beermelodies

For Beer Geeks And Rock Freaks

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CRANSTON, RHODE ISLAND

Inside a freestanding brown warehouse with copper aluminum roof and blue-yellow signpost in westernmost Cranston, BRUTOPIA BREWERY & KITCHEN opened its doors springtime, 2014. Championed Rhode Island brewer, Sean Larkin, created the trusty beer recipes and the variegated hickory-smoked barbecue menu also deserves plaudits.

A capacious Industrial sportsbar with exposed ducts and metal rafters, its left side windowed brew tanks, rectangular central bar (with 24-plus taps and multiple TV’s), separate dining room and far right enclosed patio …

Rating: 3

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On tap at Aidan’s, impenetrable autumn ’14 seasonal never clearly defines ‘brown ale’ status since stylish mocha nuttiness plays possum. Instead, minor molasses-like Vermont maple syrup adjunct barely affects latent dark-roasted chocolate malting and leafy hop oiling. Timid brown-sugared spicing and barren nuttiness lost in a wave of carbolic fluff.

Rating: 2.5

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“Limit”-less sunny-hazed Bavarian wheat ale drapes herbal lemongrass-ginger accents across mildly tart lemon zest and muted banana-clove-vanilla sweetness. Dry citric spritz tingles light wheat biscuit backbone. Tertiary apple and pear undertones flutter. Pliable herbal nature may put off more restrictive or sensitive hefeweizen palates.

Rating: 5

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On tap at Blue Ribbon Tavern, excellent hybridized Cascadian Dark Ale overcomes any preconceived notions by adding peat-smoked rye to dark-roasted chocolate malting and resinous hop-charred dried fruiting. Black tea-like pungency, light earthen musk and piney charcoal singe deepen chalky cocoa insistence above moderate orange-peeled grapefruit, pineapple and green grape bittering. Best of class.

Rating: 3.5

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On tap at Ambulance Brew House, well-rounded medium body never gets too bitter – despite its ferocious ‘triple’ declaration. Instead, honey-glazed fruited malts stand toe-to-toe with pronounced Chinook/Centennial piney hop bittering and misty floral perfuming.  Emphatic tangerine, mango, canteloupe, honeydew and melon sweetness plies juicy-fruited tang to bitter grapefruit-peeled orange rind contrast. Nevertheless, iodine-affected ethanol solvency may chase away lighter thirsts.

Rating: 4

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On tap at Ambulance Brew House, uniquely hybridized limited edition (2014) amber ale/ IPA blend spreads honeyed spices across a less hoppy/ more malty flavor profile. Caramel-toasted ‘German red’ malting receives top billing alongside tangy Mosaic-hopped grapefruit, apple, pear and pineapple fruiting and lacquered applewood-birch sentiments.

  

Rating: 3.5

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On tap at Ambulance Brew House, engaging limited edition one-off (2014) brings dry-hopped wood tones to bittersweet grapefruit-pineapple tang. Black-peppered seasoning contrasts smoky caramel malting. Piney bark and twig notions reinforce the dominant dry side.

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Rating: 3.5

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On tap at Ambulance Brew House, ultra dry sour ale serenades tart peach pucker with more profound sea-salted coriander spicing, vinous green grape tannins and leathery straw wheat acridity. Plain yogurt backdrop receives lilting lemony limestone licks.

Rating: 4

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On tap at Ambulance Brew House, top-notch sessionable pale lager contrasts daintily peat-smoked German pilsner malts with wood-dried American citrus hops. Fresh-cut grass waft affects raw-honeyed grapefruit, lemon and lime wisps to its doughy white bread spine.

Rating: 5

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On tap at Blue Ribbon Tavern, delightfully sweet autumn seasonal brings pronounced cinnamon-toasted gingerbread likeness to brown-sugared pumpkin pie theme. Sparkly hop pep receives ancillary nutmeg-allspice tingle. Perfect dessert fodder.

Rating: 3.5

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On tap at Blue Ribbon Tavern, intriguing autumnal dark ale evenly blends many fine adjuncts. Lightly creamed smoked mocha malting surges against sweet pumpkin-spiced cinnamon and nutmeg persistence. Black grape, raisin and prune conflux serenades subtle macca-rooted chestnut notions at the back end. Mild coffee roast and chalky cocoa dryness reinforce bittersweet chocolate preponderance that never overwhelms sugared pumpkin stead.

Rating: 5

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Heady bourbon-barreled pumpkin porter (with 17% ABV) makes a convincing argument for best autumnal seasonal ever. Evenly splitting gourd-spiced intrigue with dark-roasted mocha malt creaming, its lovely sweet bourbon warmth completely envelops its indelible entirety. Caramel-burnt black chocolate prominence picks up brown-sugared nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and anise seasoning to increasingly sweeten the pumpkin puree-sugared midst. Bourbon vanilla, coconut, toffee, bruised banana and maple sap illusions add further depth to fascinating seasonal.

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