MIDDLETOWN, RHODE ISLAND
Three miles North of Newport’s historic downtown America’s Cup section lies bayside village, Middletown, initially perused April, ’07 (during 18th anniversary with wife, Karen). In a freestanding emerald building with several red-blue-green awnings and forest green interior, CODDINGTON BREWERY has an exquisite elegance perfectly validated by great pizza plus reasonably priced seafood, nachos, and lobster bisque.
A twelve-stool right bar with widescreen and regular-sized TV’s (across parlor seating and billiards table) serves a fine revolving lineup of craft beers emulating from several glass-encased brewtanks. Charming rear dining section has several cherry wood tables and brick hearth, perfect for family functions or parties.
Really enjoyed bitterly hop-bitten apricot-orange-cherry-ensconced ESB and rye-fronted corn-sweetened maple-sugared fig-snipped Vienna Lager. Dry woody-hopped grapefruit peel bitterness remedies raw-honeyed quince-peach-pear-tangerine sweetness of oaken bark-parched India Pale Ale. Nitro-injected Irish Stout had coffee ground dominance, creamy Kahlua slip, and walnut-Brazil nut slink. Weighty oxidation burdened the dry wheat-grass and wild oats consuming pungently vegetal Golden Ale but not so the lacquered sweet ‘n’ sour blueberry prominence of sharp-hopped wheat-cracked Seltzer-watered Blueberry Ale.
On collegiate voyage with daughter, Nicki, and my better half, revisited Coddington, November ’10 (checking out nearby University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams College along the way). Big 10 football ruled the TV screens as I quaffed spritzy hop-spiced pumpkin-pied autumnal Pumpkin Ale (with its tinny cinnamon-nutmeg seasoning appropriating Christmas). Wife shared awesome Mediterranean Greek pizza while I fully enjoyed nut-sharp, hop-charred, oats-dried Irish Stout, a rich lactose elixir plying cocoa-chalked anise, black chocolate, espresso, and roasted coffee to burnt wood tones.
During short pre-Valentine’s Day 2011 stopover with wife, watched undefeated Ohio State basketball team lose to Wisconsin at bar with a few local Savre Regina college grads while consuming one previously untried libation and a revamped Enlgish Bitter. Sugar plum, fig, and date fronted mocha-dried Vienna malting to fungi bottom of medium-bodied Doppelbock. Bitterly hop-roasted ESB picked up tangy apricot, apple, and orange fruiting saturating mild caramel malts to wood-soaked finish.
Spending a sunny June ’11 afternoon at Coddington’s while my daughter has freshman orientation at Roger Williams College a few miles north is the perfect way to wallow away a few hours. My wife ordered up a Greek pizza as the clock struck two and I then got newly acquainted with a few worthy libations.
Firstly though, I reinvestigated pilsner-like Golden Ale, which fared better this time around, succinctly balancing pale malts, spiced hops, and citric illusions.
Not sure if sweet dessert fodder, Blueberry Blonde, was an offshoot of previously quaffed Blueberry Ale, but its spiced blueberry ripeness and gentle honey wheat backbone fit well.
As for the two untried brews, Belgian White contrasted candi-sugared coriander spicing against soft hop-fizzed white peppering, faded lemony orange sharpness, and dried plantain reminder. Resounding clove-coriander spicing tingled tart orange and ripe banana fruiting guiding supple Hefeweizen.
Packed on a Friday evening for dinner, sojourned back to Coddington October 2011, ordering up a lactic Oatmeal Stout. Its crisp watered easement softened the maple oatmeal-induced black chocolate malting, hop-oiled coffee roasted bittering and sweet hazelnut backup.
During August ’12 dinner break with wife and daughter, ate pulled pork sandwich alongside Chocolate Porter, a creamy medium-full body with chalky black chocolate, dry coffee bean and bitter cocoa overtones banked by a soapy hop-roasted char.