The highly-regarded brews from the MAINE BEER COMPANY are now available in Rhode Island. The Portland-based small batch brewer has a half-dozen styles, and three of those are on shelves: Peeper, an American ale; King Titus, a robust porter; and Mean Old Tom, a stout aged on vanilla beans. And we hope that Lunch, their American IPA which is at #12 on Beer Advocate's list for that style, joins them on shelves soon.

The other Big Beer Arrival News is that WEYERBACHER, which was founded in 1995 in Easton, PA, is back in the market after a two-year absence. A recent brewery expansion (four new 80-barrel fermenters) has allowed their supply to meet demand. Six beers are here: Last Chance IPA (5.9% ABV); Double Simcoe IPA (9%); Blithering Idiot, a barleywine ale (11.1%); Verboten, a Belgian-style pale ale (5.9%); Merry Monks, a Belgian-style tripel ale (9.3%); and Old Heathen, an imperial stout (8%). They're all fine examples of the style; we were particularly fond of the Double Simcoe, with a mighty serving of the pungent (and polarizing; some say it has a "catty" character) namesake hop and Merry Monks.

GREY SAIL has whipped up "Bring Back the Beach," a blonde ale which will be in stores and on tap any day now. All of the proceeds will benefit the post-Hurricane Sandy cleanup effort at Misquamicut Beach.

And get your tickets for the RI BREW FEST. You can sample Foolproof and every other local brewer there; Ommegang and Sam Adams were recently added to the lineup. Hit ribrewfest.com now (the evening session was close to selling out at press time).

Send info to  bottlescansclaphands@yahoo.com.

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