The Pretty Things wake, the Newport Craft Beer Fest, and feathers in Proclamation Ale’s and Norey’s caps

A few quick shares [to help shore up Zuckerberg’s crumbling empire]:

Tonight [2.23] at Julians [6 pm], the Avery [7 pm], and Pizza J [8 pm]

Get yr tix for the next big beer fest:

Proclamation Ale Company’s Derivative = #14!

[Updated at 12:11 pm] This just in:

CraftBeer.com’s Great American Beer Bars
Readers Name Best Beer Bar in Every State

With more than 4,100 small and independent craft brewers operating in the country, there are more options than ever to enjoy great beer. To help beer lovers navigate their way to the best places they can take advantage of this phenomenon, CraftBeer.com, the Brewers Association website for beer lovers — recently polled readers for its annual Great American Beer Bars competition. New this year, a winner has been named in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

Methodology: CraftBeer.com readers were asked to nominate their favorite craft beer bar in their state and fill out a short survey about what makes it so great including atmosphere, staff, beer selection and special events. Craft beer fans cast over 9,000 votes in total from August to December 2015.

“CraftBeer.com readers know craft beer and 9,000 of them took the time to cast their vote rewarding their favorite beer bar in each state,” said Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com. “Cheers to each of the winners and the ever-increasing diversity of our local beer movement here in the U.S.”

Congrats to Norey’s in Newport for taking top honors in Rhode Island. Here’s a list of the winners [and here’s a link to a sortable list with each bar’s profile including photos and stats]:

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durty And we’ve been meaning to enthuse about the third annual batch of Smuttynose’s Durty Mud Season Hoppy Brown Ale. The potent [8.4%] brew does justice to both elements in its name — a massive hop presence blends beautifully with rich caramel/chocolate malts. It’s a bold and splendiferous flavor bomb. Go get it!!

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An update on the “Better Beer Laws” petition; the holiday growler-getting guide; and much more

We haven’t posted any missives since 12.10 because we’ve been camped out 24/7 at Island Cinemas, patiently waiting for the opening of a highly anticipated film with a hyphenated title [maybe you’ve heard about it: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip]. And this will likely be the last B&C post till 2016, since everyone is in holiday hecticity mode and we’re not expecting any Breaking News until after the ball drops. But we do have a few items to share before we get to the holiday growler-getting guide…

Image courtesy of CraftBeer.com

On October 21, we launched the petition to “Support the passage of better beer laws in Rhode Island.” The goals: to change the law that arbitrarily and unfairly limits the amount of beer [72 ounces] that can be purchased at breweries [there’s no ounce limit at brewpubs] — which puts a limit on the income and potential growth of small brewers; and to float the notion of allowing pint sales in tasting rooms at breweries [click the petition link to read the entire pitch]. The document garnered 1165 signatures and hundreds of insightful comments.

So what happens next? Brent Ryan, co-founder of Newport Storm and president of the Rhode Island Brewers Guild, told us: “The Guild is still working toward forming a strategy for legislative matters. Josh Karten from Proclamation Ale took over the vacated legislative committee chair this fall and is in the process of re-recruiting for the committee. Although we have not come to any conclusions on whether we will seek to pursue any legislative changes, we have taken the steps to create a process by which this would be considered and approached.” The legislators get back to the State House on January 5; the last day for public bill introduction is February 11 [though we understand there is some wiggle room re: that deadline]. Soooo it sounds like you, dear reader, will be bitching about the 72-ounce limit for another year. But we embrace a growler-half-full attitude here at the B&C desk, soooo [all together now]: fingers crossed for Better Beer Laws In Rhode Island in 2016!!!

LongLive From November 2011 through November 2014, nine breweries were launched in Rhode Island. But no one joined the ranks of local beermakers in 2015. Armando DeDona, the brewmaster/owner at Long Live Beerworks, had his fingers crossed for a grand opening in the last few months, but the latest word is that the first craft brewery in Providence [at 425 West Fountain St] will share its first pours on January 2, 2016. Fingers crossed! [Updated 12.24: Long Live’s Official Opening will be on January 9, 2016, from 1-5 pm. Fingers uncrossed!]

Julians will host its Solstice Party on Monday [12.21] at 6 pm. The event features an all-you-can-eat buffet, music, and “an epic tap list” [click through; it’s epic!]. Admission is free with a donation of five canned goods or a winter coat.

We did a swell beer gifts guide last year; we’ve updated all the info/links for your 2015 clicking pleasure…And you should check our recent columns for Motif: “Gift giving tips from beer pros,” “It’s the most wonderful time for beers” [a round-up of seasonal brews], and the latest, “Pop a corked beer on New Year’s Eve.”

OK, let’s get growling:

At Proclamation Ale Company [Thursday 3:30-7 pm, Friday 3:30-8, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5]: Derivative: Mosaic, Derivative: Galaxy, Broze, on for growlers/tastings, with Tendril making an appearance by Friday on the taps. Also: 750ml bottles of Adelia, a tart blonde “warehouse ale.” Bonus holiday hours: Wednesday [12.23] from 3-7 pm; closed 12.24 + 12.25; normal hours on 12.26 + 12.27; Wednesday [12.30] 3-7 pm, and New Year’s Eve from 12-4.

At Bucket Brewery [Friday 1-7:30 pm; Saturday 11 am-5 pm, with tours at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30]: 33rd Inning Red Rye Lager, BOG Cranberry Orange Saison, Hive Mind Honey Ale, Pawtucket Pail Ale, Park Loop Porter, and Fireside Harvest Ale. Nate adds: “I’m not sure how we’ll work it, but we also still have some of the various porters [oaked, chocolate, vanilla and Whisper] sitting in kegs, a bunch of test batches, and some pilsner that was buried in the fridge and has aged very well. I’ll find some way to serve some of those up as well!” And: Bucket is doing a food drive for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank 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.” Bonus holiday hours: Monday [12.21]-Wednesday [12.23] until 6, and 10 am-3 pm on Christmas Eve.

At Grey Sail [Thursday and Friday 4-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 pm]: Pekko Pale Ale, Mary Ann’s Ginger Spice, Great Ketch, Captain’s Daughter, Pour Judgement, Autumn Winds, Leaning Chimney, Flying Jenny, and Flagship. Plus: the third batch of Dark Star, a barrel-aged imperial stout made with cherries, which is only available at the brewery in 750ml bottles. Bonus holiday hours: Wednesday [12.23] 4-7 and 12-4 on Christmas Eve.

At Crooked Current [Thursday 5-7 pm, Friday 5-8 pm, Saturday 1-5 pm]: Extortion Eggnog Milk Stout, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, and Immorality Pale Ale. Bonus holiday hours: Wednesday [12.23] 5-7 pm.

At Newport Storm [Thursday-Saturday 12-6 pm, Monday and Christmas Eve 12-6] for growler fills: India Point Ale, Hurricane Amber Ale, and Rhode Island Blueberry.

At Foolproof [Friday 5-8 pm, Saturday 1-5, with tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4 for tastings ($10, includes three samples) and growler fills: Revery [Russian Imperial Stout; cans only], Peanut Butter Raincloud, Backyahd, Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine, Raincloud, and King of the Yard. Plus: a few leftover bottles from Barrel Reserve Night [first-come, first-serve]. Bonus holiday hours: they might be open on 12.23; check their Facebook for updates.

Tilted Barn is open on Wednesday from 5-8. Check their Facebook for what will be on tap on 12.23.

Check the website for updates on Whaler’s.

Cheers to Heavy Seas’ 20th anniversary; Jack’s Abby Night at Julians; updated with Class of ’95 Tap Invasion

We’re back at the B&C desk! Our dedication to this modest enterprise is a labor of love, but for the past few days we’ve been subsumed in a laborious undertaking which will yield a soupçon of remuneration [and thumbing through a dog-eared copy of The Reader’s Digest Word Power Quiz Book]. OK, enough with the highfalutin verbiage — bring on the beer news!

Heavy Seas, the esteemed Baltimore brewery, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on December 8. Here’s the backstory: Hugh Sisson, who had his sights set on a theatrical career, took over the family tavern in 1980. From the website: “When Hugh showed up to start what he assumed would be a short-term position, his father tossed him the keys to the pub, said ‘OK, don’t f*** up!’ and walked out the door.” Two years later, Hugh had transformed Sisson’s into Baltimore’s prime better beer mecca; in 1989, it became the first brewpub in Maryland, after the Sissons helped push legislation to legalize in-house beermaking.

In the last two decades, Heavy Seas — formerly known as Clipper City Brewing Co. — has produced a highly-regarded family of brews [and is now available in 17 states]. Loose Cannon, their great IPA [7.25% ABV, made with Simcoe, Palisade, and Centennial hops], is a ubiquitous and very welcome go-to brew [it was No. 7 on Paste magazine’s ranking of 116 IPAs]; there are six other year-rounders [Cross Bones is at the head of the session IPA class], four seasonals, and the Uncharted Waters series features barrel-aged brews in an array of styles [be on the lookout for Yule Tide, a Weizen Doppelbock seasoned in Jamaican rum barrels].

Hugh is a great ambassador for his brand; he’s a regular visitor ’round here, and is making two appearances this week. On Thursday [11.12], he’ll be at the Malted Barley [42 High St, Westerly] from 7 to 9 pm, answering questions about the industry, the brewing process — and Heavy Seas beers, including  Yule Tide, Cross Bones, Siren Noire, Winter Storm, and a cask of Loose Cannon. [Note: Sisson maintains that “cask beer is draught beer at its best”; he explains why in this essay.] And on Friday, Norey’s [156 Broadway, Newport] kicks off its latest tap takeover at 4 pm, with a meet-and-greet with Hugh at 6 pm. The lineup: all of the Uncharted Waters offerings — Siren Noire [chocolate stout], Phantom Ship [Belgian-style tripel], Blackbeard’s Breakfast [porter], Red Sky at Morning [Belgian-style saison], Yule Tide 2014, and a cask of the Great’er Pumpkin — plus New World Saison and Scotch Ale from the draft-exclusive Desert Island series; Stoop Sitter, the collaboration beer [amber/red ale] with fellow MD brewers Duclaw, Union Craft, the Brewer’s Art, Jailbreak, and Pratt Street Ale House; and Loose Cannon and Double Cannon IPAs.

“When I started brewing at Sisson’s in 1989, I had no idea the industry would ever get so big,” Hugh recently said. “Back then, we just wanted to produce beers with flavor — and recreate the concept of small-scale, artisanal beer.” Mission accomplished! Cheers to Hugh and his crew on 20 years! [Note: 20 Year Storm, a bourbon barrel-aged (10% ABV) take on Winter Storm — the first beer released under the Heavy Seas name — will be available in December. And plan waaaay ahead: there will be a “20 Beers For 20 Years” event in Providence — on May 19, 2016.]

jack_new It’s Jack’s Abby Night at Julians [318 Broadway, Providence] on Thursday [11.12] from 7-10 pm. They’ll have a special cask of Hoponius Union, the oh-so-really-good India Pale Lager; JA’s cask master said, “I’m gonna give it some grapefruit and Galaxy hops. Whoever is getting this cask is lucky.” Also on tap: Kiwi Rising, a double ILP with New Zealand hops, and House Lager. And you can enjoy samples of Lashes Lager; fresh bottles of the seasonal release, a red IPL, are out now.

More Heavy Seas-ness: There’s a Class of ’95 Tap Invasion at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick tonight [11.11] at 6 pm. Here’s the info: “In 1995 four great breweries broke ground and started brewing hand crafted beers before Craft Beer was what it is today. 20 years later they have come a long way while continuing to develop world class beers. Allagash Brewing Company, Dogfish Head, Heavy Seas, and Weyerbacher Brewing will be there in full force.” Click here for more info and complete beer lineup.

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Dog days grab bag: a Long Live Beerworks update; the Favorite Rhode Island IPA poll follow-up; and more!

It’s National Mutt Day! To celebrate, here are a few brief items while we slog through the dog days of summer:

proc_Deriv On Thursday, we launched the Favorite Rhode Island IPA poll. The first reaction was, “[Proclamation’s] Tendril WAS the best, but I’ve been told it will no longer be brewed.” It’s still listed on their website, and we reached out to Proc prez Dave Witham for confirmation: “It’ll come back, but it needs some tweaks.” So if Tendril is your choice, you won’t be wasting your vote [and here’s another call for you to share your IPA faves; scroll to the bottom of the post for the details]…We skipped the growler roundup this week, but heads up for Bosun’s Call, a new brew available for tastings only at Proclamation this weekend [today 3:30-8 pm, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5]. Dave sez: “We brewed this beer with Rising Tide brewery up in Portland, ME for the Maine Brewers Guild Summer Session. It’s a 5.4% ABV saison brewed with all Maine grown wheat and barley, and finished with Brett. Light, drinkable saison with a little bit of citrus, pepper, and tropical flavors.” There’s also Dark Sprout [“4.1% ABV dark hoppy session beer. This beer was designed to be a mindf@ck. Looks dark, but still tastes like a dry, light session beer. Simcoe, Citra, Cascade hop combo. Drinkable, poundable”; growlers/tastings] and a new batch of Derivative: Galaxy [growlers/tastings/bombers; the bottles will be in stores next week].

In April, we kicked off the “Get To Know Your Brewer” series with Armando DeDona, whose Long Live Beerworks will be the first nanobrewery in Providence. We caught up with Armando for a short and sweet update: “The buildup is nearly complete, the equipment is on the way, my licenses are set, and I [am] getting psyched.” The door at 425 West Fountain St should open in the fall. Wanna see the sign? Click the link in this tweet:

Update and reminders: “Where the Wild Things Are,” the Julians and Allagash beer dinner, was slated for Saturday [8.1] at the Steel Yard, but has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 5. Go here for details and tix…Rhode Island received three [3] logs of Joint Custody, the “nouveau Pilsner” by the brewmasters at Otter Creek and Jack’s Abby. The third [3rd] will be tapped at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick tonight at 7…Foolproof’s Augtoberfest is on Saturday. Details are here…And on Monday, Tilted Barn answered “the question we get asked all the time: ‘When are you going to expand?!’ ” Click here for the answer! Then head to Exeter on Saturday [1-4 pm] for growler fills and tastings of Peeptoad [“will sell out early”], Raffi, and First Harvest.

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Two beer bashes on the horizon; beer with almonds [and chocolate]; and more!

A few random items for your diversionary pleasure:

wiudthings Heads up for two big beer bashes: The Craft Brew Races will take place at Fort Adams State Park in Newport on Saturday, July 18. It’s a 5K road race [at noon] followed by a beer fest [12:30-4 pm], with three dozen breweries [including 13 of Rhode Island’s finest] plus food and fun. We hope to have details on the beer list next week, but hit the website before 7.16 to save a sawbuck: tix are $55 for the race and fest, $45 for the fest-only, and $15 for designated drivers, and will cost $10 more on 7.18 [proceeds benefit the Rhode Island Brewers Guild]…On Saturday, August 1 at 6:30 pm, Julians and Allagash Brewing Company are joining forces to present a beer dinner — “Where the Wild Things Are” — at a unique setting: the Steel Yard [27 Sims Ave, Providence]. The creative culinary experience will feature six courses paired with wild [and rare] ales from the esteemed Portland, ME-based brewery. Tix are $120 [includes tax and gratuity].

Speaking of Julians, it’s National Chocolate With Almonds Day. There have been a few beers made with both ingredients, but they were limited releases that weren’t distributed here. But the next best thing to toast the day is at, yep, Julians: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Dark Art, made by Julians’ Brian Oakley and Michael Ianazzi of Nikki’s last summer in Chico, CA. The black ale was dry-hopped with an experimental Simcoe hop — and locally-sourced almonds from a farm near the brewery. The folks at Julians can likely provide a bit of chocolate essence to complete the day’s flavorful profile. Cheers!

Otter Creek’s bold and ambitious reinvention of its lineup continues with this latest sure-to-be-savored addition:

[Psst: Brewmaster Mike Gerhart will discuss the Vermont company’s overhaul at Rhode Island’s Best Beer Event in October — and collaborate on a one-off beer with a local alchemist.]

And don’t forget: the Jack’s Abby tap takeover is at Pour Judgment tonight; we posted details on Tuesday [bonus: keep the JA glass when you buy a pint; the offer does not apply to Bride Maker]. The lovely lagers start pouring around 8 pm.

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!!!

Magazines discover RI, a coupla beer events — and a new blog on the way!

We’re giving up on big blocks of words at the B&C desk and launching a new blog: Photos of Beer in Bottles & Cans & Proper Glassware. While we get that new enterprise ready to roll, here are a few images to gawk at [and a few links to follow]:

 Providence got some major ink in major magazines this month, with lotsa pretty pictures. Julians is the star of the “Barkeep” feature in Beer Advocate [click on the photos to get a squinty read at the semi-big blocks o’ words]:

 

 And GQ says the capital city is très cool, with shoutouts to the Avery, E & O Tap, and Faust [and kudos to Corey Grayhorse, who snapped the Dean Hotel]:

 

 If you’ve been meaning to head to Warren to check out Federal Hill Pizza, there’s a sweet event on Wednesday to woo you [brewmaster Sean Larkin will be there!]:

 

 The America On Tap beer fest is at Roger Williams Park on Saturday from 2:30 to 6 pm [the forecast is promising]. There are more than 50 brewers [and ciderists], including Bucket, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Narragansett, and Newport Storm, and a lotta high-quality nationals [Allagash, Ballast Point, Dogfish Head, Heavy Seas, North Coast, Stone, Weyerbacher, and many more] pouring more than 100 samples. The beer list is here. Tix are $45 in advance [plus $3.25 for “fees”] and $55 day of show. [Uh-oh, that was a semi-big block o’ words…]

 And Dave from Proclamation Ale and Nathan at Rising Tide in Portland, ME, are finally doing the collab brew that was loooong-delayed by the looooong, cruel winter:

[P.S.: Just kidding about giving up on big blocks of words. We’ll have a substantial “Get To Know Your Brewer” profile in a day or two.]

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Get in line for Founders’ CBS and Brian Oakley and Mike Iannazzi’s Dark Art

Remember: The Favorite Rhode Island Beer Bar Bracket voting closes on Wednesday! While you muse on your Final Four picks, here are two rare brews to line up for:

dark_rt Every year, Sierra Nevada presents Beer Camp, “the ultimate brewing experience.” Participants get special tours of the brewhouse, cellars, hop rooms, bottling line, and hop yard — and collaborate with SN’s “mad beer scientists” to produce unique and one-time brews [some of them get national distribution in the limited edition Beer Camp 12-packs]. Last summer, Brian Oakley of Julians and Mike Iannazzi of Nikki’s Liquors made the trek to Beer Camp and conjured a beer called Dark Art. Brian says it’s a “strong black ale dry hopped with an experimental hop related to Simcoe [and] dosed with almonds from the local almond farm right near the brewery.” The duo “haven’t even tasted it yet,” and you can share the first taste with them tonight at Julians. The keg will tapped at 6:30 pm. And if you want to enter to win a trip to the 2015 Beer Camps [in Chico, CA June 17-19 and Mills River, NC July 29-31], go to Sierra Beer Camp for all the details.

CBS Ready to chase a whale? Founders Brewing Co.’s Canadian Breakfast Stout [CBS], an imperial ale [10.6% ABV] made with chocolate and coffee and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels, is making its first appearance since 2011 [draft only]. It’s at the top of the Rare Beer Charts [and has a 100 ranking on the beer sites]. The first batch to ever be tapped in Rhode Island [Founders entered our market in 2012] will start pouring at Doherty’s Irish Pub in Pawtucket on Wednesday [3.25] at 6 pm [the poster says the event runs through 9, but the CBS will likely disappear looooong before then]. They may want to borrow a take-a-number machine from a nearby bakery or deli to cut down on jostling and lend some order to the stout-spearing. And if you miss out tomorrow, plan waaay ahead: CBS will be at Doherty’s Ale House on October 15, aka Beervana Eve.