Captain’s Daughter hits the Top 20; plus, Boston Beer’s new endeavors, summer brews, and beer laws in other states

glass_and-CanDo you have some time for some worthy beer reads? Scroll down and start linking. And please take the time to catch up our posts re: what’s available at local breweries today and new brews from Newport Storm, Narragansett, and national beermakers.

Grey Sail’s Captain’s Daughter is in very good company on Men’s Journal’s list of The 20 Best Imperial IPAs. Huzzah to the GS crew! [Here’s our CD post from 11.11.14.]

Boston Beer’s side project finally ready for national stage, by Jon Chesto @ The Boston Globe [“After four years, Boston Beer Co. chairman Jim Koch is ready to crack open a bottle or two from his side project, developing new lines of craft beers. And you won’t find the Samuel Adams name anywhere on the labels.”]

Tasting and Ranking 58 of the Best Summer Beers, by Jim Vorel @ Paste [“Entries must be a summer seasonal, which is to say only available in summer. It doesn’t matter if it’s a great beer to drink during summer.”]

As a follow-up to our loong, hard look at Rhode Island liquor laws, we’re launching the “It’s Always Something” series, with links to features on the beer laws in other states.

KC allows tiny breweries in neighborhoods, liquor and beer sales in City Market, by Lynn Horsley @ The Kansas City Star [“The City Council voted Thursday to allow tiny ‘nano’ breweries to operate in neighborhood strip malls and storefronts.”]

Bottoms up? Not so fast thanks to SC beer laws, by Tony Kiss @ Greenville Online [“ ‘The laws here are not as progressive as in North Carolina,’ where breweries can self-distribute up to 25,000 barrels annually. ‘It’s time to loosen up.’ ”]

House Rules Committee chair says beer-to-go bill has slim chance of passing this session, by Lucy Berry from AL.com [“Rep. Mac McCutcheon told AL.com in an email Thursday that Senate Bill 452, which would allow brewpubs and breweries to sell up to a gallon’s worth of beer per day, per person, in portable jugs to customers to take home, needs more work before it can become law.”]

For updates and post alerts, PLEASE follow Bottles & Cans on Twitter [@BottlesCansRI] and Facebook and/or SIGN UP for e-mail alerts at the top of this page. Tell your friends!!!

On tap this weekend: 72 ounces of happiness! Plus, ‘Gansett hits the beach again

Last Friday we took a looong, hard look at Rhode Island liquor laws. Yes, it’s a drag that you can only “buy” 72 ounces of beer at local breweries. But we’re going to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive [our growler is half-full]: pick a destination [or three] this weekend and “buy” 72 ounces of beer! [And if you haven’t read our looong, hard look at Rhode Island liquor laws, please do. And talk about the topic with your local brewers. We think they may have an opinion or three…]

Proclamation Ale Company is getting back to “normal” at their HQ in West Kingston. They’re showcasing hoppy beers this weekend [Friday 5-8 pm + Saturday 1-5 pm], sharing some test batches from the new system as they “try to get the new stuff dialed in.” On tap [for tastings and growlers]: The Stalk, a double IPA [8.6% ABV] made with “three sexy hop varieties”, and Derivative: Mosaic [6%]. You can also pick up bombers of Derivative: Galaxy [pale ale, 6%], 750s of Keraterra [6.8%, made with brett, aged in red wine barrels, dry-hopped with Citra and Amarillo = “a fruity funkbomb”], and Harper 1 Blackberry [sour beer, limit: one 500ml per person].

Nate at Bucket Brewery sez: “This weekend will see the end of 13th Original Maple Stout [for now] and the barrel-aged Sabin’s Stout, so get ’em while they last. We have Park Loop Porter, Pawtucket Pail Ale, and 33rd Inning Rye Lager flowing as well.” You can also get the spiffy new Bucket six-packs o’ cans [33rd Inning and Pail Ale]! Tastings [$5] are today from 1-7:30 pm and on Saturday from 11 am-5 pm [tours @ 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 are $13 and include a tasting and BB pint glass].

On Saturday [1-4 pm], Tilted Barn will have fresh batches of Raffi [oatmeal stout] and First Harvest Mosaic, plus Peeptoad Pale Ale.

Crooked Current is pouring Immorality Pale Ale, Kickback American Wheat, and Strawberry Blonde Ale “until it lasts, at which point our Raspberry Wheat will make a cameo appearance.”

Grey Sail has a baker’s half-dozen reasons to head to Westerly: Flagship, Flying Jenny, Hazy Day, Captain’s Daughter, Great Ketch, Avenue N, and Pour Judgement. And note the new Friday hours: 4-7 pm [formerly 3-6; also note that they’ve added Wednesday and Thursday from 4-7 to the summer schedule], plus Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 pm.

Foolproof has its five year-round brews, plus a special cask of King of the Yahd Imperial IPA “with grapefruit juice and zest,” plus Amarillo hops.

Whaler’s Brewing is mixing it up with Orange Wheat, Strawberry Blonde, American Strong Ale, Hazelnut Stout, Calypso IPA, and Golden Ale.

label_stoutAnd Revival’s White Electric Coffee Stout can be found in four-packs at a better beer store near you; six-packs of Night Swim’ah, their new seasonal Belgian wheat ale, will by side by each with it any day now

•    •    •

This one’s down the road a piece: Last summer, Narragansett released Town Beach, an imperial IPA [8.1%], as part of its Private Stock series. This time around, they’re dropping the ABV to 5% and putting the brew in six-packs of tallboys instead of bombers. The cans are slated to hit the packies around the third week of July.

For updates and post alerts, PLEASE follow Bottles & Cans on Twitter [@BottlesCansRI] and Facebook and/or SIGN UP for e-mail alerts at the top of this page. Tell your friends!!!

New brews from Stone, Southern Tier, Victory, and more

It’s been a while since we reached into the cooler for new brews. Here’s the round-up:

points_new_720• Stone’s latest collab, Points Unknown IPA, was concocted with their pals from Ecliptic [Portland, OR] and Wicked Weed [Asheville, NC]. Here’s the description: “[It combines] a traditional Belgian-style tripel aged four months in oak barrels that originally housed red wine, then tequila. It was then blended at a one-fourth to three-fourths ratio with a freshly brewed West Coast double IPA.” Bombers of the 9.5% ABV one-off are in stores now…Also be on the lookout for their seasonal Saison [6%]…And the lemony Delicious IPA [7.7%] was a big hit in its limited release and will be graduating to year-round status soon.

Quick sips: Southern Tier has unveiled the fifth entry in its Blackwater Series: Choklat Oranj [10%], made with [you can guess] chocolate and orange peels [in 22-ounce bottles and draft], plus Tangier, a seasonal session IPA made with tangerine peels and Azacca hops…Victory has added brettanomyces to Golden Monkey, its Belgian-style tripel. The result is called Sour Monkey [9.5%]; it’s in limited edition corked 750ml bottles…North Coast’s Puck — The Beer is a “petite saison” [4%] which was originally made to mark the California brewery’s 25th anniversary; it’s out now in four-packs…Cape Ann’s seasonal Fisherman’s Sunrise Saison [4.5%] is available in 16-ounce cans [and draft]. The Belgian-style brew was made with 80 pounds of rhubarb and 250 lbs of strawberries…Weyerbacher has added Tarte Nouveau to its year-round slate. The sessionable sour [3.9%] is kettle-soured with lactobacillus…

goatBaxter Brewing invited reps from their “distributor friends,” including Kevin Van Cleef of Craft Beer Guild Distributing of Rhode Island, to their HQ in Lewiston, Maine, to collaborate on The Lonely Goatherd. The German Maibock lager “with a hoppy American twist” is out now in 16-ounce cans and on draft…And welcome Relic Brewing, from Plainville, CT [halfway between ESPN HQ in Bristol and New Britain], to the local shelves. Tropicale [double IPA, 7.8%], The Fletcher [American pale ale, 5.5%], and Demiana [a dark Farmhouse ale, 5.3%] are shipping this week.

For updates and post alerts, PLEASE follow Bottles & Cans on Twitter [@BottlesCansRI] and Facebook and/or SIGN UP for e-mail alerts at the top of this page. Tell your friends!!!

A new arRIval from Newport Storm; new hours at Grey Sail; and more

We’re back at the desk! We didn’t want to push the “Raising the Rhode Island beer bar” post down with our usual beer-read-link-item and we were out in the Real World on Tuesday. So let’s empty the inbox…

SheRIffNew arRIval: Newport Storm has a predilection for working RI into the names of its limited edition barrel-aged brews [see: Mass HysteRIa and InfRIngement]. The latest potent [12% ABV] one-off: The SheRIff of Rock Ridge. Here’s the background: “A recipe of chocolate wheat, North American oats, pale malt and wheat malts was chosen for the base beer and put into eight Thomas Tew Rum barrels. Brewing with high proportions of intense darker malts brought forth aroma and tastes similar to that of a rich coffee roast and baker’s chocolate. With The SheRIff, our brewers wanted to dabble into natural spiciness adding in German chocolate rye, a malt never before used in the brew house, and an aggressive Belgian yeast strain. After five months in the heavily charred wooden barrels, big flavors of caramel, toffee, oak and aged rum gently seeped into the brew, creating complex layered flavors ready to be consumed!” The 22-ounce bottles starting hitting stores on Tuesday and will be available alllll over the state by Friday.

Westerly calling: Grey Sail has added two days to its tasting room schedule for your summer road-tripping and sipping pleasure. The new hours are Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm [note: Fridays used to be 3-6], and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm.

Hit the road: There are still tickets available for the Friday session of Beer Advocate’s American Craft Beer Fest in Boston. Saturday’s two events sold out loooong ago, but you might get lucky if you wanna work the line and/or craigslist…And Philly Beer Week starts on Friday [5.29] and runs through June 7. Just sayin’.

tinglingBut wait, there’s more: We thought the Dave parade was over, but we have two more choice links. Adam Nedeff captured 537 frames from the wonderful show-closing/career-spanning montage [six months in the making!] and posted them in an annotated Facebook slide show [#ThanksAdam].  And we missed it in “real time” but caught up with Late Night head writer Bill Scheft’s Tumblr posts: “Show Diary of Stuff Noteworthy Only To Me.” Don’t believe the title: Scheft shared fascinating behind-the-scenes tales, must-see videos, photos, and cool trivia from the last month of the Letterman experience [plus some deep dips into his archives and a few links to tributes-to-Dave; don’t miss Keith Olbermann’s wonderful take]. Skip The Mentalist reruns that CBS is airing at 11:35 pm and keep the Dave parade going and going and…

Growlers and beyond: raising the beer bar in Rhode Island

8009185-sideFreedom of choice / Is what you want
_Devo

You can’t always get what you want
_The Rolling Stones

On October 30, 2014, two days after the launch of this enterprise, we received our first email, which included a question about growlers. In February, when we introduced the “Ask Bottles & Cans” series, five questions concerned growlers — and frustration over the 72-ounce limit was cited in most of them.

Why the 72-ounce cap? Let’s turn back the clock a bit…

On July 16, 2013, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed S 0236 Substitute A, “An Act Relating to Alcoholic Beverages — Manufacturing and Wholesale Licenses,” which allowed breweries and distilleries to “provide to visitors in conjunction with a tour and/or tasting, samples, clearly marked as samples, not to exceed 375 ml per visitor for distilled spirits and 72 ounces per visitor for malt beverages at the licensed plant by the manufacturer of the product of the licensed plant to visitors for off-premise consumption.”

Translation: Rhode Island breweries [Bucket, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Newport Storm, and Ravenous when the bill was passed, since joined by Proclamation, Whaler’s, Crooked Current, and Tilted Barn; Revival and Narragansett don’t have their own shops] could finally “sell” beer at their facilities and you could take it home [or wherever] and enjoy it. The “72 ounces per visitor” equals a six-pack, three 22-ounce bombers, a conventional 64-ounce growler, or two growlettes/howlers [or a combination of those formats]. The “sale” of the “sample” would be allowed as part of a tasting and/or tour.

It was a long-sought and hard-fought victory. The battle began around 2006 when Newport Storm — then the state’s lone brewery — started the push to legalize growler sales. The proposal was met with firm resistance from wholesalers [and their lobbyists], who touted the venerable merits of the established alcohol distribution system. After years of frustration, the fledgling breweries joined the cause and the beer-to-go “clearly marked as samples” law got the green light.

Even the smallest change is a large accomplishment. Liquor laws are a hornet’s nest, a can of worms, a confounding tangle of red tape — choose your metaphor. All 50 states have different sets of rules and regulations and restrictions — and some of those three Rs differ in a given state’s cities and towns. Many of the laws have been on the books since the repeal of Prohibition and the establishment of the three-tier system of alcohol distribution in 1933. But eight decades later, the proliferation of small brewers and consumers’ passion for supporting local beer and businesses means its time to make significant updates to the established alcohol distribution system.

•    •    •

Rhode-Island-600
Image courtesy of CraftBeer.com

Rhode Islanders’ aversion to traveling “long distances” is well-known. Local beer lovers would be much more likely to make the round trip from Warwick [80 miles] or Woonsocket [114 miles!!] to get fresh beer at Grey Sail in Westerly if they could purchase more than one growler. With beer tourism on the rise, the limit will discourage visitors to “Discover Beautiful Rhode Island,” as the signs urge drivers at the state’s borders, and encourage informed travelers to head to breweries in Massachusetts and/or Connecticut. There is no limit to the number of growlers you can purchase in the Bay State [though breweries must fill their “own” growlers, emblazoned with their branding; in RI, some brewers will only fill their own glassware; call ahead!]; in Connecticut, customers can buy 288 ounces per visit — aka, four growlers [and one quart].

The 72-ounce limit at breweries is even more irksome since there is no limit on the number of growlers that can be purchased at brewpubs [and you can buy multiple cases of wine at local vineyards]. And there is no limit on the number of pre-filled growlers [from Bucket, Berkshire Brewing, and other area companies] that can be bought at stores. That playing field needs to be leveled!

There is a lot of potential upside to lifting the restriction: it would boost sales [um, duh] which would lead to increased production — and more jobs! Win-win-win! Readers also mused that an increase in growler sales would boost the state’s sales tax, but that’s not the case. S 0236 authorized breweries to “sample” growlers — but by law they are selling the tour and/or tasting, not the beer. Because they are selling a service, there is no sales tax [though there is a tax paid for the glassware — it’s always something]. OK, add a tax fix to that ounces amendment!

•    •    •

Given the struggle that finally yielded the 72-ounce “compromise,” as one brewer called it, there is some resistance to fighting that battle all over again with the wholesalers and retailers — and their lobbyists. Another brewer said: “It was a [long] fight to get the 72 ounces, and a big concern that we had to overcome was that if we were allowed that much, we’d start looking for more. It is frustrating that just about any other business can manufacture and sell their product, while alcohol producers need to do business with one hand tied behind our backs.” And presently, the state’s breweries are at distinct tiers, vis-à-vis on-site vs. wholesale purchases: the more established beermakers — Newport Storm, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Bucket — have a growing foothold in the marketplace, while the nanos and micros could see significant gains with increased in-house sales.

It’s a tricky balancing act for all concerned. Six of the locals [Bucket, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Newport Storm, Proclamation, and Revival; the latter enjoys unlimited growler sales through its partnership with the Brutopia brewpub] are sold in stores — and distributed by the tier of the industry that fought the growler law. All of the breweries [except Tilted Barn, for now] are available in bars. But with the dramatic rise of craft’s share of the market, finding a way to share the increasing revenue should be mutually beneficial at all the levels of the three-tier system.

•    •    •

State_houseWe’re sure there were some legislative struggles in our neighboring states, but we’re hoping that the old saw about a rising tide lifting all boats can be embraced by the lobbyists and that the potential for increased sales at local breweries isn’t seen as a threat to sales at liquor stores.

We reached out to some folks who know how the sausage gets made at the State House for some advice on how to start pushing for change:

 Nothing will happen before 2016 when new legislation can be submitted to the House and Senate [S 0236 Substitute A was introduced on 2.6.13, passed the Senate in April, and was signed in July], but the campaign for better beer laws needs to start in the fall.

Congressman James Langevin with Wes Staschke at Whaler's Brewing
Congressman James Langevin with Wes Staschke at Whaler’s Brewing

 The crux of the matter is that beer is a business, and changing the laws will be good for the economic growth of a small but thriving local industry. Contact your lawmakers [especially those who represent the breweries’ home cities and towns] and express your support for the state’s hard-working and ambitious beermakers. [S 0236 Substitute A was introduced by Senators Louis P. DiPalma, M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Dennis L. Algiere, Erin P. Lynch, and Dominick J. Ruggerio; they can be reached at sen-dipalma@rilin.state.ri.us; sen-paivaweed@rilin.state.ri.us; sen-algiere@rilin.state.ri.us; sen-lynch@rilin.state.ri.us; sen-ruggerio@rilin.state.ri.us].

 The brewers need to do a PR campaign. The first step should be the long-overdue launch of a RI Beer Trail/Brewery Challenge/Passport project, modeled on the programs in Massachusetts and Vermont. It’s simple and fun: participants get a T-shirt [or other promotional swag] when their passport is stamped by all of the breweries and brewpubs on the Biggest Little map. It’s a simple and very interactive way to promote the profile of RI beer in-state and beyond. A subsequent campaign trumpeting the benefit of increased sales and jobs would raise awareness and support the cause.

Local brewers need their own lobbyist to make the case that outdated laws are restricting business and potential job growth. Working the corridors of power at the State House is another playing field that needs to be leveled.

But the wheels turn slowly everywhere. Here’s a prime example: in April, after three years [and more than $1 million of lobbyist to-ing-and-fro-ing], Florida passed a bill that allowed sales of industry-standard 64-ounce growlers — changing the law that had limited sales to quart and gallon [!] containers. Governor Rick Scott’s comment should be espoused as an inspirational rallying cry for all of these proposals: “By making the sale of 64-ounce growlers legal in Florida, we are eliminating another burdensome regulation and allowing more Florida businesses to succeed. We are pleased to create a world-class business environment where all businesses, including breweries, can succeed.” Huzzah! We’ll drink to that!

•    •    •

Beyond growlers, another key legislative focus is on approving tap room status for breweries, like they have in [wait for it…] Massachusetts and Connecticut. S 0236 specifies that the manufacturer’s license “does not authorize the sale of beverages for consumption on premises.” In Connecticut, a Manufacturer Permit allows growler sales, while a coveted Manufacturer for Beer and Brewpub license adds pint sales in the tasting room. So we’ll need yet another law to enhance the brewery experience — and boost the aforementioned beer tourism. Win-win!

•    •    •

A growler fill station in Oregon
A growler fill station in Oregon

And while we’re shaking things up, let’s add another spoke to the better beer wheel and make the case for growler sales of local and national accounts at retail locations. Thirty-five or so states fill glassware at grocery and convenience stores, gas stations, and liquor stores. We recently visited a package store in upstate NY whose dozen taps were pouring the likes of Jack’s Abby’s Hoponius Union, Evil Twin’s Imperial Doughnut Break, and Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout in your choice of container — 64-, 32, or 16-ounce [a growler of BCBS was $37.99; that’s not a typo]. Consumers would love that option here, and retailers would benefit from adding the draft format — but bar owners would likely frown on the addition [though in PA and other states you can buy growlers-to-go at taverns]. [When Bottles in Providence opened they had a growler station, but it was quickly removed as it was in violation of a state law and/or health code.] Maybe we can add this to the 2017 legislative calendar…

•    •    •

Is any state a true brewtopia — with growlers available at breweries and retail and taverns? With a more-options-are-better mindset? With a why-can’t-we-all-get-along? attitude? Nah, it’s always something. But we hope that Rhode Island will make strides to help small breweries thrive, to have more choices at stores, and to motivate a beer lover in Woonsocket to drive allll the way to Westerly — and to explore and enjoy our many other hoppy stops in between.

Mega-thanks to everyone — at all the levels of the three-tier system — who provided data, guidance, advice, and feedback. Please add your input in the Comment section!

A BIG Belgian takeover at Doherty’s Ale House; and #ThanksDave

Beerflag

While we were copying/pasting/formatting [and spell-checking] the exhaustive list of Belgian and Belgian-style beers that are lined up for The Big Shindig, the three-day festival at Doherty’s Ale House, we were simultaneously sifting through last night’s tweets [so many #ThanksDave posts] and saw this one from @SocialSessions: “Tap takeover used to mean something! Now we shrug & add a pint glass to the collection. What will it take to get ppl excited again?” Well, we’re fairly certain they’d get excited by poring through the offerings that the Doherty’s crew has assembled for their very meaningful tap takeover. First, the draft list [sorry about the all-caps; we didn’t have the patience to retype alla the words]:

DRIE FONTEINEN ZWET.BE * BINK BRUIN TRIPEL * KLEVERETIEN * LA DARBE STE * BINK BRUIN * RODENBACH GRAND CRU * MORPHEUS WILD UNDRESSED * DE RANKE XX BITTER * TRIPEL KARMELIET * GULDEN DRAAK 9000 * ALLAGASH SAISON * ALLAGASH WHITE * ALLAGASH FOUR  * ALLAGASH TRIPEL * ALLAGASH SPECIAL BLONDE * MELCHIOR * HAACHT PRIMUS * DELIRIUM TREMENS * GREGORIUS * MADAMIN * NORTH COAST BROTHER THELONIOUS * HITACHINO NEST WHITE ALE * BROOKYN QUADRACERATOPS * WILD BEER BLISS * DUVEL * CHIMAY * JOLLY PUMPKIN BAM BIERE * JOLLY PUMPKIN ORO DE CALABAZA * DES ROCS TRIPLE * DES ROCS GRAND CRU * ABBAYE DU VAL-DIEU * SAISON DE PIPAIX * 21ST AMENDMENT MONK’S BLOOD * VICARIS PHILLY TRIPEL * VICARIS GENERAAL * SCALDIS BLONDE TRIPLE * DUPONT BIERE DE BELOEIL * VICARIS QUINTO * DE LA SENNE JAMBE-DE-BOIS * PANNEPEUT * DUPONT MONK’S STOUT * SCALDIS PECHE MEL * VANBERG & DEWULF LAMBICKX * STELLA CIDRE * STELLA * HOEGAARDEN * LEFFE BLONDE * GOOSE ISLAND SOFIE * BROUWERIJ VERHAEGHE BARBE RUBY * ST. BERNARDUS TRIPEL * BRASSERIE CARACOLE SAXO * DOGFISH HEAD NAMASTE * DOGFISH HEAD RAISON D’EXTA * DOGFISH HEAD BLACK & BLUE * DOGFISH HEAD SAISON DU BUFF * DOGFISH HEAD RAISON D’EXTRA * SPENCER TRAPPIST ALE * STIFT ENGELSZELL BENNO * SAISON D’ERPE-MERE * ST. BERNARDUS ABT 12 * UNIBROUE RAFTMAN * BRASSERIE CARACOLE NOSTRADAMUS * SCALDIS SPECIAL * DUPONT REDOR PILS * VANBERG & DEWULF LAMBRUCHA * VICARIS TRIPEL * DUPONT BLONDE * SCALDIS CUVEE DES TROLLS * DUPONT AVRIL * VANBERG & DEWULF HOP-RUITER * DUPONT TRIOMFBIER * ECKT KRIEKENBIER * WILD BEER IDUNA CRU * VICARIS TRIPEL GUEUZE * DUPONT POSCA RUSTICA * OMMEGANG THREE PHILOSOPHERS * TWO ROADS RYE 95  * OMMEGANG HENNEPIN

And the bottles:

BROUWERIJ VERHAEGHE BARBE RUBY * CAMBRIDGE BREWING SGT. PEPPER * DE LA SENNE JAMBE-DE-BOIS * DE LA SENNE BRUSSELS CALLING * DE RANKE XX BITTER * DE RANKE NOIR DE DOTTIGNIES * HANSSENS OUDE GUEUZE * HANSSENS OUDBEITJE LAMBIC * HOFBROUWERIJKE HOFBLUES STOUT * ORVAL TRAPPIST ALE * PANIL RAPHAEL WILD ALE * PODGE BELGIAN IMPERIAL STOUT * TRAPPIST ROCHEFORT 10 * TRAPPIST ROCHEFORT 8 * TRAPPIST ROCHEFORT 6 * BROUWERIJ SMISJE VUUVE * WESTMALLE DUBBEL * WESTMALLE TRIPEL * KERKOM KRIEK * LINDENMANS CUVEE RENE * GOOSE ISLAND MADAME ROSE 2014 * GOOSE ISLAND MADAME ROSE 2012 * GOOSE ISLAND LOLITA * GOOSE ISLAND PERE JACQUES

The Big Shindig — which includes a Big Tent outside, with Belgian cuisine and acoustic music all weekend — will take place on Friday [5.22] from 5 pm-1 am [outside from 5-10] and on Saturday and Sunday from noon-1 am [outside till 10 on Sat and 8 on Sun]. Everyone who goes to the event will get a Golden Ticket to enter a drawing for a trip to…um, Ireland. But hey, Belgium is only 480 miles away! Cheers!

•   •   •

Well, we got 17 extra minutes of Dave last night [“time extended”!] . It all came down to this wonderfully dense montage, spanning the entire Late Night/Show experience, which we’ll be watching again [and again] in slow-motion to absorb all of the memories:

#ThanksDave [and thanks to @MJGWrites, who posted this wonderful illustration]:

CFg39qmVEAAzVIM

A deluge of new beers: BrewDog, Evil Twin, Stillwater Artisanal, and more

When beer news rains, it pours: today, we’re pleased to tell you that a dozen or so breweries will be added to our market [via C&C Distributors].

First up: the return of BrewDog. The profile of the Scotland brewery is considerably higher than when the beer was available in RI four years ago, thanks to the cheekily entertaining [and informative] TV show that runs on the Esquire Network [you can see some eps here]. Founders/brewers Martin Dickie and James Watt have crisscrossed the US [plus Aberdeen, Berlin, Vancouver, and Brussels], making extreme one-off beers with accomplished brewers from Founders, Lagunitas, et al and showcasing regional bars and beers. Since 2007, the duo’s enterprise has expanded worldwide [a US facility is in the works] — their business acumen [and tireless promotion] matches their knack for pushing the boundaries of beermaking. A dozen cases each of Cocoa Psycho [Russian Imperial Stout, 10% ABV] and Tokio [an “Intergalactic Stout” — 16.5% — made with “specialty malts, jasmine and cranberries, dry-hopped with a bucket-load of our favourite hops and then carefully aged on toasted French oak chips” which was “inspired by the supreme arcade experience — Space Invaders played in the mind-melting Japanese megacity”] will start hitting select stores today. A very limited amount of Punk IPA [5.6%] is also in the first shipment; Hardcore IPA [9.2%], and 5 A.M. Saint [Red Ale, 5%] are due in June.

evil-twin-brewingThe rest of the beer deluge is coming via 12 Percent Imports, the Brooklyn-based purveyor whose “About” statement says: “Our aim is simple. Travel the world in search of the finest, hand-crafted ales available. And bring them home. We’re beer hunters for selfish reasons, but with the hope of letting others indulge in our spoils.” Some of the highly-regarded international breweries that will be arriving soon: Omnipollo [Stockholm], Emelisse [The Netherlands], Tilquin [Belgium], ’t Gaverhopke [Belgium], and Hof Ten Dormaal [Belgium]. And some of 12 Percent’s finds are from our own backyard: Against the Grain [Louisville], Off Color and Local Option [both Chicago], plus the gypsy brewers Stillwater Artisanal and Evil Twin [Imperial Biscotti Break, Citra Sunshine Slacker, and Mission Gose are on the way]. We’ll have more details on allllll of the offerings in a few weeks.

•   •   •

The Dave parade ends today [boohoo]. Last night, Jimmy Kimmel [who is airing a rerun tonight] offered a heartfelt [and choked-up] tribute, with a sweet cameo from Mr. Letterman:

And here’s “Good Night,” by Emily Nussbaum @ The New Yorker.