Rhode Island

Last weekend (10/12-14/07) Karen and I went up to Rhode Island to visit her brother and his family for they were Baptizing their fourth child, Christopher. So, since we were going to be there for the whole weekend I looked into what good “beer things” there were to do in the area.

Coastal Extreme Brewing

I found three things I was interested in the very near area, all less than five miles from their house. There was a brewery, Coastal Extreme Brewery (CEB), a brewpub, Coddington Brewpub, and a winery, Newport Vineyards. I got to visit two out of the three, the winery’s tour schedule didn’t fit our time-frame, but we kind of knew that from the get go. I visited the CEB on Friday night. They do a tour and tasting every Friday night @ 6PM limited to 75 people. I got to the brewery about 5:30PM and there were only 4 other people there, when they opened the doors at 6 there were maybe 30 of us there. The deal is you get the tour (about 45 minutes), a pint glass, and a full pint “taste” of everything they have on tap (typically 4 beers) for $5, sounds like one hell of a happy hour to me. Plus on top of that they have reasonably priced growlers (one of my pet peeves), $10 for new jugs and a fill or $5 for just a refill, plus they filled growlers from other breweries too.

The tour was pretty typical as far as brewery tours go. It was given by one of the four owners, Brent, and lasted about 45 minutes. He started by pouring us all a beer, there Blueberry beer (the crowd favorite), and then got on with his spiel. It was very typical in the sense of he went over the ingredients used to make beer, the equipment they use to make beer, and the general brewing process. It was interesting that after eight years it seems as if they still run things about the same as they originally did. There equipment is small, all used brewpub equipment, but it appears as if they max it out. They also have a hand bottler and hand canner. The bottler does a case at a time (I think) and the canner does two cans at a time. They sell their bottles in RI, MA, and CT with like 75% of their sales in RI. They only can one beer and just for the summer time, luckily for them. After the tour was the tasting, they had the Blueberry, their Summer seasonal an IPA, their Winter seasonal a Porter, and a test batch which was an Irish Stout. All four were pretty good, I think the Porter was my favorite though. Before I left of course I got some growler fills, and of course I brought my own. I brought four growlers and got one of each beer, now all I need is some help drinking them all. Later the next day I stopped at a package store and bout two more of their beers they didn’t have, Frank and Gloria from their Cyclone series, a White and Pumpkin respectively. Overall I’d say these guys are a solid contribution to Rhode Island.

Coastal Extreme Brewing Beer

Saturday we had a lot of family stuff to do so I wasn’t even going to push the stop at Coddington Brewpub, but I figured it was worth inquiring about. So on the way back to the hotel at 10:30PM I asked if Karen would be interested in stopping, she wasn’t really but she decided to take us anyway. All I really wanted was the sampler, just to get a taste of their beers. Well, their sampler was eight 7oz. servings for $8, almost four pints for $8, geez these guys from RI do craft beer cheap on location. Anyway, in the sampler was a Gold, Amber, Blueberry, IPA, Pumpkin, Oktoberfest, Nut Brown, and a Stout. All of the beers were decent, but none of them were exceptional. The Gold actually was a little rough, it was way to grainy (not malty, grainy). My favorites were the IPA and Stout, go figure. Also, what’s up with New England and blueberries in their beer? This was the third New England brewery where they had a blueberry beer: here, CEB, and Sea Dog Brewing Co. in ME when I got to try it for the first time like 5 years ago from a trip to ME from Robert.

Overall it was a good trip, both family and beer-wise. I have to give thanks to BeerAdvocate for helping me out with ideas for stops in Rhode Island thanks to this thread I started.

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