Your Whispers staff has an update on a new Little Rock brewery, Moody Brews at 414 E. 21st St. in Pettaway Square.
Although he calls it “an absolute moving target,” Josiah Moody is pushing to open his 1,000-SF brewery and taproom in the first quarter of next year. The taproom will seat about 35 indoors, but the property also includes a 200-SF patio and a 200-SF deck, both covered, providing outdoor seating.
Moody, who began his brewing career at Vino’s Brew Pub in Little Rock and later went on to a stint as brewmaster at Bike Rack Brewing Co. in Bentonville, is the brewer. He plans to produce about 250 barrels a year.
Moody owns the business with his wife, Katchiri Moody. The couple are self-funding the venture to the tune of about $150,000, he said.
Since returning to Little Rock from Bentonville in 2019, Moody had been exploring development opportunities related to opportunity zones, opportunities that “just didn’t pan out.” He came close to starting a business on Main Street in SoMa but couldn’t make the numbers work. In the meantime, he was renovating and selling the couple’s own homes.
And then COVID hit. Now he counts himself lucky that the earlier business didn’t come to fruition. “Sometimes the best deals that you can do are the ones that you don’t do,” Moody said.
He eventually came to know Michael Orndorff, owner of Mike Orndorff Construction LLC of Little Rock and the developer behind Pettaway Square, a 17,100-SF six-building development in the 400 block of E. 21st St. “And I just had a really good feeling about him in particular, in terms of working with him long-term as a property owner and myself a tenant and building something special,” Moody said of Orndorff.
As for his brews, Moody loves Belgian beers and plans to brew farmhouse-style beers. He wants to partner with local farmers to use their fruits to create flavored beers. His permit also allows him to contract brew at other breweries around the state, “do collaborations, things like that to sort of make up for what the little space can’t produce.”
In addition, “I really want to try my hand at craft sodas,” Moody said. “I’ve got a resident root beer connoisseur in my household. My daughter just loves root beer, so I want to explore that space and create something that’s not alcohol-based.” He wants to produce something that kids can enjoy “inasmuch as Pettaway really is becoming a young family neighborhood.”