Foolproof Ain’t Foolin’ Around on April Fool’s Day

foolproofPawtucket’s Foolproof brewery has been adding to Rhode Island’s vibrant craft beer scene with inventive styles of beer and their Saturday brewery tours. On April Fool’s Day this year, Foolproof will be putting on a party featuring one-of-a-kind brews, delicious food, live music and an overall great time.

Ahead of the festivities, I had a chat with president and founder Nick Garrison about the story behind Foolproof’s beginnings, his opinion on the craft beer movement in Rhode Island and what people can expect at the brewery this Friday.

Rob Duguay: How did Foolproof get started?

Nick Garrison: I started as a homebrewer. I was brewing beer at home and I absolutely fell in love with it back when I started in 2007. I ended up brewing all the beer from my wedding the following year and it was on that day when the first idea of opening a brewery entered my head. After brewing all this beer for the wedding I was getting all of these great compliments from people and a few people said, “Hey, this is really good beer. You should think about doing this for a living.” That was when the proverbial light bulb went off so my wife and I talked about it on our honeymoon. She was actually the one who proposed the idea of owning a brewery ourselves and from there I knew one way or another I was going to do it. I got to work on a business plan, researching what goes into opening a brewery, starting a business and all the craziness involved there. It took around four years of research, planning and financing and somehow it all came together in spring 2012. We started building the brewery in Pawtucket, we officially opened our doors for business in January of 2013 and it’s been a wild ride since then.

RD: Foolproof makes a Shuckolate, which is a chocolate oyster stout, one of my favorites is a version of the Raincloud Porter that’s brewed with peanut butter and most recently you a version of the Backyahd IPA that’s brewed with raspberries called Queen Of The Yahd. Who comes up with the ideas for all of these specialty beers?

NG: It’s really our core team, I think we really encourage and celebrate a creative and innovative atmosphere at Foolproof. No idea is too crazy, too weird or too bizarre. We’ve experience a lot of success with our specialty beers and they’re a lot of fun to brew. People throw out ideas, we’ll play around with small batches, blending or experimenting with existing beers and sometimes these crazy ideas really hit it out of the park and then we find a way to produce them on a commercial scale, which has been the case with the Peanut Butter Raincloud, the Queen Of The Yahd IPA and the Shuckolate. More and more often the craft beer consumer is looking for something different, something creative and innovative that they can’t get anywhere else. I think we’ve really tapped into that and it’s a lot of fun for me and my team to come up with those beers. At the same time we’re incredibly proud of our core beers, the Backyahd IPA, the Raincloud Porter and the Barstool, which is our golden ale. That’s what we brew the bulk of, that’s most of what we’re producing at Foolproof. There’s a lot of work and passion that goes into those as well.

RD: I’ve stopped by the brewery a few times for a tour and everyone at Foolproof seems to really enjoy what they do.

NG: That’s the hallmark of this industry. You talk to people who are brewers, work in craft beer or are in the industry in general and while it’s not a particularly high paying industry, the people involved are doing something they love and that’s incredibly rewarding for me and my team.

RD: Do you think heavy competition is a good thing for craft beer in The Ocean State?

NG: I think it’s a fantastic thing. There’s this prevailing attitude in craft beer that a rising tide lifts all ships. I think with the more people who are getting into Rhode Island beer and with all the great things happening in the state it really benefits us all. There’s been what I like to describe as a “beer renaissance” happening in Rhode Island and I think Foolproof has been a big part of that, so we’re excited to have been just a part of that movement. I think we still have a lot of room for growth and a lot of opportunity as we advocate for the value of drinking local beer here in Rhode Island, but I like the direction things are headed in.

RD: At this Friday’s April Fool’s Party what can people expect?

NG: We’re very excited for this event, I think it’s going to be the best one we’ve ever put on and tickets have been selling fast so I hope people jump on board fairly quickly. There’s a ton of exciting things in store for the event. First and foremost we got Delsie Catering coming in and making some special food for the event, they’re an amazing team with an incredibly talented chef. We’re going to have some truly unique beers you can’t get anywhere else, they’re three barrel aged beers actually. One of them is Emperor, it’s our bourbon barrel aged double IPA, which we did a limited amount of last year and it was a huge hit so we’re going to be doing that again.

For the first time ever we have two wine barrel aged beers. We took our farmhouse ale, which is the La Ferme Urbaine, my favorite beer that we brew, and we filled a pinot noir barrel with it and we also filled a chardonnay barrel with it. We’ll be doing a La Ferme Urbaine Blanche and a La Ferme Urbaine Rouge, that’s going to be an exclusive offering just for this event. Finally we have some live music, we got a great band from Boston called Adessa on Bay State playing and Kickin’ Brass who have attended a few other Foolproof events and they’re an awesome brass band that’s going to come in and close out the night. For $30 people get three beers samples, they get a $10 voucher for take home beer, they get some free food from Delsie, live music and access to some unique beers, which is a pretty great deal.

Tickets to Foolproof Brewing Company’s April Fool’s Night happening from 5-8pm at their brewery on 241 Grotto Street in Pawtucket on Friday, April 1 are available here: xola.com/checkout#56e17b00cf8b9c2b7a8b457c; Foolproof’s Website: foolproofbrewing.com

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