Where the Buffalo roam.
You can add another likely entrant to the craft brewery lineup in Little Rock: Nolen Buffalo's Buffalo Brewing Co.
Buffalo is the founder and owner of the Water Buffalo, a retailer of supplies for hobby beer and winemakers, cheese makers and specialty gardeners (think hydroponic) at 106 S. Rodney Parham Road.
The Water Buffalo opened Nov. 1,2014, and Buffalo Brewing is an outgrowth of the store.
"We sell to hobby beer and winemakers all over the area, and we also help the breweries fill in the gaps whenever they are a little short on an ingredient or a supply of some sort," Buffalo said. "And because we already had all these relationships, and because we already had all the materials, we decided to take advantage of some of our square footage."
He's added a building behind the store that will serve as the brewery, and he's developing a taproom inside the store.
The store/brewery will offer about 20 beers on tap. "Some will be ours and the rest will be from all the local brewers in the area."
In addition, Buffalo Brewing will make its facility available to "some of these more accomplished home brewers," Buffalo said, allowing them "to come into our brewery and guest brew so that we can put their beer on tap. It's not the brewer that's certified; it's the brewery. And as long as we're overseeing and we're doing everything in accordance with the law and Health Department standards, then we can have a guest brewer come in and make a beer."
If he gets approval from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, Buffalo hopes to have the brewery up and running around Labor Day.
"I got into making beer and wine about 20 years ago," said Buffalo, who grew up in Little Rock and is a Catholic High grad.
"I got into indoor gardening and hydroponic gardening at about the same time. My hobbies just kind of got out of control, and so this is what I wound up with."
And because this is our Banking & Finance issue, Whispers will note that Buffalo gratefully credits Bank of the Ozarks for providing the majority of the funding to open the Water Buffalo. Savings and family help provided the rest. Said Buffalo: "I'm a very satisfied Bank of the Ozarks customer."