Today is National Beer Day, among other fun holidays like Girl, Me Too, Walking, and No Housework days. You can see the other holidays on the National Day Calendar website. I chose to write about beer because lately, I’ve been actively exploring Rhode Island’s fantastic breweries. I even made up a fun fake one for April Fools Day, if only Portabeera Brew was real.
NOT Love at First Sight
I have to admit that I was harsh on American beers when I first moved to the USA almost three years ago. Before moving to Rhode Island in 2019, I spent a year in New York City. It was an excellent skipping stone because NYC had various pubs with Czech beers on tap! Despite going to many local breweries, American beer just didn’t hit the spot for me. I did develop a taste for sour beers, but anything that wasn’t a European-style pilsner just tasted like disappointment.
Although I still prefer a draft Czech pilsner over most other beers, I have learned to enjoy more beers now that I’ve started giving them a chance. Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer European-style pilsners, and at a regular pub, I’ll get Corona, Yuengling, or Kona’s Big Wave. But at breweries, I’ll try a little bit of everything. Luckily, Rhode Island has 30+ breweries to visit! I get to discover one by one thanks to RI Brewers Guild and their RI Brewery Passport app.
My Favorite Breweries in Rhode Island
Unfortunately, I have a pretty busy schedule, so I can’t spend all my time brewery-hopping. However, I have been making good progress, and I have to talk about them on National Beer Day! So far, my favorite brewery is Apponaug. I love it because it is located near me, is owned by two inspiring women, and they have a beer garden overlooking a river! Plus, I liked most of the beers I tried there. One did happen to be a Czech Pilsner called The Journey. But I also really liked their Chicago to London, Tenet, and Uncommon Pursuit.
Another brewery that caught me off guard was Shaidzon. I did not love the beers I tried, although I only tried two. However, they occasionally brew a mushroom beer. They also have really cool outdoor seating; actually, that’s the only seating they offer at the moment. Don’t be fooled by their seemingly boring warehouse location. They have a really cool green stretch of space in the back with a unique train tracks view. We even saw a train pass while we sipped our beers!
Then there’s LineSider, a brewery that could work on their outdoor seating more. Instead of a cool outdoor space, they have the most incredible fights of beer. I don’t remember everything I tried, but I did enjoy most beers. My absolute favorite was Wicked Taht. It is a dark cherry sour, which I normally wouldn’t go for because I don’t like the artificial cherry flavor. But this drink was exceptional, and they even offered a chocolate rim on my small flight glass!
Other Rhode Island Breweries
The other breweries I’ve tried were not necessarily my favorite, but they can’t all be on my top beer list! I did visit Tilted Barn, a crowd favorite, but I was only there for 20 minutes because they were SUPER busy. I would love to come back since I loved both beers I tried.
Other breweries I’ve visited this year are Moniker, and then there’s Cottrell, which is actually in Connecticut but merely steps away from Westerly. Last year we had also visited Revival, Whalers, and Gray Sale Brewery. Clearly, Isaac and I still have a LOT of work to explore the remaining 25-something breweries in the state! I guess I’ll be treating National Beer Day as the New Year of beer, and I resolve to sample more beer.
Summary: National Beer Day
It doesn’t matter if you are in Rhode Island or even outside of the USA. It may only be official National Beer Day in America, but it can be celebrated anywhere and anytime. As a Czech citizen, I like to pay tribute to beer at least once a week. And I’m so excited to have so many exciting beers to enjoy. Special thanks to the RI Brewers Guild for helping fight the good fight and working on passing legislation that allows local brewers to do what they do best: create unique beers!