Brewery Name: Saddlebock Brewery
Location: Springdale, AR
Date of Visit: July 16, 2017
Beers Enjoyed: Hops and Vines, Irish Red, Imperial IPA, Hefeweizen, Java Stout, Maibock
The 4th brewery stop (but 1st review… up is down, left is right, everything is out of order here) on our back to back weekends of travel to Missouri, Saddlebock Brewery is always an interesting stop in the Fayetteville area. This is not our first trip to the brewery, but it has been almost a year since we last stopped by.
Compared to every other brewery that we’ve visited, Saddlebock’s location is unique. The road to the brewery is quiet and secluded and you feel like you are heading out into the middle of nowhere, with not much other than trees and a few farms up until the moment that you reach the entrance. Despite that, there have been good crowds there when we stopped by. The taproom/brewery is located in a large building made to look like a classic red barn and is surrounded by beautiful wilderness, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular stop.
Although they do not have a kitchen in the barn, they have the White River Cafe kitchen across the street, and they bring the food over to the brewery in trays. I’m not sure if this was due to space constraints or if it is for legal reasons, but the arrangement works fine and the food is great. Michelle got fries (she wanted cheese fries but they wouldn’t add cheese… strange since they have nachos) and I got spicy parmesan garlic wings. We shared some cheese curds (seriously… no cheese they could put on fries?) as well. The curds were delicious and we probably could have finished off a larger order of them without trouble. The wings had a surprising amount of spiciness for parmesan garlic, but they did say it was spicy and that’s fine with me. They were delicious.
I’ve tried a lot of their beer from when we visited the brewery before, so I made a point to get a flight of the few that I had not tried before. The first one I tried was the strangest of the day, their Hops and Vines. There was no description of the beer, so I didn’t know what it was supposed to be, but it tasted almost as much like wine as it did like a beer. Our server clarified that this is their blonde ale blended with wine. The result is interesting, but not one I would try again, as the wine took over. It’s an interesting idea, though, and I wonder how it would work with a bolder beer.
The Irish Red, Hefeweizen, and Java Stout were the next three. I wasn’t a big fan of the Irish Red, but the Hefeweizen and Java Stout were both solid representations of those styles. The one that stood out most to me, though, was the Maibock. It had a strong, sweet herbal/floral flavor that was very refreshing and is one of the best that I have had from the brewery. Finally, I had their Imperial IPA which is strong and sweet and overall a solid beer.
On the way out, I picked up my favorite Saddlebock beer, Winter Daze, in a bottle to go. I haven’t opened this bottle yet, but I previously reviewed the one that I picked up last time we visited the brewery and I can’t wait to have it again.
It’s a bit out of the way, but Saddlebock is a great stop that we highly recommend if you are in the Fayetteville area. The food is great, there are plenty of good beer choices, and the location is just fantastic, especially if the weather is nice enough to be outside.
Check out Michelle’s complete gallery here.