The fall brings a bounty of beer fests and other cheers-inducing events. Dive into this list of happenings and start planning when and where to sip and spend your brew budget.
The debut edition of the Tapped Craft Beer Festival will be at the Shannon View Inn (1901 Post Rd, Warwick) on September 18 (6 – 10pm) and 19 (12:30 – 4:30pm and 6 – 10pm). The fest features more than 50 breweries pouring more than 150 offerings (it’s pay-as-you-go with beverage tokens and “packages,” not unlimited sampling), plus talks and Q&A sessions with three brewers, food and music (tappedrestaurantgroup.com/craft-beer-events/craftbeerfestival) .
The 182nd Munich Oktoberfest kicks off on September 19 (and runs through October 4), but you can get a jump on the seasonal fun on the 18th, when Foolproof Brewing Company (241 Grotto Ave, Pawtucket) presents its second annual Beer Hall Night. A ticket allows you to hoist a Foolproof-branded half-liter stein — and fill it with three beer samples — and grab a bite at the Noble Knots food truck. It’s a lederhosen-optional bash, but leave the tuba at home (foolproofbrewing.com/event/beer-hall-night).
Get thee back to the Bucket on September 26 (1 – 11pm) and 27 (Noon – 5pm) for a more traditional take on Oktoberfest at the German American Cultural Society of Rhode Island (78 Carter Ave). The authentic “who-needs-Munich-when-you-have-Pawtucket?” bash kicks off with “blessing of the food and tapping of the first keg” — ahh, sanctified brew! The Bavarian Brothers, Alpenblumen Musikanten, and the German Schuhplattlers will provide the entertainment — and get ready for the bell ringing and alpine horn-blowing! Prost (gacsri.org)!
If you haven’t traversed our tiny state to enjoy the bevy of breweries, then head to the Ocean State Beer Festival, which will be at Grey Sail Brewing (63 Canal St, Westerly) on September 20 (1 – 4pm). All 14 members of the Rhode Island Brewers’ Guild — Brutopia/Revival, Bucket, Coddington, Crooked Current, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Narragansett, Newport Storm, Proclamation, Ravenous, Tilted Barn, Trinity, Union Station, and Whaler’s — will showcase their luscious liquids. And each of ’em will bring a new “festival-only” brew to make the first annual event more special (the Preppy Pig BBQ truck will be there, too (ribrewersguild.org/#!ocean-state-beer-fest/c1kw3)).
And if you’re up for a road trip (when fewer people are tripping on the roads): On September 26 (3:30 – 7pm), the fourth annual Cape Cod Brew Fest is at the Fairgrounds in East Falmouth, Massachusetts (presented by the folks who bring you the Rhode Island Brew Fest and the Craft Brew Raves). It’s a big one, with 75-plus breweries, 250-plus entries (capecodbrewfest.com).
October brings the biggest beer gatherings of the year. The seventh annual Beervana Fest is at resplendent Rhodes-On-the-Pawtuxet (60 Rhodes Pl, Cranston) on the 16th from 6:30 – 10pm. It’s not open to debate: it’s simply the best local beer event (the producers of all the other fests would concur if made to swear on a stack of whatever-book-means-the-most-to-them). The 2015 edition will be bigger and better than ever, with moremoremore beer bliss: more breweries (including more locals) and more than 200 rare, one-off and extraordinary beers (including a few new-to-Rhode Island brands). And there will be educational seminars by Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head, and Mike Gerhart, who has worked wonders with his reinvention of the lineup at Otter Creek. More details on Beervana will come in a few weeks, but don’t hesitate to get your ticket — it’s a steal (beervanafest.com).
On October 24, the OG of Rhody beer bashes — the 22nd Great International Fall Beer Festival — roars into the Rhode Island Convention Center. The sprawling sessions (1 – 4:30pm and 6:30 – 10pm) host a wide range of New England brewers, some standouts from the rest of the US, and a few global offerings. Look for more details about these two fests in future issues (beerfestamerica.com).
Also on tap: On September 5, “Where the Wild Things Are,” a beer dinner joining the potent culinary and fermenting forces of Julians and Allagash Brewing Company, will take place at a special setting: the Steel Yard (27 Sims Ave, Providence). The event features six courses paired with adventurous (and rare) ales from the world-class brewery in Portland, Maine. And yes, there will be fire (facebook.com/events/970768922967818). Sometime in September, What Cheer Tavern, the feisty beer bar at the corner of New York Ave and Narragansett Blvd in Providence, will celebrate its third anniversary. Keep track of the social mediums for details. The Malted Barley’s new beer-and-pretzels-and-more emporium in downtown Providence (334 Westminster St) should have its grand opening in mid-October. And back to Foolproof: On October 31, get your Halloween on at the Haunted Brewery Tour, with sessions on the hour from 7 – 10pm. The synopsis: “Drink beer, have fun, and be terrified!” But don’t spill the beer!!
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