’Gansett’s Reanimator emerges from the lab; Newport Storm’s Red Dawn; two tap takeovers tonight; the WBRU Brew Fest; and the Wild Colonial honors the classics

OK, let’s clear off the B&C desk and plow through the inbox…

Waaaaaaay back on July 16, we broke the news about Reanimator Helles Lager, the third release in Narragansett Beer’s H.P. Lovecraft series [get alllllll the details here]. The revival of ’Gansett’s Bock, which was retired in 2013, was slated to arrive around Labor Day, but it’s finally ready to emerge from the lab [and the new mashup, Allie’s Donuts Double Chocolate Porter, started hitting stores on Tuesday]. The trucks are ready to roll, and the launch party will be on Saturday, October 10 at 8 pm at the Columbus Theatre. There will be a screening of Re-Animator, the 1985 film directed by Stuart Gordon [at 9], and Aaron Bosworth, the Cranston artist who did the striking artwork on the can, will be signing prints of his work. Admission is $10.

Newport Storm has been on a creative tear this year: their 10th release is Red Dawn, a Russian Imperial Stout. Many people have fond memories of Vlad, the RIS that was released in 2012 as part of the Cyclone Series; the new brew has a completely different flavor profile and ingredients. From the PR: “Traditionally, Russian Imperial Stouts are known for their malt complexities that can take on slight burnt tones reminiscent of black coffee. With Red Dawn, brewers wanted to going to the extreme with the roast profile and added ample amounts of Canada Pale and Castle Special B Malt. Flaked barley and oats were also added to tame the full-bodied flavors for a smooth finish.” Four-packs are on shelves now.

Heads up for a few events: Tonight from 7-9 pm, the Malted Barley will host a tap takeover with its pals from down the street, Grey Sail. You can enjoy Hazy Day, Great Ketch, Flying Jenny, Autumn Winds, and Dark Star, an imperial stout made with cherries…At Chomp Kitchen and Drinks in Warren tonight from 6-9, Two Roads will be on two taps and Two Roads Bill will dig into “the private collection of brewery-only bottles that [we’ve] been holding onto for a rainy day (Sorry for the bad pun but we couldn’t help it).”…On Thursday [10.1], Powers Pub in Cranston will host Throw Back Thirstday, featuring Dogfish Head’s Kvasir, an ancient ale [throwing waaaaaaay back] made with wheat, berries, honey, and birch syrup, and other DFH goodies…On Saturday [10.3], WBRU will present a Craft Brew Fest at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel [go here to read our piece on the club’s 40th anniversary]. There will be more than 100 beers from Foolproof, Southern Tier, Dogfish Head, Stone, Oskar Blues, Ballast Point, Stony Creek, Shipyard, Sierra Nevada, Narragansett, and a few more, and three ciderists. Sessions are from 12-3:30 and 4:30-7:30 pm; tix are $35…

Glass1.JPGAnd on Saturday, October 3, the Wild Colonial Tavern is launching its “Revisiting the Classics” series. Here’s the mission statement: “Some works are classics just because someone says so, but Mozart, Shakespeare, and Michelangelo are all pretty good. And, while the shiny and new are interesting and fun, sometimes revisiting the classics reveals that they are classics because they are great.

“This fall, we at the Wild Colonial are doing the craft beer equivalent and dancing with the ones that brung us in a series of events designed to reappreciate some of the breweries that have been at this as long — or longer — than we have, breweries with whom we share some history, breweries who helped nurture the craft beer movement and who continue to innovate without forgetting whence they came.” The first honoree: Allagash Brewing Company of Portland, ME. Savor the 2015 GABF award-winning Allagash White [gold for Belgian-Style Witbier], and try the rarities Hugh Malone [Belgian IPA] and Midnight Brett [wild ale]. And stop by early: the WC will be participating in the South Main Street Merchants’ Fall Festival from 2-5 pm. Future classics include Long Trail [October 10] and Sierra Nevada [October 24].

And in case you missed it, 12 new breweries were added to the Beervana list.

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Get your Great American Beer Fest award winners; and the ’Gansett/Allie’s Double Chocolate Porter finally arrives

gabf_medalsThe Great American Beer Festival, which certainly lives up to its name, size- and prestige-wise, took place in Denver last week [9.24-26]. The sprawling event featured 750 breweries which poured 3800 beers to 60,000 attendees. At the Fest’s 29th beer competition, the judges [242 from 15 countries] assessed brews in 92 categories encompassing 145 styles; there were 6647 entries from 1552 breweries. Some notable numbers compiled by the Brewers Association:

423 brewers were first-time participants; 38 won awards
The top three states by ratio of medals to entries by state: Maine: 21% with 14 entries and three medals; Rhode Island: 10% with 10 entries and one medal. In Category 91: Old ale or Strong Ale [39 entries], Narragansett Beer won a silver medal for Innsmouth Olde Ale, the second release in the H.P. Lovecraft series [which was released in April, but you might find some cans at off-the-beaten path retailers]; and North Dakota: 8% with 12 entries and one medal
There were 336 entries in the American-Style India Pale Ale category and 208 in the Imperial IPA faceoff

Roomful of brewers [photo courtesy Brewers Association]
Roomful of brewers [photo courtesy Brewers Association]

And while the beer and folks were flowing in Denver, the BA released a bit of news: there are now 4000 active brewers in the US. “Although precise numbers from the 19th century are difficult to confirm, this is almost certainly the first time the United States has crossed the 4,000 brewery barrier since the 1870s,” Bart Watson, the chief economist for the BA, noted. “The Internal Revenue Department counted 2,830 ‘ale and lager breweries in operation’ in 1880, down from a high point of 4,131 in 1873. Given the strong pace of openings (approximately two openings/day with a net increase of 1.9/day factoring in closings), it is likely that later in 2015, or early in 2016, there will be more active breweries in the United States than at any point in our nation’s history. This is a remarkable achievement that would have been unthinkable in late 1970s, when the number of American breweries dipped below 100.” [Read Bart’s full post here.]

Most of the 275 winners [from 242 breweries], awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals, aren’t available in Rhode Island, since brewpubs and tiny beermakers with limited distribution account for the bulk of the honorees, but you can cull a tasty and diverse selection of GABF-honored suds at your favorite mix-a-six-or-more emporium. A few are in stores right now [those are asterisked] and some are seasonals, so keep an eye peeled all year-round.

Imperial Red Ale: Founders’ reDANKulous* [gold]
Belgian-Style Witbier: Allagash White* [gold]
Specialty Beer: Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar* [silver]
German-Style Pilsener: Firestone Walker’s Pivo* [gold]
Belgian-Style Tripel: Allagash Tripel* [silver]
Brown Porter: Left Hand’s Black Jack Porter* [bronze]
American-Style Lager or Light Lager: Coors Banquet* [gold]
Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest: Kona’s Longboard Island Lager* [silver]
Vienna-Style Lager: Stoudt’s Oktober Fest [silver]
Field Beer: Baxter’s Window Seat Coconut Almond Porter [silver]
Ordinary or Special Bitter: Firestone Walker’s DBA [Double Barrel Ale] [gold]; Left Hand’s Sawtooth Ale [bronze]
Other Belgian-Style Ale: Mayflower’s Summer Rye Ale [silver]
Export Stout: Left Hand’s Fade To Black, Vol 1 [gold]


452_GANS_Allies16oz_mechOn August 3, we posted “Narragansett and Allie’s Donuts team up for Double Chocolate Porter.” The beer’s ETA was Labor Day, but it took the long cut and has finally arrived in stores [we’re still waiting for a new ETA on Reanimator, the third H.P. Lovecraft entry]. The press release is here; the launch party is at the Oak Hill Tavern in North Kingstown on Thursday [10.1] from 6-9 pm. And yep, there will be donuts.

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The Beervana ticket winner — and a sneak peek at the beer list

As our beloved regular readers know, we celebrated our 250th post with a Real Big Giveaway: a pair of tickets to Beervana [a $100 value; mega-thanks once again to fest organizers Mike and Brian for their largesse]. Everyone who sent a message with “[I] want to win Beervana tix!” in the subject line got their name in the half-liter stein. And the Randomly Selected Lucky Real Big Giveaway Winner is…Alexander Dacey! Congrats and cheers! We’ll be in touch re: getting the tix to you. [And Alex, we hope you follow B&C on e-mail and/or Facebook and/or Twitter, hinthint.]

You should know by now, but just in case: Beervana Fest is on Friday, October 16 at Rhodes-On-the-Pawtuxet. Last week we posted the list of brewers who will be in the haus; today, we can reveal a few of the ultra-rare/exclusive/unique/simply excellent 200-plus beers that will vie for your attention.

Ballast Point: Sour Wench [blackberry ale]
Dogfish Head: Bourbon barrel-aged Palo Santo Marron [brown ale] and 2007 120 Minute IPA
Stone: Barrel-aged Brown Ale with Balaton Sour Cherries [Flanders Oud Bruin aged for three years in wine barrels, followed by several months in oak tanks]
Cantillon: Vigneronne
Evil Twin: Double Barrel Even More Jesus and Cognac Even More Jesus [imperial stouts]
Two Roads: Two Evil Geyser Gose [brewed with Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø from Evil Twin; made with ingredients sourced from Iceland, including Icelandic moss, rye, herbs, sea kelp, skyr, and birch-smoked sea salt]
Mikkeller: Blå Spøgelse [a collaboration with 3 Floyds — a wild ale with blueberries]
Proclamation: zzzlumber [barrel-aged with whole bean coffee, cacao, and vanilla]
Revival: Barrel-aged White Electric Stout

Pretty good start, yes? We’ll post the entire beer list ASAP and will share other Beervana intel in the run-up to the Big Day. Get your tickets [$50] now!

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!!!

‘Gansett wins a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival!

innsmouth_canThe Great American Beer Festival Awards were presented today in Denver, CO. The GABF presents gold, silver, and bronze medals for excellence in 92 beer-style categories; 6647 beers were submitted by 1552 breweries. It’s the most prestigious beer award in the US of A.

In the Old Ale/Strong Ale Category, Narragansett Beer’s Innsmouth Olde Ale won a silver medal! Cheers and congrats to Mark Hellendrung, brewer Sean Larkin, and the entire ‘Gansett crew!

Read all about it: say goodbye to craft beer as you know it; NE’s best pale ales; scenes from the Great American Beer Festival; craft beer and the rise of the celebrity brewer; plus, the Neighbor Days Block Party


It’s the last day to enter the Big Giveaway for a pair of Beervana tickets [the window closes around 11 pm]! So get your name in the stein, then settle in and click through these beer-related reads. And after you’re done reading, head to Luongo Square in Providence for the 5th Annual Neighbor Days Block Party, co-sponsored by ’Gansett Beer and the West Broadway Neighborhood Association. There are a dozen bands [including Jay Berndt & the Orphans, Ravi Shavi, and Cannibal Ramblers], food from PVD trucks and restaurants, work artists and goods from offbeat vendors — and a ’Gansett beer garden, natch, where you can be the first to try the Gansett/Allie’s Donuts Double Chocolate Porter. The fun starts at noon; get more details here.

Why It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Craft Beer As You Know It, by Jason Notte @ Main Street [“Back in April, we told you that craft beer would be unrecognizable by 2020. That process has begun, whether the industry is ready for it or not.”]

Best Beers: New England’s World Class Pale Ales, by Terry Lozoff @ Drink Insider [“Derivative: Galaxy is a crisp, earthy, rustic, spicy pale ale with a bit of tangy citrus. I picked up a bottle a few weeks ago and was blown away. It’s easily one of my favorite new beers I’ve had all year. Guess we will start having to pay attention to Rhode Island.”]

Here’s some crazy, wonderful scenes from the Great American Beer Festival, by Chris Morris at Fortune [“It’s the beer world’s Super bowl – and there’s never a lack of interesting things to see.”]

Craft Beer and the Rise of the Celebrity Brewer, by Ethan Fixell @ Vanity Fair [“Over the past five years, a growing group of brewers have become as well known and beloved for their personas as for the stellar beer they produce. Perhaps the most well known among them is Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware.” Sam will be one of the speakers at Beervana. Enter now to win tickets!!]

Cheers to the Health Benefits of Beer!, by Jenny Sugar @ PopSugar [“This of course isn’t a license to inhale a six-pack.”]

And check out our piece on the 40th anniversary of Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel; it’s in the new issue of Providence Monthly.

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!!!

The growler-getting guide [9.25-27]; and the Beervana ticket giveaway!

Beervana is three weeks from today! Wanna win a pair of tickets? Click here [and check out the list of brewers]. More immediate gratification can be found at the breweries this weekend. Here’s what’s on tap:

At Bucket Brewery: Hive Mind Honey Ale, Paul & Al’s Hoppy 25th Anniversary Pilsner, BOG Cranberry Orange Saison, 33rd Inning Red Rye Lager, Pawtucket Pail Ale, and Park Loop Porter [and perhaps a few test brews]. 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].

At Foolproof: Peanut Butter Raincloud, Backyahd, Barstool, Raincloud, La Ferme Urbaine, “super fresh” King of the Yahd, and Augtoberfest [“not much left”]. They’re open today from 5-8 pm and on Saturday from 1-5 [with tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4] for tastings [$10, includes three samples] and growler fills.

At Tilted Barn Brewery on Saturday from 1-4 pm: welcome back jack. [a pumpkin ale made with gourds grown on the farm], Early Riser IPA, and the Raffi [oatmeal stout] — and the gang from Walrus & Carpenter Oysters will be shucking their delicacies for your slurping pleasure.

* At Crooked Current [today 5-8 pm and Saturday 1-5]: Hawaiian Porter [a collaboration with Pawtucket-based coffee roaster Borealis Coffee, made with Ka’anapali Maui Mokha coffee, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, toasted coconut; half the batch got a dose of fresh pineapple added into the secondary], Plunderdome Pumpkin Maple Ale, and the supercharged Immorality Pale Ale [includes Galaxy hops].

At Newport Storm [Thursday-Saturday 12-6 pm, Monday and Wednesday 12-5]: R.I.P.umpkin, Oktoberfest Marzen Lager, Hurricane Amber Ale, India Point Ale, Summer Hefeweizen, and Rhode Island Blueberry

And stay away from Proclamation Ale Company [unless you want to hang out with this guy]. An update from Dave: “Sorry, kids. We’re closed for one more weekend. The construction is going well, but getting everything the way we want it is going to take some extra time. We don’t want to open until the new space is ready. It’s been decided that the grand opening of the new tasting room will be on Saturday, October 3rd (or the 2nd if you are going to Sour Night).” [And click here to see the sharp new sign in the tasting room.]

* Hit the websites for updates on Grey Sail, Whaler’s, and Ravenous.

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!!!

Celebrating our 250th post with a Beervana ticket giveaway!

250_redIt’s our 250th post! We mused about our modest enterprise in our 100th and 200th posts [3.2.15 and 7.13.15, respectively] and encourage you to dig into those semi-self-indulgent words. A few updates on the stats: we’ve now amassed 57K+ page views [we really need to figure out a way to monetize this thang]. The post on the closing of Track 84 is the most-ever-viewed [and the follow-up post is seventh], but in the last 50 entries, some good news topped the chart: our exclusive announcement of “The Malted Barley coming to downtown Providence” has nearly 2000 views [1200 in the first 24 hours]. We’re workin’ for ya at the B&C desk.

And we’re celebrating Our Latest Big Round Number in a Big Way with a Real Big Giveaway: a very lucky reader will win a pair of tickets to Beervana [a $100 value; mega-thanks to fest organizers Mike and Brian for their generosity]. You may have heard about Beervana; if not, read about it here and check out the list of the brewers [another B&C exclusive] who will be at the Best Beer Fest In Rhode Island.

beervanaOur staff has been deliberating about how to handle the giveaway. We were going to make a push for new e-mail/Facebook/Twitter followers, but that would exclude the hundreds of B&C devotees, some of whom have been onboard since Day Two. So we’ve opted to keep it simple and all-inclusive [though we certainly hope that you to become a new e-mail/Facebook/Twitter follower after you enter the giveaway].

To enter the Real Big Giveaway, send an email to bottlescans250@gmail.com. In the subject line, please enter “[YOUR NAME] wants to win Beervana tix!” Then we’ll write down all of YOUR NAMEs, put the slips in a huge Oktoberfest stein, and pick the Very Lucky Winner! [The fine print: one submission per reader, please.] The contest window will close on Saturday [9.26] at 11 pm and the Very Lucky Winner will be announced on Monday [9.28]. [And you can buy tickets right now if you’re not feeling lucky.]

Good luck to all! And mega-thanks for reading! Cheers!

[And jeez, how are we going to top this giveaway on our first-year anniversary?]

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!!!