Diamond Bear is Little Rock's first production brewing company in more than 15 years. It was started in September of 2000. Russ Melton, one of the founders of Diamond Bear, served in the military in Germany for four years where he learned a lot about beer. Diamond Bear uses some of those European brewing methods, and all beers are brewed in accordance with the German Beer Purity Law of 1516. The German Beer Purity Law of 1516 states beers only contain contain only barley, hops, water, and yeast. They use no chemicals or additives in any brew.
The name comes from the famous diamond mine in Murfreesburo and the fact that Arkansas was once known as the Bear State.
Most of the bars in the River Market
stock Diamond Bear, including the Flying Saucer. You can also find it in bars and retail stores around the state and in some neighboring states.
Their main beers consist of Honey Weiss and Southern Blonde (lagers), Irish Red, Pale Ale, Paradise Porter, Presidential IPA and Rocktoberfest (ales). They also have some special seasonal brews and a root beer.
You can buy kegs and packaged products at their location. I understand they are the only place in Little Rock where you can buy packaged beer on Sundays.
Where to Visit:
Tours are held on Saturdays and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Tours offer samples of beer for those over 21 and root beer for those under 21. They will also arrange group tours. Tours are $7 and include a free Diamond Bear pint glass.
The tour shows you how the distillery makes their different products, starting from the grain. They also teach you the differences between the spirits made at the Rock City and where the processes vary. They tour lasts about an hour.
At the end of the tour you'll have a chance to sample the products.
Call 501-708-2739 for more information. You can also visit their website and blog
Other Tasting Opportunities:
If you're looking to tour other establishments like Diamond Bear, Rock Town Distillery
is a the first legal distillery in Arkansas since prohibition. They give tours on Saturdays. Some local liquor stores sell their merchandise. Altus, Arkansas
is famous for the vineyards and wineries in the area. There are about half a dozen wineries in Altus that give tours and tastings. You can find Arkansas wine in most of the liquor stores around the state.