Got Beer? A Six-Pack of Brew News

Whaler’s Brewing Company is making a big splash at its Wakefield HQ. With the recent installation of their shiny new fermenters, they’ve boosted their beer production sixfold. East Coast IPA and Hazelnut Stout debuted in bottles a few months ago; new brews include the Rise (a pale ale, due in stores next month) and the Stone & Steel Series, featuring bombers of rare and limited editions. First up: Prometheus, a stout aged in bourbon barrels; Pleiades, a Berliner Weisse-style ale fermented with blueberries; and Lazarette, a double IPA. Those big bottles will be available at the brewery only; the launch party (with food, music and a blacksmithing demo) is on Thursday, April 7 from 5:30 – 8:30pm (info at their Facebook page).

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In the previous issue, we noted that Foolproof Brewing Company expanded its capacity for the third time since 2013 and announced that it would produce Farmer Willie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Foolproof prez Nick Garrison also inked a deal with the Boston-based Backlash Beer Company. Tallboys of Groundswell, a Belgian-style Blonde Ale, and Ricochet, an IPA, will soon be rolling off the canning line in Pawtucket. (Backlash isn’t currently distributed in RI, but will likely be available for tastings.) And Foolproof will celebrate its “favorite holiday” at the April Fool’s Night bash on Friday, April 1 (natch) from 5-8pm; tix include a tulip glass, three beer samples (including the new Queen of the Yahd Raspberry IPA and Emperor Barrel-Aged Imperial IPA), food samples from Delsie Catering and a take-home beer voucher. Hit their Facebook page for all the details.

Speaking of one-off creations in 22-ounce bottles, Newport Storm has released a bevy of unique offerings in the last couple of years, many of which have RI in their names — Mass HysteRIa,  RIèzes, The SheRIff, infeRIority complex. They have a half-dozen more heavy hitters ready to roll out in 2016. The first, Smoke RIng, is a smoked porter aged in oak barrels (7% ABV). The Storm crew notes that “one sip of this beer sends your taste buds on a crazy ride from smoke, to cherry tartness, to a dry chocolate finish.” And if you have any notions for RI beer names, send ’em to the Storm crew — the more, the merRIer.

Weekends are prime time for visiting our all of Vo Dilun’s wunnerful breweries, from Woonsocket to Westerly, but there’s no better way to end the work week than visiting the trio of beermakers who tap something extra-special on Firkin Fridays. For example: On March 11, Long Live Beerworks, Foolproof and Revival had casks of Ol’ Rusty (double IPA with grapefruit zest), Queen of the Yahd with rooibos tea, and an India Pale Lager made with green tea, orange and dragon fruit, respectively. Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: Check my blog (the URL is at the bottom of this column) every Thursday to find out what’s on cask (and the regular taps) at those breweries and all over Vo Dilun.

On Saturday, March 19 at 1pm, Narragansett Beer and the Rhode Island Historical Society are teaming up for “H.P. Lovecraft: A Literary Life,” the second annual walking tour of some of the macabre master’s fave haunts and other intriguing sites. The after-party is at 3:30pm at the Cable Car Cinema, featuring a screening of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s Call of Cthulhu — and samples of I Am Providence Imperial Red Ale, the latest Lovecraft Series brew. There are separate admissions for the tour and screening; go to narragansettbeer.com for specifics.

Short stuff: Isle Brewers Guild, the contract brewhouse/tasting room/all-things-beer mega-hub-to-be on Main Street in Pawtucket, has shorted its name to The Guild. They hope to cut the ribbon this summer…And we just sprung ahead, but it’s not too early to think about fall. Circle October 14 on your virtual calendar: That’s the date for Beervana Fest ’16…And ICYMI: the Malted Barley Providence is open! Head to 334 Westminster St daily from 11am – 1am and dive into a selection of three dozen beers and the scrumptious pretzels (and other delectables).

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