The fact that Rhode Islanders love craft beer might be the worst-kept secret in the state.
The number of local breweries has grown to double digits over the years with new and fresh brews being released often. Doing a brewery crawl on the weekend has become as much of a part of the stat’es culinary culture as enjoying a cup of Del’s on a hot summer day or ordering three all the way with a coffee milk for a late night fix.
For the past 10 years, there’s been a celebration of this love of hops and barley called Beervana Fest. The next edition of the festival will be taking place at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Both floors of the complex will be filled with more than 60 beer tables with over 250 different beers being offered. Brewery Ommegang, based in Cooperstown, New York, will be the official sponsor of the event with more than 50 breweries taking part.
Locals breweries such Proclamation Ale Co. in Warwick, Grey Sail Brewing in Westerly, Foolproof Brewing Co. in Pawtucket and Revival Brewing Co. in Cranston will be represented. Other notable establishments that will be involved include Smuttynose Brewing Co. of Hampton, New Hampshire; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico, California; Wormtown Brewery of Worcester, Massachusetts; and Harpoon Brewing Co. of Boston.
Anyone heading to Beervana Fest for the first time is in for a incredible experience.
“First-timers should expect a more intimate experience than other festivals offer,” festival co-director Brian Oakley said. “We have strived to create space in the room and limit attendance to focus on the face time with each brewery. This show for us has always been about people. As this industry grows, we want to focus on the people and the interactions and experiences we all share. People will be experiencing some of the most interesting and exciting beers to be had.”
He added: “These beers are meant to be discovered, reacted to, argued about, loved, cherished and wildly debated over. This is art and it deserves a passionate voice.”
There will be two sessions taking place, with the first one at 1 p.m. and the second at 6 p.m. Each ticket to the festival – at a cost of $55 in advance or $65 at the door – includes a drinking glass, two ounce pours from any brewery you want to sample, a guide to what’s going on and a bottle of water. Full information is available at the event’s website, beervanafest.com.
Beervana Fest promises to be bigger and better than ever before. There’s only one way to find out if it lives up to the hype – by showing up and feeling thirsty.