Meet the growing number of alumni who are tapping into the craft beer movement
The first thing I notice about Lost Forty Brewing is its size. Although technically a microbrewery, everything about the operation is big. Towering over its entrance, in a former warehouse district just east of Little Rock’s River Market, is an enormous grain silo that holds the 48,000 pounds of malt that will be used to produce some 3,000 barrels of beer this year. The day it opened last December, Lost Forty because one of the biggest breweries in the state and one of the most talked-about dining venues in the city.
Although new to brewing, co-owner John Beachboard ’01 has been a big name in central Arkansas food and business circles for years. He and partners Scott McGehee and Russ McDonough would seem to have a Midas touch, having rolled out one hit restaurant after another: ZaZa in 2008, Big Orange in 2011, followed by Local Lime in 2012. Now the trio, who joined with businessman and “serial entrepreneur” Albert Braunfisch ’86 on this venture, are making a big splash on Arkansas’s burgeoning brew scene.
But Beachboard and Braunfisch are just the latest among a growing number of Hendrix College grads who are ridding the tidal wave of craft beer that is washing over the state: including Evan McDonald ’03 in Fayetteville, and Ian Beard ’02, Patrick Cowan ’03, and Ida Mehdizadegan Cowan ’05 in Little Rock. So what’s causing all this brew-ha-ha?
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