WAKEFIELD, RHODE ISLAND
A fun-loving no-frills venue allowing dogs to wallow and kids to play, Wakefield-based WHALERS BREWING COMPANY features family fun games such as billiards, board games and corn hole alongside some of Rhode Island’s best suds. Inside a spacious stone-fronted, green-windowed, cement-floored warehouse complex, its friendly all-inclusive atmosphere got reinforced by the bustling community tables, wood booths, stooled barrels and couch area scattered just beyond the reclaimed wood-framed back bar.
A blackboard beer list, growler-filled refrigerator and large blue marlin don the serving station whereas the brew tanks, in a separate nearby space, get maintained by brewers’ Josh Dunlap and Wes Staschke, partners at Whalers since opening, 2011.
My wife and I visit on a crowded Thursday evening in August 2018 while an art exhibit was going on. I quaffed six previously untried brews during my one-hour jaunt.
Locally renowned pale ale flagship, Rise, brought lemon-spiced grapefruit, orange and tangerine tanginess to delicate piney hop bittering and coniferous spruce tones above mildly creamed pale malt sugaring.
Tropical Berliner Weiss, Sirius, let tart passionfruit and mango ride alongside lemon-salted lactic yogurt sourness.
Salty lime-juiced raspberry sour ale, Supernova, a mouth-puckering pinkish amber moderation, retained tart raspberry resonance and vinous white wining.
A hint of cannabis resin seeps into Special Spliff, a Northeast IPA collaboration with nearby Mew’s Tavern. Its lemony grapefruit zestiness gained passionfruit-mango-pineapple tropicalia atop light crystal malting.
Approachable Imperial IPA, Lazarette, led with tangy orange juicing before serene papaya, pineapple and tangerine illusions came aboard to saddle the creamy crystal malting.
For dessert, Pretender, doused sweet blueberry and tart raspberry with dark cocoa, chocolate and coffee tones for a rich fruited stout.