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Toast the town

It's the year of the dive bar in our annual survey of drinking culture.

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It's year two of the Arkansas Times' readers survey of booze and bars, and you know what? Times readers are a well-rounded bunch. After voting perhaps Little Rock's swankest watering hole, Capital Bar and Grill, tops in Best Bar and a handful of other categories last year, readers made this year's poll all about the neighborhood joint and the dive, elevating White Water Tavern (winner of Best Bar, Best Bar for Live Music) and the newly resurgent Town Pump (winner of Best Bartender, Best Happy Hour, Coldest Beer) to the top of the heap.

Scratching your head about the appeal of cheap beer, busted-up barstools and shuffleboard? Read on, as Lindsey Millar collects the ribald oral history of White Water Tavern, surely Little Rock's most storied bar, and, in a snapshot of happy hours in Little Rock, John Tarpley taps into the myriad appeals of the Town Pump. Plus, David Koon takes a peek into the Rube Goldberg-style manufacturing process of white oak barrels used for aging spirits at Gibbs Brothers Cooperage in Hot Springs, in business since 1909.

The results
Readers picks for the best in booze and bars in Central Arkansas and beyond.

Wild days at White Water Tavern
All the stories fit to print (and some that probably aren't) about the legendary dive bar.
By Lindsey Millar

Capturing spirits
The (nearly) lost art of keg and barrel making in Hot Springs.
By David Koon

Tap happy
Little Rock's favorite happy hour hangouts.
By John Tarpley

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