Drink Award Winners

Profiles written by Heather Bryant, Kelly Currier, Gina Mastrostefano, Mike Ryan.

RI BrewFest (PVD, January)

Favorite Brew Fest – Brew Fest used to take place at the Pawtucket Armory and has been at the WaterFire Arts Center since 2019. Taking a two-session approach, it’s usually on a Saturday in late January or early February. 2023 dates haven’t been announced yet, but it sells out fast, so keep an eye on ribrewfest.com

With around 50 brewers for a typical showing, this fest emphasizes regional and especially local participants. Perhaps it’s also because it happens in the RI-event-deadspace of deep winter, but this fest certainly warms our readers’ hearts. Or gullets. Or both.

– MR


Blonde Jovi won best label art – Blondes. Everyone has a favorite. Linesider Brewing is no exception. As they posted on social media after the event, “Your favorite blonde took home some hardware last night. Blonde Jovi took home the Favorite Can Art category at the 2022 Motif Magazine & and Drink awards! This award means something extra to us because it was a write-in category which means to win it, voters had to specifically think of the can and vote!” 

I can’t help but sing some of the lyrics of the 1980’s band Bon Jovi. We all know and love the song “Runway” and the words, “Guaranteed to blow your mind.” The imperial pale ale is “Easily our most talked about label,” agrees Kyle from Linesider, “So this was really a great one to win.”

The ’80s hair band look – and highschool yearbook photos from the era – were the muse behind this can art created by artist Stephen Lloyd Drake

Linesider Brewing Co is located in East Greenwich. The co-founders are Jeremy Ruff and Dan Koppen, a former New England Patriot. 

  • KLC

Smug Brewing

Traitorade won Favorite Clever Name – “The name came when we were canning another beer. It was the day Tom Brady got Buckaneer’d, and that was all over the radio as we worked.” says Michael Huftalen of Smug. “We started to speculate on what a beer inspired by Tom Brady would include. It would be salty, because we were feeling pretty salty about the whole thing. Key limes brought the Florida connection, and sour … well, that’s just obvious. The name was sort of a ‘Eureka moment.’”

The brew became emblematic of the new, mostly-friendly rivalry, and was in fact featured in a segment on the local news in Tampa. Smug’s not officially distributed in Florida, or outside of Rhode Island, but when the news crew dropped by the brewery, they might have taken a few cans – and definitely some Traitorade shirts and hats – back to the peninsula. “We were pretty surprised,” admits Huftalen, “When a news crew from Tampa showed up in the brewery.”

Traitorade isn’t currently available, but it proved very popular during its run. Will it be back? “I think that depends on what Brady does, going forward,” says Huftalen. Meanwhile, you can snag similar flavor profiles from Smug’s Summer Series or Be Fruitful series, both of which have numerous sours.

– MR

Newport Vineyards

Rhody Coyote won Favorite Cider – Rhody Coyote hard cider is made from a family recipe with fresh Rhode Island apples that are juiced and then “kiss the juice with champagne yeast.” In addition to winning the Motif Favorite Cider award, it also won RI best cider at The Big E up in Massachusetts. It is 7% ABV and considered drier than your average cider. No word on whether it’s caught that road runner yet.

You can sip this delicious cider inside or out while overlooking the beautiful grounds of Newport Vineyards. 

Located in Newport and also home to Taproot Brewing Company, the vineyard also offers beer from the brewery in addition to wine. There is also a farm-to-fork restaurant, a setting for live music during the summer and great views all year long.

 – KLC


Drift won favorite seltzer, RISE won favorite Pale Ale – Whaler’s American Pale Ale, RISE, has become one of the locally crafted goodies you’re most likely to be able to find outside its brewery of origin. It’s actually tied into Whaler’s origin story – “It was the first collaboration between our two head brewers,” explains Turtle from the tasting room. “They weren’t sure if things were going to work out. Josh [Dunlop] is a former marine from the West coast with a taste for heavy, strong beer to drink with his buddies, while Wes [Gatsky] is more of a chemist, a college-grad from Boston with a science degree and a love of lighter, more refined taste. He really likes sours, for example. But they met in the middle somehow with the RISE. Our regulars all gave really positive feedback, they told us we hit a home-run. This was the one we needed to make more of. Now it’s really the brew that keeps the doors open.”

RISE is “an everyone beer,” Turtle says. Mainstream tastes that might be drawn to Bud or Miller also like this – you don’t have to be a fan of craft beers to appreciate it, but if you are you’ll find flavors that make it distinctive.

RISE also pursued a different strategy during the pandemic – instead of trying to expand the geographic footprint of the popular beer, they focused on getting product consistently to the places that wanted to carry it. 

“When supply issues were hitting everyone, we didn’t want to go into new places, we wanted to make sure our customers had enough, to maintain our slhelf space,” Turtle says, explaining why RISE can be found in so many spots, but only in RI, MA, CT and a few specialty bars around NU and the rest of New England. “We also don’t get cans and put on labels like most breweries – we get custom printed cans. When there was a big can shortage last year, it didn’t really affect us the way it did most smaller brewers. We were able to keep getting the product out there,” Turtle reveals.

Dunlop and Gretsky continue to collaborate, of course. Their newest collab is Muse, a cloudy NE style IPA with lighter drinkability at only 7%. “Seltzers [like Drift] have also exploded in the last few years – we have all these flavors with no additives, just fresh fruit purees, like our new cucumber lime,” Turtle tells us. “At the end of the day, it’s about handing out beers and having a good time – you want to make what people want to drink.”

– MR

Sons of Liberty

Honey Chamomile Flavored Whiskey won for Favorite Whiskey and True Born Gin won Favorite Gin/Vodka – Sons of Liberty (SoL) in Kingstown is a staple in the liquor landscape of our lil’ state. They began dedicated to producing whiskey from some of the quality beers they loved. Since then, they’ve moved on to rye, gin, vodka, cocktails in cans, craft beer, seltzer … you drink it, they probably make it.

SoL has received national attention for their commitment to well-executed American single malt whiskies. Having recently won Craft Distiller of the Year for 2017 from Whiskey Magazine, the company has appeared in many stories about their products. So it’s not a big surprise that they were selected as favorite Whiskey, although it’s a little unexpected that their Honey Chamomile prevailed over their more traditional blends. Infused with local honey from Woods Farms, this seasonal blend has floral notes and a slight caramel aftertaste.

The True Born rests in an oak barrel for three and a half years. It tastes a little citrusy, and picks up flavor – and color – from the barrel, producing a gin designed “for whiskey drinkers who want to step out of their comfort zone.”

– MR


Rhodium Coffee Black Walnut Vodka won in “other” spirits – “We seek to make spirits that could be made nowhere else.” Goal achieved, RI Spirits! The home of Rhodium brand premium gins, vodkas, and liqueurs is the brainchild of Cathy Plourde and Kara Larson, who serve as founders, owners, and distillers. Their commitment to providing gluten-free, organic, and kosher products truly makes this company a community star, and their refreshing focus on partnering with local farms and suppliers for ingredients has served them well when it comes to their award-winning Coffee Black Walnut Vodka. 

Featuring cold-brewed, decaffeinated Guatemala Antigua coffee that was sourced and roasted by their Pawtucket neighbors Downeast, with a touch of cardamom and a mellow infusion of foraged black walnuts, their unique twist on flavored vodka has the power to convert new fans – the writer of this blurb, who genuinely dislikes coffee, had three samples at the Motif Awards! 

– HB

Six Pack Brewing

Ollie won Favorite “Misc beer;” Lennie Favorite Pilsner; Ruby Favorite Kolsch – Six Pack Brewing is coming up on its two-year Anniversary this November. They are among five breweries and a cidery in their immediate area. Despite this local competition, they were nominated in three categories this year and won awards for all three.

Mark Papi, owner and brewer, told me that he was honored to be nominated and was happy to have one beer win in a category. “I was surprised to be nominated for three beers and even more so to have each beer win an award.” Three different beer styles were represented, Ollie, a Grisette Belgian Farmhouse Ale, Lenni, an Italian Pilsner and Ruby, a Kolsch.

In case you were wondering about the names, each of the beers is named after a dog. Ollie and Lenni were part of Mark’s original dog family of six. Ruby was named after a beer naming contest Six Pack had. She was a police dog who sadly had to be put down, Mark stated “We couldn’t think of a dog more deserving.”

Six Pack Brewing is located in Bristol, RI. They are, not surprisingly, dog-friendly. They offer six beers that maintain their original styles and vary in hops. Mark is soon adding two more beer styles to the original six line-up, as well as a hop water. “We wanted to have a non-alcoholic drink for those who don’t want to drink. Although we offer non-alcoholic beverages, this is something that our customers have been asking for.” Let me ask you, is there anything better than pints and paws?


Lops Brewing

Pumpkin Spice Ale won Favorite Flavored Drink, Espresso Peanut Butter Porter won Favorite Porter, Favorite Overall Brewery – Lops Brewing had its grand opening in 2019, just in time for COVID’s impact on the landscape and the world. Located at 122 North Main St, near the Stadium Theater in Woonsocket, the brewery is still very much in the small batch phase, but its results are promising for founder Sean Lopolito’s wish to “translate my love of beer, brewing, friends and family, into a profession.” 

The seasonal Pumpkin Spice Ale is the top seller for Lops, and the Espresso Peanut Butter is also a fall release, so now really is the time to drop by, say hi to Sean and his co-owner and wife Sarah, and sample away!

Lops not only took Favorite Porter and the coveted Pumpkin Spice prize, the brewery received more votes overall, across all categories, than any other participant.

– MR

Tilted Barn

Sunrise Over Sea won Favorite Sour, Summer Sol won Favorite Wheat, Is This Still Lawn Boy won Favorite LagerMotif has written about Tilted Barn quite a number of times over the years, and words like “rustic,” and “charming” keep coming up in those reviews. Despite being in middle-of-nowhere-by-RI-standards Exeter, fans of the Tilt have definitely found their hearty, flavorful brews, made with hops grown on the premises, are worth the drive, the wait, and well worth voting for online.

Owners Matt and Kara Richardson live on and manage the gorgeous (and rustic, and charming) property, which has been in Kara’s family for over 50 years. To marry their mutual passions of farming and quality beer, in 2007 they founded Ocean State Hops, which supplies hops to both commercial breweries and home brewers. The logical next step: brew their own beer. Enter the Tilted Barn Brewery, RI’s first farm brewery, in 2014. Since then, they’ve become a rare but appreciated staple of the local beer culture.

Sunrise over Sea is a milder fruited sour made with cranberries and tangerines. Is This Still a Lawn Boy is a czek-inspired darker lager, a relative of Tilted Barn’s popular Lawn Boy. Summer Sol is a wheat – and a seasonal, so don’t expect to find it now.

– MR


Coffee Milk Stout won Favorite Stout – “Rhode Island is coffee milk – and Ravenous is Coffee Milk Stout.” Whether you’re from Woonsocket or up from Westerly, you’ll be thirsty, nevermore, when it comes to trying this signature Ocean State beer. 

When Dorian Rave launched his brewery in 2012, one of the first concoctions was the malty homage to coffee milk, and it’s been in regular rotation since, even making the tap trek when Ravenous moved to its new, larger location in 2019. A nano-brewery that champions the motto of “Brewing quality ale, one small batch at a time,” their warm and wood-filled space with plenty of long tables was designed to encourage strangers to sit closer and connect over a common passion for good beer. Often, there’s at least one person at a table who is earning their badge of honor in trying Coffee Milk Stout for the first time!

– HB


Fresh Catch won Favorite Light Ale, Musik Express IPA won favorite IPA, 2nd place for Overall Favorite Brewery – “Made on Honor, Sold on Merit” has been the tried and true slogan for Narragansett Beer for well over a century. The local mogul has made headlines for decades and has struck gold yet again pulling in 3 awards from the Motif Drink Awards. 

‘Gansett beer is largely known for their lager, a beer that has stood the test of time, and has a claim to fame for being featured in the 1975 Speilberg classic Jaws. But the brewer is making waves with their take on other styles of beer, winning best in category for Favorite Light Ale, and Favorite IPA. Light Ale winner Fresh Catch is a go-to for many thirsty Rhode Islanders including ‘Gansett CEO Mark Hellendrung. “This is my go-to beer, crisp, easy drinking with lots of citra and hops.”

Musik Express (favorite IPA) was the first IPA to be brewed at the new India Point brewery in 2021. “I just love brewing this beer…it’s great to know people enjoy it as much as I do.” – says head brewer Lee Lord. The new brewery built in 2021 was also the 2nd place winner for overall favorite brewery. Events manager Ezra Juskewitch comments – “We’ve had such a diverse gathering at the brewery over the last year – the people, events, the waterfront location and wide open feel really make this place special.”

– GM

12 Guns

The Meg Blonde Ale won Favorite Blonde – Twelve Guns in Bristol, RI takes its name from the early Rhode Island Naval vessel, the U.S.S. Providence, which served in the Revolutionary War under the Continental Navy. 

The U.S.S. Providence was proud to boast about having twelve guns on board, but this brewery only needs eight taps on rotation to make some serious waves in the Rhode Island beer world. It’s no surprise that their signature brew, The Meg, blasted through the blonde ale competition, giving this often-overlooked beer style some well-deserved attention! Easy-drinking, well-balanced, clean and refreshing, with moderate malt and little to no hop bitterness, this classic style might be your most well-rounded ale experience ever. If you’re curious to grab a can, their brewery on 549 Metacom Avenue has the same mellow vibe, with a communal indoor space, frequent food trucks in the parking lot, and at least one well-behaved dog that’s used to lots of attention from the friendly crowd. 

– HB

Crooked Current

Neapolitan Brown Ale won Favorite Reds & Browns – The infamous ‘ice cream beer’ reigns supreme again! The Crook strikes gold again with its extraordinary take on melding chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry with beer – and yes, it really does taste like all three! But anyone who’s ever paid a visit to the smallest brewery in the smallest state (at one point) knows this kind of impressive creativity happens every day, thanks to the extraordinary brain of brewmaster Nichole Pelletier

Nestled into a tiny space in the Lorraine Mills, off Mineral Spring Avenue in Pawtucket, Crooked Current is a popular post-work stop for Pawtucket workers eager to relax after a long day – there’s often lines out the door! But tasting their amazing flavor combinations? It’s worth your while to make a trip to the ‘Bucket.’

Grey Sail

Captain’s Daughter won Favorite DIPA – Head Brewer of Grey Sail Brewing, Rich Welsh has been brewing for five out of the seven years he has been working there. The award winning beer he brews, Captain’s Daughter, “…is based off of a home recipe of the owners that was tweaked until it got to its current form. The recipe is more or less untouched,” with “some procedural tweaks” said Rich.

In a world with so many DIPAs available, what makes Captain’s Daughter stand out and why did it win Favorite DIPA? Rich says, “I think it stands out because it’s able to walk the line between old and new school IPAs. It has that initial bitter punch with a dry finish that leaves you wanting more, but still has plenty of hops aroma and citrus from heavy amounts of Citra and Mosaic.” 

This perfect description of Captain’s Daughter is why I and many others have it on draft often, and as a staple in the beer fridge. Captain’s Daughter is also getting a new variation that will soon be available: a year-aged, whiskey barreled version. 



3RD PLACE for Overall Favorite. Although they didn’t take any of the individual categories this year, Buttonwoods fans voted them up to second place for several brews and overall.

Buttonwoods Brewery had four beers nominated in four different beer styles: IPA, Light Ale, Golden Ale & Blondes, Pilsner. In addition to amazing beers, head brewer Morgan Synder’s creative outlook, charismatic and comedic personality make this brewery easy to love. 

“It’s always an honor to have even one beer nominated, let alone 4! To know people enjoy our beer enough to nominate is really all we can ask for!” 

What contributes to Morgan’s talented craft brewing beers? “My favorite part of brewing would have to be the tinkering; every batch is an opportunity to improve. Which is probably why my favorite beer to brew is our Pilsner because every little change feels like it’s shouted through a megaphone”

Morgan has created a brewery atmosphere to bring people together “Community is one of the key components of beer. Drinking has such a strong social aspect that’s super important to us… to create an environment that matches that tone and sentiment.” That also motivates the many evening activities Buttonwoods likes to host, from horror movie screenings to vendor fairs to trivia nights.

There are always plenty of beers and a variety of styles on draft, canned and bottled at the brewery. New beers are featured on the brewery’s instagram via video that are definitely a must watch. Buttonwoods Brewery is located in Cranston and has been open since 2017. They are dog-friendly, have inside and outside seating and a pop up kitchen.


Movies Galore and Gore and More: SENE and Vortex provide on-screen thrills this month

October will see the return of New England’s SENE Fest to RI for its 14th iteration, across the multiple screening rooms of The Artists’ Exchange in Cranston from Oct 13 – 15.

Post-COVID, it’s extra exciting to consider having a bunch of filmmakers and film appreciators sit together and share a screening experience, and that’s where SENE really distinguishes itself — there’s an atmosphere of gentle but still excited community around the event, where many filmmaking collaborations have been born. While music is a traditional component of SENE, this year, “We had so many great submissions we wanted to screen, we decided to focus on the film aspect,” says co-founder Don Farias. Art by members of the Artists’ Exchange will still be available for viewing and purchasing.

SENE opens with the debut of feature-length Stay with Me by local ex-pat Marty Lang on Thursday night. The drama poignantly explores emotional obsession and mental illness. But it is mostly a festival of shorts, and that’s a good thing. Shorts are where enterprising filmmakers still get to break rules, defy expectations, subvert formulas and maybe throw in a twist or make you think about something in a whole new way. They’re the guerilla attacks of the film world — and if you don’t like the feel of one, another will be along shortly to give you a whole new experience. A curated shorts program is also difficult to find in other modern media (unless you consider the YouTube algorithm “curation.”)

This year’s curation includes a locals night, LGBTQ screening, comedy shorts, animated films, documentary shorts, sci-fi shorts, ever popular horror shorts and a free showing of shorts from the film program at Bishop Hendricken High School. In total, 115 films will be shown, with filmmakers from around the world in attendance. Screenings take place in two buildings at the Artists’ Exchange, 82 Rolfe Square, Cranston. Full schedule for Oct 13 – 15 is available at senefest.com.

Entering the Vortex

The Vortex Film Festival, Oct 15 – 23, is a production of Flickers, the same folks who produce the Oscar-nominating RI International Film Festival. It’s been going on for 20 years, in one form or another, and creates a platform for horror, fantasy and science fiction films, both features and shorts. Films are selected by Shawn Drywa and Shawn Quirk from international submissions, and they skew toward horror. “I’m an all around sci-fi and fantasy film nerd,” says Drywa, “But I do lean toward horror. Back in the day, I would go to the video store a few times a week and rent all the great not-so-great horror movies, as one did back then.”

Drywa was involved in the origin of the festival, when it was called the RI International Horror Film Fest and he was an intern at RIIFF, in the year 2000. After his internship, he wanted to stay involved in the world of horror films and stayed involved until “life happened,” and he went off to have a job and a family. A few years ago, he returned to help produce what is now called the Vortex Film Fest, and is thrilled to see it emerge from COVID.

The festival will include six or seven filmmakers doing talkbacks, including some from as far as Italy and Australia. There will also be Lovecraft walking tours of Providence conducted by the RI Historical Society.

Screenings will take place at Johnson & Wales and AS220’s Black Box Theatre, both in downcity PVD. Details and schedule at film-festival.org

The Blackstone Commons Anthology Seeks Writing

Writers: Here’s a nugget of inspiration and a publishing opportunity we were made aware of by Patti McAlpine at one of Motif’s recent Spoken Word and Poetry (SWAP) meets (a fun, open event for anyone with a love of words, taking place on the first and third Tuesday of each month at R1 Entertainment Center in Lincoln, RI)

Patti McAlpine described it eloquently – our words here won’t do that justice – and her love and respect for the river came through powerfully. The Blackstone River Commons, a non-profit supporting the preservation and appreciation of the river, is seeking letters, poems and gifts from the community to the river. The prompt for the letter is…. If you could have a conversation with the Blackstone River, what would you say? The gifts can be in any artistic medium.

“This project will culminate in the publishing of The Blackstone Commons Anthology – a publication that will be a vessel to hold, document, and inspire people to reflect on these multiple histories and relationships we have with the river. Selected pieces in the publication will include essays, letters, archival materials, interviews, and gifts to the river.”

Send Physical Letters to: The Blackstone River, P.O Box 215, Pawtucket, RI 02860-9998. Or email them to: blackstonerivercommons@gmail.com

Local nightlife: Music Club Guide

If you’re new to little Rhody, you’ll find there’s an abundance of local nightlife – but around here, it’s sometimes hard to figure out where to find it. Google maps can tell you the nearest bar – here’s a list of places that might be worth going a little further for. We tried to curate for places that are likely to have live music. No place does that every night, but some more than others.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know at admin@motifri.com

  • &DJ = MOSTLY DJs

Aidan’s Pub: 5 John St, Bristol. aidanspub.com

Alchemy: Especially popular with the more hardcore audiences. 171 Chestnut St, PVD. Fri – Sat, 9pm – 2am on days when there are shows alchemyri.com

&GAY &DJ The Alley Cat: Sharing a backdoor entrance with the Dark Lady. 17 Snow St, PVD. @thealleycatpvd

&EIGHTEEN AS220: Locally famous unjuried art organization with a standing bar and regular shows of all types. 115 Empire St, PVD. as220.org

Askew: Possibly the most diverse assortment of activities in a single club, from poetry readings and art opening to headbangers and metal to live folk music to … you get the idea. 150 Chestnut St, PVD. askewprov.com

&DJ Aqua Providence: Mostly a summer thing, but one of the best places to have an EDM party in a pool. 1 Orms St, PVD. marriott.com/en-us/hotels/pvdri-providence-marriott-downtown/dining/

Black Sheep: 397 Westminster St, PVD. blacksheepri.com

The Boombox: We guess it’s live music — karaoke every day, all the time. 122 Fountain St, PVD. singboombox.com

Cady’s Tavern: Great place to visit by motorcycle. 2168 Putnam Pike, Chepachet. cadystavern.com

Charlestown Rathskeller: 498A Old Coach Rd, Charlestown. thecharlestownrathskeller.com

Chelos Waterfront: Summer only for music. 1 Masthead Dr, Warwick. cheloswaterfrontri.com

&DJ &EIGHTEEN Colosseum: 180 Pine St, PVD. colosseumpvd.com

&SHOWThe Columbus Theatre: 270 Broadway, PVD. columbustheatre.com

&SHOWCourthouse Center for the Arts: 3481 Kingstown Rd, West Kingstown. courthousearts.com

The Cove: 392 Davol St, Fall River, Mass. cove392.com 

Dockside: Summer only for music. 24 Waites Wharf, Newport. waiteswharf.com

Dusk: 301 Harris Ave, PVD. duskprovidence.com

&GAY &EIGHTEEN &DJ Ego: 73 Richmond St, PVD. egopvd.com

&SHOW&EIGHTEEN FMH (Fete Music Hall): 103 Dike St, PVD. fetemusic.com

The Fifth Element: 111 Broadway, Newport. thefifthri.com

Finn’s Harborside: 38 Water St, East Greenwich. finnsharborside.com

Fish Co: 15 S Bridge St, PVD. thewhiskeyrepublic.com

GCB: (Graduate Student Bar at Brown) Note, this is a membership location – either sign up as one, or show up with one. 42 Charlesfield St, PVD gcbpvd.org/

The George: 121 Washington St, PVD thegeorgerestaurantri.com/

The Guild: Three locations, (location 1) 461 Main St, Pawtucket (location 2) 99 Water St Suite 2, Warren (location 3) Beer Garden Dyer St, off the pedestrian bridge theguildri.com/

Hot Club: 25 Bridge St, PVD. hotclubprov.com

ISCO: 1 Sims Ave #103, PVD iscospirits.com

Java Madness: Coffee and frequent acoustic artists (so, not exactly a club, but…). 134 Salt Pond Rd, Wakefield. javamadness.com

Judge Roy Bean Saloon: 1 State St, Bristol. judgeroybeansaloon.com

Knickerbocker Cafe: You can call it “the Knick.” Locals do. 35 Railroad Ave, Westerly. knickmusic.com

Kulture: 71 Richmond St, PVD linktr.ee/kulturepvd

Ladder 133: 133 Douglas Ave, PVD. ladder133.com

The Landing: 30 Bowens Wharf, Newport. thelandingrestaurantnewport.com

Lang’s Bowlarama: Live music in their Nelson Center on occasion. Bowling all the time. 225 Niantic Ave, Cranston. langsbowlarama.com

The Last Resort: Also with a pool in summer. 325 Farnum Pike, Smithfield. thelastresortri.com

Lost Valley Pizza: Inside Revival Brewery. 50 Sims Ave, PVD lostvalleypizza.com

The Malted Barley: 42 High St, Westerly. themaltedbarleyri.net

&SHOW&EIGHTEEN The Met: 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. themetri.com

&GAY Mirabar: 15 Elbow St, PVD. mirabar.com

Mishnock Barn: 200 Mishnock Rd, West Greenwich. mishnockbarn.com

Muldowneys: 121 Empire St, PVD muldowneyspub.com

&SHOW Music Mansion: 88 Meeting St, PVD musicmansion.org

Narragansett Brewery: 271 Tockwotton St, PVD narragansettbeer.com

Narragansett Cafe: 25 Narragansett Ave, Jamestown. Narragansettcafe.com

&SHOW Narrows Center for the Arts: 16 Anawan St, Fall River, MA narrowscenter.org

Newport Blues Cafe: 286 Thames St, Newport. newportblues.com

Nick-A-Nees: 75 South St, PVD bluegrassthroedown.com/nick-a-nees

News Cafe: 43 Broad St, Pawtucket. RI newscaferhodeisland.wordpress.com

Newport Vineyards: 909 E Main rd, Middletown. RI newportvineyards.com

Ocean Mist Beach Bar: 895 Matunuck Beach Rd, Wakefield. oceanmist.net

&SHOWThe Odeum: 59 Main St, East Greenwich, RI  greenwichodeum.com/

One Pelham East: 270 Thames St, Newport thepelham.com

The Parlour: 1119 North Main St, PVD. theparlourri.com

Perks & Corks: 62 High St, Westerly. perksandcorks.com

Platforms Dance Club: 165 Poe St, PVD. fb.com/platforms 

&GAY Providence Eagle: 124 Snow St, PVD. providenceeagle.com

Pub on Park: 655 Park Ave, Cranston. pubonparkri.com

&SHOW Pumphouse: 1464 Kingstown Rd, South Kingstown pumphousemusicworks.com

Rooftop at the Providence G: 100 Dorrance St, PVD rooftopattheg.com

&DJ The Salon: 57 Eddy St, PVD. thesalonpvd.com

&SHOW The Strand: 79 Washington St, PVD. thestrandri.com

&GAY The Stable: 125 Washington St, PVD. stablepvd.com

&DJ T & T’s 133 Club Inc: 29 Warren Ave, East Providence. 133club.net

Trinity Beer Garden: 2 Kennedy Plaza, PVD trinitybrewhouse.com/beer-garden

&LADIES &DJ Tantric Night Club: 1070 North Main St, PVD. tantricnightclub.com

Touch Lounge: 961 Dyer Ave, Cranston, RI fb.com/touchloungeCranston

Troop: 60 Valley St, PVD trooppvd.com

Twin River Casino: 100 Twin River Rd, Lincoln. twinriver.com

Union Station: 36 Exchange Terrace, PVD unionstationpvd.com

&SHOW Zeiterion: 684 Purchase St, New Bedford, MA zeiterion.org

48 Hour Film Project To Reveal Winning Films

You have to be a little crazy to try to write, plan, cast, shoot and edit a short film in just two days. Yet 16 teams of people who are that exact kind of crazy took part in the 48 Hour Film Project Providence in August.

The 48 Hour Film Project is an international competition, and Providence has been participating for 16 years now (full disclosure – the author was the Providence 48 Producer from 2006-2010).

Here’s how it works: Participants sign up with no idea what they’ll be filming. They can prepare equipment and crew, and line up possible cast and locations, but they can’t do anything else in advance. On the Friday night of the weekend there’s a kick-off event where required elements are revealed. A prop, a character and a line of dialog must be included – this year, those were a basket, Christy or Chris Nattingly, Hotel Employee, and “I have a question for you.”

One clever filmmaker featured a basket sitting randomly on its own by the roadside as characters race by. The characters stop suddenly and give the basket the hairy eyeball – a covert nod to the audience – they then both begin chasing each other again. To an audience in the know, it’s hilarious, but in general the idea is to try to come up with a story that relies fundamentally on those required elements. However you use them, you have to quickly come up with your story, produce and edit a film of 4 – 7 minutes. Ideally, but not always, a coherent film. Occasionally, a really great film. And it gets harder: At that kick-off event, each team pulls a genre out of a hat – anything ranging from Rom-Com to Horror, Mockumentary to Sci-Fi. The film needs to match that genre. It all comes together to ensure that teams conceive and make their films over the course of a single weekend.

The 48 HFP recently changed leadership, and the current Providence Producer is Melinda Rainsberger, who also led the project for a stint several years ago. “I love seeing the creativity and energy this experience brings out of people,” she explains. Rainsberger is a video artist, UX designer and motionographer based in PVD (more full disclosure – she also created the logo animations Motif uses on its video channel – check FB or YouTube for examples).

The annual event featured screenings on the Wednesday after the films were turned in. “In the spirit of the 48 and what the teams go through,” says Rainsberger, “I created all of the promo reels, programs and support materials in 48 hours.”

This year’s films were all turned in on time, which might be a city record. A few were disqualified for length or for misusing required elements. One film tragically dropped a line of dialog – the character says it, but the audio goes silent for a single random line, which turned out to be the required line. Better luck next year! At Wednesday’s screening, there were some less successful and some really engaging pieces, all conveying inventiveness and enthusiasm. Plots varied from the vengeance of undead relatives (a strikingly shot film by repeat participant Alyssa Botelho and Chicken Dinner Productions) to gangsters escaping a desert, and from a completely amoral team of burglars pulling a heist to the misadventures of a hotel-based serial killer (Who stays there? I guess all the guests do.) 

The award winners are selected by judges and from audience voting – you can see the winning films at an encore screening on Thursday, August 25 at AS220, 115 Empire St, PVD at 6pm. The screening will be followed by a QA with filmmakers whose weekend war stories can be as entertaining as the films themselves. You can also check back here after the event for a link to the winning films.

A Stage of Twilight Goes Gentle

Death. As the saying goes, it’s one of the few things inevitably shared by all humans. Yet when it’s pending, we often don’t know how to deal with it – and in cinema this reluctance is often reflected. Film is full of funerals and spectacular, world-saving sacrifices, but tends to flinch from confronting the slow, inevitable road to demise most of us will eventually face.

A Stage of Twilight does not flinch. It’s an intimate, real drama with a primary storyline that follows Barry (William Sadler, “Deep Space 9”), his wife of decades, Cora (Karen Allen, Raiders of the Lost Arc) and their extended family friends after he learns he has about a month of increasingly failing health left. There is a touching coming-of-age subplot involving a teen choosing between relationships, the family business and a chance to go to college, but the heart of the story by director Sarah Schwab lies in looking at how Cora and Barry cope with end of life issues that don’t typically make it to the screen. 

The film unfurls at a slow but engaging pace, and features many moments of subtle humor. The rural setting and small-town feel are brought to life by lovely cinematography and seasoned actors with nothing left to prove but a great deal of talent still to share.

The director is not afraid to let her actors’ work hold the camera with close-ups that range from thoughtful to intense, and it’s a rare eye that won’t have at least a little tear jerked from it by the end, but Stage of Twilight keeps it simple, without the melodrama that can infect an end-of-life story. And there are enough twists and surprises to keep you guessing. You’ll come away with something to talk about, and it might be something we don’t talk enough about.

RI Film Office’s Steven Feinberg interviews Allen, Sadler and Schwab at the RISD Museum Auditorium screening

Live contest rules for the Bartenders Ball on August 1, 2022

If it’s not August 1 yet when you’re reading this, you can still sign up here to reserve a spot: Most of the competitions will still have a couple of slots, it looks like, so you can sign up when you arrive. First place receives $100 plus gift cards and massive bragging rights. Second place, $50 plus!

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/59Q7F2D


Bartenders are given a sponsor liquor – this year, it’s a choice between Smoke Lab’s Classic Vodka and their more distinctive Aberseed Vodka. Ice and basic mixers are supplied – if you want to add another liquor, that’s legit but you’d be advised to bring it with you. We’ll have many major brands, but no guarantee that any specific one will be on hand besides the Smoke Lab.

Participants develop their own recipes. They are given up to one minute to prepare their space, then up to 5 minutes to mix their drink. Each drink will be photographed and judged (1- 5) on appearance, then poured out into 3 sample glasses for the judges to sample and assess (1 – 10). If the judges have any questions, they may ask them as well.

Guinness Perfect Pint

Pints are scored against the following criteria:


  • Raise branded Guinness glass to light and check for cleanliness.
  • Hold glass at a 45 degree angle below the spout.
  • Open the handle all the way forward, pouring on the logo side of the glass.
  • Fill glass 3⁄4 of the way while NOT allowing spout to touch beer.
  • Present beer with logo toward consumer.
  • Do not leave Guinness below spout to prevent drips landing in beer.
  • Allow Guinness to “surge and settle” for 100 seconds.
  • Top off Guinness by pushing the handle away from you and pouring straight into beer.
  • Do not let spout touch beer.


  • Present glass with logo facing consumer.
  • Head should be proud of the rim.
  • No spillage allowed.
  • Head should be 1⁄2 inch to 3⁄4 inch high. (Not touching top of harp.)
  • No frog eyes (large bubbles) on head.

*Each bullet above counts as one point for a possible total of 14 points. Tie breaker goes to the bartender who has the most attractive Guinness pint overall at the end of the pour.


Each contestant makes a Gin Fizz – recipe and ingredients provided (see below). Contestants have 3 minutes max to make the drink, and they are judged (1 – 5) on the taste and (1 – 10) on their performance while making the drink.

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg white (about 1/2 ounce)
  • Club soda, to top (about 1 ounce)
  1. Add the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white to a shaker and vigorously dry-shake (without ice) for about 15 seconds.
  2. Add 3 or 4 ice cubes and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  3. Double-strain into a chilled Collins glass and top with club soda.

Speed Pour

Each competitor gets 8 small glasses and a magnum of wine. When the head judge starts the timer, they open the bottle and pour as quickly and evenly as possible. Points are awarded for equally full glasses and for speed; points are subtracted for spillage.

About that Facebook Comment…

Hi Folks-

We want to address a comment that was made by one of our team members to Josh from The American Band last week. It was completely inappropriate and not sanctioned by the magazine. We deeply apologize for that response – part of our mission is to celebrate the small and upcoming bands, and that comment was completely opposite to the spirit of what we’re trying to accomplish. The person has been banned from our Facebook.

We also apologize to The American Band. Classifying you as a street / brass band was an honest mistake which we rectified as soon as we were told about it. With 275 acts to try to fact check and classify, many of which don’t identify their genres, we make a few mistakes every year. The nominations come from venues and booking agents who love your music but may not always know how to classify you – it came from a good place on their part, and we sincerely apologize for the mix-up.

A number of people are also expressing dissatisfaction with the nominating process. We are always open to input, and always looking for volunteers to help, and we make it as transparent as possible. It’s outlined here: https://motifri.com/motif-music-awards-process/

We are sorry to those not happy with it, but would remind everyone that the reason we do it is to celebrate local music. There is a huge amount of talent in our area, and we want to provide a forum to recognize it. We understand there is a degree of silliness to it – to the very idea of selecting one musician over another. That’s not the point. The competition gets people excited, it’s fun, it draws some attention to all the great local acts (there are links from every nominee we can find online, in the hopes of spreading awareness and letting new people hear their music).

Thank you, as always, for reading.

– Mike Ryan, Publisher


Monday, August 15 from 6 -10pm
R1 Indoor Karting, 100 Higginson Ave, Lincoln, RI

Yes, there will be food trucks!

Our Food Truck Awards, now in its 6th year (with time off for pandemics), draws nominations from our food writers, local event planners and food truck events around the state, plus suggestions from the trucks themselves.

This event will be held alongside our second annual Drink Awards.

Both events are celebrations of these crowd-pleasing art forms. For details or to RSVP, visit our FaceBook event.

This year, the following trucks and brewers are expected to be serving:

Hometown Poke
RaRa’s Surf Shack
Hot Potato
Lulu’s Pancakes
Memphis Kelle
RI Spirits
Buttonwoods Brewery
Narragansett Brewery
Beer on Earth
Six Pack Brewing
Union Station


2022 Music Awards are coming up! Join us!

Monday, July 18, 6 – 9pm at FMH (Doors at 6)
Fete Music Hall, 103 Dike St, PVD

It’s time again for Motif’s RI Music Awards. To learn more and RSVP, click here.

See Winners Here

Learn more about our nomination process.

Thank you to our sponsors:

R1 Indoor Karting

Fete Music Hall Providence

The Music Wagon LLC

Biggest Little Easy Catering