Bell’s Brewery Partnership

We’re proud to announce our latest partnership with… Bell’s Brewery! We were one of the eleven distributors chosen to help them bring their famous brews to New England!

Laura Bell, CEO of Bell’s Brewery says, “As we add any new state, it is very important to us that we remind all of our fans about our dedication to quality. Part of the process of selecting new distributor partners is making sure that is a shared passion.”

“We are all very excited to welcome each of these distributors to our extended Bell’s family and look forward to launching New England and New Jersey with partners who share our commitment to craft beer and quality,” she added.

We’re thrilled to be able to bring Bell’s beers to our area! Stay tuned for more information by following us on all of our social media platforms to keep you up to date.

Learn more about Bell’s Brewery at www.bellsbeer.com

The Revival of the Sour Beer

A few years ago the big talk in the craft beer industry was about how hoppy a beer could be. Every craft brewer was making IPAs, session IPAs, and imperial double IPAs. It quickly got to the point where there was an over-saturation of hoppy beers. Soon, brewers started to look to other types of beers to set themselves apart. This is when the latest beer trend started to gain footing.  Brewers started to make sour tasting beers. Sour beers have actually been around for hundreds of years but had waned in popularity toward the end of the 19th century. So, for many beer drinkers, this was like tasting a beer they had never had before.

In the late 19th century, Louis Pasteur made discoveries regarding yeast and how it helps ferment alcohol. Before this, almost all beers had some sort of sour taste to them because they used “wild yeasts” that lived in the wood and air that the beer was being fermented in. Once Pasteur made his discoveries, it led to brewers picking and choosing the yeast for their beer, which then led to consistent flavors that could be produced over and over again After a while, this led to a decline in sour beers as wild yeasts were no longer needed to ferment beer. So recently, when brewers wanted something different from the hoppy beers, they turned to this old style.

There are a few different types of sour beers that will be highlighted throughout this story. These types include American Wild Ale, Berliner Weisse, Flanders Red Ale, Gose, Lambic, and Oud Bruin.

American Wild Ales are beers that are introduced to “wild” yeast or bacteria, such as Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, or Lactobacillus. This introduction may occur from oak barrels that have been previously inoculated, pitched into the beer, or gained from various “sour mash” techniques. A great example of an American Wild Ale is Riserva from Weyerbacher. Riserva is fermented with a blend of Saccharomyces yeast, Brettanomyces yeast, and lactic acid bacteria that produces funky, sour, and fruity flavors and aromas.

Berliner Weisse is a top-fermented, bottle conditioned wheat beer, made with both traditional warm-fermenting yeasts and lactobacillus culture. They have a rapidly vanishing head and a clear, pale golden straw-colored appearance. The taste is refreshing, tart, sour, and acidic, with a lemony-citric fruit sharpness and almost no hop bitterness.

Flanders Reds are commonly referred to as the “red” beers of West Flanders. Belgian Red beers are typically light-bodied brews with reddish-brown colors. They are infamous for their distinct sharp, fruity, sour, and tart flavors that are produced by special yeast strains. Very complex beers, they are produced under the age-old tradition of long-term cask aging in oak and the blending of young and old beers.

Gose is an unfiltered wheat beer made with 50-60% malted wheat, which creates a cloudy yellow color and provides a refreshing crispness and twang. A Gose will have a low hop bitterness, a complementary dryness and spiciness from the use of ground coriander seeds, and a sharpness from the addition of salt.

Lambic beer is a spontaneous fermented unblended ale that is indigenous to the Senne Valley of Belgium. Large portions of wheat bring out the crispness though the flavor is dominated by a unique tartness from the wild yeast and bacteria that inoculate the brew from both airborne and tainted barrels that they ferment in. An example of a lambic beer would be Up Ship Kriek from Revival in Rhode Island.  This Lambic-style sour was created from wild fermentation in locally sourced wine barrels with tart cherries. Azacca hops make this pale and aromatic brew the perfect sipper for rebellious behavior.

Oud Bruins, not restricted to but concentrated in Flanders, are light to medium-bodied and deep copper to brown in color. They are extremely varied, characterized by a slight vinegar or lactic sourness and spiciness to smooth and sweet. A fruity-estery character is apparent with no hop flavor or aroma. Monomoy Kriek from Cisco is a great example of this style. This is a sour Flemish-style Red from Cisco’s “The Woods” series. It’s aged on whole sour cherries and in oak barrels.

Sour, wild, wood-aged beers are anything but boring. Their unpredictability can be unnerving. So many more of nature’s variables are at play during fermentation and maturation; the brewer is dealing with complex ecosystems, not a straightforward industrial process. But beer lovers who embrace these new interpretations are finding flavors that stretch our modern definition of “beer”—and remind us of its origins.

The Rise of Cask Beer in Rhode Island

Did you know that cask beers have been around for centuries? If you aren’t familiar with a cask ale, it is much different than the beer you may be used to sampling.
This particular brew is unfiltered and only goes through a slight fermentation in the cask itself. There is no long storage process and it typically needs to be consumed within a few days. To put it simply, it’s fresh, bold and has local craft beer enthusiasts buzzing.
So, if you are looking to impress your local Rhode Island bar crowd, we have a few reasons why you should consider adding a cask to your beer line up.

Cask Beer is Unique

The local beer industry offers a wide range of brews with unique flavors and ingredients, but none of them compare to the truly original cask flavors. One of the most interesting aspects of this style is that every cask is different. Even if the brewers are using the same ingredients and recipe, the product is unfiltered and matures within the cask offering an original taste that cannot be recreated.
As a Rhode Island bar or restaurant owner, you may have noticed that the more rare the beer product, the more attention it gets. Luckily, cask beers are always rare and will give bar goers a unique pour.

The Freshest Brews You Can Find

Some may shy away from the short shelf life of the cask ale, but to a true beer lover, it simply means you are getting the freshest beer on the market. These particular brews do not go through a pasteurization process and are not stored. They are taken right from the breweries to their final destination, your bar. If that isn’t a fresh brewed beer, we don’t know what is.

Cask Ales are Full of Flavor

Over the years cask beer has seen a few changes. The British-style caters more towards the traditional palate, while the US has shifted towards more colorful flavors. Whether your bar goers are fans of floral, citrus or bitter tastes, a cask ale will be able to offer them an intensity & depth unlike standard draft beers.

Cask Beer Popularity

First Look at Half Full Brewery

If you haven’t heard of Half Full Brewery yet, it is only a matter of time. This Stamford, Connecticut brewery is starting to make some huge waves in the local craft beer industry, and we can understand why.

Their craft beer lineup has a style for every type of beer drinker and is why you may start seeing them more and more on local taps. So, if you are looking for a few more reasons to fall in love with Half Full Brewery and add them to your bar or restaurant, we will give you 5.

#1 Their Story

Every brewery has their story, which includes the “founding moment”. Half Full Brewery is no exception but their story evolved over time. Founder/Owner Connor Horrigan didn’t know he wanted to own a brewery, in fact his original career path landed him a job on Wall Street as an investment banker. After three years on the job, he realized he wanted to find something that he was passionate about, something that would make him and his family happy.

While on a trip around the world, circumstances brought him back home where he decided to pursue the one thing that would make him happy and energized each day. He wanted to open a brewery that inspired others to be optimistic, passionate and look at the world with a glass “half full” mentality.

#2 Their Beer

One of the main reasons why we are big fans of Half Full Brewery is there selection of beer. Like every local brewery they have their year-round beers which include a double IPA, west coast style IPA and a blonde/pale ale hybrid. Although these are some of our favorite brews they offer, that isn’t all they have. Along with limited releases, they have what they call their non-quantifiable beers.

If you love the non-traditional craft beer styles like a gose or barrel aged, you will want to keep you eyes on Half Full Brewery’s options. They aren’t always offered in their taproom, but make for a special pour when they are.

#3 Their Community Sourced Ale Project

Half Full Brewery is all about their local community, and their community sourced ale project is a prime example. Their goal is to bring unique brews to craft beer lovers while collaborating with local craftsmen in the area. One of their most recent community brews utilizes flavors from Stamford’s own Rise Coffee Co. With the help of their ingredients, Half Full Brewery crafted a bold and robust Cold Brew Coffee Porter that is a beer enthusiasts dream.

#4 Their Podcast

If you are a craft beer fanatic, it is always interesting to hear about local breweries and how they got their start. Half Full Brewery has taken it upon themselves to create their own podcast which covers their story, inspiration and the changes they have made along the way. It is a great behind the scenes intro into Half Full Brewery and is a must watch for those who are thinking about adding this beer to their taprooms.

#5 Their Tasting Room

If you are already a fan of the craft beers that Hall Full Brewery has to offer, we highly recommend heading over to their local spot in Stamford for a look at their Tasting Room. There you can take tours, enjoy a tasting of their limited release beers and even fill up a growler to go.

As a Rhode Island beer distributor, we love the opportunity to get to know local breweries and the incredible flavor profiles they have to offer. We welcome you to ask us any questions you have about their product and we look forward to getting Half Full Brewery on your taps!