Much of what you will remember about visiting a brewery is the experience. And on this tour, you will get to see three very different breweries that each contribute to the vitality of the Rhode Island scene.
Meet our driver and guide in front of Trinity Brew House and hop on board the bright blue bus.
Our first stop is Revival Brewing in Cranston. Revival was founded in 2011 by longtime brewer Sean Larkin along with partners Owen Johnson and Jeff Grantz. Larkin had been the head brewer at Trinity Brewhouse for over a decade and has also consulted on beer recipes with Narragansett. He grew up in Rhode Island and is a culinary graduate of Johnson and Wales in Providence. He was first hired as a new graduate to work in the kitchen at Trinity. Shortly after he migrated to the brewing operations and took over as head brewer in 1996. Revival is based at Brutopia, a BBQ-inspired brewpub with 15 lines of Revival and Brutopia beers. Their mission is to be as distinctive as possible, and they brew beers to fill in the gaps in the offerings of other Rhode Island breweries.
The second stop is Shaidzon Beer Company in West Kingston. 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 has now 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 final stop is in South Kingstown as we visit Whalers Brewing Company, one of the fastest growing breweries in the state. Whalers Brewing Company was founded in 2011 by Wes Staschke and Josh Dunlap as just a 200-square foot brewery. Staschke started brewing in 2008 while attending college, and after graduating with an engineering degree, continued to develop new recipes at home. Dunlap served two tours of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and learned to homebrew while stationed in California. He came home to Rhode Island to work as a commercial fisherman and continued brewing on the side. They got together to open Whalers in the historic Palisades Mill in Peace Dale. Located just north of Wakefield and a short distance from the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus, Peace Dale is a historic village center that grew around the textile mill buildings built of granite by the Hazard family in the 19th century. To give an example of their recent growth, their production capacity has increased threefold just during 2017.
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.