Got Beer? Beervana A to Z

We’ve enthused about Beervana Fest many times in these pages. In this preview, we take an alphabetical approach to singing its praises, spotlighting new breweries and notable beers and a few tips.

beervana rgbA is for awesome: Beervana Fest 2017 will take place on Friday, October 20 from 6:30 – 10pm at Rhodes-On-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston. Sixty stellar brewers will pour more than 250 beers. At press time, the event was thisclose to a sellout. If you wanna go, you oughta hit beervanafest.com/tickets.htm right now.

B is for Buttonwoods Brewery, which will be open for business any-day-now in Cranston. Brewmaster Morgan Snyder told us, “We’re super-pumped to be pouring our first beers to the public. It’s been a long and somewhat painful journey, but launching at Beervana is such an awesome thing. We couldn’t have planned a better [debut] if we tried.”

C is for Cuvee De Castleton, a wild/sour ale (9% ABV) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company of Elmsford, NY. They say, “This is a beer that will make you rethink your definition of beer.” It won’t be the only offering at the fest that will stimulate your palate in new ways.

D is for Deciduous Brewing Company, a rapturously reviewed brewery in Newmarket, New Hampshire, making its first appearance in Rhode Island.

E is for epic, a word that is regularly invoked to describe the Beervana experience (also see: awesome).

F is for Finback Brewery, another first-timer-in-RI straight outta Queens, NY. We dig their beeritude: “We like it hoppy and complex, roasty and smoky, strong and sippable to sessionable and gulpable…We make beer because we like to drink it delicious and fresh and because we like to smile.”

G is for game plan. The complete and very detailed Beervana beer list is opposite (it also will be available at the Bottles & Cans blog (address below)). Block out an hour or three and compile your must-try list. But keep your ears open at the fest for must-try recommendations. Go with the flow!

H is for Hugh Sisson, the founder of Heavy Seas Brewing Company of Baltimore, Md. Hugh will present one of the fest’s educational seminars (see J for the other speaker). We don’t know what his topic will be, but here’s a bit of the Heavy Seas mission statement from the veteran beermaker: “Heavy Seas is about adventure, challenge, risk-taking, rebellion and an active lifestyle.” We’ll drink to that!

I is for incredible, a word that is regularly invoked to describe the Beervana experience (also see: awesome and epic).

J is for Jeremy Danner, the ambassador brewer at Boulevard Brewing Company, which is Beervana’s presenting sponsor. Jeremy will discuss BBC’s innovation program, which focuses on Belgian styles, as well as their approach to barrel-aging and blending. Tank 7 (a farmhouse ale), Saison Brett and Love Child (a sour ale) will be served for sipping during the seminar.

K is for Kent Falls Brewing Company, of Kent, Conn., yet another new-to-RI beermaker. They say, “As a farm brewery, our surroundings and experiences inform much of what we do. We aim to produce beer reflective of the land around us, the people who occupy it and the culture we wish to promote.”

L is for the longest-running and still-evolving beermakers who will be at the fest: Boulevard (since ’89), Brooklyn (’88), Goose Island (’88), Harpoon (’86) and Long Trail (’89).

M is for mixing it up. The 250-plus beers at Beervana encompass a vast range of styles. Be adventurous! Challenge thy palate!

N is for nirvana, a word that is regularly invoked to describe the Beervana experience (also see: A, E and I).

O is for Oxbow Brewing Company, which offers “loud beer from a quiet place” (Newcastle, Maine). The new-to-RI farmhouse brewery “specializ[es] in traditional Belgian-style ales with contemporary American influence.”

P is for Providence Beer Week. The eighth annual spate of pint nights/tastings happening statewide kicks off on Monday, October 16 – which is also Launch Week for the new offerings from Craft Collective (see T).

Q is for Queen City Brewery of Burlington, Vt., another outfit making its Beervana (and Rhode Island) debut. Their motto: “World-class beer without the jet lag.”

R is for Rhode Island breweries who will be pouring at Beervana: Buttonwoods (see B), Crooked Current, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Long Live Beerworks, Newport Storm, Proclamation (tentative), Ragged Island, Revival and Whalers. 401 represent!

S is for Shelton Brothers Importers, which always showcases a jaw-dropping array of ultra-rare beers at its table. Last year they poured magnificence from Cantillon, Mikkeller, Toccalmatto and Fantôme; check the beer list (see G) for the 2017 lineup.

T is for TRVE Brewing Co., a “heavy metal brewery” in Denver, Colo. (the final new-to-RI entry; all of the fresh arrivals – see D, F, K, O and Q – are distributed by the new-to-RI Craft Collective; see P). The TRVE crew says, “Our mission has always been to create beers that are beyond the pale. To us that implies new ideas, channeling Loki and embracing chaos.” You’ve been warned!

U is for unlimited sampling (and Uber). But to paraphrase a famous quote, “With unlimited sampling comes great responsibility for moderation.” Drink wisely and well!

V is for Victory (Brewing). (That one was easy!)

W is for wicked cool, two words that are regularly invoked to describe the Beervana experience (also see: A, E , I and N).

X is for Xocoveza Extra Anejo, a unique concoction from Stone Brewing Company – a mocha stout aged in Bourdeaux/tequila barrels. It’s a super-exclusive release – and it’ll leave its mark with an 11.3% ABV.

Y is for you-should-get-tickets-now-before-they’re-gone (see A).

Z is for Zapata Bot, a potent entry (9% ABV) from New England Brewing Co., “We took our DIPA, G-Bot, and aged it in tequila barrels for six weeks.” Boom!

To recap: Beervana. October 20. The Best Beer Event in Rhode Island. One night only. Tickets are going, going… ’Nuff said!

For more beer news, check Lou’s blog, bottlescansclaphands.wordpress.com, or follow @BottlesCansRI.

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