Notes on the Rhode Island Brew Fest; and the RI winners in RateBeer’s Best Awards

ri-brew-fest-no-dateThe fourth edition of the Rhode Island Brew Fest raised the beer bar yet again, with a great array of offerings [with a few surprises and rarities mixed in] from our esteemed local breweries, plus choice regional and national reps. We attended the afternoon session, digging up a few news items that we’ll share ASAP — oh, and sampling 20 or so beers. Some highlights [citing new-to-our-palate brews]: Dogfish Head’s Higher Math, Green Flash’s Hand Shake, Harpoon’s Hoppy Adventure [can’t wait till this one hits stores in the fall], Lagunitas’ Bitter Oats, Long Live’s Eureka, There’s Hops!, Long Trail’s Unearthed, Sixpoint’s Sesher, and Stone’s Pataskala Red X. What were your favorites? Drop ’em in the Comments section at the bottom of this post.

The next big beer event, the 5th Annual Newport Craft Beer Festival, is happening on April 30 on the lawn at the Great Friends Meeting House [there’s also a VIB session on 4.29 at Newport Storm]. And the 10th Great International Spring Beer Festival is taking it outside on May 7 — the bash will be at Mulligan’s Island in Cranston.

•   •   •

medallion-smA few hours after pouring at the Armory, Proclamation Ale Company took top Rhody honors at the RateBeer Best Awards Ceremony, held in Santa Rosa, CA, winning medals for Best Best Brewery and Best Beer for Derivative: Galaxy [the results are calculated from scores posted by the site’s reviewers; as we type, Grey Sail’s Captain’s Daughter tops the Best Beers Brewed in Rhode Island, USA list, with a score of 99 to Deriv: Gal’s 98.7; ]. [And BTW, Proclamation had the best signage at the RIBF: a, 8.5×11” black-and-white printout of its logo, duct-taped to the lower corner of the Armory’s balcony. They don’t need no stinkin’ banners!] Other RI winners: Julians [Best Restaurant], Nikki’s Liquors [Best Bottle Shop], and the Malted Barley [Best Bar]. Cheers to all!

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The weekly brewery report, with new bottle releases at Proclamation and new brews at Long Live, Foolproof, and Bucket

The local breweries will be repping at the sold-out Rhode Island Brew Fest on Saturday [click here to see the beer list], but they’ll all be doing biz as usual at their far-flung HQs. Here’s what’s on tap, including BIG bottle releases and a few new brews…

At Proclamation Ale Company [Thursday 3:30-7 pm, Friday 3:30-8, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5]: The PAC team says: “Epic week incoming.” The Stalk [double IPA made with Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops]  will make its debut in bombers today [1.28; it’s also on for growlers/tastings]. The PAC team says: “We anticipate a line.” On Friday: the release [website says 4 pm, Facebook says 5 pm] of Beards and Arrows, a single batch release of a blonde sour ale made with about 5 percent red grape juice. [UPDATE 1.28 @ 5:07 pm: “Hey all. Sorry for the last minute ixnay, but we are postponing our release of Beards and Arrows…We popped some bottles today and had found off flavor development that was not there a few weeks ago. We feel it wouldn’t be responsible to sell a beer that wasn’t ready, so you have to wait a bit longer. Sorry!”] Plus: Derivative: Galaxy and Derivative: Mosaic [bottles/growlers/tastings], and bottles/tastings of Adelia, the tart blonde “warehouse ale.”

At Long Live Beerworks [Wednesday-Friday  4-9 pm, Saturday 1-5]: ’Nuff Said IPA, Black Cat Pale Ale, and Milk Milk Stout, and a “possible Heck Hound” [smoky red ale]. Plus: “This Friday, we will be tapping El Bandito — ’Nuff Said casked with tequila-soaked charred oak.”

At Foolproof [Friday 5-7 pm, Saturday 1-5, with tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4 ($10, includes three samples)]: Revery, Peanut Butter Raincloud, Backyahd, Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine, Raincloud, and “super-fresh” King of the Yard. And Shuckolate, the seasonal chocolate-oyster stout made with succulent ingredients from Walrus & Carpenter Oysters and Garrison Chocolates, will be available on tap and in cans. AND click here to get your tix for the Shuckolate Soiree on Friday, February 12 from 5-7 pm, with beer, food, music, and more!

At Bucket Brewery [Friday 1-7:30 pm; Saturday 11 am-5 pm, with tours at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30]: Black Goat o’ the Woods [a new spiced milk stout], 33rd Inning Red Rye Lager, Pawtucket Pail Ale, Park Loop Porter, Fireside Harvest Ale — and Slater Pils, “possibly dry-hopped with Citra, or some prototypes.”

At Newport Storm [Thursday-Saturday 12-6 pm, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, 12-5]: Spring Irish Red Ale, India Point Ale, Hurricane Amber Ale, and Rhode Island Blueberry.

At Crooked Current [Thursday 5-7 pm, Friday 5-8, Saturday 1-5]: Hawaiian Robust Porter, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, and Immortality Pale Ale.

At Tilted Barn [Saturday 1-4 pm]: Early Riser IPA, Raffi [oatmeal stout], and Winter Sol [“somewhere between a brown ale and a porter”].

Seek and find for theeself re: Grey Sail, Whaler’s, and Ravenous.

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Rhode Island Brew Fest: the beer list

People have been clamoring for the beer list for the 100% sold-out Rhode Island Brew Fest — and we have the intel [thanks to Matt and Brian]! Fifty-three breweries [including three ciderists and a seltzerist] will share more than 200 samples of liquid goodness at the Pawtucket Armory on Saturday [1.30]. Start scrolling and get your game plan ready for a few hours of sippin’ ’n’ socializin’. See you there!

21st Amendment: Brew Free! or Die IPA, Down To Earth Session IPA, Fireside Chat, Toaster Pastry Red IPA

Bad Martha: Martha’s Vineyard Ale, Island IPA, Vineyard Honey Ale

Beer’d: Dogs & Boats, Granola Brown Ale

Black Hog: Ginga Ninja IPA, Tarnation California-Style Lager, Hayride Autumn Ale

Brewery Ommegang: Rare Vos Amber Ale, Hop House

Boulevard: The Calling Imperial IPA, Heavy Lifting IPA, Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale

Brooklyn: Brooklyn Lager, Defender IPA, Quinitaceratops

Bucket: Black Goat O’ The Woods, Pawtucket Pale Ale

Clown Shoes: Clementine Double White Ale, Space Cake, American Monastic, The Barista

Coronado: Islander IPA, Idiot IPA, Mermaid’s Red, Orange Avenue Wit

Crooked Current: Hawaiian Robust Porter, Immorality Pale Ale

Dogfish Head: 90 Minute IPA, Midas Touch, Higher Math, Raison D’Extra

Downeast Cider House: Original Blend, Cranberry Blend, Seasonal TBD

Farmer Willie’s Ginger Beer: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Foolproof: Shuckolate Chocolate Oyster Stout, LFU Farmhouse Ale, King of the Yahd Imperial IPA, Barstool American Golden Ale, Peanut Butter Raincloud Porter, Experimental Raspberry IPA

Founders: Azacca IPA, Dark Penance, Breakfast Stout, All Day IPA

Green Flash: Passion Fruit Kicker, Hand Shake IPA

Grey Sail: Flying Jenny IPA, Captain’s Daughter, Great Ketch IPL, Pour Judgement IPA

Harpoon: Harpoon IPA, Take 5, UFO White, Hoppy Adventure, EHOP, Gingerland

Heavy Seas: Loose Cannon IPA, Double Cannon Imperial IPA, Deep Six English Porter, Small Craft Warning Über Pils

Hidden Cove: Patroon IPA, Trinal, Jali Fruit Beer, Berried Treasure

Jack’s Abby: Hoponius Union, Leisure Time Lager, Smoke & Dagger, Red Tape, Calyptra

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel: KBB Ale, KBB Stout, Bluegrass Sundown

Lagunitas: IPA, Imperial Stout, Bitter Oats

Long Trail: Unearthed Stout, Limbo IPA, SMasH, Culmination Chocolate Porter

Left Hand: Milk Stout Nitro, Introvert Session, Polestar Pilsner, Bittersweet

Long Live Beerworks: Black Cat, Heck Hound, Eureka — There’s Hops!

Lord Hobo: Boomsauce, Steal This Can

Narragansett: Lager, Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout, I Am Providence Imperial Red Ale, Big Mamie Pale Ale

Newport Storm: Annual Release 2015, Hurricane Amber Ale, India Point Ale, Spring Irish Red, InfeRIority Complex

Oskar Blues: Dale’s Pale Ale, Pinner, IPA, Ten Fidy, Old Chub

Otter Creek: Backseat Berner, Kind Ryed, Double or Nothing Russian Imperial Stout, Couch Surfer

Proclamation Ale: The Stalk, Derivative, Zzzlumber, various sours

Ravenous: Coffee Milk Stout, Blackstone Pale Ale, Dolly Cole American Black Ale

Revival: Conga Imperial IPA, Fanny IPA, White Electric Coffee Stout, Elder Dweller, Matt the Radar Technician [dark sour blend], Lonesome Luke [cherry sour], Pastrami Beer

Samuel Adams: Cold Snap, Rebel IPA, Rebel Grapefruit, Nitro White, Nitro Coffee, Nitro IPA, Boston Lager

The Shed: Profanity Ale

Shiner: Bock, Wicked Ram IPA, Birthday Beer

Shipyard: Red IPA, Blood Orange, Monkey Fist, Smashed Blueberry

Sixpoint: Crisp, Hi-Res, C.R.E.A.M., Sesher, Bengali, Global Warmer

Small Town Brewery: Root Beer, Ginger Beer

Sonoma Cider: The Hatchet, The Pitchfork, The Anvil, The Pulley

Spiked Seltzer: West Indies Lime, Valencia Orange, Cape Cod Cranberry, Indian River Grapefruit

Stone: Pataskala Red X IPA, Vertical Epic, Grainiac, 24 Carrot Golden Ale

Tilted Barn: Winter Sol, Second Harvest, and more

The Traveler Beer Co.: Curious Lemon Shandy, Illusive Grapefruit Shandy, Jolly Winter Shandy, Aloha Pineapple Shandy

Trinity Brewhouse: Black Hops Barrel-Aged, Darkness, Kolsch, Ice Melt, Scotch Ale

Two Roads: Igor’s Dream, Road 2 Ruin Double IPA, Lil’ Heaven

Uinta: Hop Nosh IPA, King’s Peak Porter, Detour Double India Pale Ale, Baba Black Lager, Wyld Extra Pale Ale

Union Station: Golden Spike, Wee Heavy, Rusty Griswold IPA, Vanilla Bean Porter

Wachusett: Blueberry Ale, Bella Czech Pils, Larry Imperial IPA, Larry Triple Double,  Green Monsta, Brewin’ APA

Whaler’s: American Strong Ale, Wanderer Double IPA, Blueberry Berliner Weisse, The Golden IPA

Woodchuck Hard Cider: Winter Chill, Gumption, Reposado

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Read all about it: lotsa breweries; craft’s mega-creative season; contract brewing; and, yes, more

beer_scrabSome meaty beer reads to absorb while waiting to espy Jonas’ first flakes:

America now has more breweries than ever. And that might be a problem, by Fritz Hahn @ The Washington Post [“Many in the beer industry pin their hopes for small breweries on localization: the idea that consumers would rather drink beers made down the road than across the country.”]

Craft beer gets creative when you aren’t drinking, by Jason Notte @ MarketWatch [“Many U.S. brewers use this period as a time to experiment, throw things against the wall and see what sticks. A non-holiday winter beer can be an IPA, a wheat beer, a stout or porter, a Belgian pale ale, a lager or just about anything else you want to put out there when people are done with spice and aren’t married to malt. Why? Because most of you aren’t drinking beer around this time of year anyway.”]

3 Biggest Mistakes When Introducing Someone to Craft Beer, by John W. Mitchell @ CraftBeer.com [“It’s vital to educate new customers that many craft beer styles do not have a hop heavy taste profile”]

Breweries For Hire: The New Generation of Contract Brewers, by John Holl @ All About Beer [“As more breweries enter the fray, and as international brewers look to increase footprints in the United States, it’s a good bet that contract brewing will continue to grow. And where it might have been a concept that turned off some beer drinkers in the past, more and more the liquid is speaking for itself, and customers are focused on flavor and the people behind the recipes rather than the equipment or where it’s made.”]

The Craft Beer Cops, @ The Wall Street Journal [“GOP candidates in New Hampshire discover more Washington hassle”]

What’s on tap: 1.21-24

Some beer-gathering intel for this weekend [Winter Storm Jonas permitting on Sat/Sun]:

At Long Live Beerworks [Wednesday-Friday  4-9 pm, Saturday 1-5]: Nuff Said IPA, Black Cat Pale Ale, and Milk Milk Stout.

At Proclamation Ale Company [Thursday 3:30-7 pm, Friday 3:30-8, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5]: Limited bombers of Derivative: Galaxy and Derivative: Mosaic [the rest will go to retail locations next week], “a bit of” Tendril and Broze, and a few bottles of Adelia, the tart blonde “warehouse ale.”

At Bucket Brewery [Friday 1-7:30 pm; Saturday 11 am-5 pm, with tours at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30]: Black Goat o’ the Woods [a new spiced milk stout], BOG Cranberry-Orange Saison, 33rd Inning Red Rye Lager, Pawtucket Pail Ale, Park Loop Porter, Fireside Harvest Ale. AND tonight [1.21] from 5-8 pm down the street at New Harvest Coffee [1005 Main St, Pawtucket]: Mad Beer Science Night. “We’ll let people infuse their own combos of a bunch of different flavors into a few different beer styles, then we’ll mix up and carbonate one or two of the best combos [labcoats and goggles not required, but encouraged]”

At Grey Sail [Thursday and Friday 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 pm]: Mary Ann’s Ginger Spice, Great Ketch IPL, Captain’s Daughter DIPA, Pour Judgement IPA, Leaning Chimney Smoked Porter, Flying Jenny EPA, and Flagship Cream Ale.

At Newport Storm [Thursday-Saturday 12-6 pm, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, 12-5]: Spring Irish Red Ale, India Point Ale, Hurricane Amber Ale, and Rhode Island Blueberry.

At Foolproof [Friday 5-7 pm, Saturday 1-5, with tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4 ($10, includes three samples)]: Revery, Peanut Butter Raincloud, Backyahd, Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine, Raincloud, and King of the Yard. And Citizen Wing will be food-trucking every Saturday this month.

Tilted Barn is playing better-safe-than-sorry re: Jonas: “We’re moving our hours this week just in case the snow storm hits [Matt doesn’t feel like pulling anyone out with the tractor…]. We’ll be open Friday [1.22] from 5-8. We’ll be closed Saturday [1/23]. Pouring Free Range IPA, Raffi, and Winter Sol [‘somewhere between a brown ale and a porter,’ a new batch fermented on vanilla beans and cacao nibs]. Forget bread and milk, come get beer.”

At Crooked Current [Thursday 5-7 pm, Friday 5-8, Saturday 1-5]: Hawaiian Robust Porter, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, and Immorality Pale Ale.

Seek and find intel for theeself re: Whaler’s and Ravenous.

AND kicking off tonight [1.21] at Julians [308 Broadway, Providence]: It’s an Evil Twin Tap Takeover, featuring Imperial Biscotti Breakm [American Porter wwith biscotti]; Imperial Donut Break [American Porter with donuts]; Pils Al Pastor [Imperial Pilsner flavored with ancho chili, pineapple, and lime]; Femme Fatale Sudachi [IPA with sudachi, Japanese Sour Citrus]; and Ryan and the Gosling [all-brett pale ale].

Read all about it: big beer and millennials; craft beer marketing; China embraces craft beer; and more

Graphic courtesy Brewers Association
Graphic courtesy Brewers Association

We Googled beer reads so you don’t have to…

Big Beer’s Plan To Sell to Consumers Who Hate Them, by Jennifer Kaplan @ Bloomberg Business [“America’s biggest beer companies want more millennials to buy their products, but they don’t want to be, like, obvi about it.”]

Craft Beer Trends to Look Out For in 2016, by Chris Norris @ Fortune [“Hard root beer was just the beginning.”]

Here’s a crash course in craft beer marketing, by Jason Notte @ MarketWatch [“I’d recommend aspiring brewers take the following six points to heart when pitching their life’s work, and would suggest established brewers give them a look just to see if they require updating.”]

China Embraces Craft Beers, and Brewing Giants Take Notice, by Amie Tsang and Cao Li @ The New York Times [“One of Mr. Jin’s bars, NBeerPub, tucked away in a laid-back part of Beijing’s old town, buzzes with young Chinese customers ordering imports like Delirium Tremens, Lindemans Framboise and Brewdog Punk IPA.”]

And ICYMI, Some sobering words about beer, by Lou Papineau @ Motif [“Wise (and wide-ranging) health-related words vis-à-vis your favorite beverage.”]

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.

The weekly growler report, featuring new beers from Tilted Barn and Bucket

OK, we need a New Year’s resolution do-over: We hereby resolve to post the growler report on Thursdays from now on. Resolved! And…here’s this week’s intel:

Long Live Beerworks got off to a rousing start on January 9, with hundreds of folks lined up around the block throughout opening day. This weekend, it should be a little easier to sample Nuff Said IPA [7% ABV], Black Cat Pale Ale [6.5%], and Milk Milk Stout [5.5%], which are on tap for tastings and growlers [Wednesday through Friday from 4-9 and on Saturday from 1-8].

At Proclamation Ale Company [Thursday 3:30-7 pm, Friday 3:30-8, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5]: The first run of a new single batch one-off, Process/Progress #1, which brewmaster Dave Witham describes as “an oatmeal IPA with Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, and Centennial hops. Lemon/lime pith/white grapefruit, earthy, 6.5% ABV.” Also: Tendril, Derivative: Citra, Broze, and Adelia, the tart blonde “warehouse ale” [6.3 %, limited availability for tastings].

At Bucket Brewery [Friday 1-7:30 pm; Saturday 11 am-5 pm, with tours at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30]: Black Goat o’ the Woods — a new spiced milk stout — 33rd Inning Red Rye Lager, Hive Mind Honey Ale, Pawtucket Pail Ale, Park Loop Porter, and Fireside Harvest Ale.

At Grey Sail [Thursday and Friday 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 pm]: Mary Ann’s Ginger Spice, Great Ketch IPL, Captain’s Daughter DIPA, Pour Judgement IPA, Leaning Chimney Smoked Porter, Flying Jenny EPA, and Flagship Cream Ale, plus Pekko Pale Ale [$5 for a 64-ounce fill!].

At Crooked Current [Thursday 5-7 pm, Friday 5-8 pm, Saturday 1-5 pm]: the return of Hawaiian Robust Porter, plus Extortion Eggnog Milk Stout and Immorality Pale Ale.

At Newport Storm [Thursday-Saturday 12-6 pm, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, 12-5]: the return of Spring Irish Red Ale, India Point Ale, Hurricane Amber Ale, and Rhode Island Blueberry.

At Foolproof [Friday 5-7 pm, Saturday 1-5, with tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4 ($10, includes three samples)]: Revery, Peanut Butter Raincloud, Backyahd, Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine, Raincloud, and King of the Yard. And Citizen Wing will be food-trucking every Saturday this month.

Tilted Barn is back in action on Saturday from 1-4 with Second Harvest, a new pale ale, plus a new to-be-named IPA, and Raffi.

Check the website for updates on Whaler’s [and drive to Woonsocket to see what Ravenous is up to; they rarely share info on the social mediums].