With the ever-expanding wave of central Arkansas craft breweries comes a new way to visit them without having to draw straws for designated driver. The Little Rock Brew Bus, driven by owner Donavan Dossett, will take its maiden voyage on Feb. 14, offering a ride through downtown to the city’s main breweries and beer bars. Here’s what you need to know:
1. This will be a “Hop On/Hop Off” experience
Saturday’s “soft opening” will start at 2 p.m. at Diamond Bear in North Little Rock. For $20 per person (cash or charge), you can get on board the 15-passenger van and be driven from the North Little Rock brewery in a circuit that includes Flying Saucer, Lost Forty, Blue Canoe, Stone’s Throw and Vino’s. There’s an option to stop at Rock Town Distillery as well. If you don’t get there at 2 p.m., it’s fine. You can jump on the bus as it circles back to Diamond Bear every hour. New groups will be picked up at 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Everything wraps up at 8 p.m., when all riders will be shuttled back to Diamond Bear.
2. You can move at your own pace
It works like this: Take the bus to your next location and drink there for as long as you like. The bus will be moving continuously between all six stops, and you can expect another ride to be available every hour. Start at 2 p.m. and hit all the stops, or skip to the three or four you really like. It’s up to you. A stamp on your hand will get you on and off the bus at your own pace.
3. They want you to sober up
Owner Donavan Dossett says a big part of his decision to start the brew bus came from the desire to offer a safe travel option for people wanting to drink at multiple breweries. That means he wants you to be safe when the tour is over, too. There’s a reason all tours end at Diamond Bear: The stop gives riders a chance to get a full meal in them and rest before getting back into their vehicles. Still feeling a buzz? Dossett will be happy to call a cab for you.
4. This won’t be their only offering
Saturday is a soft opening for the business, and the team expects to run a similar service on most Saturdays. They also have plans to offer transportation to the Hot Springs Craft Beer Festival and during Little Rock’s Foam Fest. Possible future events include trips to Memphis and beyond.
5. They are all about social media connections