Monday, October 31, 2016

Shop The Freckled Frog and Support Arkansas
Artisans - Everything in the Shop Is Made Here

    Start your holiday shopping at The Freckled Frog, the delightful downtown shop that sells handcrafted items made exclusively by Arkansans.
    Sadie Nuffer, owner of the shop, said she has lots of new handicrafts perfect for gift giving.
     The shop has beautiful flame-painted copper jewelry by Miriam Quagliato, owner of The Gypsy Phoenix.  She makes her colorful designs on copper with heat from a torch.
     “We have coin rings made out of coins from different countries,” Ms. Nuffer said.  “I’ve seen these done before, but not this nice.  These are made by Gary Higgins of Alexander.”
     Larry Witherspoon of El Dubya Pottery creates some amazing pieces that look like museum art but function like your everyday dishes; they are dishwasher and microwave safe.  If you have a very special person on your list, a piece of pottery from Mr. Witherspoon would make a unique and functional gift. 
     The Freckled Frog carries a wide variety of t-shirts, many with Arkansas themes.  One of the youngest entrepreneurs is Kate Walters, 17, a senior at Central High School.  Ms. Walters started out selling her cat collars and other designs at the shop when she was only 10.  Now, she designs and cuts her own screens and prints her own t-shirts. 
    The shop has shirts from Hillcrest Water Bugs, the original maker of the “y’all” tees, and clothing lines from Homegrown Arkansas and Nativ.  It offers shirts by Tiffany O’Brien’s The Eccentric Dose, which are Arkansas themed. 
    Sadie said the shop’s location at 419 President Clinton Avenue has worked out well.
     “It’s really good.  We get tons of foot traffic.  We get people from all over the world, and it’s really fun to show off a good part of Arkansas.  We have lots of creative people around here.”
    The shop carries the work of about 70 Arkansas artisans.  
     Among them is Sadie’s sister, Rose Nuffer, who makes very fine leather journals.  Rose also gives free herbal classes every other Sunday at the shop. 
     The Freckled Frog has a great line of soaps, lotions and candles.
     “We have the most amazing candles ever.  They are made just for us.  They burn absolutely clean, they have an extremely long burn time, and they smell the same all the way to the bottom,” Sadie said. 
     The shop specializes in jewelry, with many pieces as low as $3.  Sadie makes a lot of the jewelry, much of which incorporates Arkansas quartz crystals. The shop offers framed art prints, scarves, hats, fingerless gloves and all manner of inexpensive, clever stocking stuffers.
     Don’t forget to pick up a copy of “Goodnight Little Rock” by Emily Wyatt and featuring fantastic illustrations by Nathaniel Dailey.
    Gift wrap is free at the Frog.  514-2060.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Little Rock Brewery

The Buffalo Brewing Company 


Owner Nolen Buffalo, customer Claire Carothers of Sheridan, freelance brewer Andrew Teague, Buffalo Brewing manager and brewer Jack Higgins, customers Kimberly and Jerje Stoneman of Little Rock 

     Nolen Buffalo, owner of The Water Buffalo, has opened The Buffalo
Brewing Company as a great new extension of his store at 106 South Rodney Parham.
     His brewing company will make small batch beers and focus on about 
four different ones to begin with, Mr. Buffalo said.
     Other breweries in town have been excited to join in this new effort, he said.
      “We will have a bunch of different varieties with 12 different breweries represented.  We will have 16 taps represented to start with.”
     Among Buffalo Brewing’s beers is a red ale, a signature beer, which will be on tap regularly.
    “When it  gets colder, we’ll have a chocolate stout, an oatmeal stout and a pineapple wheat. 
   “The beer I am most excited about is Raspberry Honey Cream Ale.
We serve that at festivals, and it is always very popular.”
     The honey that is used in the making of the beer is made by bees
who feed on raspberry flowers. 
    “Every time bees are making honey, they bring back a little bit of that flower taste, a hint.  As the beer is fermenting, the sugar ferments out, and the honey flavor is left over with a little bit of raspberry.
      “It has raspberry color, raspberry tartness.  We put real raspberries on top right before we are ready to carbonate the beer. It’s pretty to look at, easy to drink.”
 A Beer By the People, For the People   
  Then there is the pale ale Nolen and his crew are “building by popular opinion.”
     They are starting off with a 5 percent pale ale, relatively hoppy and a reddish color. Then they are going to let the public decide whether to use a different hop, for example, or to make it lighter or darker, or with more or less alcohol.
     “We are going to build that beer to specifications, let the people decide - a beer for the people, by the people.”
      Nolen has been making beer for about 20 years as a home brewer.  As a professional brewer, this is relatively new territory for him.
     The brewery is an extension of The Water Buffalo store, which carries a wide variety of beer and wine making supplies.  It has lot of malted barleys, a variety of hops, and yeasts. It offers beer making kits, all the utensils and gadgets needed to make beer, and teaches lots of classes to both budding and experienced home brewers. 
      “This is an opportunity for us to show how to improve the quality of their home brew. It can expand someone’s palette, compare what they already made or want to make with a known quality product, and help provide a direction for where they want to go.
      Buffalo Brewing will not distribute its beer.  It will be make in small batches that Nolen expects to sell quickly.
     Folks are welcome to bring their own food, stay and watch a game or socialize.  Later, Nolen plans to provide a few snacks.
     “We will sell samples, pints and growlers to go,” he said. (A growler is about a half gallon.)
      “I am expecting brisk Sunday sales.”
     Nolan has had a very positive reaction from other area brewers.
    “The brew community is a very tight community. Everybody is excited about it.”
     Nolan wants other brewers’ beers on tap.  In addition to the arrangement with the initial 12 brewers, others want their beers on tap in midtown too and are going to produce more than usual so they can. 
 It will be nice chance for folks in the community to find quality brews in midtown, he said.
    “I want their beer on tap.  We have a saying (in the brew community), ’No crap on tap.’ It’s all good beer, small batch, craft beer.” 
      Buffalo Brewing will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays (hours later to be extended), and most likely hours for Sunday are noon to 7 p.m.

     For more information, call 725-5296, email or visit