In our column in the brandy-new Student Guide edition of Motif, we roll out a beer barrel full o’ brew news, with items on Proclamation, Buttonwoods, Foolproof, Revival, ‘Gansett, and Whalers.
October 16-20 is going to be a standout week in Rhode Island Beer 2017. Let us count the ways: it’s Providence Craft Beer Week [which takes place statewide, so we’re going to call it Rhode Island Craft Beer Week]; Beervana [at Rhodes-On-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston] is on October 20 [have you seen the list of brewers/distributors?]; and a deluge of new beers and ciders will be available via Craft Collective, the Stoughton, MA-based company which received its Class A Wholesalers license to distribute in Rhode Island on Wednesday [9.13].
Craft Collective is helmed by Bryan Ferguson and Adam Oliveri. Bryan, a Pawtucket native, met Adam at URI. Post-Kingston, Bryan had a non-profit job and Adam was at a budding tech company in New York. “We were both at pivot points in our career where we felt like the time was right to do something different,” Ferguson told Boston magazine. “The craft scene was booming, yet we knew that we didn’t want to be brewers. But we saw this growth of ancillary services and the need for change in the distribution chain.” They launched Craft Collective in March 2015.
Here’s a bit of their mission statement: “Craft Collective is Massachusetts’ only independent distribution company focused on quality, small, craft producers. We focus on product quality and freshness, with…a fully climate-controlled warehouse and refrigerated delivery vehicles. Our people are beer-savvy hustlers that represent our brands with enthusiasm and diligently care for our products. We’re honest, accommodating, and committed to helping small breweries succeed.” They are also planning a “brewery incubator,” featuring a shared production brewery and retail taproom space [a la The Guild].
Here are the highly-regarded brewers currently in Craft Collective’s Rhode Island portfolio [follow the links for more intel]:
Banded Horn Brewing Company [Biddeford, ME]
Deciduous Brewing Company [Newmarket, NH]
Finback Brewery [NYC]
Fox Farm Brewery [Salem, CT]
Kent Falls Brewing Co. [Kent, CT]
Oxbow Brewery [Newcastle, ME]
Queen City Brewery [Burlington, VT]
SingleCut Beersmiths [NYC]
TRVE Brewing Co. [Denver, CO, a self-proclaimed “heavy metal brewery”]
Graft Cider [Newburgh, NY]
Prospect Ciderworks [Boston, MA]
Mission-Trail Cider Company [Bradley, CA]
Plan Bee Farm Brewery [Poughkeepsie, NY]
“That’s the first wave,” Bryan told us. “We’ve got some others in our MA portfolio preparing to enter the [RI] market at a future time. Beer and cider should start showing up in early October. We’re putting together a variety of events for the week of the 16th, which will be our official Launch Week, culminating in a good showing from the portfolio at Beervana [including the first eight brewers listed above]. You can expect nearly all of the breweries will have folks in town during the week getting to know the market.
“We’re really excited to be back in Rhode Island,” Bryan said. For Rhode Island beer enthusiasts, the feeling is mutual. [And if you rep a bar/restaurant/retail store and want to carry CC’s products, click here.]
Beervana Fest 2017 is only 37 days away! The ninth annual fest is happening on Friday, October 20 from 6:30 to 10 pm at Rhodes-On-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston. Have you bought tickets yet? No?! What are you waiting for?!?! We’ve typed it many times before, and we’ll type it yet again: “It’s not open to debate: it’s simply the best beer event in Rhode Island [and the producers of all the other fests would concur if made to swear on a stack on whatever-book-means-the-most-to-them].” The Beervana brain trust, Mike Iannazzi and Brian Oakley, will host 60 superb breweries and distributors, pouring more than 250 beers, which will lead your discerning palate [and soul] to beer-inspired nirvana. And this year’s educational enlightenment will be provided by Hugh Sisson, the founder of Heavy Seas Beer, and Jeremy Danner, the ambassador brewer at Boulevard Brewing Company, which is the presenting sponsor of the fest.
[And now — drumroll, please.] Here’s the exclusive unveiling of the list of breweries and distributors who will be sharing their overwhelming array of ultra-rare/exclusive/unique/excellent liquid gold [breweries that are making their Beervana debut and/or weren’t at the fest in 2016 are followed by an asterisk*]. Prepare to drool:
14th Star Brewing Company* • 21st Amendment Brewery • Allagash Brewing Company • B. United International Importers • Ballast Point Brewing Company • Banded Horn Brewing Company* • Beer’d Brewing Company • Boulevard Brewing Company • Brewmaster Jack • Brooklyn Brewery • Buttonwoods Brewery* • Cambridge Brewing Co.* • Captain Lawrence Brewing Company • Crooked Current Brewery • Deciduous Brewing Company* • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery • Elysian Brewing Company* • Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company* • Finback Brewery* • Firestone Walker Brewing Company • Foolproof Brewing Company • Founders Brewing Company • Fox Farm Brewery* • Good Measure Brewing Co.* • Goose Island Brewery • Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island • Hanging Hills Brewing Company • Harpoon Brewing Company • Heavy Seas Brewing Company • Hidden Cove Brewing Co.* • Jack’s Abby Brewing • Kent Falls Brewing Co.* • Long Live Beerworks • Long Trail Brewing Company • Lord Hobo Brewing Company • Lost Nation Brewing* • New Belgium Brewing Company • New England Brewing Co.* • Newport Storm Brewing Company • Ommegang Brewery • Oskar Blues Brewery • Otter Creek Brewing Company • Oxbow Brewery • Proclamation Ale Company • Queen City Brewery* • Ragged Island Brewing Company* • Ravenous Brewing Company • Revival Brewing Company • Shelton Brothers Importers • SingleCut Beersmiths* • Sons of Liberty Brewing • Stone Brewing Company • Transmitter Brewing* • Tributary Brewing Company • Trinity Brewhouse • Two Roads Brewing Company • Victory Brewing Company • von Trapp Brewing Company • Whalers Brewing Company • Wormtown Brewery
Note: all breweries are subject to change. And, yes, we will post the complete beer list and the floor plan in a few weeks.
In our column in the brandy-new super-sized [64 pages!] Fall Guide edition of Motif, we preview the season’s biggest beer bashes, including the PawSox Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, a coupla Oktoberfests, and the splendor that is Beervana [plus an event that isn’t happening: the Great International Beer Fest].