trivia on Thursday, drawing in a multi-generational mix of beer and game lovers. They also have a front patio that lends itself to music events, featuring local and regional musicians. The tap room is open Monday through Wednesday from 5 - 10 p.m.,Thursday and Friday from 3 - 10 p.m., Saturday noon - 10 p.m., and Sunday 1 - 7 p.m. They're located in the Bentonville Arts District at 410 SW A St. For more information about Bike Rack, visit their website at
At Steve Fineberg & Associates, we are passionate about exploring, discovering and sharing the things that make Northwest Arkansas great. Join us during the month of October as we chat with people in our community who are passionate about the Northwest Arkansas craft beer culture. 

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Northwest Arkansas Microbreweries | Apple Blossom Brewing Company


According to the Northwest Arkansas Council, the region's craft beer production has grown 778 percent since 2011. This rising industry not only attracts tourists and young professionals, but also provides opportunities to entrepreneurs who are thirsty for new ventures.

Evan McDonald moved to Northwest Arkansas with plans to establish a brewery. Today he co-owns Apple Blossom Brewery in Fayetteville, one of 10 local microbreweries in Benton and Washington counties.

Before breaking into the local brewing scene, McDonald partnered with Sammie Stephenson, Joe Utsch and Al Schaffer to open Smoke & Barrel, a top-shelf whiskey bar and music venue on Dickson Street.

“This area has showed great support for local business and local beer makers,” McDonald told the City Wire in a 2013 interview. Apple Blossom’s head brewer Marcus Ward agrees, saying the Northwest Arkansas brewing culture is “all about community.”


Ward, who has been with Apple Blossom for a little over a year, began his professional brewing career at West Mountain Brewing Company with Andy Coates, who now owns Ozark Beer Company.

Long before Ward was a brewing professional, he experimented with home-brewing in college. His educational background in Civil Engineering also gave him skills for making beer.

“It’s a similar process to treating water – even the tanks are shaped the same way. It’s practically the same as brewing beer, there are only a few different steps,” he says.

The grains and yeast used in the beer recipe determine the flavor and complexity of the finished brew. Apple Blossom is fully-equipped with an on-site, from-scratch kitchen that toasts the malts and spices, and a pastry chef with an established sourdough yeast strain.

tripelsYou can find Apple Blossom brews at several area restaurants and bars, including their flagship restaurant on Zion Road. Although Apple Blossom beer is not sold at liquor stores, the brewery has just released a limited edition bottled series. The first run is a 22oz. bottle of Thai basil and grapefruit infused brew named The Trouble with Tripels.

“We don’t have a bottling line, so every one is hand poured,” Ward says. "There will be very small runs produced, probably less than a dozen cases per run."

If you don’t get a chance to try the limited edition series, you can always find house brews on tap at the Zion Road brewery.

For a staple beer, Ward suggests the APA, but says the seasonal Oktoberfest brew is also a winner.

As part of its passion for good brew and community, Apple Blossom collaborates with a local brewery each month for a special-release brew. Some of these local creations find a revival on the Apple Blossom menu.

Today’s draft menu features the inaugural collaboration between Apple Blossom and J.T. Wampler of Tanglewood Branch Brewing Co. -- The Nitro Applewood Smoked Belgian Stout. Described as a rich, dark brew with ‘a unique smoky caramel flavor…aged on organic cocoa nibs, Madagascar vanilla beans, and locally made blackberry’ this may be another beer to add to your sample list.

This month Apple Blossom is collaborating with West Mountain Brewing Company on a Double IPA that will be the second of a series.

At Steve Fineberg & Associates, we are passionate about exploring, discovering and sharing the things that make Northwest Arkansas great. Join us during the month of October as we chat with people in our community who are passionate about the Northwest Arkansas craft beer culture.



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Pedal it Forward NWA | Donating Bikes & Changing Lives

pedal it forward

Just south of Bella Vista Lake, a modest corrugate warehouse sits just off McNelly Road. On most days, the workshop and warehouse are nothing out of the ordinary, but on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings, the doors are wide open for volunteers and donors. In less than a year, volunteers at Pedal it Forward NWA have refurbished and donated hundreds of bikes to community members of all ages.

On a bright Saturday morning, co-founder David Tovey and his son Evan are hard at work repairing bikes and  reviewing distribution lists. Referencing the age, weight and height of each potential recipient, the team scours inventory and scavenges parts to find (or build) the perfect match.


A far cry from last year’s bare walls and empty rooms, the warehouse is now packed to the brim with bicycles, with some inventory spilling over onto the back porch. Whispering Song Trail runs just behind the warehouse. A creek bubbles alongside the path as cyclists breeze past. Despite the idyllic backdrop, Tovey says the long-term goal is to move the organization to a more urban location that will be more accessible to cyclists and the community at large.


But for now, location isn’t getting in the way of the non-profit’s success. The organization found early success in its initial Christmas donation drive, delivering 100 bikes to families in the local area. Since then, Pedal it Forward NWA has forged connections with “pedal partners” like Oakdale Middle School, Souls Harbor and the Boys and Girls Club.

In return for bikes, pedal partners need only identify a need or create a volunteer initiative to help connect community members with bikes. This allows people of all ages to access bikes for transportation, recreation and fitness.

“Our mission is to get a bike into the hands of anyone who needs one, regardless of their ability to pay,” Tovey says.

[caption id="attachment_4889" align="alignleft" width="250"]David Tovey, co-founder of Pedal it Forward NWA David Tovey, co-founder of Pedal it Forward NWA[/caption]

Pedal it Forward has also inspired veterans to participate in cycling. Partnering with the local VA, the organization has provided bicycles for veterans and their families. Mindi Littleton, recovery coordinator at the Veterans Health Care Center of the Ozarks, says donated bikes have gone to support veterans as a means of transportation, exercise and socialization.

In addition to helping veterans live fuller, healthier lives, Pedal it Forward NWA will also be providing equipment for a veteran cycling team in next year’s Golden Age Veterans Games. The event, which will be held next July, is exclusively for veterans ages 55 and over.

Pedal it Forward’s big goal for 2015 is to distribute 500 bikes to local partners, and with the holidays on the horizon, all donations and help are much appreciated. The organization is accepting volunteers of all skill levels. For more information visit

Warehouse & Workshop Location: 4302 NW Wishing Spring Rd, Bentonville, AR
Hours: Monday after 5:30 pm, Saturday 9-Noon


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Northwest Arkansas Microbreweries | Ozark Beer Co.

Starting a medium-scale brewing company in a competitive market may seem risky to some, but Business Manager Lacie Bray and Brewer Andy Coates of Ozark Beer Co. in Rogers are familiar with taking risks. Their story begins on a river in Colorado, where they started their journey together as rafting guides. Little did they know that same river would bring them to Arkansas, Bray's home state, where they'd be brewing their own craft beers.
Ozark Beer Co. is quickly growing in the Northwest Arkansas hospitality and restaurant industry, where patrons can't get enough of local flavor. Where virtually no local breweries existed just five years ago, Northwest Arkansas breweries bring in thousands of dollars in taxes, tourism and deliciously crafted beer to our region and state. As one of the newest  breweries to hit the local scene, Ozark Beer Co. is making its mark on the region with a community-centered mentality, a variety of craft beer favorites, and a modern twist on traditional Ozark character.
Ozark Beer Co. 3
Coates's brewing career started four years after their rafting ventures ended, when Coates and Bray found themselves in Denver. On the packaging line at Great Divide Brewing Co. for a modest wage and free beer, Coates learned the basics of beer distribution. It was then he realized he loved working in breweries. That, he thought, is where his future lied.
After a move to Chicago, Ill. and attending the American Brewers Guild in Vermont, he acquired an apprenticeship with Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Co. He was hired as a full-time brewer after his apprenticeship ended. It was within the walls of Goose Island that he learned the skills that prepared him to become a professional in the craft -- large scale production, cellar work, the finishing process, recipe development, barrel aging and sensory analysis.
When Coates and Bray finally decided they had acquired the skills necessary to create their own brews, they knew NWA was where they needed to be. Considering Arkansas' constantly growing industry and population, reasonable cost of living and resources available to start small-to-medium scale businesses, many brewers and entrepreneurs agree.
Their hard work on Ozark Beer Co. started in 2010 and today they distribute to bars, liquor stores and restaurants around the region, as well as sell growlers and to-go beer seven days a week from 1 - 5:30 p.m. at their Roger's location. On the weekends they open their tasting room, and on Sundays they offer music, BBQ and ice cream, bringing in beloved acts from the community and a few of their favorite local foods.
northwest arkansas beer
With how fast their reach has grown, the praise and overwhelming positive beer reviews they've received, OzarkBeer Co. feels confident in saying that "buying Ozark Beer is a deliberate choice to drink fresh, world class quality beer." Coates and Bray's customers are also proud to support a company that pays their employees a living wage and gives back to the community.
At their location in Rogers, in large warehouse style buildings, Ozark Beer co. brews original recipe beers, opens daily for beer purchases, and holds weekend open houses where patrons enjoy their beers, locally made ice cream, BBQ and the company of other beer lovers.
Breweries like Ozark Beer Co. also bring in revenue and a quality of life and community mindset that adds to the lively and independent spirit of the region. In 2011, $5,749 was collected in Washington and Benton counties from the $7.50 per-barrel tax. In 2014, breweries paid $50,478. In the first six months of 2015, eight breweries paid $33,238. Tourist attractions like the Fayetteville Ale Trail have brought in beer connoisseurs and a new generation of craft and now NWA lovers. The Ale Trail has handed out more than 30,000 trail passports since the program started just two years ago.
northwest arkansas beer
Ozark Beer Co. tasting room is open Friday, 1 - 6 p.m., Saturday, 1 - 7 p.m. and Sunday 2 - 6 p.m. For more information about Ozark Beer Co., visit their website at, or visit their location at 1700 S. First St. in Rogers.
At Steve Fineberg & Associates, we are passionate about exploring, discovering and sharing the things that make Northwest Arkansas great. Join us during the month of October as we chat with people in our community who are passionate about the Northwest Arkansas craft beer culture. 
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