Read all about it: the best imperial IPAs; the business of beer; Pope-themed beers; and more

beer_scrabLinks “R” us:

Blind-Tasting 115 of the Best American DIPA/Imperial IPAs: We Have a Winner, by Jim Vorel @ Paste [“If you know of any tastings outside the Great American Beer Fest that have gathered more DIPAs into one place and tasted them all completely blind, I’d be curious to see their results.”]

Is Craft Beer as Close to a Sure Thing as an Entrepreneur Can Get?, by Corie Brown @ Entrepreneur [“Failure rates for new craft breweries are near zero.”]

Pope-themed beers to bless Philadelphia’s faithful, by John Kell @ Fortune [“Timely brews include names such as ‘Jesus Wept,’ ‘Holy Wooder,’ ‘Nope,’ ‘Pap Ale,’ and ‘You Only Pope Once. ’ ”]

Craft beer acquisition by Duvel — stay small, stay beautiful, by Jason Notte @ Market Watch [“We spoke with Duvel USA CEO Simon Thorpe and got his thoughts on his latest acquisition, the state of his family of breweries and where their independent spirit fits within Duvel’s portfolio.”]

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina: “New Orleans Beer: Once Hard, Now Easier,” by Nora D. McGunnigle @ All About Beer. And Abita Brewing Company offers “A Toast To New Orleans.”

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Your handy growler-getting guide [8.28-30]

Ready for growler-getting? Here’s the where, what, and when; you shouldn’t need any help with the why. [And if you’re new to B&C, dig into our epic post about Rhode Island’s beer laws.]

This week, Proclamation Ale is tweaking its Friday hours: today from 5-8 pm, you can get the bottle release of The Amazing Adventures of the Alpaca Magi. Brewmaster Dave Witham sez, “This beer is our golden sour fermented in oak barrels with wild yeast and then aged on raspberries.” There are only 250 bottles, limit two per person. And there’s another treat on tap: “We’ll be pouring our special blend we did for events only, The Dark Night Of The Alpaca Magi. This is our straight blonde sour fermented with raspberries and blended in with our dark sour recipe in bourbon barrels. This beer is tasting awesome (we tried not to drink the keg already). It’s on for tastings only while it lasts! And please excuse the mess as we build out the new tasting room!” Also available for growlers/tastings: the Stalk [a double IPA, 8.5%, “sexy hops. JuiceFest. yum”]; Derivative: Mosaic, a 6% pale ale “dry-hopped with bazillions of sexy Mosaic hops”; and Dark Sprout [“4.1% abv dark hoppy session beer…looks dark, but still tastes like a dry, light session beer. Simcoe, Citra, Cascade hop combo” The usual hours are in effect Saturday and Sunday [12-7 and 12-5, respectively].

On Saturday from 1-4 pm, Tilted Barn Brewery will be sharing a new to-be-named-by-the-time-you-get-there pilsner-based IPA and Summer Sol dry-hopped with Amarillo, plus Early Riser IPA. And the Walrus & Carpenter Oysters crew will be shucking their succulent sea fare for your slurping pleasure.

RIezeswebsite Newport Storm’s latest limited edition barrel-aged beer has arrived: Rièzes [keeping the RI-theme going, a la HysteRIa, InfRIngement, and The SheRIff of Rock Ridge]. The Stormers note that it‘s a “copper-hued Belgian-style ale [12% ABV]. The hops take a back seat in this brew as the malt characteristics shine through. Munich malt, Belgian Special B and Belgian Candy Sugar bring forth aromas and tastes of raisin, brown sugar and caramel. The Belgian yeast strain, with reported links to Chimay, rounds out this brew and offers a sweet bakers bread finish.” Bombers are at a store near you. And at Newport Storm HQ, Hurricane Amber Ale, India Point Ale, Summer Hefeweizen, Pislner, and Rhode Island Blueberry are available for tastings ’n’ growlers.

Foolproof has another pin of Pineapple IPA [made with Mosaic hops] — plus the regulars: Backyahd, Barstool, Raincloud, La Ferme Urbaine, King of the Yahd, and Augtoberfest [which is running low]. They’re open today from 5-8 and Saturday from 1-5 [with tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4] for tastings [$10, includes three samples] and growler fills.

Grey Sail [Wednesday-Friday 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-5] is pouring Autumn Winds Oktoberfest, Captain’s Daughter [growler fills only], Flagship, Flying Jenny, Great Ketch, and Pour Judgement.

At Bucket Brewery: a test batch of a German Marzen is pouring; when it kicks, BOG Carnberry-Orange Saison will take over the tap. Plus: Paul & Al’s Hoppy 25th Anniversary Pilsner, 33rd Inning Red Rye Lager, Pawtucket Pail Ale, Sabin’s Stout, and Park Loop Porter. Tastings [and growler fills/six-pack sales] today [1-7:30 pm] and Saturday [11 am-5 pm, $5] and tours on Saturday [1:30, 2:30, 3:30 pm, $13, includes pint glass].

Crooked Current has “a new super-charged” Immorality Pale Ale dry-hopped with Galaxy hops, plus Kickback American Wheat and Oatmeal Raisin Stout [Thursday 5-7 pm, Friday 5-8 pm, and Saturday 1 to 5].

Hit the websites for updates on Whaler’s and Ravenous.

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Short stuff: Isle Brewers Guild; an untold Providence brewery tale; Proclamation’s Alpaca Magi; and an ode to Genesee Cream Ale

We’re back at the B&C desk! We’ve spent the last coupla days chasing a few stories [and hitting dead ends], but today we’ve assembled some short items for your scrolling pleasure:

On July 17, we shared some great news about Isle Brewers Guild, the forthcoming Pawtucket-based “craft cooperative.” Here’s more great news: “Isle Brewers Guild gets $500,000 in local loans,” by Ethan Shorey @ The Valley Breeze.

We used this mid-'80s beauty to record our conversation with Mr. Lupo.
We used this mid-’80s beauty to record our conversation with Mr. Lupo.

Trivia Dept.: Last week we talked with Rich Lupo about the 40th anniversary of the Heartbreak Hotel[s] [the piece will be in the October ish of Providence Monthly]. He shared a what-could-have-been tale from his early ’90s search for a second location for the storied club: “We [Lupo, Josh Miller and Tom Bates] came pretty close to the Coro Building. The idea was for Lupo’s to be open and for the Met to be an annex to it as a microbrewery. We just couldn’t get it together — we weren’t working with a lot of funds.” [Lupo’s II opened in 1993; Miller opened Trinity Brewhouse in 1994.]

Get ready for this:

And some words about our “sponsor”: “How Cream Ale Rose: The Birth of Genesee’s Signature,” by Tom Acitelli @ All About Beer [“For a time (it was) the best-selling ale in the United States.”]

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Read all about it: pumpkin beer season, craft breweries for sale, a Pop-Tart beer, and ‘The Comic Book Story of Beer’

Reminder: Beervana Fest tickets go on sale today at noon. There’s an “Early Bird” special: the first 250 purchases have a $5 discount. Click here to get ’em. And while you’re waiting for your Apple Watch to tap you at noon, spend some time with these stimulating beer reads:

It’s pumpkin beer season — like it or not, by Jason Notte @ Market Watch [“Seasonal beer makes up 15% to 25% of the more than $19.6 billion in annual craft beer sales, according to market research firm IRI. The Brewers Association craft beer industry group notes that seasonal beers usually jockey with India Pale Ale for the craft beer sales title, with IPA accounting for 23% of all sales, but typically erase IPA’s lead once pumpkin beer season comes around.”]

Reuters: Dozens of Craft Breweries For Sale, by Chris Funari @ Brewbound [“ ‘Every brewery over 10,000 barrels is probably taking some sort of meeting or being asked to take meetings,’ (Dogfish Head founder Sam) Calagione (said).”]

Now, there’s a Pop-Tart beer, by Chris Morris @ Fortune [“(Toaster Pastry) will be released at the opening party for the (21st Amendment’s) new facility in San Leandro, CA on Aug. 29 — and the flavor is an homage to that facility’s former focus. Long before 21st Amendment moved in, the former Kellogg Co. factory was used to make Frosted Flakes and Pop-Tarts.”]

Comic Recalls the Accidental Brewing of the Very First Beer, by Maddie Crum @ The Huffington Post [“If it weren’t for beer — that deterrent to so much modern-day productivity — civilization as we know it might not exist.”]

Oktoberfest 2015 — The official beermug, @ Deutsche Welle

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Beer ’round here: what’s on tap this weekend

Here’s your regularly scheduled growler update!

This week, Dave Witham [aka Evad Nomenclature III] dropped a boatload of Proclamation Ale news. If you missed it, click here for the deluge of big doings. Then head to West Kingston [Thursday 3:30-7 pm, Friday 3:30-8 pm, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5] for growlers/tastings: the Stalk [a double IPA, 8.5%, “sexy hops. JuiceFest. yum”] is still in the haus! Also: Derivative: Mosaic [6% pale ale, “dry-hopped with bazillions of sexy Mosaic hops”] and Dark Sprout [“4.1% abv dark hoppy session beer…looks dark, but still tastes like a dry, light session beer. Simcoe, Citra, Cascade hop combo”].

Grey Sail is pouring Autumn Winds Oktoberfest [which is also available at a store near you], Captain’s Daughter, Flagship, Flying Jenny, Great Ketch, and Pour Judgement [Wednesday-Friday 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-5].

Foolproof is open today from 5-8 and Saturday from 1-5 [with tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4] for tastings [$10, includes three samples] and growler fills. There’s a special beer this weekend — Pineapple IPA [made with Mosaic hops] — plus the regulars: Backyahd, Barstool, Raincloud, La Ferme Urbaine, King of the Yahd, and Augtoberfest [which is running low].

On Saturday from 1-4 pm, Tilted Barn Brewery will be sharing a fresh batch of Early Riser IPA, Summer Sol, and the Raff [oatmeal stout].

Crooked Current is now open on Thursday from 5-7 pm, plus Friday [5-8 pm] and Saturday [1 to 5]. On tap: Neapolitan Brown Ale, Kickback American Wheat, and Raspberry Wheat.

Bucket Brewery’s monthly Friday Night Sound Check kicks off at 6 pm, with music by Michael Graham and the Lewd Waiters and food from Noble Knots. It’s $15 at the door, which includes four beer sample tickets [an extra $5 = a souvenir glass and extra beer per pour; bring a non-perishable food item for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and you get a bonus beer ticket]. What’s pouring? Head to Pawtucket and find out! Tastings [and growler fills/six-pack sales] today [1-7:30 pm] and Saturday [11 am-5 pm, $5] and tours on Saturday [1:30, 2:30, 3:30 pm, $13, includes pint glass].

And Whaler’s has Ginger Wheat, “Smashing Pumpkin” Experimental Pumpkin Ale, White IPA, Redsmith Ale, Chinook IPA, and a nameless double pale ale [samples/growler fills].

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Get ready: Beervana tix on sale Saturday; plus, the Ocean State Beer Fest, and big news from Proclamation Ale

beervanaWe’ve never held back when it comes to praising Beervana. For instance, in the penultimate issue of the Providence Phoenix [10.10.14], we wrote, “There’s no such thing as a bad beer fest. But there are very few great beer fests. As you should know by now, Beervana is a great beer fest. As we state every year, it’s an overwhelming array, a bevy of ultra-rare/exclusive/unique/simply excellent liquid gold poured by pros — owners, brewmasters, distributors — who pride themselves on raising the bar for better beer.” We have two months to prepare a new paean to the blissful beer gathering, but today we can share the news that tickets for the seventh annual Beervana Fest — to be held on Friday, October 16 from 6:30 to 10 pm at the opulent Rhodes-On-the-Pawtuxet [which just celebrated its 100th anniversary] — will go on sale this Saturday [8.21]. And yep — Beervana is going to be bigger and better.

We visited Beervana HQ to talk with Mike Iannazzi [co-owner of Nikki’s Liquors] and Brian Oakley [GM at Julians] and got a whole lotta intel — most of which can’t be shared right now. But this is what we can tell you: in 2014, there were 34 tables hosting about 60 breweries. This year, there will be 10 more sipping stations — which will be arrayed on Rhodes’ balcony — two levels of beer bliss with more than 200 beers! More local breweries will join the lineup, and a half-dozen new-to-Beervana breweries in the haus [two of them will start distributing here soon]. And the seminar sessions will be SRO — the speakers are Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione and Otter Creek brewmaster Mike Gerhart. That all adds up to providing the “Craft Beer Enlightenment” that is Beervana’s goal.

So: 250 early bird tix — $45 each — will hit the web on Saturday at noon [click here to get ’em]; the remaining tix will cost $50 [and will be $60 at the door, though they’ve sold out before the doors opened the last few years]. The admission is the same as last year [!] — and less than the rate for fests with much-less-stellar beer lists. It’s the best beer event in Rhode Island. ’Nuff said.

We’ll be posting Beervana updates [and Q&As with Sam and Mike] in the leadup to the Big Day — mega-enlightenment is on the way!

•   •    • 

RIBGBut wait, there’s more fest news: The First Annual Ocean State Beer Festival will  feature the 14 members of the Rhode Island Brewers’ Guild: Brutopia/Revival, Bucket, Coddington, Crooked Current, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Narragansett, Newport Storm, Proclamation, Ravenous, Tilted Barn, Trinity, Union Station, and Whaler’s. All of the beermakers will showcase their core beers — plus a “festival-only” offering specially-brewed exclusively for the mega-Rhody extravaganza. The OCBF will be at Grey Sail [63 Canal St, Westerly] on Sunday, September 20 from 1 to 4 pm. Tix are $35 [includes souvenir glassware] — and only there are 150 to be had. They’ll go on sale Tuesday [8.25] at the RIBG site.

•   •    • 

And there’s a beer event happening this very weekend: On Saturday [8.22] from 2-6 pm, set the GPS for Indian Ranch, the concert venue on the shores of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Webster, MA [about 45 minutes from Providence], which is presenting its annual Summer Brewfest. There’s no better setting for an afternoon of sampling, BBQ, and music. Two dozen craft brewers [plus some macros and imports] will be pouring, including New Englanders [Spencer, Baxter, Harpoon, Long Trail, Peak Organic, ’Gansett, Red Hook, Sam Adams, Shipyard, Magic Hat, Two Roads, Wachusett, and Wormtown] and some national standouts [Boulevard, Goose Island, Blue Point, Ithaca, Kona, Sierra Nevada, Widmer Brothers]. Tix are $32 advance [$7 for designated drivers]. Big fun in the wilds of Webster!

•   •    • 

procIn our “Get To Know Your Brewer” Q&A with Dave Witham of Proclamation Ale, he shared a few hints about future developments at his West Kingston HQ. Last night, he got ultra-specific in a post titled “A List Of 7 Things [That Are Going On At The Procs].” The highlights: a new tasting room; another expansion [“more tanks = more beer”]; news on Tendril [the winner of the Favorite Rhode Island IPA poll] and the Amazing Adventures of the Alpaca Magi [a raspberry sour]; a Sour Night; and an imminent barrel-aged Zzzlumber release. And he teases two more things to be dropped soon. Whoa! Read Evad Nomenclature III’s entire post here.

•   •    • 

And this just in: it’s finally official:

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Foolproof’s Peanut Butter Raincloud is on the way

 

Foolproof_Peanut

Foolproof Brewing Company is getting its Reese’s on with a new offering: Peanut Butter Raincloud. The salty-sweet variation on their robust porter — brewed with chocolate malts — will be made with dehydrated peanut butter from another Pawtucket-based business, Nuts ’N More [of Shark Tank fame]. The brew debuted in March at Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest; Foolproof prez Nick Garrison told us it was their “biggest hit” at the prestigious Boston event and the plans to bring it to market got underway a few days later.

Nick and his crew have fingers crossed for the creation of their new beer and the introduction of  a unique ingredient: “An exciting and nerve-wracking part of the process is we won’t really know [how it will go] until we brew it” [on the 30-barrel system]. They’re hoping to have the first four-packs of 12-ounce cans [5.4% ABV] ready to ship by the third week of September [the brew may make its first appearances on draught]. If PBR is well-received it may be added to the year-round portfolio.

Peanut Butter Raincloud is Foolproof’s second collaboration with local culinary partners; earlier this year, they teamed up with Walrus & Carpenter Oysters and Garrison Chocolates to create Shuckolate, a chocolate-oyster stout.