Nov 29, 2021 - Food and Drink

Startup Blaize & Brooks brings small-batch bourbon to Arkansas

photo of person pouring bourbon
Photo courtesy of Blaize & Brooks

A new Healing Springs-based startup, Blaize & Brooks, is putting small-batch bourbon on Arkansas shelves.

How it happened: Cara Blaize Osborne, a long-time bourbon enthusiast and Kentucky transplant, got homesick during the pandemic and channeled that into a new business.

  • "We were all trapped at home. And for the first time in a long time, my kids didn't have 400 things to do, and I had a little bit of bandwidth," she told Axios.
  • Osborne, who teaches entrepreneurship courses at the University of Arkansas, had started using a business plan for bourbon as a case study for her students. Then, she put it into action and launched Blaize & Brooks in May.

The intrigue: While Arkansas is home to plenty of locally made beer, the state doesn't have many bourbons to call its own, with Rock Town Distillery in Little Rock among the limited few.

Of note: While Blaize & Brooks is based in Arkansas and the bourbon is the business' recipe, the product is distilled in Kentucky.

About the product: The "Homesick" batch has more floral and citrus undertones than most bourbons, Osborne said.

  • They use barrels that had been aged for five years.

Where to find it: You can buy a bottle at liquor stores like Macadoodles and Blue Top Liquor.

  • Restaurants such as Bordinos and Feed and Folly in Fayetteville also serve it. See a complete list.

What's next: Blaize & Brooks is on its second bottling of Homesick.

  • Osborne said she plans to stay focused on physically selling in Arkansas and Kentucky and shipping to states that allow the purchase of alcohol online.

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