Courtesy Moody Brews
There was big news in the Arkansas brewing community this morning as word emerged that Little Rock brewer Josiah Moody has accepted the head brewing position at Bike Rack Brewing Co. in Bentonville. The popular Bentonville brewery will soon move to a new space at 8th Street Market, and will expand brewing capacity significantly with the addition of a new 20-barrel brewhouse and several 60-barrel fermenters.
Photo by Arshia Khan
Moody might be familiar to Northwest Arkansas beer drinkers through his label Moody Brews. In 2014 he contracted with Choc Brewing Company in Krebs, Oklahoma to produce bottles of Half Seas Over (an imperial IPA) and Sixes and Sevens (a Belgian dark ale). Both were well regarded by Arkansas beer drinkers and could be found here in Northwest Arkansas. He collaborated with Apple Blossom Brewing Co. on a beer called Earl Grey ESB, and it was met with an enthusiastic response as well. Moody recently returned to Vino’s – the legendary Little Rock brewpub that gave him his start in the beer industry – and is brewing occasional batches there under the Moody Brews name.
This looks to be a big win for Bike Rack as it prepares to move to its new location next month. The brewery will share space with the new culinary school associated with the Northwest Arkansas Community College, which starts classes on Monday. The brewery’s old location on SW A Street will live on as a small-batch pilot brewery and taproom. The plan is to use it as a place to experiment and play around with new recipes and ingredients.
“Being near the culinary school, we’re going to be very interested in working with food pairings and partnering with local chefs,” said Bike Rack co-owner Jeff Charlson.
Moody should be a good match for this vision as he has a solid track record of experimentation and possesses a bent towards good food. He has worked extensively with Dunbar Community Garden to incorporate local ingredients into his beer, such as a wild yeast strain obtained from the garden for his farmhouse ales. A recent batch was brewed using 50 pounds of pluots (an apricot-plum hybrid), also obtained from Dunbar.
Moody will also be a great fit for the big system based on several years of experience and the many, many batches under his belt. He starts this new chapter as an established and well-respected part of the Arkansas brewing community. Moody should arrive around the first week of February as he moves his family from Little Rock to the Bella Vista area. Bike Rack is planning for a soft opening at its new location in mid- to late-March.