Running for Beer

It’s been quite some time since our last update, we’ve apparently been enjoying summer quite a bit more than expected….

The RIBS Craft Brew Races Team Providence 2014

The RIBS Craft Brew Races Team Providence 2014

It was a mild and overcast day, very unlike any other July in Rhode Island. We had started our stretching routine and gotten the bibs that would mark us official participants in the Providence Craft Brew Races. I was a bit apprehensive of the task ahead knowing full well that my training schedule had been delayed a few weeks by a sprained ankle. There was a mixture of emotions from the RIBS team who boasted 22 bodies when all was said and done. We weren’t sure what the outcome of the day would be but we did know that after a short run we’d be swigging samples of the finest craft beers around.

The call came and we gathered at the starting line…and waited….and waited. Anticipation led to boredom and eventually a deep thirst for some cool suds. Every so often we caught a glimpse of Matt, the race organizer, glued to his phone and getting gray hairs by the second. We all paused to pay respect to our country and those who fight for it during the National Anthem.

Finally, the time came and we were off. Kate disappeared in a cloud of smoke before anyone knew where she was. The rest of us stayed in a group for most of the first mile but eventually separated. After a while I was all alone, I guess you really do have to train to run a 5K. As I was plodding steadily along, I saw members from all the teams, wearing their requisite jerseys. The two largest teams, The Running Fools and Bucket brewery had a steady stream of runners throughout the whole race. I saw many other smaller teams such as RIGPO, Craft Brew Supplies sometimes passing me, other times in lock step.

Passed the first water station we made our way down to the Point Street Bridge and on passed the Wild Colonial. I would have stopped in for a beer if it hadn’t been 11 in the morning, oh and I was being timed after all. We crossed back over the river and went back through downtown to Empire street. Finally as we rounded the Trinity corner we caught sight of our goal, the finish line. I decided it was better to run across the finish line rather than walk. Just one last short push and the torture would be over.

I crossed the line grabbed my medal and looked for my team. They were nowhere to be found, but I knew where they were, they were already sampling. The festival was already getting crowded but there was still plenty of choices and short lines. It was similar to the winter festival but since we had no table, all could drink and enjoy. We spent the rest of the time sampling great brews and talking amongst ourselves about the race, running, beers and anything else we could think of.

All in all, the Craft Brew Races were a wonderful event and we look forward to next years race. I personally will train up a bit more but just so I can have an earlier crack at the beer.


Proclamation Ale Company

When soon to be President and Brewmaster of Proclamation Ale Company, Dave Witham, first introduced himself to us and told us about his plans for a nanobrewery in West Kingston, RI we were excited.  With several barrels on the way, we were looking forward to some barrel aged beer and before we knew it the brewery was opening.

On our first tour back in January, Proclamation was still unknown to some. Now it seems like everyone is raving about Proclamation and knows the names Tendril and zzzlumber.  With bars kicking their kegs in record times and RIBS members having missed the first tour we had to go back. The crowd was as big as the first time with the RI Brew Bus rolling in and with several new and unique beers to sample, it made for another great time.

Spring Belgian Competition

While it does not feel like Spring has sprung in Rhode Island these days, that did not stop our brewers from brewing up some Belgian Ales (BJCP Category 16) for the Spring Competition. Belgians are an acquired taste for some, but can be loved by all. This competition opened a new door for RIBS as the group followed the BJCP guidelines for judging. It started out a bit rocky, but soon enough everyone fell into a groove and all 10 submissions were judged. Members were grouped into fours to debate flavor, appearance and style in accordance to BJCP guidelines. Each group scored the beers and scores were averaged into a final score. By the end of the night, members who had never scored were pros at understanding the complexities of the beer they were tasting, and how to judge on style rather than personal preference. All in all, it was a great learning experience for everyone! In the end, Nate took 1st place with his Witbeir (16A), Jim took 2nd place for his Belgian Specialty Ale -Saison (16E) and Chris Moran, with his Belgian Pale Ale (16B) and Mike D with his Belgian Specialty Ale – Strong Saison (16E) left with a Honorable Mention.

We thank everyone for attending and participating and encourage everyone to check out pictures from the event. We also want to send a big congrats to Jim on taking home 2nd place in the South Shore Brew-off with his Chai Saison. And as always, if you are interested in joining RIBS shoot us an e-mail!

The Belgian Winners

Ocean State Home Brew Competition

OSHC-14This past weekend was the Ocean State Home Brew Competition organized by Johnson and Wales’ brewing club, JBrew. After months of kicking around ideas and honing their recipes a few brave RIBS members tossed their beers in the ring of fire knowing that not all would win. It was a weekend filled with good hombrew, good conversation and phenomenal food for those members that volunteered to judge. We would like to Congratulate Chris, Josh, and Mike on their awards and hard work.





HM     Chris Moran         ConColor IPA                    23A: Specialty Beer
3rd     Joshua Fogg        Coffee Stout                      21A: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
2nd    Michael Driscoll   Blood Orange Hefeweizen   20A: Fruit Beer


A bigger bucket….

RIBS at the bucket 2014It was over a year ago when we went to that forsaken place…. the kind of place that only the downtrodden and hopeless would congregate. The population was rife with scurvy. Lights barely lit the room and the seats were covered in splinters….. Oh wait that was last night. What I’m really here to talk about is (new) Bucket Brewery. The last time we visited our friends at the Bucket Brewery it was the waning of 2011. They had a small space with an advanced homebrew setup and a 1bbl capacity. They powered through the years like a nugget of snow rolling down the side of a mountain. Now in early 2014 they’ve picked up a steady pace and are ready to smash through that small town at the bottom of the hill.

Along with some serious momentum they have expanded to a new space in Pawtucket and some serious new equipment. Shiny new 10 bbl fermenters divided the large warehouse space into two areas. One side a tasting room, the other a bottling and kegging area. A Glycol chiller in it’s own mini garage supplies the fermenters with a regular temperature that keeps the beers coming out consistent, clear and fresh. The ceiling was lined with a maze of pipes to dispense the glycol. A small door near the entrance led to the grain room which contained a grain massive grain mill, who seemed all too happy to be on the team. Decorated Kegs

Off in the corner was the tasting area and a red square painted on the floor below it. This red square marked the size of the old brewery. It was amazing they ever got the job done in that small a space. We got to all taste their latest round and it was evident how much their craft has come along.  We even got to decorate some of the newest kegs.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday evening and if you get the chance I highly recommend  it. Here’s to more bucket!

Good Luck Armando

One of our own is crossing the pond to attend brewing school at the University of Sunderland. We all wish him the best of luck with his studies and can’t wait to see what he brings back for the group!

Home Brewing 101 Grain to Glass

Class is in session! Join the Rhode Island Brewing Society at the Warwick Public Library for a 1 hour Home Brewing 101 Class followed by a Q&A session. The event will be Wednesday March 5th 7pm-8:30pm. Sign up for the 21+ event at the here.

Meeting Postponed

We are going to be postponing this week’s meeting due to weather. We have been getting reports of snow, freezing rain, slush and gloom of night (in some areas). In lieu of such perils we are going to postpone the meeting till next week February 20th. Drive safe everyone!



RI Brewfest 2014 Completed!

Here’s to another wildly successful Rhode Island Winter Brew Fest!MikeD Serves beer at Winter Brewfest 2014

This was our second time in attendance to this wonderful festival and we all had a great time and met a ton of awesome people. We went home with only about 2 kegs worth of beer, after having brought 5 of them. You people all drank too much of our beer, we need to have a talk…but after this beer.

We brought back our awesome make your own pretzel necklace station. It was a hoot watching all of you fumbling with the pretzels and string after a few beers. Remember this for next year, Tie a pretzel to one end of the string, then load from the other end. That way you won’t drop all the pretzels as a lot of people did.

Of course we had time to visit other tables during the festival and chat with the brewers there. There was an even larger showing of actual Rhode Island breweries this year than last year, proving the trend. We were stationed right next to Dave of Proclamation Ale Co. and that was dangerous. The zzzLumber was flowing at the Proclamation table and being good neighbors we had to partake at least a few times.

RIBS members who weren’t working the festival dropped by for their requisite samples and general chatting. They also went to other tables and gave us the skinny on which beers to try.

If you missed the Winter Brew Fest I highly recommend you try to make it to the summer one.

RI Brewfest 2014 (Winter)

RIBF-2013This is it people, the big day is almost here and it is certainly going to be the highlight of your February. February 1st, the RI Brewfest ( returns to the Pawtucket Armory, boasting 165+ beers on hand for your sampling. If you haven’t bought a ticket already, I suggest you do. Here’s a list of the beers we’re offering for samples. We only have two taps and the beers may be in kegs or bottles. There’s also no real schedule as to when they’ll be available, so come back often to try them all!

Three Sons 60 Minute Double IPA
This Double IPA is continuously hopped every minute for 60 minutes with Chinook, Centennial, Cascade, Glacier, and Nugget hops.  Dry hopped with Cascade, this mighty beer measures 108 IBUs and 8.0% ABV.

Red Barn Coffee Oatmeal Stout
A very dark, full-bodied, roasty, malty, ale comprised of Roasted Flaked Oats, Chocolate Malt, and Roasted Barley. Hopped with East Kent Golding, then finished with cold-brewed coffee to round out this easy drinking beer. 5.1% ABV

Hoppy Wheat Ale
This is a low ABV beer weighing in at 3.5%, but is hopped with Columbus for bittering, Willamete and Cascade and finished with Sorachi Ace and Mosaic for aroma. The malt bill is a 50/50 split of 2-row and White Wheat and add a little Caramel 10 for sweetness.

‘Murican Ale
A partial extract ale weighing in at 4% ABV. Amber in color, it is well balanced with Cluster hops for both bittering and aroma. This mild ale is very sessionable and a great “gateway” craft beer.

Darkside Dunkelweizen
Dunkelweizen, literally translated as Dark Wheat, but don’t be afraid of the darkside. It’s amber to deep ruby in color and will taste like the German Hefeweizens you may have had before. Hold the lemon though, this one doesn’t need it. At a respectable 4.4%ABV and flavored with Tettnang hops this beer is meant for enjoying while rambling the streets of Munich.

Peace Coffee Stout Porter
Dark as a winter’s night, this beer takes the best qualities of stouts and porters to make an uncompromising beer that will surely wake you up. After the beer was brewed a half pound of crushed Fair Trade coffee beans were added to the fermenter and take a dominant role in the tasting. Golding hops provide some nice aromas to augment the assertive coffee notes. ABV 4.375%

These beers will all be on Untappd( so you can check into them and give us ratings and feedback. Links to them will be posted in our booth.

See you at the Festival!

PS. We’ll have our ‘Make your own pretzel necklaces’ area returning