Hop Fun in the Summertime

Summer and suds are a perfect match (well, fall and spring and winter and suds are also a perfect match, but ’tis the sultry season, so…). Here’s your handy-dandy guide to the season’s hottest – and hoppiest – dates.

First, the fests. On Saturday, June 17, the Beervana brain trust have teamed up with RI Food Fights to present the debut Bacon & Beer Fest at The Steel Yard. The bash has been sold out since February, but if you haunt the social mediums you might get lucky and scare up a ticket. On Sunday, June 25, the Providence Animal Rescue League will host the 8th Annual Pints for Paws at its HQ on Elbow St in the Jewelry District. The event features a beer tasting with more than a dozen breweries and a block party with food trucks, music, a Revival-powered beer bar and many pet-related activities. Get your woof on at parl.org. On Saturday, July 22, head to Newport for the Craft Brew Races extravaganza at Fort Adams State Park. A 5K walk/run is followed by a three-hour brew fest, featuring more than three dozen breweries – including most of our local heroes. There are two diversions on Saturday, August 5: the 3rd Annual Providence Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival takes over India Point Park in Providence; check foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com/providence-ri-17 for specifics. And if you just can’t wait for Oktoberfest (which kicks off in Munich on September 16), get a head start on the fall frivolity at Foolproof’s fifth annual Augtoberfest. You can hoist sweaty steins filled with the fest’s namesake Märzen (and other delights from Foolproof’s lineup) at their Pawtucket biergarten, and take in music, food, games and more oompah-driven fun (info at foolproofbrewing.com). On Saturday, August 26, Brew At the Zoo lets you fraternize with the giraffes and alpacas and otters and all o’ the wildlife at the Roger Williams Park Zoo whilst sampling beers from more than 70 pourers. Tix will be on sale any day now at rwpzoo.org.

And if you’re willing to drive 150 or so miles north, you should definitely get thee to Portland, Maine, for Beer Camp Across America. It’s the third edition of Sierra Nevada’s superb celebration of craft beer, with six fests held across these not-so-United States in June. The bash at Thompson’s Point is happening this Saturday (the 3rd) and boasts more than 125 breweries – an astounding assemblage of heavy hitters and your new favorite beerists. Get tix at beercamp.sierranevada.com/festivals/portland. And if you can’t make it to BCAA, you should definitely plan a weekend in Portland and indulge in the city’s first-class breweries (Allagash, Bissell Brothers, Rising Tide) and bars (Novare Res Bier Cafe, the Great Lost Bear, the King’s Head Pub, the Thirsty Pig).

Want more al fresco attractions? We got ’em! The Burnside Music Series and Beer Garden is the place to be in downtown Providence every Thursday from July 13 through September 14, with a cool combo of many-genred bands, a fleet of food trucks and fermented fuel from Trinity Brewhouse. Check facebook.com/KennedyPlazaPVD for the musical details and more enticements. And summer is the perfect time to hit the 401 beer trail to participate in the Rhode Island Brewery Passport program. When you make any purchase at a brewery that is a “voting member” of the Rhode Island Brewers Guild – Bucket, Coddington, Crooked Current, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Long Live Beerworks, Newport Storm, Proclamation, Tilted Barn, Ravenous, Trinity Brewhouse, Union Station, and Whaler’s are the current dues-payers — your passport gets stamped, and when you’ve been to all 13 stops, you get a free bomber of End of the Rhode, a hearty Belgian strong ale made with RI-sourced hops and honey by the participating brewers.

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