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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Make plans for Augtoberfest, Pints For Paws, East Bay Tasting Day, and more

We’re sitting on embargoed news about four new local releases [and digging into another development on the downtown beer scene], but here are a few items we can share today:

cal Sunday, August 16 will be a busy afternoon for beer enthusiasts. The opening-soon Pizza J, the “pizzeria and more” from the folks at Julians [967 Westminster St, Providence], will host the 5th Annual Pints For Paws, a fundraiser for the Providence Animal Rescue League. The mission statement: “Save animals one pint at a time!” There’s a VIP tasting session from 1-3 pm [$30] featuring Revival, Trinity Brewhouse, Foolproof, Brutopia, Ravenous, Narragansett, plus Ballast Point, Clown Shoes, Baxter, Uinta, Two Roads, Jack’s Abby, Lagunitas, Sixpoint, Firestone Walker, and the crew from Nikki’s pouring some specialties. If you’re not up for sampling, there’s an after-tasting party from 3-6 pm [$5], with a bar “powered by Revival Brewing and Narragansett Beer” [100% of the proceeds go to PARL], food from Pizza J and the Julians smoker, raffles, DJ Anglace, and more…And Federal Hill Pizza in Warren [495 Main St] will present East Bay Tasting Day. The event runs from noon-5 pm and features samples from the Bucket, Grey Sail, Narragansett, and Revival, plus Berkshire, Jack’s Abby, Lagunitas, Saranac, Shipyard, and more. Donation is $10, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Chefs Feeding Kids.

Aug Foolproof Brewing’s third annual Augtoberfest will heat up Pawtucket this Saturday [8.1] from 2-4:30 and 5:30-8 pm. The bash is packed with music, food trucks — and beer, including the fest’s namesake Märzen [which is in stores now in four-packs of tallboys]. If you opt for Jester status [$25], you get two beverage tickets and a branded plastic cup; Prince [$35] = three tix and a glass stein; or live like a King [$45] and enhance your package with a $5 food voucher and a four-pack sample to-go. Prost!

Reminder: You have two more opportunities to get a pint or two of Joint Custody, the “nouveau Pilsner” by the brewmasters at Otter Creek and Jack’s Abby. Kegs will be tapped on Thursday [7.30] at Pour Judgement in Newport and on Friday [7.31] at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick…And the Lagunitas is still flowing at the tap takeover at Norey’s in Newport. The Folk Fest crowd kicked the CitruSinensis keg, but the seven other offerings are available. Check our post from 7.20 for details.

Brew York is the source for “Premium New York City Beer News.” It’s run by Cranston native Chris O’Leary, who now calls Brooklyn home. On Tuesday, he posted “Beercation: Rhode Island” — a cool compendium of our breweries, bars [including a nod to Dave’s Bar & Grill], and a bit of miscellany [with a shoutout to our modest little enterprise]. Read it and share it!

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Heads-up for Joint Custody, the Jack’s Abby/Otter Creek collab; Lagunitas takes over the taps at Norey’s

In case you missed our Important Update: Voting has ended for the Favorite Rhode Island Beer Store Poll, but we need more time at the B&C desk to assemble the laurels for the winnahs, so the results will be posted on Tuesday. In the meantime: start making plans for some notable beer bashes:

In May, Jack’s Abby, the Framingham, MA-based makers of luscious lagers, and Otter Creek, the Middlebury, VT, outfit which has done a thorough — and thoroughly delightful — overhaul of its lineup, announced that they were “lacing up their lederhosen” for a collaboration brew. The PR release said, “Inspired by the German brewing background of both brewmasters, Mike Gerhart and Jack Hendler, from Otter Creek and Jack’s Abby, respectively, are bringing their teams together to brew Joint Custody, a nouveau Pilsner featuring Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria hops. A guardian of the old- and new-school, Joint Custody fuses a traditional Bohemian build with the juicy notes of Germany’s newest hop breeds.”

Joint Custody [6.2% ABV] is a very limited release. It debuted at the Vermont Brewers Festival last weekend, and will only be available at three Rhode Island establishments: the kickoff party is at the Malted Barley in Westerly on Thursday [7.23] at 7 pm. The other JC Nights: Thursday, July 30 at Pour Judgement in Newport and Friday, July 31 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick [both start at 7]. And there are fewer than 100 cases headed to the state; the ETA is TBA [we’ll update the info ASAP].

The Newport Folk Fest has two beer sponsors: Newport Storm and Lagunitas Brewing. The latter will be taking center stage at the latest tap takeover at Norey’s, which starts on Wednesday [7.22]. There will be eight offerings from the esteemed California/Chicago beermaker, highlighted by three savory one-offs, including the new CitruSinensis [aka OneHitter #4], an American pale ale [7.9%] made with concentrated juice from Sanguinello blood oranges. [And note: the “highly limited” release hit better beer stores last week; if you see it, snap it up toot sweet — only 70 cases were shipped our way]. The other rarities: Rye Cocoa Porter [aka ScareCity #2; say it out loud], a “red-ish porter” made with rye and cocoa nibs [10.19%] and Imperial WheatWine [ScareCity #4, 9.7%], which the wonderfully wordy Lagunitasians describe as “big and fruity smooth — banana-y, strawberry-y, and peach-y — and vinous — hot, earthy, and chewy. It’s a freakin’ psycho-smoothie.” [And speaking of wonderfully wordy, we wrote about So You Want To Start a Brewery, by Lagunitas founder and owner Tony Magee, waaaay back in November.] Also on tap: three not-as-limited releases Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, Equinox [a “genuine pale oat ale”], and A Little Sumpin’ Extra!, plus Pils and their flagship IPA. Head to Norey’s after absorbing the extraordinarily eclectic sounds at Fort Adams [if you have tix to the looooong sold-out fest]; maybe a few performers will wander in. If The Tallest Man On Earth visits Norey’s, he’ll certainly get the bartenders’ attention…

While we’re talking beer in Newport, North Coast Brewing Co. is the official brewery of the Jazz Festival [at Fort Adams July 31-August 2]. A pairing suggestion: sipping a Brother Thelonious [Belgian-style Abbey Ale] while taking in the musical fireworks at the Quad Stage. Pure bliss!

And congrats to the crew at Grey Sail Brewing, who took top honors in the Ocean State in the listicle “The Best Craft Brewery In Every State [And DC!]” at Thrillist.

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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.

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Beer fests, beer laws, a tap takeover, and beer-to-be

A few lite items while waiting for the rain to turn to snow…

The Great International Beer Fest will be held on October 24  [and don’t be confused if you follow the link: the date is wrong on the website] — three weeks earlier than in 2014 and one week after Beervana. What’s the beer equivalent of “feast or famine”? These gatherings should have a little distance between them…

In our post on Rhode Island liquor laws, we focused on contrasting our legislation with our neighboring states. For some big-picture perspective, here’s a story about a beer battle in North Carolina — where “breweries are currently allowed to self-distribute their beer up until they reach an annual production of 25,000 barrels of beer.” A related entry from The Huffington Post notes that “13 states have no self-distribution cap, while another dozen or so have caps set higher than North Carolina’s.” [Local perspective: Foolproof, which can make about 6000 barrels per year, has our state’s largest production capacity.]

Norey’s latest tap takeover will bring Unibroue’s Belgian-style beauties to Broadway in Newport:


And Joint Custody is in the fermenting tanks in Vermont:


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Beer holidays, the craft beer bubble, the rush on Mosaic, and a Jack’s Abby/Otter Creek collab

bubbleHere’s our weekly compendium of beer reads. Hope to see you at the Newport Craft Beer Festival!

Craft beer bubble? No way, says Boston Beer co-founder Koch, by Michelle Fox @ CNBC [“ ‘There’s almost 90 percent of the people out there who are drinking other beers than craft beers,’ Koch said. ‘What percent wants to drink good beer? I think it’s more than 11 percent.’ ”]

4 beer holidays that don’t offend, by Jason Notte @ MarketWatch [“We’ve finally reached the end of the Fake Beer-Holiday Season here in the U.S., and that cocktail of cultural appropriation and historical inaccuracy couldn’t be dumped in the sink soon enough.”]

Beer Run: Rush on Mosaic illustrates hot hops market, by Blair Anthony Robertson @ The Sacramento Bee [local tie-in: Mosaic is the primary hop in Grey Sail’s Captain’s Daughter]

Check out these new buds: we’re psyched for Joint Custody: Otter Creek, Jack’s Abby Hop On the Bus In New Collaboration.

And here’s the daily Dave link, with a call to Meg across the street [from 5.22.90]:

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Another ‘Gansett/Del’s collab? Maybe. Plus, new releases from Ommegang, Smuttynose, Long Trail, and more

new_delsThe snow is [mostly] gone, and more summer brews are squeezing onto shelves. Here’s the lowdown on notable new arrivals.

  On Saturday, broke the “news” of another collaboration by Narragansett and Del’s — Black Cherry Shandy. MBB posts a daily deluge of beer labels that they acquire from, the website of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, but many of them are works-in-progress and/or notions that never see the light of day. We asked Narragansett about the project and a company spokesperson said: “This is an idea that we’re working on that would be a couple of months away. We’re tinkering with labels [as you can see] and ironing out the recipe. If it all comes together, we may have more official news in a few weeks, but until then it’s really only an idea.”

  Bring on the seasonals: Baxter Brewing’s Summer Swelter, an unfiltered ale with lemon and lime peel and lemongrass [4.7%]…Left Hand’s Good JuJu, a light ale brewed with ginger [4.5%] and Great JuJu [an imperial version in bombers, 7.2%]…Smuttynose’s Hayseed, a grisette [farmhouse ale, 3.8%], replaces their Summer Weizen; in other Smutty news, Baltic Porter [9%] is now available year-round in four-packs …21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon, a wheat beer [4.9%] that we’ve been told “uses every watermelon in the state of Oregon — literally every farm’s yield goes to 21A — in the second fermentation”; and Down To Earth, a session IPA [4.4%], has taken the place of Bitter American in 21st Amendment’s regular lineup…And Otter Creek’s Fresh Slice, a white IPA with Belgian yeast and American hops [5.5%] is out in 12-ounce bottles and cans.

ommegang  Seeing triple: Brewery Ommegang is releasing its fifth Game of Thrones collab brew. Three-Eyed Raven was inspired by “Bran Stark’s storyline at the end of season four when he discovers that the mythical three-eyed raven is actually an ancient, mysterious man fused with the roots of a Weirwood tree.” It’s a “hybrid style,” part saison, part dark ale [7.2% ABV]; the sample that was sent to the B&C desk was an intriguing blend of Belgiany sweetness and layers of spiciness from the specialty malts. The 750ml bottles will be in stores this week, so you can pop a cork for the season premiere on HBO on Sunday [4.12].

  Special editions: Long Trail Brewing Co., the pride of Bridgewaters Corners, VT, celebrated a quarter-century of beermaking in 2014, and is extending the merrymaking with a wider-but-still-limited release of its 25th Anniversary Ale, a stout aged in bourbon barrels, 9%], plus Barrel Aged Triple Bag, an American strong ale “matured in oak whiskey barrels” [11%]; both brews  are in bombers.

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