In addition to its grey winter clouds and snow-slushed sidewalks, March is known for its drinking holidays marked by some very famous saints. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in pubs and bars across Rhode Island each year and just two days later, the lesser-known St. Joseph’s Day celebrates Italian heritage. But instead of wearing green shirts and shamrocks, Italians celebrate by wearing red and eating zeppole until they’re red in the face.
Shaidzon Beer Co. in West Kingston is celebrating each holiday with a handcrafted beer to fit the occasion. Owner Chip Samson is a native Rhode Islander who understands and values the importance of each holiday to the community. Being of Irish heritage, Samson says his family has always donned their red and green to honor their own Irish heritage as well as that of their Italian neighbors. While living in Colorado for several years, he realized that St. Patrick’s Day is adopted everywhere, but it was harder to get people onto St. Joseph’s Day. Regardless, he made a point to wear red and find an Italian bakery to grab zeppole.
Bufala Italiana is the first spin-off on Shaidzon’s highly regarded flagship beer Buffalo Czech. This collaboration beer with Buttonwoods Brewery in Cranston is a nod to the strong Italian heritage in Rhode Island. This dry hopped pilsner is in recognition of Tipopils from Birrificio Italiano (an Italy-based brewery), has an ABV of only 5.2% and is considered to be light and crisp with subtle citrus and floral character. The can design is simple and sweet, resembling the checkerboard style tablecloth you’d find at your favorite Italian dive. Shaidzon Beer Co. has paired up with a handful of local Italian restaurants to carry the beer until the March 19th holiday. It can be found at Pasquale’s in South Kingstown, Pizza Envy in North Kingstown, Pizza Marvin on the East Side, and Jeff’s Wood Fired Pizza in East Providence to name a few.
Stout lovers are also in luck this March because Shaidzon has brewed a beer that will put Shamrock Shakes to shame. In honor of the Irish holiday, they’ve created Lucky Nightz, a chocolate mint stout. I personally wish seven years of bad luck on anyone who says chocolate and mint don’t go together. Brewed with milk and dark chocolate from Sweenor’s Chocolate and locally grown mint from Wakefield, this brew makes the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat. Oh, and did I mention it’s GREEN? As part of the “Nightz” stout series with Sweenor’s Chocolates, it was agreed by all involved that this minty delicacy is the perfect segue into spring.