Jason Kindall and Brian Duncan / Photo by Matt Faries
For the past several years a vintage Volkswagen van known as “Vanny” has been transporting beer drinkers across Northwest Arkansas in pursuit of the perfect pint. Owners Dustin and Lora Murphy opened their beer tour business Hogshead Tours in the summer of 2014 – just as the local beer industry was catching fire. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen, and that’s kind of the excitement of it all,” Lora Murphy said at the time.
The response to Hogshead Tours was in fact tremendous. The ubiquitous green van became quite an ambassador for the Fayetteville Ale Trail. It picked up clients and offered unique views into the many breweries that dot the Northwest Arkansas landscape. The wheels of the bus were in perpetual motion it seemed.
The Murphys eventually branched out to offer wine and cider tours, farm and food tours, and tours built around big music events at the Walmart AMP. This writer had a particularly good time taking Vanny to the Dave Matthews concert in May 2015, with a pre-show stop at the Core pub in Rogers. A ride to and from the show with a flight of beer was money well spent.
It came as a surprise when the Murphys announced this past December that they were closing their business. Fortunately, Hogshead driver Jason Kindall immediately expressed interest in taking over. He contacted his good friend Brian Duncan and the pair agreed to become partners. They share a love for vintage motorcycles and cars, and have been enjoying good beer together for many years. Operating a beer tour business out of a vintage van seems to make perfect sense for the new owners.
The relaunch of Hogshead Tours is slated for Feb. 1. Kindall and Duncan promise expanded hours along with the same great experiences the Murphys were known to provide. “I get a lot of joy when I see a group of friends experiencing something they’ve never tried before, or when they engage in beer history on my tours,” Kindall said in a recent press release.