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.
Along 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.
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., Saturdaynoon - 10 p.m., and Sunday1 - 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 bikerackbrewing.com.
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.