Summer is just around the corner and what a better way to greet it than with craft beer. Celebrate local business with local beer! All week long the RI breweries will be visiting local bars with some of their more rare products to tantalize your taste buds. It’s also the perfect opportunity to talk to the brewers about their craft and thank them for making such great products. Motif magazine has put together quite the extensive list of local bars and pubs with their ACBW specials. So step out of your comfort zone and wet your whistle on some local flavor! Just remember, you don’t always have to go out, you could grab a six pack and enjoy the beautiful weather!
We would love to see your beer adventures, either email firstname.lastname@example.org or upload your pictures to our Facebook page!
You might have seen our post a few months back with Armando being the winner of our Stouts & Porters home brewing competition. You may have also seen pink elephants driving armored cars down the street. But if you didn’t see either of those things, here is a little recap. Every season (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall) RIBS has a member friendly brewing competition. The goal, aside from camaraderie is to break members from their brewing comfort zone to try styles they might not have tried before. We then mix in a bit of friendly competition and 1 awesomely snazzy ribbon for a fun filled night of tasting. To the victor will go the spoils and adulation of their peers. Popularity is the name of this game, whoever gets the most votes takes home the ribbon.
In this battle there was no shortage of members willing to lay their reputations on the line. With such fierce competition it was a bit surprising that we ended with a three way tie for 2nd. But there must always be one person to triumph over all others. The Spring competition was won by a relatively new home brewer, Justina. This was her first competition and only her 2nd beer, but her Mango Golden ale really took the taste buds of our members by storm.
Justina proudly displaying the 1st place ribbon
The next competition will be fruit/vegetable beers.
The rest of the pictures can all be found in the gallery.
Brew Local, Drink Local.
This tour has been a year in the making, between talks and reschedules we finally have been able to make it to the Ravenous Brewery. Brew master and owner Dorian Rave was able to open the doors of his Woonsocket brewery for us to have a tour of his nano operation, and were able to see where the magic happens for his deliciously creamy milk coffee stout.
For any of home brewer who’s ever wistfully looked up into the sky and imagined taking the brewing to the next level, a pico/nano brewery seems like the next step in the process, Dorian points out that having a great beer and a good name are not the only things it takes to be successful. Amongst other things, keeping the supply lines filled with beer is paramount to success. Tucked away in the mills of Woonsocket, Dorian works hard to keep up his stock and balance it with when kegs will come back so he can give bars their fresh supply of Coffee Stout.
The modest setup of his brewery really shows the grass roots movement of nano breweries. Ravenous is using a 3 1/2 barrel system with custom built immersion glycol coolers to regulate the temperature during fermentation.
We want to thank our host Dorian for hosting the group, along with Jessica and Eddie for the photography. We have many great pictures located in our gallery.
This past weekend was the Newport Storm Parti-gyle. For those that are not familiar with Parti-gyle, this technique involved drawing off the first part of the mash and using it to make strong ale or barley wine. Then remashing the grain and drawing off the second runnings for a more ordinary, weak and watery concoction called small beer, the light beer of its day. We are really interested to see what the RIBS members are going to come up with using their wort. Have a gander at the pictures here.
Recently, RIBS had the pleasure of touring one of Rhode Island’s newest craft breweries, Foolproof (formerly HighJinx). The brewery has only been open 7 short weeks but has already made a splash in the local beer scene. The three person power house of a staff has been putting in long hours and to them its really less of a job more of a labor of love. To them beer isn’t just about a tasty drink but it is more an experience To underscore this mentality each of their three beers is named for that experience. Currently they have:
- Barstool, a very sessionable golden ale
- Backyahd IPA, an “East Coast” IPA bridging the gap between West Coast IPAs and English IPAs
- Raincloud Porter, A bold porter sure to keep you warm on the rainiest of days
While these three beers are the first to market, there is some talk of adding seasonal into that line up. But we don’t want to ruin the surprise, you’ll just have to go ask the staff while you’re on their tour. Their brewhouse is pretty state of the art with touch screen controls and glycol cooled fermenters. Though, for all these modern conveniences they still do canning and bottling by hand. Even though Foolproof has only been open a few short weeks they are already looking to expand so they can meet demand. The building they are operating in has nice tall ceilings perfect for larger fermenters, so expansion can occur up and not out.
The brewery itself is just a stones throw away from another brewery we visited Bucket Brewery, both in Pawtucket. Tours occur on Saturdays and are well worth it. Don’t be afraid to mention you are a home brewer and they may give you a more in depth tour than the average person may get.
Pictures courtesy of Eddie and Chris
Till next time, Brew Local, Drink Local.
Here at RIBS we encourage members to snap pictures of brew day or brewing projects they have been working on. Today, we have the latest pictures from Kate and Keith from their brewing session during the Blizzard of 2013(aka. Nemo). If you have pictures you would like to share, join us at a future meeting and send us the pictures, we will try to feature them a short time after. In the mean time why not have a look at our latest set of pictures for the new year here.
As the afterglow of the Rhode Island Brew Festival wears off, we turn our attention back to normal affairs of what we’re going to brew next and how to perfect our skills. However, it is worth taking a few moments to talk about some local legislation. H5190 is set for a public hearing before the House Corporations committee in just a few hours (Feb 5, 2013 @5PM). H5190 is a piece of legislation that would legalize the selling of beer and wine at farmers markets (with a special license) and set forth guidelines for a farmer-brewers license.
It is no secret that of the 5 breweries that have opened their doors in the last year and a half, the majority of them started off as homebrewing operations. It should also come as no surprise that most homebrewers also entertain the idea of ‘going pro’ and opening up their own brewery at least once if not every day. A bill such as H5190 would give small start up brewers the tools they need to get product exposure statewide, increase sales and fairly compete with other larger and more established brands.
The Craft Beer movement and the Localvorism movements are intrinsically linked by a few key factors such as quality of products, community support and an implicit rejection of overindustrialization. In short, People in both movements want quality goods produced with honesty by their neighbors. This bill supports that mantra and will provide the citizens of Rhode Island with more access to other options than previously before.
Proponents of the bill will point out that this bill bypasses the well established monolithic three tier system which was created after Prohibition ended. While the three tier system addresses a very practical problem (how to keep everyone supplied) it inherently favors the largest brewing companies. In the vast majority of liquor stores and bars a majority of the shelves stocked with beer are those brands from the 3 largest breweries. This allows independent Craft Beer producers to fight for the remaining 40%. H5190 would not impact the stocking of shelves and would only serve to level the playing field already controlled by large businesses. The selling of local beer and wine at farmer’s markets would allow the consumer to make the decision about which brands they want to support instead of allowing the three tier system dictate what they have access to.
A vote for H5190 would be a vote for small business, local consumers and quality products produced by our neighbors. I and other members of the Rhode Island Brewing Society support H5190 for the reasons stated above. I also recommend that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the proposed legislation and write to your elected representatives to let them know your opinion. You can view the full text here.
RI Brew Fest was yesterday, and it was a great time! We want to take a moment and thank everyone for their time; this was the first big event, along side local breweries, for RIBS. We learned so much and met some awesome people. Where would this event be without attendants? A special thank you to everyone who came out to participate. We hope everyone enjoyed some great beer!
You can see some of the images from the event here.
Today is the big day, RI Brew Fest! Tickets have completely sold out, and we are gearing up to serve (limited) quantities of our home brew. Hope to see you there, and enjoy the great beer, music, and enjoy the festivities!
Valentines day is really just a day for us to reaffirm our love affair with beer and brewing. Sorry to spouses/significant others, we’re cheating on you….with beer.
Our next meeting is February 14th (7:30PM) at Trinity Brew House in Providence. We’ll meet downstairs in the large corner with the banner. If you walk down stairs we’ll be on the right. Feel free to bring your SO’s and just tell them it’s a beer banquet if they argue or ask for a nice dinner out on the town.
Also, only 8 Days until the Rhode Island Brew Festival at the Pawtucket Armory. It’s not too late to get your tickets! If you’re already going, drop by our table to meet a few of us and sample some brews. We’ll also have fun brewing anecdotes and great company to offer.