Read all about it: Talking with RI’s brewing brain trust

Image courtesy of CraftBeer.com

Here’s the intro to our feature [a full page! a torrent of words!!] — “Talking with RI’s brewing brain trust” — from the new “Spring Beer Issue” of Motif:

Do you want to get to know the people who make your beer ’round here? We sent queries to local pros — and they answered them! Meet our panel of owner/brewmasters [except where noted]: Nate Broomfield of Bucket Brewery; Armando DeDona of Long Live Beerworks; Josh Dunlap and Wes Staschke [co-founders/brewers] and Chris Smith [brewer] of Whaler’s Brewing; Nick Garrison, owner of Foolproof Brewing Company; Mark Hellendrung, president of Narragansett Beer; Derek Luke, co-founder and brew master at Newport Storm; Matt Richardson of Tilted Barn Brewery; Dorian Rave of Ravenous Brewing Co.; and Dave Witham, co-owner and brewmaster at Proclamation Ale Company.

The brew crew addressed five Qs:

What was the first great beer you ever had — your gateway brew to the World of Better Beer?

What brewer or brewery has been a big influence on your approach to beer making?

Beer names are fun! Which of your brewery’s beer names is your favorite?

Let’s say that The Food Network signs you up to do a show about your brewery. What would you call the series?

Tell us about a beer you have in the pipeline that readers can look forward to sipping soon.

Click here to get the answers [and/or click here and flip to page 6 if you’d rather have the Virtual Newspaper Experience].

[P.S.: We didn’t assemble a “go get beer” report this week. Hit our handy-dandy brewery links wherever they appear on your screen to glean the data.]

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Beer + music = Dogfish Head + Record Store Day 2016

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The time, it flies! This Saturday [4.16] is Record Store Day! So let’s dig into the B&C archives for this updated post from 4.14.15 to get you ready for the Big Day [if you wanna skip the history and musical musing, scroll to the bottom for details on Dogfish Head’s slate of RSD events happening all over the state this week]:

As we’ve often noted, we love music even more than we love beer, and regularly combine those life-enriching pleasures at the B&C desk. In November, we did a story about Beer Thousand, Dogfish Head’s liquid tribute to the 20th anniversary of Guided By Voices’ cult classic, Bee Thousand. Here’s an excerpt:

Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, is passionate about beer — and music. In the section titled “Rhythm” in his book Brewing Up a Business: Adventures In Beer, he writes, “I have always loved music — I remember waving my magic Wiffle ball bat and chanting hexes on my parents’ radio in an effort to get it to spit forth Laura Branigan’s ‘Gloria’…As I got older my tastes developed, diversified, and intensified, but my love of music goes back to my earliest childhood memories.”

In 2010, Sam combined his love of beer and music with Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, an imperial stout [which is now a recurring release] commemorating the 40th anniversary of the trumpeter’s milestone disc. Hellhound On My Ale [an imperial IPA] followed in 2011, marking the 100th birthday of storied bluesman Robert Johnson. Dogfish’s Music Series has also spawned a series of one-time [for now] offerings: Faithfull [2011], a Belgian Golden Ale, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam’s Ten; Positive Contact [2012], an herb/spice beer, with Dan the Automator; and American Beauty [an imperial pale ale], a 2013 and 2015 partnership with the Grateful Dead.

So, as Crowded House sang, it’s only natural that Dogfish Head is the Official Beer of Record Store Day, the worldwide celebration of independent music retailers and the permanent and inspiring bond they forge with their customers [aka fellow obsessives]. RSD is highlighted by the release of a jaw-dropping array of very limited edition mostly-vinyl offerings [picture discs, colored discs, 10-inch discs, box sets] by a wide-ranging array of artists.

Metallica are the 2016 ambassadors of RSD. Drummer Lars Ulrich said: “Independent record stores are part of Metallica’s DNA. They have been pivotal in shaping each one of us into the music fanatics we’ve all become. We could not be any prouder to be Record Store Day Ambassadors for 2016 and are looking forward to screaming from every rooftop the next few months about everything independent record store and beyond.”

You can hit the racks and grab the RSD goodies [and much more] at the Music Box [Newport], Armageddon Shop [Providence], Newbury Comics [Warwick and Providence], Olympic Records [Providence], What Cheer Records + Vintage [Providence], Looney Tunes [Wakefield], In Your Ear [Warren], and Vinyl Guru Record Shop [Newport]. Check their sites for details on in-store performances and other enticements.

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 11.25.15 AM.previewOK, back to the beer-and-music connection: Dogfish Head has released a special tuneful brew, Beer To Drink Music By. The DFH crew says it “was created as the perfect beer for fans to pair with their favorite songs. Utilizing ingredients inspired by some of our favorite tunes, the four primary ingredients (orange peel, peppercorns, candi sugar, and cardamom) were inspired by the following: ‘Orange Crush’ by R.E.M., ‘Sgt. Pepper’ by The Beatles, ‘Sugar On My Tongue’ by Talking Heads, and ‘Mock Song’ by Phish. The result is a Belgian-style Tripel and a perfect marriage between beer and music. ‘The enjoyment of a beautiful beer with an amazing album at the same time is an exponentially awesome experience,’ Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione says. ‘This beer is purposely built for this ideal.’ ” There’s also a sweet new official RSD poster by artist Tim Parrott [available for free at select stores and bars that sell Dogfish and on RSD at participating music retailers] and a custom mini-traveling turntable by Crosley, with the Dogfish logo and the slogan “Analog beer for the digital age” on the inside of the cover. You can buy the record player [$120] at Dogfish.com — or you can enter to win one at RSD/DFH events at these spots [you get a raffle ticket with each purchase of a DFH beer]: today through Saturday at the Mews Tavern [enter all week; drawing on Saturday]; on Thursday [4.14] at Pizza J [drawing at 10 pm]; on Friday [4.15] at the Thirsty Beaver in Cranston; and on Saturday [4.16] at 84 Tavern on Canal in Westerly [drawing at 10 pm]; the Ocean Mist in Matunuck; the Scurvy Dog in Providence [drawing at 10 pm]; the Malted Barley Providence [drawing at 10 pm]; and Pour Judgement in Newport [drawing at 10 pm].

And, to come full circle to the B&C desk, here’s a suggestion for your Record Store Day bin-diving: Van Morrison’s Veedon Fleece, a transporting treasure from 1974. Here’s a highlight:

Read all about it: ’Gansett in the Bucket; preparing for craft beer battle; suds and buds; and more

HiNeighborA wide range of beer reads for your edification:

 Q-and-A: Narragansett Brewery Returns to Rhode Island, by Jamie Coelho @ Rhode Island Monthly

 Brewers Association CEO prepares craft beer for battle, by Jason Notte @ Market Watch [“(Bob) Pease took some time for an emailed conversation with us that covered the state of U.S. beer distribution, the increased importance of BA’s lobbying efforts and the continued evolution of craft beer within the greater beer industry.”]

 Upstart Brewers Rise Against Craft-Beer Founding Father Samuel Adams, by Tripp Mickle @ The Wall Street Journal [“The problem? Sam Adams has gotten too big and familiar to be considered an authentic craft by elitist beer connoisseurs, yet it isn’t hefty enough to have the cost advantages of big brewers.”]

 What’s In a Name? Beer Industry Home To Unique Professional Titles, by Bryan Roth @ All About Beer [“It’s hard to miss with the staff of San Diego’s Societe Brewing Co., who hand out square and semicircle business cards displaying titles like Master of Communal Amalgamation, Schmaltz-of-All-Trades and Slayer of Dragons.”]

 Can You Spread Beer On Your Toast?, by Noah Rothbaum @ The Daily Beast

 And our column in the new Motif [The Cannabis Issue]: Suds and buds

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Suds and buds: the beer-and-marijuana connection; or, when dank meets dank

redankulous-bottleHere’s the lead from our column — “Suds and buds” — from the new “Cannabis Issue” of Motif:

We like to play along with the Motif Special Issue themes whenever we can, so here’s a deep dive into the link between beer marijuana (Cannabis sativa) and hops (Humulus lupulus)…

Click here to read the entire story!

Friday is Founders’ KBS Day: where to find it on tap

Ready to go whale hunting? Friday is April Fools’ Day but, more importantly, it’s KBS Day. The arrival of Founders Brewing Co.’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout — made with chocolate and coffee and aged in oak bourbon barrels [11.2% ABV] — will set off the usual frenzy, with beer obsessives racing from store to store to snap up singles and hoping to stumble onto the Oh-So-Rare Yes,-We’re-Selling-It-In-Four-Packs Four-Pack. There will be a bit more package available ’round here than in 2015.

Want know where to get a taste of KBS straight from the barrel? These fine establishments will be tapping the liquid goodness on Friday [4.1]: the Malted Barley Providence [334 Westminster St; 5 pm]; Jacky Boy Publik House [27 Aborn St, Cranston]; Brass Monkey [800 Allens Ave, Providence]; Doherty’s Ale House [30 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick]; and Doherty’s Lakeside [446 Tiogue Ave, Coventry; 6 pm]. But keep your eyes glued to them social mediums: other places will be breaking out their KBS allotment in the days and weeks to come. [Plus: Doherty’s Lakeside is hosting a KBS Vertical Beer Dinner, with pours of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Tix are $100/person; click here for the menu and reservations.]

Bonus content: Robert Allen of The Detroit Free Press wrote an in-depth story on “how brewers age Founders KBS.” Some highlights:

“Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki said KBS started as an experiment with a few bourbon barrels in the early 2000s, but people didn’t know they wanted it. ‘Those 4-packs sat in there, and nobody cared,’ Kosmicki said.” [Note: the KBS label honors Jeremy with the copy: “The Amazing Kosmicki’s Highly Acclaimed KBS,” plus the motto, “Is Good For Everything a Flavored Stout Ought To Be Good For.”]

“We recently took a trip with its makers about 3 miles from the brewery to Michigan Natural Storage to get a taste of the KBS aging process. To reach the caves, you take an elevator ride 85 feet below Grand Rapids. The former gypsum mines spread for about 6 miles of mostly narrow passages where the temperature and humidity are tightly controlled…Among the 7000 barrels on racks are future KBS and Backwoods Bastard, a Scotch ale. Heystek sprayed sanitizer on four of the barrels and popped out the bungs, removing samples with a turkey baster to give us tastes comparing Backwoods and KBS brews aging since as far back as 2011. The alcohol bite was more noticeable in the fresher samples, while the older ones had more velvety, dessert-wine flavors.”

“Craft-beer drinkers…will be watching for that brown and tan-colored KBS label…‘There’s something to the mystique of something special to find out in the stores, but it’s a lot to live up to,’ Kosmicki said. ‘Any time you get that much hype for something, it’s like, “Well, I hope people like it. I hope this isn’t a disappointing year or something.” ’ ”

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Read all about it: hot lagers; how brewers age Founders KBS; Not Your Kid’s Root Beer; and more

Spring ahead into these diverse beer links:

 Cult Beer Maker Tree House Embarks on Massive Expansion, by Chris Furnari @ Brewbound [“The exclusivity is part of the allure, but Tree House co-founder Nate Lanier doesn’t like shorting customers.”]

 The Hottest New Thing: Lagers!, by Lew Bryson @ All About Beer [“So lagers are the hot new thing, but this big well-known one that blew open the craft niche nationally over 20 years ago has a coolness problem.”]

 Caves of beer: How brewers age Founders KBS, by Robert Allen @ Detroit Free Press [“The barrels are removed via freight elevator, 16 at a time, and each weighs about 550 pounds when full with 53 gallons of liquid.”]

 3 kids served alcoholic root beer at Tenn. Applebee’s, @ WKRN.com [“ ‘Sincere apologies were made, the family accepted dinner as our guests and immediate re-training of all team members on duty took place,’ (Applebee’s spokesman Patrick) Lenow said.”]

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Read all about it: the Malted Barley Providence is now open; plus, an ode to taprooms, pilsner is the new pumpkin ale, and more

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[Photo by Elizabeth Koller, from The Malted Barley Providence Facebook page]
Do you follow Bottles & Cans on Twitter and/or Facebook? If you do [and you should; scroll down for the links], you got the heads-up on Friday night that the Malted Barley Providence [334 Westminster St] is open for bizness, a week ahead of their Big Grand Opening Date on Thursday, 3.10 [here’s the backstory from 7.22.15]. So head Downcity [free parking on Sunday!] and visit the gorgeous new space. Check out the 170-year-old wooden beams, century-old elevator pulleys, and custom-made tables and savor the selections from the 36 taps [plus bottles and cans and a full bar] and the menu — ahh, those gourmet pretzels [plus pretzel sandwiches, salads, soups, and more]. The MBP is open daily from 11 am-1 am and will have music on Fridays and Saturdays. Go!

OK, here’s your regularly scheduled entertainment:

Brewery taprooms are the best places on Earth, by Will Gordon @ Vinepair [“In my experience, a trip to the brewery will usually save you somewhere in the neighborhood of a buck a pint, but the more important cost saving is the house’s.”]

Pilsner is the new pumpkin ale in the craft beer world, by Jason Notte @ Market Watch [“If pumpkin ales were the novelty introduction to craft beer’s adolescence, then this surge in pilsners is its early adulthood.”]

Mad Science: Brewers Doing Small Things At Big Breweries, by Bryan Roth @ All About Beer [“At a time when breweries of all sizes are tinkering to find the next big thing to grab the attention from a feverish, beer drinking public, (Anheuser-Busch’s Rob) Naylor represents something of an unexpected find. He’s producing off-the-wall beers that sound more like something to find fermenting in the closet of a homebrewer than at the nation’s largest brewery. But his job reflects a growing need for the big boys of beer.”]

Craft beer brewers learn to live with, and love, private equity, by Jason Notte @ Market Watch [A Q&A with Victory brewmaster Bill Covaleski, Southern Tier owner Phin DeMink, and John Coleman, CEO of Artisanal Brewing Ventures]

 Here’s our latest piece for Motif, “Beer news you can use”

Tommy knows best: “This is such a fun team, Michael!”:

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