Girls Pint Out has chapters throughout the United States. Each chapter is as diverse as the ladies that run it. To celebrate our exceptional chapters and their diversity, Girls Pint Out is starting a series of blog posts that highlight each state’s unique craft beer culture. Rhode Island is the first in this series.
Ask someone from outside of southern New England to name a beer brewed in Rhode Island and the answer might be Pawtucket Patriot. Turns out that beer is as fictional as Family Guy, but there are lots of other great beers coming out of this little state. Rhode Island has a long history of brewing, including the iconic Narragansett Brewing Company, which got its start here in the late 1800s before moving production to Rochester, New York.
Over the last few decades as the craft beer movement took off in other states, Rhode Island lagged behind. This isn’t to say that there weren’t great brews to be found. Since the mid-1990s, brewpubs like Providence’s Trinity Brewhouse and Newport’s Coddington Brewing Company have been local favorites. Then, in 1999, Coastal Extreme Brewing Company (more commonly known as Newport Storm) opened its doors as the state’s first microbrewery. Newport Storm remained the only microbrewery in town for the next decade or so, keeping thirsts quenched with year-round favorites like Hurricane Amber Ale or their ever-changing Cyclone Series beers.
Finally, just a few years ago, the prayers of beer geeks statewide were answered when plans for not one, but five new microbreweries were announced. Revival Brewing Company, Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island, Bucket Brewery, Foolproof Brewing Company, and Ravenous Brewing Company all entered the scene within a year or so of one another, each producing unique and well-executed beers. Not long after, they were joined by others including Proclamation Ale Company and Whalers Brewing Company. Impressively, all have managed to carve out their own identity and not crowd one another in this tiny state. More breweries are still coming onto the scene in the next few months. One of them, Tilted Barn Brewery, will brew on the grounds of Ocean State Hop Farm as Rhode Island’s first farm brewery. Narragansett has even gotten back on board, now brewing several of their beers in state.
Most are open for tours, tastings and growler fills, and because they are all still small operations, a visit to the brewery probably means you’ll meet the brewers themselves. The taproom culture is growing, too. Bucket Brewery in Pawtucket, for example, opens up for live music and local food on Friday nights. Being so small, it’s not too hard to brewery-hop in Rhode Island. This summer it just got a little easier with the introduction of the Rhode Island Brew Bus, which will cart you around to some of the best drinking establishments in the state. While most Rhode Island-brewed beer is only available locally, you may find bottles around New England as breweries grow their production and distribution.
Rhode Island has long been known as a culinary hot spot, and the locavore movement is strong here. It’s no wonder that the craft beer industry has really taken off, and a little surprising that it took so long. The growing industry has also supported the establishment of beer bars in every corner of the state offering the best local brews accompanied by amazing food. The food truck scene has grown dramatically in the last few years, too, so it’s not uncommon to find one parked by your local brewery dishing up some fine pretzels, banh mi or tacos.
So this is where Girls Pint Out enters the picture in Rhode Island, inspired to start our chapter last summer to support our growing beer scene. Next time you’re in the area look us up and we’ll grab a pint. Cheers!
To reach Rhode Island Girls Pint Out, find them on Facebook at Rhode Island Girls Pint Out or reach Meredith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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