The Rhode Island Brew Fest: a great winter warmer

The Rhode Island Brew Fest is a  very welcome winter warmer — the Big Beer Event to circle on your calendar during these cold, cold months. You can enjoy the bounty of local brews and chat with their creators! Compare notes and swap ale tales with fellow beerists!! Discover a few new favorite brews to enjoy year-round!! Wear pretzel necklaces!!! Huzzah!!!!

There are a dozen new reasons to plan on attending the fest: the third annual bash will feature 57 breweries, up from 45 in 2014. Fourteen are from our own backyahd: Brutopia, Bucket, Crooked Current, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Narragansett, Newport Storm, Proclamation, Ravenous, Revival, Tilted Barn, Trinity, Union Station, and Whaler’s. There are top-notch reps from the rest of New England [Baxter, City Steam, Shipyard, Sea Dog, Cisco, Slumbrew, Two Roads, Downeast, Goodfellow’s, Smuttynose, Long Trail, Otter Creek, Wolaver’s, Harpoon, Berkshire, Clown Shoes, Woodchuck, Magic Hat, Sam Adams, Wachusett, Bad Martha] and heavy hitters from all over the US [Sixpoint, Oskar Blues, Stone, 21st Amendment, Dogfish Head, Heavy Seas, Lagunitas, Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada, Green Flash, Finch, Ommegang, Founders, Uinta, Saranac, Firestone Walker, Left Hand, Kentucky Ale, New Holland]. But wait — there’s more! The Rhode Island Brewing Society and the crew from Craft Brews Supplies will be pouring home-brewed beer and talking up the joys of making your own beer; the Craft Brewers Guild of RI will showcase several of its brands; and the good folks from High Spirits will share some goodies at their table.

Matt Gray, the Brew Fest honcho, told us a few of the many standouts that will be worth lining up for: Grey Sail will extend its nautical theme with Maryanne’s Ginger Spiced Ale [which is brewed for the Newport Restaurant Group]; Foolproof will bring the love with Shuckolate Chocolate-Oyster Stout [a collab with Garrison Confections and Walrus and Carpenter Oysters]; and Stone, which is making its first appearance at the BrewFest, is definitely out to impress with Quadrotriticale, a Belgian Quadrupel from their Stochasticy Project, and Double Bastard on draft, and bottles of Delicious IPA [bottle], its new seasonal release which they say “reminds many on the brewing team of a Lemon Starburst® candy” and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale [which was exclusive to the Arrogant Bastard Box]. And, yes, ’Gansett will have plenty of its Lovecraft Honey Ale.

The 2015 Rhode Island Brew Fest will be at the Pawtucket Armory [172 Exchange St] on Saturday, January 31 [the day before some big football game]; there are two sessions [1-4 pm and 5:30-8:30 pm]. Tix are $55 for unlimited [but responsible] samplings [$15 for designated drivers], and they’re selling faster than ever: when we posted this item [@ 11:45 am on 1.13], about 200 [of 1200] tickets were left [100 or so for each session]. But wait — there’s more! You get a sweet parting gift: a 13-ounce goblet encircled with a panoramic “Rhode Island brewscape.” There’s additional info at the Rhode Island Brew Fest site.

To summarize: Great brews! Sharing the beer love with 600 of your new best friends!! Tickets going fast! See you there!!!

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