Got Beer? Grey Sail

Currently, it’s not legal to sell pints of beer in breweries, and there is a limit as to how much beer you can buy from a brewery. Though there are currently efforts to change that law, for right now, there are strict limits put on brewers in Rhode Island.

Leave it to the innovative Grey Sail Brewing down in Westerly to come up with a brilliant solution. This weekend saw the opening of their Tap Room in the historic house next to the brewery.

As it’s on a different property, the Tap Room is technically a different establishment, which offers a greater flexibility. They can pour pints, hold events and even sell food to an extent. They offer flights of their classic Grey Sail lineup and serve beer from other local and regional breweries. There’s also cider and even wine taps if beer’s not your thing.

The food is all pre-packaged, so it’s not a full restaurant, but if you’re looking for pints, flights or growler fills, the Tap Room can provide.

The house itself is unique and beautiful. The rooms are painted in murals that date back to at least the 1930s. The tap room itself sits amidst the lush scenery of ancient Greco-Roman temples and forests, including depictions of what might be a small troupe on their way to a Bacchanalia. It would be fitting. Other figures seem to be arguing, debating or sometimes just hanging around, lounging and enjoying the scenery. The artwork is fantastic and brightens up the room significantly. I’m glad they kept the murals after the renovations to comply with code and install the new bar. The other side of the house has a small room with a much more medieval theme, and a large table that looks out over the yard outside.

Maybe my favorite part is the outdoor area, where there’s a large fountain, seating for a beer garden, room for games like bocce and more.

I stopped in for the soft open to grab a pint and check the place out. Alan and Jennifer Brinton were on hand along with their trusty crew to make sure all went well. I had the honor of being their first customer, and I was immediately struck by the artwork and décor. It’s a gorgeous property, and the beer selection, while very small and focused, still showcases some stellar beers.

Though it’s not quite a bar, and definitely not a restaurant, it does make for a more accessible tourist and local attraction. The hours will be Sundays from noon to 5pm; Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3 – 8pm; and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 8pm. This widens the scope so that Grey Sail can accommodate more visitors, but still ensures it’s not competing with other local establishments.

It’s a brilliant move, and while everyone works to loosen the restrictions placed upon breweries, it’s nice to see Grey Sail continuing to pioneer and innovate. It’s a great example of the enterprising spirit of the local beer scene, and I look forward to more.

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