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Embrace the Rejects: New brewery appears in Newport

Rejects Beer Co. is the newest brewery to hit the Rhode Island beer scene, and they’re welcoming their guests with open arms. Located at 124 Aquidneck Avenue in Newport, Rejects is the newest addition to the up-and-coming Middletown street, and founder Greg Martell says they hope to call it home for many years to come. 

Martell is one of the three founders of the new brewery, along with Justin Pekera and Leigh Kirmil. The trio, along with a group of local partners, formed the company in 2020 with the help of their friend and Philadelphia brewer Andrew Foss. With collective backgrounds in art education, veterinary medicine and entrepreneurship, these ambitious beer barons defeated the odds and opened a business in the midst of a global pandemic; however, their success did not come without setbacks. 

“We all know this thing won’t last forever, and small businesses are a crucial part of our economy, globally and locally,” says Martell. “Some financing tried to bail on us last spring as lenders all got terrified early on when COVID began. Although this has made opening a new business much more challenging, we are happy we stayed the course and are so thankful people have been supporting us now that we are open.” And so are we! 

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The goal at Rejects Beer Co. will be to offer a variety of beer styles that will rotate seasonally. “We hope to be known as a small, locally owned institution that can bang out great beers in every style from traditional lagers to hoppy IPAs, sours and more,” says Martell. “Right now we are excited to see our Winter Mole Stout flying off the shelves, but all the beers Justin has made so far are moving, so we hope this trend continues!”

Mole Stout is a dry stout base with cocoa, cinnamon and chipotle pepper, similar to mole in traditional Latin cuisine. Rich brown in color, with a can design depicting a Dia de los Muertos skeleton, this beer is sure to tap into your dark side. 

The name Rejects Beer Co. is a nod to “Reject’s Beach” off Ocean Drive in Newport — a place locals and keen visitors can bike to and skip the astronomical parking fees. “It has always had a laid back, local vibe, and we strive to match that at Rejects,” Martell explains. With a view of Easton’s Pond, away from the uber-touristy chaos on Thames and America’s Cup Ave, the Aquidneck Avenue garage style abode is the perfect haven for peace seekers who just want to kick back with a cold one after a long day of, well, whatever

Rejects Beer Co. passes the vibe check with their devotion to ’80s basement style comfort, complete with a down-to-earth staff and underground music. For extra comfort, they’ve even gone out of their way to create several additional bathrooms, making Rejects #1 in my book.

Hopeful plans for spring and summer are in place; Rejects hopes to host their fair share of festivals and events outside once the pandemic is far behind us. But until then, the taproom is open for can pick-ups and distanced drinking select weekdays and weekends.

Reject’s Beer Co., 124 Aquidneck Ave, Middletown; @rejectsbeerco

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