Sweet or Cream Stout: Left Hand’s Milk Stout
Barley Wine-Style Ale: AleSmith’s Old Numbskull
And in the There’s-Something-To-Be-Said-For-Blind-Tasting Dept.: American-Style Cream Ale: Anheuser-Busch’s Natural Ice (a gold winner, topping 36 other entries)
• Yep, Newport Storm went with Yoko for the Y entry in their A-Z Cyclone Series. If you like coconut, you’ll like this dark ale (6.9% ABV), which was “dry flaked” with shaved and toasted bits after fermentation and brewed with German chocolate wheat. It’s an ideal dessert beer. As is Newport Storm’s Annual Release ’13 — the batch was brewed with five sweet malts, dry-hopped with 50 pounds of coffee beans from Ocean Coffee Roasters in Pawtucket, and aged on wood from rum barrels. It’s a smooth sipper. Look for the limited edition (3000) 12% ABV brew in the distinctive wax-sealed blue cobalt 750ml bottles.
• It’s been a few weeks since the yep-they-topped-themselves-again splendor of Beervana. The next chance to get your sample on is at the 20th (!) Annual Great International Beer Festival , at the Rhode Island Convention Center on Saturday, November 9. As usual, most of the pours are from New England, including Our Own Revival, Foolproof, Trinity, Union Station, Grey Sail, Ravenous, Newport Storm, and Narragansett; plus Amherst, Berkshire, Cape Ann, Sam Adams, Harpoon, Mayflower, Long Trail, Otter Creek, and Woodstock. There will be some choice beers from the rest of the US (Brooklyn, Ithaca, Shmaltz, Three Heads, Wasatch), a few international entries (Innis & Gunn, Guinness), and ciders, plus food and music by the Silks and the Downcity Band. Sessions are from 1 to 4:30 pm and 6:30 to 10 pm; tix are $45 online (beerfestamerica.com) and at the door. And save the date for the winter edition of the Rhode Island Brew Fest, at the Armory in Pawtucket on February 1 from 1-4 and 5-8 pm. Tix are on sale November 15; hit ribrewfest.com for details.