FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A new Brewery is one of the latest businesses to open its doors in the rapidly growing Chaffee Crossing area in Fort Smith. In fact, Fort Smith Brewing Company is not far from the Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center, an Army National Guard installation in Western Arkansas.
Quentin Willard, 32, came up with the idea to start a brewery four years ago upon his return to the River Valley.
Willard had previously spent around four-and-a-half-years serving as a field artillery officer in the Army in South Korea. After active duty, he lived in Providence, Rhode Island and taught military science at Providence College.
His journey back wasn't part of his immediate plan, but when he heard about his father's declining health and found out about Fort Smith's struggling economy, Willard wanted to do something.
"It was just kind of a no brainer," Willard explained. "When I found out there were no breweries in Fort Smith, I was like, 'Oh, this is awesome.'"
That's when his brewery idea was born.
Four years later, and after several challenges, Willard's dream of opening a brewery finally became a reality.
Currently, Fort Smith Brewing Company brews four different types of beers in-house and features a line of locally crafted beers. It also has a tasting room designed with the essence of Fort Smith in mind.
Despite Willard and his team's small-scale operation, they have lofty dreams of eventually selling their beer on a national scale.
Fort Smith Brewing Company is open Friday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Click here to get to their Facebook page for more information.