Searcy Brothers Crafting Earthly Skills
It started at a garage sale.
Scott Hall, 31, bought five “party pigs” for $5. The round bodies and snout on the reusable PET system would have cost about $40 retail, so he had saved money. Scott held onto the “party pigs” for a year before deciding to either use them or throw them out.
A party pig holds a sixth of a half-barrel keg of beer. Scott had bought five – not quite a keg’s worth. But his brother, 35-year-old Roger Hall, had a fermenter as well as experience in installing the forerunner to Vino’s current brewery system in 1993, two years after Arkansas legalized brewpubs in the state. And they both loved beer.
“It started with just ‘Let’s make a beer,’” Scott said. Following in the footsteps of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the only brothers of a Searcy family began homebrewing beer and wine in February 2003 with a little assistance from Fermentable’s owner Don Byrum. Scott used to drink Bud Light, but said he hasn’t bought beer to bring home since the brothers began brewing.
“There are probably 200-300 people brewing in Central Arkansas area who [homebrew] pretty regularly,” Byrum said. “We’re always willing and interested to talk to people if they want to come in. There’s a lot of service after the sale.”
“Gift from God”
Brewing came to Arkansas with German and Swiss immigrants, who used grapes and muscadines to make wine, Byrum said. A lot of Arkansans brew because of dry counties and conservative state laws, he said. Yes, homebrewing is legal. Continue reading