Brewery, distillery using Natural State resources to make splash
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
Sippin' suds and spirits is starting to have more of an Arkansas flavor .
Two Little Rock based are brands poppin' the top in their respective industries.
Arkansas is well-known for crops and agriculture, but its new growth of a few liquid products isn't only opening eyes in our state, but also around the nation.
Start-up beverage companies DiamondBear Brewing Company and Rock Town Distillery, are turning the city into a well known spot for making adult beverages.
"It was a record year for us," said John Melton with DiamondBear.
DiamondBear reported most beer brands saw an average increase in sales of around one-percent last year, while its product grew by 12 percent. Total sales were up more than 30 percent.
"The fact that we've won awards at world competitions, and national competitions also helps. It gets some eyebrows raised and some interest," Melton added.
Meanwhile in a different category of adult beverages, Rock Town said its sales were up an incredible 300 percent from this time last year.
"We've just expanded into Florida and Georgia, and we're about to head into Texas and Louisiana next," said the company's founder, Phil Brandon. "After those states are complete we'll be in 11 states besides Arkansas."
Another interesting thing about both brands is they're Arkansas to the root. Both boast using all Natural State ingredients to make their tasty products.
Even as they bring national and international success back to their home state, company representative know the brands have come a long way to get here.
"I got laid off in 2009, started this in 2010," Brandon added.
"We started out with vodka and gin, we've since then expanded into our new products over the last couple of years. It's taken a lot of hard work and hours, but we're slowly starting to see the results."
Meanwhile, DiamondBear said the only thing holding it back now is the brewery's lack of space. It said with more space, it expects a larger sales margin.
"We need to move to a bigger facility because we physically cannot put anymore tanks in this building," Melton said. "We just need more floor space for more tanks. More tanks, more beer."