A common problem among RI brewers is that they can never seem to brew enough beer to satisfy the crowds flooding their tasting rooms every week. One member of the Rhode Island brewing family that experiences this problem is the Tilted Barn Brewery in Exeter, founded by Matthew and Kara Richardson. The newly renovated barn is tucked away on a Christmas tree farm and is on the verge of expanding from their old two-barrel system.
“We max out capacity and sell out every week,” Matt said. “Now we’re actually bumping back — we’re only open every other week.”
By the middle of May they are hoping to have their new seven-barrel system up and running so they can expand their hours.
Whether in sun or sleet, the crowds will not be deterred. A half hour before the brewery opened, cars started to arrive and a crowd began to form for the three beers on tap and for sale that day. Named after their daughters, the Libby is a crisp American blonde ale and the Violet is a hoppy farmhouse beer with a pilsner base.
“Everyone likes the hoppy beers,” Matt said referring to the crowds each week. “Whenever we do a double IPA it’s always intense.”
The third beer the crowd was excitedly murmuring about was a seasonal maple brown ale, the Pour Sap. This isn’t just any maple ale by the way. The majority of the water used in the mashing of the recipe is replaced with maple sap from the farm, along with a bit of syrup from another local sugar house added during fermentation. This hearty American brown ale has a soft body and as it warms up, toffee and maple start to seep through. Slowly at first, and then very suddenly, this beer takes on a heavier, creamier mouthfeel and is reminiscent of a malted shake.
“It comes once a year. It comes once and then it’s gone,” Matt said.
Check the Tilted Barn website tiltedbarnbrewery.com, to verify hours and what is pouring.