Author Archives: chris

Foolproof Tour

By | February 28, 2013

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.

Opinion: H5190 – Farmer’s Market craft beer & wine sales

By | February 5, 2013

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.

Cheers,

-Chris

February Meeting

By | January 25, 2013

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.

In Beer We Trust.

By | October 31, 2012

Every two years, in the waning days of the fall we hear the constant political drumbeat assaulting our brains through every channel possible. Some years it’s louder than others. This year it’s like having your head between the double kick drums of Lars Ulrich back in the days of Master of Puppets.

Some of you may be pretty jaded by now because of all the false promises, mud-slinging and pandering in the national spot light. And truthfully  I wouldn’t blame you for feeling that way, but I’m obliged to point out, that though the political arena may be a two ring circus, it is still our duty to vote. Aside from contributing to a healthy democracy and the strength of our nation, a few very simple reasons come to mind: Continue reading

Almost there….

By | October 19, 2012

Beervana is just a few short hours away and as I sit at my desk trying to avoid work I keep thinking to myself: ‘self, you should really take notes this time so you remember what beers you drank’ But then I know in the back of my head that I’ll probably forget the notebook anyway and I should just enjoy the beer, especially since we’ve arranged group transportation.

Hopefully we’ll see some of you there. We’ll all be wearing our club shirts so feel free to say hello. Don’t forget to let someone else do the driving so you can enjoy the beer.

Of Raccoons and Wort.

By | September 26, 2012

 

Gather round folks and I will tell you a cautionary tale. On the Sunday evening past I decided it would be a great time to brew up Northern Brewer’s Coffee Stout Porter which was shipped to me in a pleasant error. The box had been delivered, which I had been waiting on for a whole bunch of hops for some planned recipes. I opened the box and found what I originally thought was my order, two large bags of grain some hops and wait….coffee? what’s this? Where’s my Mead yeast?! I called into customer support at NB and to their credit they let me keep the erroneous items and even shipped me the correct items -Good job guys, you made this customer very happy. Anyway back to the story…
Continue reading

Mayflower Brewing Company Tour

By | July 17, 2012

 Gather round fine libators and let me regale ye with a story of old as it was told to me by a fair lady who knew of the brewing process. As legend would have it the Pilgrims who sailed from England on the fine vessel named the Mayflower settled Plymouth for one simple reason….BEER! The geography and geology support this claim. The water is the right hardness and the soil is ideal for growing the finest of barley. Just one more piece in America’s rich beer history.

Now we flash forward to modern times. During which a man tired of his 9-5 job decided to start a brewery and live the good life. (As we all have thought about at one time or another) Fast forward 8 years later and we find ourselves touring a fine facility boasting a 20 Bbl brewing capacity. With a number of 40-100Bbl fermenters at the facility, distribution in MA, NH, RI is no problem for this craft brewery.

Having done a fair amount of beer exploring I was no stranger to Mayflower brews, though for the most part they were the mainstream year round ones. Not that they’re not all solid players, but I have to say the seasonal line up was quite enjoyable. For my money I especially liked the Summer Belgian Rye Ale. It was crisp and refreshing as a Belgian should be but with a nice hop aroma that danced on the back of your palette.

Video: Tour Highlights

Gallery: Mayflower tour

All in all I would recommend doing the tour and the tasting, both were very informative and a good way to spend a Saturday. Till we sail again, stay quenched.

Cheers!

 

Pro-tip: Warm up your Extracts!

By | January 17, 2012

The holidays have passed, we’ve all had to loosen our belts a bit and now it’s time to get serious about brewing again. I thought I would start off the new year with a tip that all extract brewers can use. It may seem obvious for some of the more experienced brewers out there, but for those just starting out it may save you some time and frustration….

I don’t know about you guys but when I am brewing with extract syrups, honey or other high viscosity (read: thick) liquids it takes forever to pour them out and then you have to scrape the sides of the container! It is also well known in the home brewing community that if you heat up a high viscosity liquid it will temporarily lower the viscosity (make it flow better). Most people would recommend you put the cans of malt extract in the sink and run hot water over it… that may work for some but you’ll be using a lot of water and then you won’t be able to use your sink temporarily.

Protip: if you have a small cooler, fill that with the hottest tap water you can get right before you start heating up the water. Throw your cans of malt in there and close it up until you are ready to use them. Be careful though, the cans will be very hot when you pull them out of the cooler, you might want to wear cooking mitts.

 

Happy Brewing!

Too much honey? Sweet!

By | September 26, 2011

While exhibiting at Maker Faire RI, I had a couple approach me and ask about mead. They had some  bee hives on their property and apparently too much honey (I guess it was possible). It wasn’t until well after the Faire I realized I should have tried to buy some off of them.

So to make up for my lack of vision, I will put out an open call for some local honey. If you have more than you know what to do with and are in the Providence RI/MA/CT area, I would love to hear from you and maybe we can take some off your hands for a fair price. Contact me at chris@ribrewingsociety.com