The 2nd Annual Favorite Rhode Island Brewery Poll!

beer-voteWe’ve launched quite a few Favorite polls this year: Favorite Rhode Island IPA [Proclamation’s Tendril], Favorite Rhode Island Beer Store [Blackstone Valley: B&C Liquors; Providence/Cranston: High Spirits; Kent County: Haxton’s; East Bay: Grapes & Grains; Aquidneck Island: Sandy’s Liquors; South County: Wyoming Package Store], Favorite Rhode Island Brewpub [Brutopia Brewery & Kitchen], and the epic Favorite Rhode Island Beer Bar Bracket [the late. lamented Track 84] — and we sked “What brewery would you most like to see in the RI market?” [top three: Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Cigar City, Bell’s]. A whole lotta pollin’ goin’ on!

But the original Favorite poll was posted on December 3, 2014 — the time, it flies! — and now it’s our first second-time-around popularity contest: the 2nd Annual Favorite Rhode Island Brewery Poll! The first time around, we had just logged our first full month at the B&C Desk and were looking for a way to boost our profile and get people talkin’ and typin’ — and have some fun boosting the local beermakers. Mission accomplished: we amassed lotsa new visitors and followers, lotsa shares, lotsa votes — and Crooked Current was the readers’ choice [in July, they also nabbed Best Brewery honors in Rhode Island Monthly’s 2015 Best of Rhode Island].

This is the most equitable of the B&C polls: every brewery is included [as we noted in ’14: yes, we know that Narragansett is not made in Rhode Island, but the local ownership is good enough for us; and this time around we’ve made a single entry for Revival/Brutopia]. You may have to flip a coin or two before you make your choice; as you deliberate, please heed these words from Mr. Letterman: “This is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, no wagering.” The ballot will run through Saturday [12.5], with one vote per reader [and if you’d like to cite your fave beer by your fave brewery, add it in the “Leave a comment“ link]. All right, get voting ’n’ sharing ’n’ talking ’n’ typing.

Cheers to our local breweries ’n’ beers!

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!!!

The winners of the 19th Annual Great International Beer & Cider Competition

This just in from Gregg Glaser @ Yankee Brew News:

The 19th Annual Great International Beer & Cider Competition was held on Friday, October 23, in Providence, one day before the 22nd Annual Great International Beer Festival. Festivals of America produced both events. New England beer newspaper Yankee Brew News was the media sponsor of the competition.

Six hundred eighty (680) beers and ciders from breweries and cideries across the US and from around the world entered the competition. One hundred-twenty (120) professional brewers, beer industry professionals (retail and distribution) and beer journalists acted as judges in a blind tasting format. First, second and third place awards were presented in 59 categories of ales, lagers and ciders. The judges knew only the style and subcategory of each beer and cider.

Since the competition began in 1997, over 2000 beers and ciders have been judged. The awards were presented during the afternoon session of the beer festival, announced by Yankee Brew News editor-in-chief Gregg Glaser. On the floor of the festival, held at the Rhode Island Convention Center, over 3500 beer lovers were able to sample over 250 beers and ciders.

The 20th Annual Great International Beer & Cider Competition and the 23rd Annual Great International Beer Festival will take place in November 2015 in Providence. The Ninth Annual Great International Spring Beer Festival will take place April 9, 2016.

The 13 Rhode Island winners are in bold. Congrats to Revival, Grey Sail, Trinity, Foolproof, Tilted Barn, Union Station, and Narragansett! [A PDF of the winners list is posted here.]

1] Honeyspot Road – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2] Leisure Time Wheat Lager – Jack’s Abby Brewing – Framingham, MA
3] Miami Weiss – Franklin’s Brewery – Hyattsville, MD

1] No Limits – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2] Hefeweizen – Kretschmann Brewing – Webster, MA
3] Zeppelin Hefeweizen – Revival Brewing – Cranston, RI

1] Weizenbock – Franklin’s Brewery – Hyattsville, MD
2] Weizenbock – Kansas City Bier Co. – Kansas City, MO
3] Hingham Hay-Rider – Hingham Beer Works – Hingham, MA

1] Saranac Gev IV Session IPA – FX Matt Brewing – Utica, NY
2] Flagship – Grey Sail Brewing of RI – Westerly, RI
3] Daytime – Lagunitas Brewing – Petaluma, CA

1] Kölsch – Trinity Brewhouse – Providence, RI
2] Keene Kölsch – Elm City Brewing – Keene, NH
3] Brewmaster 1635 Kölsch – Newburyport Brewing – Newburyport, MA

1] Big Wave Golden Ale – Kona Brewing – Kailua-Kona, HI
2] Vineyard Summer Ale – Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery, Edgartown, MA
3] Deckbeer – Northampton Brewing – Northampton, MA

1 – Saranac Pale Ale – FX Matt Brewing – Utica, NY
2 – Uncle Bob’s – Riverwalk Brewing – Newburyport, MA
3 – Old Golden Hen – Greene King / Morland Brewery, Suffolk, UK

1 – Belhaven Scottish Oat Ale – Greene King / Morland Brewery, Suffolk, UK
2 – Whole Hog Scotch Ale – Stevens Point Brewery – Stevens Point, WI
3 – Belhaven Scottish Ale – Greene King / Morland Brewery, Suffolk, UK

1 – Train’s Best – Firefly Hollow Brewing – Bristol, CT
2 – Old Speckled Hen – Greene King / Morland Brewery, Suffolk, UK
3 – ESB – Redhook Ale Brewery – Portsmouth, NH

1 – Samuel Adams Irish Red – Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA
2 – Red Lantern – Firefly Hollow Brewing – Bristol, CT
3 – Murphy’s Red Ale – Murphy’s Brewery, Ireland

1 – Stone Path Ale – John Harvard’s Brew House – Framingham, MA
2 – Pale Ale – Newburyport Brewing – Newburyport, MA
3 – X.P.A. – Upstate Brewing – Elmira, NY

1 – Moonrise – Firefly Hollow Brewing – Bristol, CT
2 – BRR – Widmer Brothers Brewing – Portland, OR
3 – Santa’s Private Reserve – Rogue Ales & Spirits – Newport, OR

1 – Route of all Evil – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2 – Black Racer – Bear Republic Brewing – Cloverdale, CA
3 – Cantankerous Crow – Gardner Ale House – Gardner, MA

1 – Battle Axe IPA – Kelsen Brewing – Derry, NH
2 – Juggernaut IPA – Northampton Brewing – Northampton, MA
3 – Greyhound IPA – Northampton Brewing – Northampton, MA

1 – Paradigm Brown Ale – Kelsen Brewing – Derry, NH
2 – Leaf Raker – Mankato Brewing – North Mankato, MN
3 – Pecan Brown Ale – Main Street Brewing – Belleville, IL

1 – Squeaky Bike Nut Brown Ale – Moab Brewery – Moab, UT
2 – Anacostia Ale – Franklin’s Brewery – Hyattsville, MD
3 – Harvest Brown Ale – Brü Rm. @ BAR – New Haven, CT

1 – Black Butte Porter – Deschutes Brewery – Bend, OR
2 – UBU Ale – Lake Placid Brewing – Lake Placid, NY
3 – MV Porter – Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery, Edgartown, MA

1 – Porter – Appalachian Mountain Brewery – Boone, NC
2 – Raincloud Robust Porter – Foolproof Brewing – Pawtucket, RI
3 – Hingham Smoked Porter – Hingham Beer Works – Hingham, MA

1 – Granite Stout – 603 Brewery – Londonderry, NH
2 – Black Cat Stout – Northampton Brewing – Northampton, MA
3 – The Raffi – Tilted Barn Brewery – Exeter, RI

1 – Czechvar Lager – Budejovický Budvar, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
2 – Bohemian Pils – Von Trapp Brewing – Stowe, VT
3 – Bohemia – Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, Mexico

1 – Pepperell Pilsener – Banded Horn Brewing – Biddeford, ME
2 – Ol’ Factory Pils – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
3 – Pilsner – Paradox Brewery – Schroon Lake, NY

1 – Kato Beer – Mankato Brewing – N. Mankato, MN
2 – Longboard Lager – Kona Brewing – Kailua-Kona, HI
3 – House Lager – Jack’s Abby Brewing – Framingham, MA

1 – Birra Moretti – Birra Moretti Brewery – Udine, Italy, Italy
2 – Lager – Narragansett Brewing – Providence, RI
3 – Moosehead Lager – Moosehead Breweries – Saint John, NB, Canada

1 – Wet Hop Pilz – Blue Point Brewing – Patchogue, NY
2 – Lagerhaus – Fort Hill Brewery – Easthampton, MA
3 – None awarded

1 – Toasted Lager – Blue Point Brewing – Patchogue, NY
2 – Red Flag – Fort Hill Brewery – Easthampton, MA
3 – Saranac Adirondack Lager – FX Matt Brewing – Utica, NY

1 – Dunkel – Kansas City Bier Co. – Kansas City, MO
2 – Rufous – Gardner Ale House – Gardner, MA
3 – Dorfbier – Urban Chestnut brewing – St. Louis, MO

1- Smoke & Dagger – Jack’s Abby Brewing – Framingham, MA
2 – Anniversary Lager – Main Street Brewing – Belleville, IL
3 – Conundrum – Northampton Brewing – Northampton, MA

1 – Dead Guy – – Rogue Ales & Spirits – Newport, OR
2 – Session Fest – Full Sail Brewing – Hood River, OR
3 – Festbier – Kansas City Bier Co. – Kansas City, MO

1 – Oktoberfest – Wormtown Brewing – Worcester, MA
2 – Fest Lager – Paradox Brewery – Schroon Lake, NY
3 – Samuel Adams Octoberfest – Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA

1 – Brewmaster 1635 American Barleywine – Newburyport Brewing – Newburyport, MA
2 – Old Bawdy Barleywine – Pike Brewing – Seattle, WA
3 – Tenebris – Adroit Theory Brewing – Purcellville, VA

1 – 21st Anniversary Ale – Martha’s Exchange – Nashua NH
2 – Rococo Belgian Dark Strong – Relic Brewing – Plainville, CT
3 – Scaldis Amber – Brouwerij Dubuisson, Pipaix Belgium

1 – Abbey Dubbel – Elm City Brewing – Keene, NH
2 – Tripel Fish – Roosterfish Brewing – Watkins Glen, NY
3 – Belgian Tripel – Gardner Ale House – Gardner, MA

1 – Samuel Adams Doublebock – Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA
2 – Henry’s Farm – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
3 – Liberator Doublebock – Thomas Hooker Brewing – Bloomfield, CT

1 – The Chosen One Double IPA – Tilted Barn Brewery – Exeter, RI
2 – Prospect – Foley Bros. Brewing – Brandon, VT
3 – Canal Street Big Boy – Boston Beer Works – Boston, MA

1 – Igor’s Dream – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2 – Darkness – Trinity Brewhouse – Providence, RI
3 – Russian Imperial Stout – Stone Brewing – Escondido, CA

1 – Bo’s Scotch Ale – Milly’s Tavern – Manchester, NH
2 – Highland Hugh – Franklin’s Brewery – Hyattsville, MD
3 – Perry’s Revenge – Cottrell Brewing – Pawcatuck, CT

1 – Golden Delicouse – Captain Lawrence Brewing – Elmsford, NY
2 – Smashed Pumpkin – Shipyard Brewing – Portland, ME
3 – 97 Pound Weakling – Franklin’s Brewery – Hyattsville, MD

1 – Pratt’s Strong Ale – Wormtown Brewing – Worcester, MA
2 – Fenway Redeemer – Boston Beer Works – Boston, MA
3 – Innsmouth Olde Ale – Narragansett Brewing – Providence, RI

1 – Urban Funk – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2 – Samuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru – Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA
3 – Psychedelic Smokehouse – Franklin’s Brewery – Hyattsville, MD

1 – Chambord du Nord – Framingham Beer Works – Framingham, MA
2 – Berliner Weisse – Wormtown Brewing – Worcester, MA
3 – Krazy Pucker – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT

1 – Philsamic – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2 – Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red – Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA
3 – The Dissident – Deschutes Brewery – Bend, OR

1 – Kriek – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2 – LambickX – Brouwerij De Troch, Wambeek, Belgium
3 – None awarded

1 – Gueuze – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2 – Viking Froach Scottish Sour – D9 Brewing – Cornelius, NC
3 – Ezekiel 25:17 Black Sour – D9 Brewing – Cornelius, NC

1 – Worcester’s Bravest – Wormtown Brewing – Worcester, MA
2 – Plum Island White – Newburyport Brewing – Newburyport, MA
3 – Inedit Damm – Cervecería Damm – Barcelona, Spain

1 – Belgian Style Pale Ale – Bronx Brewery – Bronx, NY
2 – Affligem Blonde – Brouwerij De Smedt/Brouwerij Affligem, Opwijk, Belgium
3 – Tenacious Belgian IPA – Thomas Hooker Brewing – Bloomfield, CT

1 – Red Devils – Trinity Brewhouse – Providence, RI
2 – Holiday Ale – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
3 – Bière de Garde – Roosterfish Brewing – Watkins Glen, NY

1 – Spencer Trappist Ale – Spencer Trappist Brewery – Spencer, MA
2 – Fuzzy Logic – Portico Brewing – Cambridge, MA
3 – Via Cordis – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT

1 – Belgeastie Boys – Franklin’s Brewery – Hyattsville, MD
2 – Apple Brown Betty – Martha’s Exchange – Nashua NH
3 – RIPTA Belgian Tripel IPA – Revival Brewing – Cranston, RI

1 – Worker’s Stomp – Two Roads Brewing – Stratford, CT
2 – Brewmaster 1635 Saison – Newburyport Brewing – Newburyport, MA
3 – Saison – Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery, Edgartown, MA

1 – Omission IPA – Omission Beer – Portsmouth, NH
2 – Daura Damm – Cervecería Damm – Barcelona, Spain
3 – Omission Pale Ale – Omission Beer – Portsmouth, NH

1 – Farmer Willie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer – Farmer Willie’s – Truro, MA
2 – New City Original Ginger Beer – New City Brewery – Easthampton, MA
3 – None awarded

1 – Cherry Picker – Franklin’s Brewery – Hyattsville, MD
2 – Coconut Porter – Maui Brewing – Kihei, HI
3 – Blueberry Wheat – Sea Dog Brewing – Portland, ME

1 – Belgian Strawberry – Trinity Brewhouse – Providence, RI
2 – Scaldis Pêche Mel – Brouwerij Dubuisson, Pipaix Belgium
3 – Samuel Adams American Kriek – Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA

1 – Samuel Adams Porch Rocker – Boston Beer Co. – Boston, MA
2 – Union Station Blueberry – Union Station Brewery – Providence, RI
3 – Pumpkin Lager – Paradox Brewery – Schroon Lake, NY

1 – Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider – Angry Orchard Cider Co. – Cincinnati, OH
2 – Woodchuck Gumption – Woodchuck Hard Cider – Middlebury, VT
3 – Hard Cider – Cigar City Cider & Mead – Tampa, FL

1 – Angry Orchard Stone Dry Cider – Angry Orchard Cider Co. – Cincinnati, OH
2 – Angry Orchard Traditional Dry Cider – Angry Orchard Cider Co. – Cincinnati, OH
3 – None awarded

1 – Celt Thirsty Warrior Cider – Groupe Eclore – Brittany, France
2 – None awarded
3 – None awarded

1 – Rambunctious – Cigar City Cider & Mead – Tampa, FL
2 – Pear Cider – Foxcraft Hard Cider – Santa Rosa, CA
3 – Honey Plum Cider – Champlain Orchards – Shoreham, VT

1 – Black Jack 21 – Ace Cider Co. – Sebastopol, CA
2 – Strongbow Ginger Hard Apple Cider – H. P. Bulmer, Hereford, England
3 – Macintosh & Maple Cider – Champlain Orchards – Shoreham, VT

Get ready for IPA Day! Vote for your Favorite Local IPA! And more IPA fun!

Hey, it’s another great excuse to line up a pint or three [aka, a day that ends in -y]: Thursday, August 6 is the 5th Annual IPA Day! The hoppy celebration of the venerable and mega-adaptable India Pale Ale was spawned by “beer evangelists and social media personalities” Ashley V. Routson [aka the Beer Wench] and Ryan Ross in 2011. They deemed it “an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness…[focusing on an] illustrious style [that] represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations — making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.”

Some writers have argued that “the IPA era is over,” but numbers [like ball] don’t lie: in its “Year In Beer: 2014” report, the Brewers Association noted that “IPA is up 47 percent by volume and 49 percent by dollar sales, accounting for 21 percent volume share of craft and 23 percent dollar share of off-premise beer sales. Additionally, the style was the number one entered category at the Great American Beer Festival®.” “Everyone expects it to slow down, but it’s shown incredible growth,” noted BA economist Bart Watson.

So we’re prepping a two-tier celebration for IPA Day. First: a B&C poll to determine our readers’ Favorite Local IPA. There are 10 contenders [we haven’t included pale ales or double/imperial IPAs]:

After you vote [limit one per customer; the ballot will close on Sunday], we’re looking for your input for a Big Picture IPA post! On 8.6.14  in the late, lamented Providence Phoenix, we crowd-sourced a piece titled “Hail to the hops: Beers to savor on IPA Day,” asking beer industry folks to choose their current and all-time favorite IPAs [plus a double/imperial hop bomb], and the best Rhody-made IPA. We’ll be hitting ’em up again for their 2015 selections [check your inboxes] — and invite you, dear reader, to play along. Send your faves [with brief descriptions re: why you chose them] to [please don’t post ’em in the Comments section or on Facebook; we want to share ’em en masse in next week’s post]. One other guideline: it will better serve the residents of State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations if your choices are readily available in our little corner of the US, which will make it easy [and fun!] to assemble a mix-a-six [or 12].

OK, get voting and e-mailing! The post[s] will run on Tuesday and/or Wednesday!

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!!!

Brews by the Bay: the Craft Brew Races beer list [a B&C exclusive]

CBRNIt’s [almost] finally here: The Craft Brew Races event will take place at Fort Adams State Park in Newport on Saturday [7.18]. A 5K road race [at noon] is followed by a beer fest [12:30-4 pm], with 35 breweries [plus two ciderists and a seltzerist] pouring about 150 samples of fermented goodness, plus food [trucks and vendors] and music [Kid Mountain] and all-around big fun. Advance tix are $55 for the race and fest, $45 for the brew fest-only, and $15 for designated drivers, and will cost $10 more at the gate [proceeds benefit the Rhode Island Brewers Guild].

Are you wondering who’s pouring what at the Fort? Wonder no more! We have the exclusive beer list here [all info subject to change, natch]. Thirteen of the Ocean State’s 16 breweries will be representing:

Bucket Brewery: Big River IPA, Park Loop Porter

Crooked Current: Immortality Pale Ale, Oatmeal Raisin Stout

Foolproof: Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine Farmhouse Ale, King of the Yahd + more TBD

Grey Sail: Flagship [cream ale], Hazy Day [Belgian wit], Flying Jenny [extra pale ale], Captain’s Daughter [double IPA], Pour Judgement IPA

Narragansett: Light, Lager, Bohemian Pilsner, Summer Ale, Del’s Shandy

Newport Storm: Hurricane Amber, Rhode Island Blueberry, India Point Ale, Summer Hefeweizen

Proclamation: Derivative [American pale ale] + more TBA

Ravenous: Coffee Milk Stout, Verboten

Revival: Night Swim’ah [Belgian wheat], Burnsider Pale Ale, Conga Imperial IPA, Fanny Session IPA, White Electric Coffee Stout

Tilted Barn: Spruced [American wheat ale made with spruce tips], Sunrise IPA, Peeptoad Pale Ale

Trinity Brewhouse: Blackberry Wheat, Belgian Wit, Tommy’s Red, Ginger Ale, Redrum [strong ale]

Union Station: Bitter Broad IPA, American Pale Ale, Blueberry Ale, The Grape Depression [pale ale with pinot noir grape must]

Whaler’s: American Strong Ale, Hazelnut Stout, East Coast IPA, White IPA


And here are the offerings at the New England/national tables:

Allagash: White, Curieux, Odyssey, Saison Ale

Bad Martha: Martha’s Vineyard Ale, Island IPA, Vineyard Summer Ale

Banner: American Summer, IPA

Fort Adams [beer not pictured]
Fort Adams [beer not pictured]
Cambridge Brewing: Remain In Light, Triple Threat, Red God, Flower Child IPA

Cisco: Grey Lady IPA, Whale’s Tail Pale Ale, Shark Tracker

Downeast Cider: Original, Cranberry Blend, Unoriginal, Lemonade

Harpoon: IPA, UFO, Big Squeeze, Summer

Jack’s Abby: Hoponious Union [India pale lager], Mass Rising [double India pale lager], Leisure Time [wheat lager], Smoke & Dagger [black lager]

Lagunitas: IPA, A Little Sumpin’, Sucks + more TBD

Long Trail: Limbo [imperial IPA], Summer Ale

Magic Hat: #9, Big Hundo, Circus Boy

Ommegang: Three-Eyed Raven, Hennepin, Witte, Joemmegang

Otter Creek: Over Easy [session APA], Backseat Berner [IPA]

Overshores: Blanc De Blanche [witbier], Belle Fermiere [saison]

Samuel Adams: Boston Lager, Summer Ale, Rebel IPA, Porch Rocker, 26.2

Shipyard: Summer Ale, Monkey Fist IPA, Melonhead, Blueberry, Sunfish

Sierra Nevada: Pale Ale, Nooner, Hop Hunter, Summerfest

Spiked Seltzer: West Indies Lime, Valencia Orange, Cape Cod Cranberry, Indian River Grapefruit

Stone: Go To IPA, Arrogant Bastard, Delicious IPA, Ruination 2.0

Traveler: Curious, Illusive, Forbidden

21st Amendment: Hell or High Watermelon, Down to Earth [session IPA], Brew Free or Die [IPA]

Two Roads: Road Jam Raspberry Wheat, No Limits Hefeweizen, Hizzoner Maibock

Uinta: Hop Nosh IPA, Detour DIPA, Wyld Extra Pale Ale, Baba Black Lager, Sum’r

Wachusett: Green Monsta IPA, Strawberry White, Summer Ale, Black Shack Porter, Light IPA

Wolaver’s: Wildflower Wheat

Woodstock Inn: Pig’s Ear Brown Ale, Pemi Pale Ale, 4000 Footer IPA, Red Rack Ale


Phew! Even with unlimited — and responsible — sipping, you can only sample a fraction of the tantalizing treats. So plan ahead. Work the list! [And designate that driver, and/or take advantage of the Brew Fest’s Uber offer]. Then enjoy the bounty of local brews and chat with their creators! Compare notes and swap ale tales with fellow beer enthusiasts!! Discover a few new favorite brews to enjoy year-round!! Wear pretzel necklaces!!! Go!!!!!

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!!!

A Goose Island update; the tale of ‘Gansett’s rebirth; plus, R.E.M. and Queen

chi-gooseIt’s National Leon Day! [“Leon is Noel spelled backwards and June 25 marks the six-month point until Christmas.”] It’s also National Here-Are-Five-Items-For-Your-Skimming-Pleasure Day!

An update on the Goose Island Migration Week tap takeovers: as of last night, the whales were still pouring at Pour Judgement [BCBS Proprietor’s] and Midtown Oyster Bar [BCBS Vanilla Rye]. But if you couldn’t make the arduous trek to Newport, head to Bottles [141 Pitman St, Providence] today at 3:30. Brewer Brian Taylor will be talking about all things GI and sharing some BCBS Vanilla Rye [samples only; no bottles for sale], Lolita, Halia, and Summer Ale. Then head to Doherty’s Ale House [30 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick] and mix a flight from more than a dozen Goose Island beers on tap, including Halia, Juliet, Madame Rose, Sofie, Matilda, and Lolita. [And don’t hold your breath hoping for an alert re: more mega-rarities suddenly popping up in the Providence metro in the next day or three; there are no mo’ logs in the pipeline.]

[In the parenthetical Blowing Our Own Horn Dept., Bottles & Cans was the ONLY place to get ALL the details on ALL of the Goose Island Migration Week events. A Newport site hyped Pour Judgement but didn’t mention Midtown or Buskers; GI’s site listed the Newport and Doherty’s events, but didn’t have the G Pub stuff. You should follow B&C to get the lowdown!! Just sayin’! We’ll put this here for a change: 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!!!]

We spent a few fruitless minutes on the Google looking for info on the East Bay Beer Fest that was scheduled for Saturday [6.27] in Warren. There’s no info to be found because the event has “been put on ice until further notice,” the organizers told us. Now you know!

On Wednesday, ’Gansett prez Mark Hellendrung tweeted:

To commemorate the occasion, here’s a link to a story that ran in the late, lamented Providence Phoenix on August 19, 2005. Ian Donnis took a deep dive into “The beer boom,” with a history of Rhody beer and ’Gansett’s rise-and-fall-and rebirth, visits to Newport Storm and Trinity Brewhouse [and Anchor Brewing Company], and more heady brew lore.

A brew for Wayne and Garth: Queen to toast ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ with beer brand [“Queen Bohemian Lager is described as a ‘golden hoppy’ beer…Brewed in Czech Republic (Bohemia, of course) the beverage will hit shelves in Europe this summer ahead of a planned worldwide rollout. A 12-pack of 330ml bottles are priced at £20 ($31).”]

rem-1983 On 11.20.14, we took a brief detour from the beer world and dedicated a post to our all-time favorite band: R.E.M. [though beer did get a shoutout]. As a #ThrowbackThursdayTreat, here’s a link to the band’s phenomenal performance at the Paradise in Boston on 7.13.83 [some band called the Replacements were the openers]. It was a special night. Need proof? Check these quotes from the 2006 compilation, And I Feel Fine…: The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 [which includes three songs from 7.13.83]. Mike Mills said: “I remember the Paradise show, which is perhaps surprising considering what we were probably up to at the time. Boston was always a great town to play; I don’t think we ever had a bad show there.” And Peter Buck: “I remember this show. It was taped for WBCN…Murmur was out, and we drew a crowd and played well — I think it even sold out [note: yep]. For me, it was like, ‘We just played this cool rock club that I’ve read about.’ It felt like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re a band.’ Sometimes when you’re playing those early tours and not a single person shows up, you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t think this is exactly the way the Rolling Stones did it.’ ” OK, hit play!

The Favorite Rhode Island Brewpub Poll


When The Favorite Rhode Island Beer Bar Bracket was launched in March, there was a parenthetical note: “We didn’t include brewpubs, since most of them only serve their own brews; that category could be fodder for a future poll.” The future is now: The Favorite Rhode Island Brewpub Poll is a perfect tie-in to commemorate American Craft Beer Week, since four of the five establishments opened their doors when the restaurant-that-brews-its-own-beer concept was still a novelty and “craft beer” was a fringe pursuit.

But before we get to polling, here’s “A Brief History of Brewpubs”:

The Blue Anchor in Cornwall, England, which was established in 1400, is most often cited as the first brewpub; U Fleku in Prague, which has been in business since 1499, is the “oldest continually operating brewpub in the world,” according to beer expert Charlie Papazian. In the US, “brewery taverns” were helmed by the likes of William Penn and Samuel Adams. We gleaned more recent facts from Tom Acitelli’s highly-recommended The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution: “the nation’s first brewpub since Prohibition” was Yakima Brewing and Malting Company, in Yakima WA, which opened in 1982. The first East Coast brewpub [and fourth overall] was the Manhattan Brewing Company [fall 1984 in NYC]; New England’s premier establishment, the Commonwealth Brewing Company, opened in the summer of 1986. Acitelli: “Brewpubs were very much in vogue by [the early ’90s] nationally. In 1993, 70 brewpubs opened; in 1994, 101 (only six closed); and more than 360 were in operation by the spring of 1995, besting the number of craft breweries by more than three to two.” According to stats from the Brewers Association, there are now more than 1400 brewpubs in the US.

Here are the contenders: The first Ocean State brewpub, Union Station Brewery [part of the John Harvard’s chain], opened in 1993; it was joined by Trinity Brewhouse in 1994, Coddington Brewing Company in Middletown in 1995, and Mohegan Café and Brewery on Block Island in 1998. Brutopia Brewery and Kitchen, the new kid on the brewpub block [in Cranston], just celebrated its 1st anniversary.

The poll will run through Sunday [5.17]; the results will be posted on Monday [5.18].


Today’s Dave clip: “The Strong Guy, the Fat Guy, and the Genius,” from 1993:

Recycled Bottles & Cans: Local pros pick their favorite IPAs

On Wednesday, Paste magazine posted the results of a truly Herculean and heroic undertaking. In “Blind Tasting 116 of the Best American IPAs: We Have a Winner,” Jim Vorel and his hardy group of judges dared to “bruise [their] palates over the course of weeks with a metric ton of hop bitterness.” The list [and Thursday’s notes on the Providence Phoenix] inspired us to dig into the Bottles & Cans archive for these words, which ran in the August 1, 2014 issue  in advance of the fourth annual IPA Day. We asked our beer industry pals to choose their current and all-time favorite IPAs [and double/imperial hop bomb] that are available in RI, and the best Rhody-made IPA [a few replies were slightly tweaked].  Bracketed numbers have been added to beers that made the Paste top 50. [And we didn’t ask our panel if any of their choices have changed in the past eight months; if so, they’ll let you know in the Comments section at the bottom of the post.]

Choosing your favorite IPA is like choosing your favorite child — it’s neither possible nor fair. For me, it always depends on the mood and the situation. Only have time for one, and looking for a bitter IPA? That one has to be Smuttynose’s Finestkind IPA. It just crushes your taste buds with great flavor and bitterness. For an all-night IPA, Firestone Walker’s Union Jack [#9] is hard to beat for a great-tasting, citrus-filled IPA. At 7.5% ABV, it will sneak up on you, but the flavor and balance is tough to beat.

For a double IPA, I like Deviant Dale’s from Oskar Blues — it’s not listed as a double, but I think it is. It comes in a big can — 16 ounces, it’s 8% ABV, it’s hoppy. What’s not to like?

Favorite RI IPA: I’m very impressed with Proclamation’s Tendril. I look forward to seeing that one in cans or bottles.

For an all-time fave in the straight IPA category, I have to say Smuttynose’s Finestkind. They recently tweaked their recipe and it is drinking better than ever.

burtonbatonIf I was going to pick a double or imperial IPA I would certainly say Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute or any of the Stone Enjoy By series…and though it is not technically an imperial IPA, Dogfish Head’s Burton Baton, which is a hybrid style that blends an imperial IPA and an English-style Old Ale and ages it on oak, is one of my absolute faves.

Keeping it local is awesome: I love Foolproof’s Backyahd, but nothing can taste better than Decadence when it is on at Trinity Brewhouse.

I’ve been doing “research” into IPAs for several years and decided to let my purchasing patterns do the voting. When I see Maine Beer Company’s Lunch [#2], I buy Maine Beer Company’s Lunch. Ballast Point’s Sculpin [#20] runs a close second. Victory’s Dirt Wolf also does some damage to my bank statements.

On the local front, I enjoy elements of all of the RI IPAs, but Proclamation’s Tendril is the one I order most.

ASHLEIGH: My favorite RI-made IPA is Trinity IPA. Not only is it the flavor of this beer, but it’s the experiences that go with it. It makes me think of the first time I tried it, hanging out at the Hot Club with some friends on a sultry summer afternoon. One of my go-to bottled IPAs.

My favorite IPA is Firestone Walker’s Union Jack [#9]. This is a West Coast-style IPA, and while it’s bursting with hints of citrus and pineapple-scented hops, it’s balanced by sweet malty goodness.

tendrilKRISTIE: My favorite RI-made IPA is Tendril from Proclamation Ale, with big tangerine and piney deliciousness, but kept in check by a solid malt backbone. As for an IPA that you can pick up in Rhode Island, though only on precious occasions, my favorite is Maine Beer Company’s Lunch [#2] — it’s like squeezing a fresh grapefruit. I’m in love with anything from MBC. All their beers are clean, fresh, and well-executed.

I love IPAs, they are by far my favorite type of beer! And how lucky we are to be living in the heyday of IPA! My all-time favorite is Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo [#43]. I love its big bold flavor, the citrus, the piney, herbal character, and it finishes with the right amount of bite. It’s just a gem of a IPA! My second pick is Smuttynose’s Finestkind — it’s hoppy, crisp, and just plain delicious! Third is Green Flash Brewing’s Green Bullet; it’s a more complex IPA with citrus flavors and undertones of pine and floral hops. There is also a very clean sweet malt flavor at the end.

My homegrown favorite is Foolproof’s Backyahd. I love its hoppy and citrusy taste. It’s a very easy-drinking IPA and my go-to recommendation for customers first trying an IPA.

IPAs are, without a doubt, my favorite style of craft beer. How could one not like the complexity of a great IPA with the notes of citrus, pine, or resin? A great IPA doesn’t have to have a huge ABV or IBU, but one with a well-rounded nose, flavor, and finish leaves you feeling refreshed, not feeling buzzed after two sips. Lagunitas IPA [#35] is my favorite beer. Its West Coast hops and nice malt backbone balance the beer and makes it a winner for anyone who tries it. At 6.2% ABV and only 42 IBUs, mixed with the right amount of citrus/resin, it’s a home run for me — just what you want from a well-rounded IPA.

Aaaarghh . . . hands down my favorite IPA is Heavy Seas’s Loose Cannon [#7]. On tap, in a 12-ounce bottle, or its cask version dispensed from a beer engine, nothing satisfies my craving for hops like Loose Cannon. Another great alternative for IPA lovers is Wachusett’s Celebration of IPA mix pack of 12-ounce cans: Wachusett Light; Larry, a heavyweight, packing 85 IBUs and 8.5% ABV; their original “purple” IPA; and the West Coast-inspired Green Monsta. It’s an outstanding collection of hoppy greatness!

IPA: Firestone Walker’s Union Jack [#9]. Imperial: Firestone Walker’s Double Jack. Both beers are balanced but have a great hop nose and flavor.

My favorite IPA is Stone IPA. This West Coast-style IPA packs a nice hop punch and has the perfect combination of great citrus flavors and bitterness. I find myself gravitating back to this even when there are a number of special release IPAs available in the market.

My recent go-to double IPA is Victory’s Dirt Wolf. Great aroma and perfectly balanced. I really enjoy the flavors of all of the hops in this beer (Citra, Simcoe, Chinook, and Mosaic) and at 8.7%, it drinks nicely at such a reasonable ABV.

Current favorite: Long Trail’s Limbo. It has a tropical nose, earthy hop profile, and a juicy, well-rounded flavor. It’s blazed a trail for new IPAs to follow. Limbo-ness is next to godliness.

Favorite local/double IPA: Revival’s Double Black IPA. How much flavor can you pack into a beer? Revival Double Black accepts the challenge and sets the bar. So dark. So malty. So delicious. This is one that never disappoints.