Dog days grab bag: a Long Live Beerworks update; the Favorite Rhode Island IPA poll follow-up; and more!

It’s National Mutt Day! To celebrate, here are a few brief items while we slog through the dog days of summer:

proc_Deriv On Thursday, we launched the Favorite Rhode Island IPA poll. The first reaction was, “[Proclamation’s] Tendril WAS the best, but I’ve been told it will no longer be brewed.” It’s still listed on their website, and we reached out to Proc prez Dave Witham for confirmation: “It’ll come back, but it needs some tweaks.” So if Tendril is your choice, you won’t be wasting your vote [and here’s another call for you to share your IPA faves; scroll to the bottom of the post for the details]…We skipped the growler roundup this week, but heads up for Bosun’s Call, a new brew available for tastings only at Proclamation this weekend [today 3:30-8 pm, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5]. Dave sez: “We brewed this beer with Rising Tide brewery up in Portland, ME for the Maine Brewers Guild Summer Session. It’s a 5.4% ABV saison brewed with all Maine grown wheat and barley, and finished with Brett. Light, drinkable saison with a little bit of citrus, pepper, and tropical flavors.” There’s also Dark Sprout [“4.1% ABV dark hoppy session beer. This beer was designed to be a mindf@ck. Looks dark, but still tastes like a dry, light session beer. Simcoe, Citra, Cascade hop combo. Drinkable, poundable”; growlers/tastings] and a new batch of Derivative: Galaxy [growlers/tastings/bombers; the bottles will be in stores next week].

In April, we kicked off the “Get To Know Your Brewer” series with Armando DeDona, whose Long Live Beerworks will be the first nanobrewery in Providence. We caught up with Armando for a short and sweet update: “The buildup is nearly complete, the equipment is on the way, my licenses are set, and I [am] getting psyched.” The door at 425 West Fountain St should open in the fall. Wanna see the sign? Click the link in this tweet:

Update and reminders: “Where the Wild Things Are,” the Julians and Allagash beer dinner, was slated for Saturday [8.1] at the Steel Yard, but has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 5. Go here for details and tix…Rhode Island received three [3] logs of Joint Custody, the “nouveau Pilsner” by the brewmasters at Otter Creek and Jack’s Abby. The third [3rd] will be tapped at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick tonight at 7…Foolproof’s Augtoberfest is on Saturday. Details are here…And on Monday, Tilted Barn answered “the question we get asked all the time: ‘When are you going to expand?!’ ” Click here for the answer! Then head to Exeter on Saturday [1-4 pm] for growler fills and tastings of Peeptoad [“will sell out early”], Raffi, and First Harvest.

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Get ready for IPA Day! Vote for your Favorite Local IPA! And more IPA fun!

Hey, it’s another great excuse to line up a pint or three [aka, a day that ends in -y]: Thursday, August 6 is the 5th Annual IPA Day! The hoppy celebration of the venerable and mega-adaptable India Pale Ale was spawned by “beer evangelists and social media personalities” Ashley V. Routson [aka the Beer Wench] and Ryan Ross in 2011. They deemed it “an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness…[focusing on an] illustrious style [that] represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations — making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.”

Some writers have argued that “the IPA era is over,” but numbers [like ball] don’t lie: in its “Year In Beer: 2014” report, the Brewers Association noted that “IPA is up 47 percent by volume and 49 percent by dollar sales, accounting for 21 percent volume share of craft and 23 percent dollar share of off-premise beer sales. Additionally, the style was the number one entered category at the Great American Beer Festival®.” “Everyone expects it to slow down, but it’s shown incredible growth,” noted BA economist Bart Watson.

So we’re prepping a two-tier celebration for IPA Day. First: a B&C poll to determine our readers’ Favorite Local IPA. There are 10 contenders [we haven’t included pale ales or double/imperial IPAs]:

After you vote [limit one per customer; the ballot will close on Sunday], we’re looking for your input for a Big Picture IPA post! On 8.6.14  in the late, lamented Providence Phoenix, we crowd-sourced a piece titled “Hail to the hops: Beers to savor on IPA Day,” asking beer industry folks to choose their current and all-time favorite IPAs [plus a double/imperial hop bomb], and the best Rhody-made IPA. We’ll be hitting ’em up again for their 2015 selections [check your inboxes] — and invite you, dear reader, to play along. Send your faves [with brief descriptions re: why you chose them] to bottlescansclaphands@yahoo.com [please don’t post ’em in the Comments section or on Facebook; we want to share ’em en masse in next week’s post]. One other guideline: it will better serve the residents of State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations if your choices are readily available in our little corner of the US, which will make it easy [and fun!] to assemble a mix-a-six [or 12].

OK, get voting and e-mailing! The post[s] will run on Tuesday and/or Wednesday!

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Make plans for Augtoberfest, Pints For Paws, East Bay Tasting Day, and more

We’re sitting on embargoed news about four new local releases [and digging into another development on the downtown beer scene], but here are a few items we can share today:

cal Sunday, August 16 will be a busy afternoon for beer enthusiasts. The opening-soon Pizza J, the “pizzeria and more” from the folks at Julians [967 Westminster St, Providence], will host the 5th Annual Pints For Paws, a fundraiser for the Providence Animal Rescue League. The mission statement: “Save animals one pint at a time!” There’s a VIP tasting session from 1-3 pm [$30] featuring Revival, Trinity Brewhouse, Foolproof, Brutopia, Ravenous, Narragansett, plus Ballast Point, Clown Shoes, Baxter, Uinta, Two Roads, Jack’s Abby, Lagunitas, Sixpoint, Firestone Walker, and the crew from Nikki’s pouring some specialties. If you’re not up for sampling, there’s an after-tasting party from 3-6 pm [$5], with a bar “powered by Revival Brewing and Narragansett Beer” [100% of the proceeds go to PARL], food from Pizza J and the Julians smoker, raffles, DJ Anglace, and more…And Federal Hill Pizza in Warren [495 Main St] will present East Bay Tasting Day. The event runs from noon-5 pm and features samples from the Bucket, Grey Sail, Narragansett, and Revival, plus Berkshire, Jack’s Abby, Lagunitas, Saranac, Shipyard, and more. Donation is $10, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Chefs Feeding Kids.

Aug Foolproof Brewing’s third annual Augtoberfest will heat up Pawtucket this Saturday [8.1] from 2-4:30 and 5:30-8 pm. The bash is packed with music, food trucks — and beer, including the fest’s namesake Märzen [which is in stores now in four-packs of tallboys]. If you opt for Jester status [$25], you get two beverage tickets and a branded plastic cup; Prince [$35] = three tix and a glass stein; or live like a King [$45] and enhance your package with a $5 food voucher and a four-pack sample to-go. Prost!

Reminder: You have two more opportunities to get a pint or two of Joint Custody, the “nouveau Pilsner” by the brewmasters at Otter Creek and Jack’s Abby. Kegs will be tapped on Thursday [7.30] at Pour Judgement in Newport and on Friday [7.31] at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick…And the Lagunitas is still flowing at the tap takeover at Norey’s in Newport. The Folk Fest crowd kicked the CitruSinensis keg, but the seven other offerings are available. Check our post from 7.20 for details.

Brew York is the source for “Premium New York City Beer News.” It’s run by Cranston native Chris O’Leary, who now calls Brooklyn home. On Tuesday, he posted “Beercation: Rhode Island” — a cool compendium of our breweries, bars [including a nod to Dave’s Bar & Grill], and a bit of miscellany [with a shoutout to our modest little enterprise]. Read it and share it!

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Craft beer by the numbers: the mid-year report

On Monday, the Brewers Association, the alliance of small, independent, and traditional [debatable/relative terms, but that’s a discussion for another day] beer makers, marketers, distributors, and peripheral biz peeps, released their mid-year report. The standout stats: from January  through June 30, approx. 12.2 million barrels were sold by crafters, up from 10.6M in the first half of ’14. There are 3739 breweries, up 699 from 6.30.14 — and there are 1755 breweries on the drawing board.

BA chief economist Bart Watson said, “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.” The press release is here.

And vis-à-vis the BA report, head to MarketWatch for Jason Notte’s piece, “These 11 brewers make over 90% of all U.S. beer.” It offers valuable insight on craft’s place in the Big Beer Picture, including this nugget: “Despite advances by both craft and imported beers, one of every five beers sold is a Bud Light. In fact, the 38 million barrels of Bud Light sold last year would not only make it the No. 3 brewer in the U.S. if it split off from Anheuser-Busch InBev, but would give it a 16 million-barrel lead on every craft brewer combined.”

And for more drinking data, check out Nielsen’s “Tapped In: Craft and Local Are Powerful Trends In the Beer Aisle.” Some noteworthy excerpts:

35% of adults 21 and older say they’re more interested in trying an adult beverage labeled craft. Among men 21-24, that figure jumps to 46%.

Craft can often mean different things to different consumers. Overall, most people who buy alcohol are most likely to associate the term with three main traits as it relates to alcoholic beverages:
+ Coming from a small, independent company [56% of people surveyed]
+ Part of a small batch [50%]
+ Handcrafted [43%]

Local is most important to the youngest group of beer aficionados [those 21-34]. In fact, 53% of beer drinkers in this demo say local is very or somewhat important. If we look at just craft beer drinkers, the preference for local is even higher.

Go to Nielsen.com to read the complete report.

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Tilted Barn to expand “soon. Very soon, hopefully”

Tilted_logoToday, Matt and Kara at Tilted Barn Brewery shared this post on their blog:

Well, it’s been 8 months, 15 different beers, multiple beer fests, LOTS of growlers, blizzards, floods, oysters, and many, many Saturday afternoons at the brewery since we opened and we’re finally taking a minute to catch our breath and say “hi.” When we were planning Tilted Barn Brewery we hoped to get off to a good start but never imagined the whirlwind that has ensued since our opening day back in November. We wanted to take a minute here for a quick update and talk about what’s in the works here at The Barn.
For those of you that we see almost every week, thanks! We’ve made some great connections and look forward to seeing you guys every Saturday. For those of you that haven’t made it down yet, we hope to see you soon. We are normally open every Saturday from 1-4, unless there’s a Brew Fest somewhere that day. We keep our Facebook and Twitter pages, and this website up to date every week on our hours and what’s available for growler fills.

Our biggest challenge so far has been keeping up with demand. Don’t get us wrong, this is a great problem to have but is something that we focus on all the time. We were initially hoping to do tastings and growler fills at the brewery twice a week and get on tap at a few local bars/restaurants. This obviously hasn’t happened. We weren’t anticipating such big crowds and literally don’t have enough beer to be open more than once a week, let alone to send out for draft accounts. We’re working on it though…more on that below. We’re happy to say that even with the big crowds on Saturday we generally keep the lines and wait time to a minimum (sorry for the 2-hour wait to those of you here on opening day!).

So, on to the question we get asked all the time: “When are you going to expand?!”. Since we want to keep this update (relatively) short, the quick answer is soon. Very soon hopefully. We’re starting work on the barn in a couple of weeks actually to make space for new, bigger fermenters, a revamped tasting room area, and a hop drying space. Once that work is done we’ll be able to get some bigger tanks in there to increase production. Trust us, nobody is more excited than we are to get to that point. As we get a better handle on the timeline we’ll be sure to keep you guys updated. Once we increase production we plan to expand our tasting room hours and potentially get on tap at a few locations around the state. Time will tell. In the meantime, we’ll keep seeing you guys every Saturday afternoon and will do our best to keep up with demand. Thanks for being patient.

Alright, time to get back to work. Thanks again to everyone for all of your support. There’s a LOT of work that goes into each and every batch from start to finish but we’re enjoying every minute of it, mostly because of the great feedback we’re getting from you guys. Thanks.

Great news from Exeter! Cheers, folks!

Black Hog crosses the border; new brews news; and more!

A bit of catching up and some new brews to ease into the week:

• On July 28, 2014, Black Hog Brewing of Oxford, CT, made its debut. One year later, their beers are crossing the border into Rhode Island [they’re also in NY]. The brewmaster is Tyler Jones, who has plied his craft at Mercury Brewing [Ipswich, MA] and Portsmouth Brewery [NH], where he worked with the legendary Tod Mott for four years before taking over as head brewer [he also did a stint at Smuttynose]. Tyler teamed up with and brothers Tom and Jason Sobocinski [the latter graduated from PC], who both have extensive experience in the food industry. A half-dozen offerings are available on draft [12-ounce cans will be available soon]: Ginga’ Ninja, a Red IPA brewed with ginger [6.5% ABV]; Easy Rye’Da, a Rye IPA [4.7%]; Granola Brown Ale, brewed with oatmeal [5.5%]; S.W.A.G., a Summer Wheat Ale made with grapefruit peel [4.7%]; Nitro Coffee Milk Stout [5.5%]; and Piglet Double IPA [8.8%]. Click here for more Black Hog info.

• On Friday [7.24], we shared a few of the beer-related honors that were bestowed at Rhode Island Monthly’s Best of Rhode Island extravaganza [Brewery: Crooked Current; Neighborhood Bar, Providence: The Avery; Brewery Tour: the Rhode Island Brew Bus]. Here are the other hoppy winners:

Readers’ Poll:
Beer on Tap: Mews Tavern
Irish Bar: Aidan’s Pub
Neighborhood Bars, Providence: Pour Judgement [Newport County]; Mews Tavern [South County]; Aidan’s Pub [East Bay]; Fat Belly’s Pub, Coventry, East Greenwich, Warwick [West Bay]; Blackie’s Bulldog Tavern [Blackstone Valley]

Editors’ Picks:
Craft Brewpub: Brutopia
Burgers and a Beer: Blackie’s Bulldog Tavern
Gift for the Beer Lover: The Savory Sipper Monthly Craft Brew Club @ the Savory Grape
Beer Festival: Newport Craft Beer Festival

And dig into the B&C archive to read the posts about Crooked Current’s win in the 1st Annual Favorite Rhode Island Brewery Poll and our “Get To Know Your Brewer” Q&A with CC’s Nichole Pelletier.

02-beers-primary-CBTS• New brews news: Ballast Point’s extraordinary portfolio has been flying off shelves since they returned to the state in February. This week, two more beers from the San Diego brewery will be flying onto shelves: Indra Kunindra, a Curry Export Stout bursting with South Asian flavors [Madras curry, cumin, kaffir lime leaf, and toasted coconut [7%, in 22-ounce bottles]; and Calm Before the Storm, a Cream Ale made with cold-brewed Caffé Calabria coffee and vanilla [5.5%, in six-packs]. Both are limited releases, so plan accordingly…Smuttynose’s Finestkind IPA is now available in cans…More goodness has arrived from the Brooklyn-based gypsy brewer Evil Twin Brewing: Falco IPA [7%] and Bikini Beer [American IPA, 2.5%]. There are also extremely limited quantities of Even More Jesus [Imperial Stout, 12%] and Imperial Doughnut Break [Porter, 11.5%], so start making real nice with your bestest beer store proprietor.

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Read all about it: Where’s your beer from? Plus, trouble for hops, a fresh beer app, and turning beer into gasoline

beer_scrabHere’s a four-pack of beer links for your perusing pleasure:

10 Beers That Aren’t Made Where You Think They Are: Are You Drinking a Lie?, by Jason Notte @ The Street [“There are a few million reasons why it matters where your beer is brewed, and brewers are becoming acutely aware of all of them.”]

Drought and hot weather cause trouble for hops growers, by Jeff Daniels @ CNBC [“The consumer will pay a higher price for beer. That is without question.”]

Fresh Beer Only Demystifies Brewery Codes So You Always Buy Great Brew, by Alan Henry @ Lifehacker [“The Android app is essentially an extension of the web-based database the site already operates.”]

Scientists Crack the Secret of Turning Beer Into Gasoline, by Rafi Schwartz @ Good [“The biofuel — dubbed  ‘Brewtroleum’ — isn’t made of beer itself (sorry, Homer). Rather, it comes from ethanol that’s been extracted from the slurry of brewing yeast left over after a batch of beer is made in DB Export’s breweries.”]

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