Explore the variety of craft alcohol produced on Aquidneck Island and all around beautiful Newport, Rhode Island.
Meet our driver and guide in front of Trinity Brew House and hop on board the bright blue bus.
Our first stop is Ragged Island Brewing Company, founded in March of 2017 by Matt Gray and five other co-owners, three couples in all. The brewery is located on Aquidneck Island in Portsmouth, and the Ragged Island initials conveniently spell out R.I. But the name of the brewery actually comes from an island off the coast of Harpswell, Maine, near where head brewer is John Almeida has been living for over twenty years. Almeida has been brewing since the 1980s and prior to opening the brewery he had been retired and spending his time building homes, sailing, and home brewing. The couples decided to open a brewery after they would get together and drink the home-brewed version of Almeida’s TwoTree Double IPA. Ragged Island is currently brewing on a one-barrel system in a 2,400-square-foot space in the Portsmouth Business Park.
The next stop is Greenvale Vineyards. Greenvale is located on a farm just north of Newport that has been in the same family since 1863 and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Their 27 acres of grapes account for all of the wine that the family members produce, which is about 3,500 cases of wine annually. The farm’s stable is now the elegant tasting room and is an award winning restoration for adaptive reuse. The building was designed and built in 1863 by John H. Sturgis, a young architect in Boston at the time who later designed and built such buildings as the Church of the Advent in Boston, the original Museum of Fine Arts at Copley Square, and the Webster Ames House on the corner of Dartmouth and Commonwealth Avenue, in Boston.
The final stop is Coastal Extreme Brewing Company, makers of Newport Storm beer. Coastal Extreme was founded in 1999 by four graduates of Colby College in Maine: Brent Ryan, Derek Luke, Mark Sinclair, and Will Rafferty. The group selected Rhode Island as the location because, at the time of opening, there were no other craft breweries in the state. Coastal Extreme produces approximately 5000 barrels per year, mostly under the Newport Storm trade name. In 2007, they also began producing Thomas Tew Rum, named after Rhode Island’s first pirate. In 2010 they built a brand new facility in the North End of Newport which increased their square footage to 10,000, and allowed them to build a Visitors Center and tour deck. This was their first opportunity to upgrade their equipment from when they first started in 1999. In 2014, another 10,000 feet was added to the facility to accommodate additional barrels for aging rum.
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.