Tag Archives: WARWICK RI

DOHERTY’S ALE HOUSE

So many beers! - Review of Doherty's Ale House, Warwick, RI

Conveniently located next to Courtyard By Marroit and La Quinta hotels just off Route 95 in a freestanding brown and gray vintage mill, Warwick-based DOHERTY’S ALE HOUSE opened in January ’13. Serving a remarkably copious 124 tapped craft beers alongside Americana and Cajun-styled cuisine, the roomy barn stable-like wood interior features a spacious central bar (with 3 TV’s and a large ‘Craft Beer’ insignia), several oak booths, seperate left side family dining space, massive exposed pipes and wood-pillared ceiling.

My wife and kids grab a pew near the burnt sienna-hued right wall next to the glass-encased private event room for a Saturday lunch in September ’13. Classic sandwiches, fish ‘n chips, ribs, bacon-wrapped pork chops and burgers fill the menu. We share cheese-dipped pretzel balls before munching down Beer Can Chicken, jambalaya and a muffeletta (with provolone cheese, Genoa salami and capacola). Besides the awesome draught beers, Doherty’s also offers well-selected spirits, original cocktails and Beer Fusions such as Banana Split (Youngs Double Chocolate Stout with Wells Banana Bread), Dirty Hoe (Murphys Stout with Hoegaarden) and Scarlet Begonia (Lindemans Framboise with champagne and orange juice).

I settle on two previously untried libations while consuming the generous food portions. First up, Foolproof King Of The Yahd Imperial IPA brought wood-dried grapefruit rind bittering, tart orange peel briskness and gin-like juniper berry dryness to resinous hop fodder. Caramelized crystal malts contrast the overwhelming bitterness.

Afterwards, Two Roads Roads Mary’s Baby Pumpkin Ale allowed pumpkin puree spicing to saddle plastique gin-soaked boozing and astringent hop sharpness. For contrast, brown-sugared nutmeg, cinnamon and pecan illusions gained sweetness over time.

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Tossed back a few more untried brews during Johnson & Wales Parents weekend, October ’13. Alongside moist beercan chicken (with roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes), quaffed rye-fruited Smuttynose Rhye IPA and citric-crisped Magic Hat Humdinder Over The Pils (reviewed in Beer Index) while watching shocking upset of New England Patriots at the hands of long-time rivals, the Jets.

Thanks to Doherty’s, Track 84, Shannon View and Dave’s, Warwick has become one of New England’s premier craft beer towns.

www.dohertysalehouse.com

DAVE’S BAR & GRILL

  

WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND
 
Inside an inconspicuous one-storey red brick edifice across from TF Green Airport on busy Post Road, DAVE’S BAR & GRILL competes favorably with nearby neighborhood joints, Shannon View Inn and Track 84. An affable beer-centric sportsbar, Dave’s is geared towards the local Blue Collar working crowd with its fine pub fare, multiple draught taps and casual atmosphere.
 
On St. Patrick’s Day ’13, my wife and I grab a table next to the sheet metal-based, granite-topped rectangular bar and grab a robust cornbeef and cabbage sandwich. Multiple TV’s regale the entire space while New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics paraphernalia line the busy walls. A billiards table in the front and several centered booths are packed to the hilt with patrons dressed to the hilt with green Irish clothing, fake tattoos, face paint and top hats. While the large back bar features 60 craft, international and macro brew taps, the front side smaller bar contains a few more taps and TV’s.   
 
I settle into local Massachusetts libation, Pretty Things American Darling Pale Lager, a stylishly complex medium body crowding zesty lemon peel bittering next to dark floral perfumed hops and mineral-grained herbal notions.
 
A few weeks later, we reconvene late at night to try the sales-priced bottled version of Harpoon UFO Pumpkin Ale while watching Major League Baseball’s opening day showcase squaring off the Houston Astros with the Texas Rangers. Several craft brew enthusiasts imbibe Mayflower IPA, Narragansett Summer Ale and Newport Storm Hurricane Amber (indigenous New England offerings). We take advantage of the free popcorn before heading out.
 
Ate fish and chips plus Greek pizza during dinner time stopover, June ’13, trying sessionable ESB-like Red Hook Audible Ale (with its peated malt earthiness and honeyed lemon tea likeness) for first time.
 
Those looking to sample a few brews should check out the 5-ounce servings of any four draughts for a reasonable price.

SHANNON VIEW INN

  

WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND

Across TF Green Airport at a grayish Old Victorian edifice in the sprawling southern Rhode Island city of Warwick, SHANNON VIEW INN may be the best local party spot with its bustling sportsbar atmophere, capacious rectangular main bar, large outdoor patio and affordable pub menu (featuring ‘Create Your Own Burgers’). A fine craft beer establishment in the tradition of a loud Irish pub, a blackboard at the back door lists all the currently available tapped libations for the growing number of Warwick beer enthusiasts.

When my wife and I first pass Shannon View on the way to settling in at nearby Holiday Inn Express, there are four police cars with cherries flaring directing traffic to the widely attended St. Patty’s Day party (ad is at top right).  Lasting long into Sunday evening, we join the ceremonies just after six for a few twilight elixirs.

Loaded with celebratory St. Patty’s Day regalia, several outside booths and a large tent have been set up in the parking lot for greater access to food, brews and merchandise. Cool cover band, Those Guys, entertain the friendly local minions and everyone sings along to renditions of Bon Jovi’s cheesy anthem, “Living On A Prayer,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s timeless ode, ”Sweet Home Alabama.” For the occasion, they also break out a few traditional Irish tunes as we stand on one of the many picnic tables brought into the tent so everyone could avoid the unseasonably cold weather.

I get to try local Pawtucket offering, Foolproof Raincloud Porter, while enjoying the oncoming nightfall. Its murky black coffee-roasted smoked chocolate entry and dryest black licorice spell match the cloudy dark skies that’ve come upon us.

Besides the great local, national and international brew selection (Murphy’s Irish Stout is always available), Shannon’s Sunday brunch, 32-ounce Bloody Mary and Mimosa pitches and 5-ounce beer flights are recommended.

www.shannonviewinn.com

 

TRACK 84

   
WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND
FOREWARD: This ultimate dive bar closed August 2015. RIP
In a gray shanty-like roadhouse with maroon trim, Warwick, Rhode Island’s rustic TRACK 84 most certainly does serve “World Class Beers at Small Town Prices.” Parking in the rear lot on a rainy Friday afternoon, October 2012, a large smoke pit and a plaque with varied beer insignias (Bear Republic, Mayflower, Peak Organic, Sebago, Stoudt’s and Wachusetts) welcome my wife, son Christopher and I into the comfy one-room wood-furnished bar.
At the 12-seat left side bar, there are a Baker’s dozen tap handles plus one dedicated pink elephant-emblazed Delirium Tremens center tap and one gargoyle-handled Gulden Draak tap. Many beer banners and signs plus various license plates line the walls alongside several cool hard-to-find emptied beer bottles. We sit at one of the six tables across from the bar and enjoy two meatball-eggplant sandwiches while I quaff four previously untried libations.
As a train passes by, I dip into Newport Storm India Point IPA, a dry woody-hopped medium body with grapefruit rind, lemon peel and leathery floral illusions. That was bettered by Shmaltz He’Brew Hop Manna IPA, a soothingly medium-bodied alacrity gathering peach, pear and pineapple sweetness to contrast pine-needled grapefruit bittering.
After downing the soft-tongued, black chocolate-spiced Breckenridge Thunder Stout Nitro, I discover the absolute splendor of Grey Sail Stargazer Russian Imperial Stout. Its up-front chocolate-vanilla malting, roasted coffee bitterness and bourbon-whiskey snip informed the hop-charred nutty bottom. (Full beer reviews are in Beer Index).
Just off the beaten track, Track 84 must be Warwick’s best craft beer joint. Before leaving, two sojourning couples drinking Grey Sail Stargazer and Newport Storm IPA’s boasted about this dingy hole in the wall while playing darts prior to flying out of nearby T.F. Green Airport, proving Track 84′s definitely a destination hotspot.
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The last thing I thought possible was getting into Rhode Island’s highly respected craft beer haven, TRACK 84, on Monday at noon considering the wooden railroad-bound roadhouse doesn’t open ’til 4 PM (and was closed for St. Patrick’s Day while the rest of Warwick’s drinking populace partied up the street at Shannon View Inn or a mile down at Dave’s Bar & Grill).
Nevertheless, through sheer persistence I kept calling the shanty-styled shack until owner Dave Longiaru finally was caught off-guard and made a mistake and forgot Monday’s are the only weekday he starts serving beverages at 4. So as my wife and I head up the few stairs leading to Track 84′s entrance, Longiaru is there to unlock the door and let us in as the noon whistle blew.

Always one step ahead of the local competition, Track 84′s limited edition ales, hard-to-find seasonals and indigenous nanobrews have piqued the interest of craft brew aficionados for most of the last decade.

“I had 3 Floyds beers on tap when the closest place serving it was Chicago,” Longiaru proudly boasts. “Then we got Loose Cannon from Heavy Seas in Maryland eight years ago when they were Clipper City. Whereas some brewers think they’re rock stars, their owner never forgot where he came from.”

As Longiaru pours me Black Diamond Fracas (an elegant California-based Imperial Red Ale placing grapefruit-pined stewed prune, ripe raisin, black cherry and nectar fruiting above delicate caramel-malted hop spicing), he relishes the fact Budweiser no longer gets served at his fine establishment.

“My father bought this building in ’81 and opened in ’82. He had no beers I wanted to drink. It was a Bud bar. He liked beer but I doubt he’d understand bringing in Belgian kegs. He might’ve liked them, but he’d wonder who’d buy ‘em,” he says.

As the popcorn maker churns out buttered kernels for my wife to snack on while we talk, Dave’s sister, who runs Sandwich Junction next door, stops by for a sec. She supplies hungry beer enthusiasts with very affordable subs, deli meats and homemade desserts. It’s strictly a family business in this little corner of New England.

“My father passed away before I started doing craft beers,” Longiaru recalls. “I was one of the first guys to send back my Budweiser tap handle. I gave it to the salesman and he asked how I’d make a living. I said if I have to make a living selling Bud, I’d rather be out of business. My taste profile had matured.”

Next up, the cordial entrepreneurial barman pours Stone Enjoy By 04-01 IPA, another subtly strong citrus-pined California brew draping grapefruit-peeled orange, peach, pear, apple, watermelon and honeydew illusions across dry-wooded hops to contrast the sugary caramel malt backend.

“I started Track 84 out of selfishness. But that being said, it was good timing since I met someone who had a beer distributorship selling obtuse beer, wine and liquor – all this ethnic stuff from overseas. He grabbed as much stuff as he could find in Massachusetts and I said whatever you grab I’ll put on tap.”

His loose strategy and firm conviction have served Track 84 well as its everchanging tapped selection gets rave reviews by fellow beer geeks. And with the competition nipping at his heels, Longiaru appears to be one of the Ocean State’s premier elder statesman in the revolutionary craft beer industry.

www.track84.com