The 2nd Annual Favorite Rhode Island Brewery Poll!

beer-voteWe’ve launched quite a few Favorite polls this year: Favorite Rhode Island IPA [Proclamation’s Tendril], Favorite Rhode Island Beer Store [Blackstone Valley: B&C Liquors; Providence/Cranston: High Spirits; Kent County: Haxton’s; East Bay: Grapes & Grains; Aquidneck Island: Sandy’s Liquors; South County: Wyoming Package Store], Favorite Rhode Island Brewpub [Brutopia Brewery & Kitchen], and the epic Favorite Rhode Island Beer Bar Bracket [the late. lamented Track 84] — and we sked “What brewery would you most like to see in the RI market?” [top three: Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Cigar City, Bell’s]. A whole lotta pollin’ goin’ on!

But the original Favorite poll was posted on December 3, 2014 — the time, it flies! — and now it’s our first second-time-around popularity contest: the 2nd Annual Favorite Rhode Island Brewery Poll! The first time around, we had just logged our first full month at the B&C Desk and were looking for a way to boost our profile and get people talkin’ and typin’ — and have some fun boosting the local beermakers. Mission accomplished: we amassed lotsa new visitors and followers, lotsa shares, lotsa votes — and Crooked Current was the readers’ choice [in July, they also nabbed Best Brewery honors in Rhode Island Monthly’s 2015 Best of Rhode Island].

This is the most equitable of the B&C polls: every brewery is included [as we noted in ’14: yes, we know that Narragansett is not made in Rhode Island, but the local ownership is good enough for us; and this time around we’ve made a single entry for Revival/Brutopia]. You may have to flip a coin or two before you make your choice; as you deliberate, please heed these words from Mr. Letterman: “This is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, no wagering.” The ballot will run through Saturday [12.5], with one vote per reader [and if you’d like to cite your fave beer by your fave brewery, add it in the “Leave a comment“ link]. All right, get voting ’n’ sharing ’n’ talking ’n’ typing.

Cheers to our local breweries ’n’ beers!

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!!!

Read all about it: sell out or savvy?; drink adventurously; Thailand’s rebel microbreweries; and more

reading-e1433602888667A diverse plate of beer reads to peruse while cleaning another plate of leftovers…

Sell out or savvy? Craft beer is business, not charity, by Jeff Baker @ Burlington Free Press [“Maybe it doesn’t really matter at all if we have an agreed-upon definition of ‘craft.’ An employee for a Vermont distributor told me that sales haven’t changed in the slightest since the Lagunitas announcement to sell to Heineken.”]

Enhance your drinking experience: A conversation with the author of ‘The Year of Drinking Adventurously: 52 Ways To Get Out of Your Comfort Zone,’ by John Holl @ All About Beer [“Some of the drinks, I’d say, are actually pretty hard to like. But it’s more about taking that leap and trying something new, whether it’s the most delicious thing you’ve ever experienced, or gut-wrenchingly vile.”]

Fast-growing craft brewers aim to maintain quality as they satisfy demand, by Jill Terreri Ramos @ The Boston Globe [Those “fast-growing craft brewers” are Jack’s Abby and The Alchemist]

Thirst for change: Thailand’s rebel microbreweries, by Brian Spencer @ CNN [“ ‘We all know that brewing is illegal, and I know they can come any time they want and shut this down,’ says P’Chit. ‘But at the same time I want change, and I think the only way we can create change is to create an army of brewers.’ ”]

ICYMI: It’s the Most Wonderful Time For Beers, our roundup of superb seasonal offerings in the current issue of Motif.

And today is Small Business Saturday! Head to our small [and business-challenged-due-to-small-minded legislation] breweries to get 72 ounces of great local brew, and hit the Rhode Island Brew Bus website today and Sunday to get 20 percent off any December tour [hint” it’s a great gift idea!].

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 “report” [aka post #299a]

299It’s a glorious day for growler-gathering [roll them windows down!] but, alas, we have a meager report. We contacted our correspondents on Tuesday and got two responses [the other folks were busy turkey-thawing]: Foolproof has the usual lineup [Backyahd, Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine, Raincloud, and King of the Yahd] plus Revery and Peanut Butter Raincloud [tastings/fills/four-pack sales today 6-8 pm and Saturday 1-5, with tours on the hour]…And Tilted Barn Brewery is closed this week [they’re still clearing cars outta the parking lots after the mega-well-attended first anniversary bash on 11.21]. In December they’ll be open on Wednesdays [starting 12.2] from 5-8 due to Christmas tree sales on the weekends. Lotsa multi-tasking at TBB!…A click-around on Friday morning yielded one more bit of intel: Proclamation [today 1-8, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5] has Tendril and Derivative: Mosaic; The Stalk and Broze are on deck. You’re on yr own for the rest of the what-and-where; consult our brewery links for your enlightenment-seeking pleasure…

Aaand we just noticed this is our 300th post! Another round number!! It snuck up on us!!! But we’re going to call this meager entry 299a [and Saturday’s “Read all about it” 299b], and make the 300th post a significant one [dive into the archives and check the 12.3.2014 item for a big hint].

Thanksgiving pairings: advice from The Beer Hunter, and a mega-chart

We dug into the B&C archives to reblog this helpful Thanksgiving Eve post. Enjoy!

Bottles & Cans & Just Clap Your Hands

We took some of our own advice re: sharing “crazy beers” on Thanksgiving and just went out in a downpour to get a six-pack of Victory Prima Pils. Yeah, we’re dedicated — and/or stoopid. In the not-so-crazy dept., we have two other items to share for your holiday prepping: a classic article — “Beer at the Thanksgiving table,” by Michael Jackson, aka the Beer Hunter — which ran in The Washington Post on November 16, 1983. The editor’s note on the post at says, “It was one of Michael Jackson’s first articles to appear on the subject of matching food and beer.” Read Tom Acitelli’s piece at All About Beer for some perspective on the landmark “beer-food first” [and a month from now, you should give Tom’s book, The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution, to all the better beer enthusiasts on your list].

And here’s a…

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Goose Island’s BCBS arrives on Friday; discover Hidden Cove; ’Gansett’s final Lovecraft brew is…; and more

A few short items for a short week [or looong week, depending on your POV]:

Goose Island Beer Co. has a Black Friday [11.27] option that is much more pleasurable than lining up in front of Walmart at 3 am. On the day after Thanksgiving, you can celebrate the annual [line-free] release of Bourbon County Brand Stout — in spiffy new embossed 16.9-ounce bottles, which will be sold individually, not in four-packs. When the superb, thick, rich, potent, layered, and complex brew [caramel, molasses, vanilla, chocolate, with a warming burn] was first available in Rhode Island in 2012, quantities were super-limited, but the supply has since increased [2014 bottles can still be found] and the demand has dropped a bit, perhaps because so many other barrel-aged brews have hit the market. As was the case last year, the only variant making its way to RI is BCB Barleywine Ale; a rep for the distributor says, “It is our understanding that Rhode Island is the only New England state getting the Barleywine.” There will be a few BCBS release events; we’ll update this post when we get the intel. {Update 11.23 @ 5:39 pm: Brick Alley Pub in Newport will pouring BCBS on Friday from 5-7 pm and Grid Iron Ale House and Grille in Warwick is tapping it on Saturday at 9 pm.}

There’s a new line of beers from Hidden Cove Brewing Co. of Wells, ME, headed to our taps ’n’ shelves. The company was founded two-and-a-half years ago by Richard Varano [it was first called Captain Dick’s]; Kevin Glessing, who was the head brewer at Maine Beer hiddencovelogoCompany, joined Hidden Cove in February. Three of their four well-reviewed year-round offerings will be available in six-packs: Patroon IPA [6% ABV, made with Hallertau Blanc, Centennial and Summit hops], Castoff Session IPA [4.5%, Lemon Drop, Cascade and Chinook]; and Bucko’s Hoppy Brown Ale [6.5%, Hallertau Blanc, Centennial and Summit]. And look for Booty Raspberry Golden Ale [a Belgian ale, 5.5%, Hallertau Blanc] and Carnelian Belgian Red Ale [5.2%, Willamette, Hallertau Blanc and Summit] on draft.

There’s a whole lotta Narragansett Beer on the shelves right now. At a packy in Wark the other day, we saw [deep breath] Big Mamie, Town Beach, Reanimator Helles Lager, Del’s Shandy and Black Cherry Shandy, Allie’s Double Chocolate Porter, Lager, Light, and the just-arrived batch of Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout. That’s a whole lotta SKUs! But it will be a while before the fourth and final entry in the H.P. Lovecraft Series joins ’em: that one is penciled in “somewhere between late January and late February.” We’ll share the title, style, and label art as soon as we get the green light…And ’Gansett, which has often called itself  “New England’s favorite beer,” is now available in Merry Olde England. A rep tells us, “We’ve just started working with a new exporter called Crafted and we’re shipping ’Gansett across the pond.” They’ll have to start making cans that say “Hi-Neighbour!”

We’ll share this note from Matt and Kara Richardson re: Tilted Barn Brewery’s first anniversary bash on Saturday:

Wow. We wanted to take a minute to say thanks. Our first anniversary celebration was absolutely amazing…and insane. We expected a big turnout but nothing like what we saw. For those of you that made it, hope you had a blast. Sorry for the wait time but we’ll be the first to admit we were caught a bit off guard with the crowd size. For those that came and didn’t get in, we are truly sorry. The last thing we were expecting to do was to turn people away. We literally couldn’t fit any other cars anywhere on the farm and had to make sure that everyone that was already parked could safely get out. Hope everyone understands. That being said it was a great day and an amazing first year and we’re already making plans to handle crowds this big in the future. Thanks again for the support. We’re looking forward to 2016 and many more years at Tilted Barn. Cheers!

And ICYM the “Get To Know Your Brewer” Q&A with Matt, click here!

Don’t forget: a few breweries have added pre-T-giving hours for your growler-grabbing pleasure: Bucket Brewery is open today through Wednesday from 11 am-6 pm; Proclamation will open their door on Wednesday from 1-6 [and they have 30 bottles of Zzzlumber left]; head to Grey Sail on Tuesday from 3-7 and Wednesday from 1-7; Crooked Current will be pouring the first batch of their Egg Nog Milk Stout on T-giving Eve from 5-7; and Ravenous has tastings/tours and howler fills on Tuesday from 4-7.

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!!!

Read all about it: rethinking ‘craft beer’ after the Ballast Point sale; Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione gets into the magazine biz; and much more

ballast-point-logo1Exit 5B off RI-4S is going to get a workout today, with alla youse folks headed to Tilted Barn and Proclamation [click those links for details on TBB’s first anniversary bash today and our Q&A with Matt Richardson, and the intel on Proc’s Zzzlumber]. Here are some good reads to dive into before and after you acquire the liquid splendor in Washington County…

It’s Time To Rethink What We Mean by ‘Craft Beer,’ by Jolie Myers @ Los Angeles Magazine [“With Ballast Point’s billion dollar sale, it‘s gotten more complicated than small vs. big”]

Why Oskar Blues chose craft beer over $1 billion, by Jason Notte @ Market Watch [“Is there any way to preserve your independence and get an influx of cash without turning to another, larger brewer? For Oskar Blues, the answer involved finding a private-equity firm that wouldn’t be overly controlling and using their money to acquire other breweries and avoid being the brewery acquired.”]

Beer Before Liquor and Other Booze Myths, Busted @ Yahoo! [“When it comes to the world of spirits, questions about alcohol’s impact on your health still abound. To make sense of it all, we took a deep dive into our liquor cabinets to do some investigating.”]

The 5 Stages of Craft Beer Grief: How To Cope When Your Favorite Brewery Sells Out, by Don Ayres @ Paste [“Lucky for you, America is still in the midst of a craft beer renaissance, which means that there are still plenty of options for you to get a great brew from a local, independent brewer.”]

palletCalagione enters publishing biz with Pallet, by Rem Reider @ USA Today [“Calagione is executive editor of Pallet, a new quarterly aimed at people who, in the words of the Dogfish Head website, ‘like to think and drink.’ While the magazine is aimed squarely at craft beer lovers, it’s not a beer magazine. There will be plenty about beer, but the subject matter will be wide-ranging and eclectic, as the debut issue makes clear. Its subtitle says it all: ‘Only interested in everything.’ ”]

And ICYMI: It’s the Most Wonderful Time For Beers, our roundup of superb seasonal beers in the new issue of Motif.

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 report [with bonus holiday hours]; and Whaler’s Brewing’s Hazelnut Stout is headed to stores

This week’s roundup includes info on extra pre-holiday hours at some breweries:

We posted the info about Proclamation Ale Company’s Zzzlumber release on Thursday; click here for the details. Also on tap [today 5-8 pm, Saturday 12-7, and Sunday 12-5]: Tendril [per Dave: “a slightly revamped version of our old-school friend… 7.5% ABV, resin loaded fruit/pine punch”] and Broze, a new oatmeal milk stout [5.5%].

Bucket Brewery’s monthly Sound Check takes place tonight from 6-9 pm. The bash at 100 Carver St in Pawtucket features music by the ’Mericans. Tix are $15, 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 and entry for raffle prizes. And Bucket is doing a food drive for the RICFB through the end of the year. “Come in any time we’re open with a non-perishable food donation and get a free pint. One pint per person per visit.” On tap [and to-go] this weekend: 33rd Inning [available in cans], BOG Cranberry Orange Saison [cans], Hive Mind Honey Ale [in 32-ounce squealers], Pawtucket Pail Ale [cans], Park Loop Porter [cans], and Fireside Harvest Ale [squealers]. They’ll also have the last of Sabin’s Stout in squealers. Bonus T-giving hours: Mon-Wed 11 am-6 pm.

Click here for info on Tilted Barn’s first anniversary celebration on Saturday from 1-4 pm — and a “Get To Know Your Brewer” Q&A with Matt Richardson.

Big news from Whaler’s Brewing: Hazelnut Stout is hitting stores next week. WB’s Andy Tran says, “We are bottling [today] and making a big push for Thanksgiving week. It’s easily one of our highest-rated and longest-running styles, predating even the formation of the company, and is being bottled because of popular demand. Should be the perfect accompaniment for the cool weather season.” Look for it [and their great East Coast IPA] and share it on the holiday [and beyond]. On tap at the Wakefield HQ this weekend [Thursday and Friday 4-8 pm, Saturday 1-7 pm, Sunday 1-5 pm]: Berliner Weisse, Olneyville Megazord [dry-hopped brown ale], Hazelnut Stout, Golden IPA, Redsmith Ale, and Ginger Wheat.

At Foolproof: Peanut Butter Raincloud, Backyahd, Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine, Raincloud, and King of the Yard [today 5-8 pm, Saturday 1-5, with tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4 for tastings ($10 includes three samples) and growler fills]. And Revery, the Russian imperial stout, should be available in 12-ounce four-packs this weekend [no growler fills due to limited supply, but samples will be available at tastings].

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

Grey Sail is open today-Sunday from 1-5, plus Tuesday [3-7] and Thanksgiving Eve [1-7]. Check their Facebook page for what’s-on-tap updates…And seek alt. routes for info on Crooked Current and Ravenous [though the latter rarely posts what’s-pouring info, so head to Woonsocket to find out].

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!!!