There is always a reason to raise your glass in Fayetteville, especially when the selection of local establishments concocting incredibly creative libations is this good.
When visiting "The Hill," head underground and inside Vault, Fayetteville's new bourbon and cocktail bar. It's housed in the basement of a former bank building, the EJ Ball Building, at 112 W. Center St. and could easily be a contender as one of America's best bourbon bars — ever.
Vault specializes in silky, high-end bourbon and boasts a truly vast selection. Inventive cocktails, created with local ingredients and poured over Vault's signature “branded” ice cubes, cool the palate and soothe the soul. The modern, upscale atmosphere is equally thirst-quenching.
Maxine's Tap Room
For connoisseurs who prefer a twist of nostalgia with their old fashioned, Maxine's Tap Room at 107 N. Block Ave. still exudes hints of an old speakeasy. Founded in 1950 and one of the oldest bars in northwest Arkansas, Maxine's history still lingers in the air. The story of the 24-year-old founder and namesake, in an era prior to the women's liberation movement, is a bold one.
Originally funded by Maxine Miller's parents, the young entrepreneur paid off the loan for the bar in one year. Through creativity and many tests of perseverance, Maxine's Tap Room survived and thrives, maintaining its reputation for serving unique and innovative cocktails with a splash of some interesting history.
Fayetteville Ale Trail
If it's wheat and barley that tickle your taste buds, try the Fayetteville Ale Trail. Arkansas' inaugural Ale Trail of craft beer began in Fayetteville in 2013 and now consists of 12 craft beer breweries across northwest Arkansas, plus a cidery. The brews at each stop are as different as the breweries' names.
The self-guided tour offers visitors a peek — and a taste — inside the craft beer culture in the area. Sample at your leisure and remember to get your passport stamped. Completion of the Ale Trail, whenever that may be, earns you a prize from Experience Fayetteville.