Go get beer [5.26-5.30], featuring Grey Sail’s new Tap Room; plus, a Trappist tap takeover at Norey’s, and New Belgium is coming to Rhode Island

taproom_logoWe’re unpacking a big bag o’ intel today. Fill your brain with these fun facts:

Grey Sail has a yachtload of news and updates. On Sunday [5.22], they had a soft open of their fabulous new Tap Room. Here’s the blurb from the website: “The idea for the new Tap Room came about when Grey Sail Brewing owners, Jen and Alan Brinton, purchased the historic house next door to the brewery. After many months of interior and exterior renovations, the Tap Room has finally come together, maintaining the historic charm that makes this house unique. All of the interior walls are hand-painted with murals and the outdoor bier garten is complete with a working fountain, bocce ball court, cornhole, can jam, and more to enjoy in the summer months.” The Tap Room features 16 lines — Grey Sail’s full lineup comprising eight of them, plus three local offerings and five specialty imports, which will rotate regularly [and a local red and white wine on tap]. You can get flights of the house beers, snacks, and locally-made soft drinks. The Official Grand Opening is on Sunday [5.29], but the Tap Room will be open all weekend [Saturday-Monday from 12 to 5 pm]. The regular schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3 to 8 pm, on Friday and Saturday from 12 to 8 pm, and on Sunday from 12 to 5 pm.

Here’s what’s available at the Tap Room and to-go at the growler station: Hazy Day [Belgian wit], Flagship [cream ale], Flying Jenny [extra pale ale], Leaning Chimney [smoked porter], Black Mast [American stout], Pour Judgement [IPA], Great Ketch [IPL], and Captain’s Daughter [imperial IPA]. The growler hours this weekend are Thursday and Friday from 4-7 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday 1-5. On Wednesday [6.1], the summer hours kick off: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 4-7 pm, on Saturday from 1-7 pm, and on Sunday from 1-5 pm.

Got all that? Good!

At Proclamation Ale Company [Thursday 3:30-7 pm, Friday 3:30-8, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5]: Tendril [IPA, 7.5% ABV, growlers/tastings — and super-fresh bombers]; Flummox [“We brewed a lager to confuse everyone. 5% ABV pilsner with pilsner malt and a touch of Vienna malt”]; Derivative: Mosaic [bottles and growlers], Pacific Gem [growlers only], and Galaxy [growlers only]; and Plattelander [“classic saison profile”; bottles only/no tastings].

Tilted Barn will be open on Friday [5-8 pm] so you can get Early Riser [IPA], Peeptoad [pale ale, very limited], Rype [apricot/rye IPA made with Proclamation Ale], Libby [with Citra], and Raffi [oatmeal stout].

At Foolproof [Friday 4-7 pm, Saturday + Sunday 1-6]: Shuckolate, Revery, Peanut Butter Raincloud, Backyahd, Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine, Raincloud, and Queen and King of the Yahd — and Nick says, “We’re planning on a vanilla Barstool cask for the weekend and possibly a keg of nitro Barstool [if it’s ready in time].”

Long Live Beerworks has new expanded hours: Wednesday and Thursday 4-9 pm, Friday 4-10, Saturday 1-10, and Sunday 12-4. Go get the debut of Lonely Weekend, a 7% IPA brewed with Idaho 7 and Citra hops. Also: Bricks and Mortar, Shop Truck DIPA [9% ABV, tastings only], and Heck Hound [smoky red ale, 6.%]. Armando adds, “This Saturday, we have the guys from Gastros serving up the best tubed meat in the state. There may be another new release this Saturday: Course Grind, an expresso stout brewed with Dave’s Coffee.”

At Newport Storm [Thursday-Saturday 12-6 pm, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, 12-5]: Summer Hefeweizen, India Point Ale, Hurricane Amber Ale, Rhode Island Blueberry, and Smoke RIng.

Whaler’s Brewing also has added new hours: Thursday + Friday 4-8 pm, Saturday 1-8, Sunday 1-7. Go get Hefeweizen, Hazelnut Stout, Mamosa Ale, Ginger Wheat, Oak Porter, and The Rise [IPA]. And Whaler’s brews are now available in 32-ounce cans!

At Bucket Brewery [Friday 1-7:30 pm, Saturday 11 am-5 pm, tours on Saturday at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30]: Prudence & Patience Gose, 33rd Inning Red Rye Lager, Pawtucket Pail Ale, Park Loop Vanilla Porter, Black Goat of the Woods, and Leroy: The Million Dollar IPA. And Nate says: “Back by popular demand, we’re stocking limited quantities of 64-oz. growlers of most styles. They aren’t on display, so just ask if you want one. Bucket cans are all getting a new and improved look. Leroy, Prudence & Patience, and Black Goat are debuting in the new style, and 33rd Inning is the first of the existing styles getting an upgrade.”

At Crooked Current: Hefeweizen, Raspberry American Wheat, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, Immorality Pale Ale, and Hawaiian Robust Porter.

At Ravenous: Sarah IPA, Bienvenu French Quarter Red, Coffee Milk Stout, and the release of “Solis Citrio,” a lemon basil hoppy wheat beer.

Seek and find for theeself re: Revival [dammit, we almost got everyone on board!].

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Head to Norey’s in Newport for their latest tap takeover: 10 Trappist Ales will be pouring, including Chimay’s Première [Red], Dorée, and Tripel; La Trappe’s Isid’or, Witte, Quadrupel, and Bockbier; Spencer Trappist Ale; and Stift Engelszell’s Gregorius and Benno. The fest starts on Friday at 4 pm; Norey’s is open Monday-Saturday from 4 pm-1 am; the tap takeover brews are usually available for a week or two.

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And we’ve been sitting on this “news” for awhile, but a few minutes ago we saw that the beans were spilled 10 days ago [!]. But it’s not official until it’s on B&C, sooooooooo [drumroll, please]: we’re pleased to “announce” that New Belgium Brewing will debut in Rhode Island on June 20, making the Ocean State its 45th state of distribution. Here’s a bit of their pr [which must have gone to our spam folder; we hope the samples can find their way to our front door]: “With 500,000 barrels of additional capacity coming online from their new brewery in Asheville, NC, New Belgium will focus on building out its national footprint over the next two years. New Belgium is proud to partner with C &C Distributors.

New-Belgium-Logo“ ‘Rhode Island was a fun state to survey, and all the retailers and distributors we met there were great,’ said New Belgium’s Northeast and Canada Division Sales Director, Rich Rush. ‘It’s a beautiful state with amazing coastline and we look forward to helping grow the craft scene there.’

“Initial draft offerings will include Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Citradelic IPA, Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Ale (seasonal), and La Folie Sour Brown. In 12-oz bottles consumers will find Fat Tire, Ranger, Citradelic, Heavy Melon, Rampant and Glutiny (gluten-reduced). Fat Tire and Citradelic cans will also be immediately available. Slow Ride Session IPA, 1554 Black Lager, and Lips of Faith beers will become available as of August, 2016.”

In the Brewers Association’s list of the top 50 breweries of 2015, New Belgium, which opened in 1991 in Fort Collins, CO, was the fourth-largest craft company [#1-3: Yuengling, Boston Beer Company, and Sierra Nevada] and the eighth-largest overall beermaker.

Grey Sail’s taproom is holding a soft open on Sunday!

Grey-Sail-logo-231x300This just in from Michelle Kirms, assistant brewer at Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island:

“For those who do not know, Grey Sail is opening a taproom next door to the brewery. Tomorrow is our soft opening from noon to 5. We have 16 taps — our full lineup plus some local and imported guest taps. Full hours will start Memorial Day, but we’d like tomorrow to be as much of a shit show as possible so we can work out our kinks before officially opening. So if you’d like to come grab a beer and witness the mayhem, visit 65 Canal Street tomorrow from 12-5. Our regular tasting room will be open regular hours as well for growler fills only. Cheers!”

House votes to raise the beer bar in Rhode Island

Image courtesy of CraftBeer.com
Image courtesy of CraftBeer.com

Alas, real-life obligations are preventing us from doing a “real” post on yesterday’s vote in the House of Representatives, which will allow breweries to sell 288 ounces of beer-to-go and serve 72 ounces at their taprooms. Click here to read Patrick Anderson’s report at The Providence Journal.

Let’s hope the Senate passes its own take on the bill ASAP and the changes be enacted to enhance the glorioski summer months [and the hordes of beer tourists].

And while you’re in click-mode, revisit the piece which detailed the muddy morass of liquor laws and helped rally support for legislative change, “Growlers and beyond: Raising the beer bar in Rhode Island.” It turns one-year-old tomorrow! The article contains some other hopeful suggestions that can be the focus of the next round of better beer laws in 2017!

Huzzah to progress! Cheers!!

Welcome to Epic Brewing Company!

Epic-Brewing-LogoAnother day, another new brewery starts shipping their liquidity to Rhode Island! [Shelf space even tighter! Tap handles in all-time-high demand!! Beer budgets busting!!!!!] Today we welcome Epic Brewing Company of Salt Lake City, UT. Here’s a bit of their CV: “David Cole and Peter Erickson are the founders and co-owners of Epic Brewing Company. Cole and Erickson, originally from California, started an international aquaculture company in Utah in 1992. In 2008, Utah law changed allowing these two entrepreneurs to pursue their longtime dream of opening a strong beer microbrewery in Utah, like those they frequented in the Golden State.

“Together, they have teamed with brewmaster Kevin Crompton, formerly from Bohemian Brewery. Crompton has been brewing for more than 20 years (since 1994) and has brewed for three Utah breweries and another in Hawaii.

“Admittedly, beer geeks, foodies and ‘Epic’ adventure junkies, the three share a passion for making and drinking fine ales and lagers. The Epic team has a strong belief in doing everything ‘all out.’

These beers will be shipping to better beer bars and shelves this week: the year-rounder Escape to Colorado IPA [6.2% ABV] plus an array from Epic’s Exponential Series: Hop Syndrome Lager [a summer seasonal]; Lil’ Brainless: Raspberries [a lighter take on Brainless: Raspberries]; Big Bad Baptist, an imperial stout which has garnered rapturous reviews on the beer boards; Brainless On Peaches [Belgian-style ale; and Elder Brett: Saison-Brett Golden Ale. Mix-a-six

And stay tuned, dear reader: another big brewery announcement is in the on-deck circle… Wanna take a guess re: who’s headed our way? Drop it in the comment section!

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Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America boxes are rolling into stores now

sm_home_hero_beersIn 2014, Sierra Nevada launched Beer Camp Across America — “the largest craft beer celebration in history.” The brewery, which has been making essential beers in Chico, CA, since 1980, celebrated the opening of its East Coast facility in Mills River, NC, with seven festivals, plus a box with a dozen one-time-only collabs with other breweries. Beer Camp Across America is making a triumphant return this year, with six fests — you should get tickets for the bash at City Hall Plaza in Boston on June 18 — and a new box o’ special brews made with 31 breweries from alllll over these United States. We’re pressed for time, so click here to get all the details on Sweet Sunny South, Moxie Moron, Stout of the Union, and the three other one-offs. and go here to buy your tix.

AND: start camping our in the parking lot of your favorite better beer retailers to try to score one of the 320 boxes that are rolling into — and quickly out of — stores starting today [to a handful of accounts; the other shipments will arrive through the end of the week]. And if you don’t get this ultra-limited box o’ whales, plan to be at the Wild Colonial on Thursday, June 16 — they’ll have all six Beer Camp offerings on tap.

Now ya know! There ya go!

It’s American Craft Beer Week!! Plus: Elysian is coming to Rhode Island

The time, it flies! American Craft Beer Week [ACBW] kicks off today and runs through May 22. It’s the eleventh annual event presented by the Brewers Association, the alliance of small, independent, and traditional beer makers, marketers, distributors, and biz peeps. The slogan is “Big Week, Small Breweries”; the hashtag: #MakeSmallBeerBig. Yep, it’s yet another arbitrary beer holiday/apropos-of-nothing-of-historical-significance-that’s-specific-to-this-week “event,” but it provides yet another arbitrary hook for celebrating the glorious liquid we call beer, so…yay!

The folks at CraftBeer.com, the Brewers Association’s website, enthused: “At the end of 2015, there were 4,269 breweries operating in the United States – the highest number of active breweries since 1873. That impressive number alone is reason to celebrate, especially when you consider that 30 years ago ‘experts’ believed that the country would soon have fewer than five breweries, all making a very similar product. Boy, were they off!”

There will be a slew of beer happening statewide. Here’s what we know so far [we didn’t get intel from two of the major distributors; we’ll post updates if/when they arrive]. But wherever you are on Thursday [5.19] at 8 pm EST, the Brewers Association invites you to “join the entire craft beer community in a nationwide toast. Brewers, beertenders and craft beer aficionados around the country can take this opportunity to collectively raise their glasses to our great American craft beer culture and the brewing pioneers who opened the door to the diversity of flavors and choices that we enjoy today.” [Note: All times/info subject to change.]

Monday [5.16]

Grey Sail and Revival Pint Night at Doherty’s East Avenue Café [8-10 pm]
Goose Island Tap Takeover and trivia at Federal Hill Pizza [6-9 pm]
Grey Sail Tap Takeover at 84 Tavern On Canal [5-8 pm]
Long Trail Tap Takeover at the Malted Barley [Westerly, 7-9 pm]
Founders KBS Vertical Dinner at Doherty’s Lakeside [6:30 pm]

Tuesday [5.17]

Goose Island Beer Dinner at Tavern on the Water [Smithfield, 6:30 pm]
Firestone Walker Pint Night at the Malted Barley [Westerly, 7-9 pm]
Revival Meet the Brewer Night at Jacky Boy Publik House [6-8 pm]
Founders Tap Takeover featuring a CBS keg tapping at the Wood River Inn [6 pm]
Ithaca Pint Night at Doherty’s Ale House
Abita New Orleans-style Extravaganza at 84 Tavern On Canal [7-9 pm]

Wednesday [5.18]

Founders Tap Takeover/KBS Tapping at the Malted Barley [Westerly, 7-9 pm]
Cape Ann specialty beers at Pour Judgement [7-9 pm]
Coronado Pint Night at Dave’s Ale Bar & Grill [6-8 pm]
Mayflower Pint Night at Harry’s On the Hill [7-9 pm]
Shiner Night at Rick’s Roadhouse [Providence, 7-9 pm]
Grey Sail Beer Dinner at Weekapaug Inn [Misquamicut, 7 pm]
Founders Tap Takeover at The Avery [8-10 pm]

Thursday [5.19]

Revival Pint Night at Harry’s On the Hill [7-9 pm]
Black Hog Pint Night with co-owner Tom Sobocinski at Doherty’s East Avenue Café
Elysian Rollout at the Malted Barley [Providence, 6-8 pm]
Revival Tap Takeover at 84 Tavern On Canal [7-9 pm]

Friday [5.20]

Goose Island Flock of Geese/BCS Tapping at the Malted Barley [Westerly, 7-9 pm]

Saturday [5.21]

Baxter Night with owner Luke Livingston at the Malted Barley [Westerly, 7-9 pm]

     

abelysian1A slew of esteemed breweries have entered the Rhode Island market in 2016 — Coronado, Boulevard, Brewmaster Jack, Maui, von Trapp, Evil Genius, and DuClaw — and this week brings another heavy hitter: Elysian Brewing Company of Seattle, WA [the company was purchased by AB InBev in January 2015]. Here’s a bit of their CV: “Three-time Large Brewpub of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival, Elysian Brewing Company operates four neighborhood restaurants and a production brewery in Seattle, Washington. Known both for classic styles and for flexibility and innovation, Elysian has brewed over 350 different recipes since opening in 1996. While Elysian’s brewers use a variety of unusual ingredients, they are seasonally notorious for their pumpkin beers. Each year Elysian hosts the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival, where dozens of different pumpkin beers are poured, some of them from giant pumpkins.” Space Dust [a “totally nebular IPA,” 8.2% ABV] and Superfuzz [a blood orange pale ale, 6.4%] are the two brews in the very limited initial shipment, which is draught-only; Elysian will hit retail accounts down the road apiece…So be among the first RIers to sample their fare at the Malted Barley Providence on Thursday.