There is more to enjoy in Rhode Island than just beer. On this Friday night tour, we will head south of Providence to explore beer and a variety of craft beverages made in the Ocean State.
Meet our driver and guide in front of Trinity Brew House and hop on board the bright blue bus.
Our first stop is Proclamation Ale Company in Warwick. Proclamation was founded in 2014 by Dave Witham, a musician and a former music teacher. Josh Karten joined as co-owner shortly after the brewery opened. He is a former social studies teacher who also owns his own craft beverage consulting business. The original brewery opened in West Kingston, RI, in February of 2013. In late 2017, they relocated into a 15,000 square foot space at the Dean Warehouse complex in Warwick. That recent move gave them six times more capacity and a 3,000 square foot tasting room. With this increased capacity they can now produce more of their signature cans or bottles of specialty beers and send out more draft to bars and restaurants. The state-of-the-art facility includes six 30-barrel horizontal foeders and will be used to make sours, wild ales and other specialty beers. It also includes a row of video games, as the founders grew up playing them endlessly in the 1980’s.
The second stop in the tour is Shaidzon Beer Company. Shaidzon was founded in 2017 by Josh Letourneau and Chip Samson, who first met at a party enjoying rum at a fire on a beach in Matunuck. Josh grew up in Rehoboth, MA, and for his 21st birthday, his wife Lindsay got him his first home brewing kit. He graduated from the American Brewers’ Guild in 2009 and brewed at Mayflower Brewing Co. in Plymouth, MA and was the first head brewer when Grey Sail Brewing in Westerly opened in 2011. Chip is a Rhode Island native who lived in Colorado for many years before moving back to Rhode Island for the new brewery. Shaidzon opened in December of 2017 in the Arnold Lumber complex at the former site of Proclamation Ale, which moved to Warwick. They were able to get right to work with tanks left in place that can produce 1,000 barrels. The name of the brewery is a made-up word (for trademark purposes) pronounced as shades on, which came to Samson when the sun was in his eyes. Lindsay Letourneau, a graphic designer, interpreted the name for the orange, sun-like logo.
Our last stop is Sons of Liberty in South Kingstown. Sons of Liberty was founded in 2009 by Mike Reppucci, a graduate of Brown University and London Business School. He grew up making wine with his father and family in Narragansett, and based on that memorable experience he left his job in finance to launch the distillery. The business plan was to distill single malt whiskeys from the beers that they love and also produce seasonal whiskeys which had not been done before. They make different whiskeys by using a higher-quality grain-based wash and longer fermentation period than is typically found in the spirits industry. In 2016, they acquired a brewing license and started producing more refined versions of distiller’s beer for public consumption. The distillery boasts a 3,000-square-foot room stocked with whiskey barrel-aged sour beers and they also regularly produce Gose and Berliner Weisse kettle sours.
After our last stop on the tour, we will hop back on the bus and head back to Providence and drop off at the legendary Trinity Brewhouse.
Trinity Brewhouse opened in 1994 in a former Burger King in the heart of Downtown Providence and is one of the first brewpub restaurants to operate in New England. It is named for the nearby Trinity Repertory Company which was founded in 1963. The head brewer is Tommy Tainsh, a chef by training who was inspired to brew by enjoying Sierra Nevada and has been brewing on a 20 barrel system at Trinity for the past 20 years.
Guests on the Rhode Island Brew Bus are invited to head into Trinity Brewhouse after our tour to enjoy 20% off your meal. Then you’ll be ready to take on all that Providence has to offer!
Note: Tour stops and order are subject to change without notice based on facility and production needs.