MARK HELLENDRUNG |
PRESIDENT & CEO, NARRAGANSETT BEER
I’m a lager beer drinker to the core, although I do appreciate all the great big craft beers that are coming out. Prior to launching our Bohemian Pils, I drank a lot of different European-style lagers and Pilsner Urquell really struck me as a great beer. It’s the original pilsner, and it’s really a quality, sessionable lager. Our Bohemian Pils is a hoppier style within the pils family, more of a craft style, but the Pilsner Urquell is a great beer that probably misses a lot of people’s radar because of all of the other choices out there.
NICK GARRISON | PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, FOOLPROOF BREWING COMPANY
I think as a whole, Rhode Island beers are underappreciated. The Ocean State is in the midst of a very exciting craft beer renaissance — there are so many fabulous beers available that are produced right here in Rhode Island. Unfortunately, it seems that there are still many accounts that would rather serve an out-of-state craft beer, an import, or a domestic lager rather than consider an offering from a Rhode Island craft brewery. Of course, there are many bars that do see the value in marketing locally produced beer, but I think there’s much room for growth and improvement in giving Rhode Island beer the attention and respect it deserves.
I’ve always been impressed by Sierra Nevada ’s beers. . . not just their popular mainstays, but many of their lesser-known products. For a brewery that has grown to such a large size, the quality and consistency they’ve maintained over the years is quite impressive.
CHUCK BORKOSKI | VICE-PRESIDENT/GENERAL MANAGER, ELEVATED SPIRITS
Here are my two entries, one from the main stream brewing community and the other from one of the pioneer craft breweries:
Michelob Light : This brand has lost out to the enormously popular Michelob Ultra brand despite the fact that these two beers are “light” years apart from one another. Introduced in the late 1970s, Michelob Light is a 123-calorie lager beer with a 4.3% ABV. It is a very well-balanced beer being malt-forward with a pleasant hop finish. I call it the great compromise beer, slightly lower in calories while still delivering great full body and crisp taste. This is a very sessionable beer.
Red Hook Longhammer IPA : Originally called Red Hook IPA, this liquid has been around since 1984. Thirty years old and still drinking great! It now comes in a funky 12-ounce bottle like none other in the market. It is a dry-hopped IPA with a nice blend of bitterness, piney elements, and citrus flavor. At 44 IBUs, you know you are drinking an IPA but you are not paralyzed by its bitterness; at 6.2 ABV, it isn’t over the top but it will deliver you a reasonable amount of what you may be looking for in a beer.
BIG BEER NEWS
You’ve heard, right? Yuengling is returning to the state — on draft around June 1 (you’re going to see it everywhere) and on shelves by mid-June. With the arrival of the Shiner line in April and now “America’s oldest brewery” (the pride of Pottsville, PA) — the fourth-largest craft brewing and overall brewing companies, respectively — plus Dogfish’s re-entry earlier in the year, the local beer market is undergoing potentially seismic shifts.
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