For months we've been hearing the buzz about Revival Brewing, the new beer company started by brewmaster Sean Larkin (with Owen Johnson and Jeff Grantz), who is revered for his award-winning work at Trinity Brewhouse since 1996, as well as his stellar seasonal creations for Narragansett (Porter, Bock, Summer Ale, and Fest — the rich and delightful Oktoberfest brew which just arrived in stores). For weeks, Revival's website has featured a photo of a six-pack rack and a bottle of Saison (with a quote from Albert Camus on an oval label near the top of the neck: "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer") and the declaration "Coming Summer 2011." Hey, summer's almost gone! We caught up with Larkin to fill us in on his latest endeavors.
WHAT'S UP WITH REVIVAL? We hope to bring our bottled beers to market by the end of September [or] early October, pending our production and packaging dates. We are in the final stages of financing the project. We hope to have a soft release by September of draft product [to be produced at Trinity] in a few select spots around the state; we will post what bars will carry [it] when we get our production date nailed down.
Larkin at the 2011 Best Music Poll show.
WHAT STYLES CAN WE EXPECT? Our first offerings will be a Belgo-American Farmhouse Saison and our Double Black IPA [Chinook vs. Sorachi Ace]; both beers are slated for production in September. Our winter release will be Juliet 484, which is a Russian Imperial Stout inspired by a retired Providence landmark [the Soviet nuclear cruise missile submarine that was docked — and sunk — at Collier Point Park], and in the spring we plan on Imperial Marzen and summer will be a surprise!
IS THE NEW BATCH OF NARRAGANSETT FEST THE SAME AS LAST YEAR'S? ANY TWEAKS? The Fest is out now and is the same recipe from last year — if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Last year's Fest was a huge success and we are keeping everything the same.
ANY TRINITY NEWS? The brewpub just went through a major tap overhaul. We installed three new 10-faucet tap towers and well as brand new tap lines. The upgrade is a huge success and we could not be happier. We will run eight of our own beers, a draft cider, and we have one tap for guest beers.
For updates on Revival and Larkin's other beer adventures, go to Twitter (twitter.com/#!/revivalbrewsean) or Facebook (facebook.com/Revivalbrewing).SADDLE UP! Indian Ranch, the idyllic getaway in Webster, Massachusetts (about 45 minutes from Providence), is celebrating its 65th year. It built its reputation hosting generations of country music legends (Lefty Frizzell, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Waylon, Willie and, last weekend, Dwight Yoakam); they've recently added classic and roots rockers to the mix (Blue Oyster Cult, Grand Funk Railroad, Los Lobos).
But we're plugging the Ranch here because they'll be hosting the fourth annual Summer Brewfest on August 27 from 2 to 6 pm. The event will feature samples of more than 25 craft brewers, including national brands (Widmer Brothers, Kona, Goose Island), New Englanders (Narragansett, Wormtown, Paper City, Wachusett), some international entries (Estrella, Innis & Gunn), and a few giants (Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams). Add BBQ, paddle boat rides, "pole-ish horseshoes," and music by the Racky Thomas Band, and you have a pretty irresistible afternoon. Many beer fests take place in drab convention centers; the splendor of the Ranch — the tall pines! the quiet allure of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg! the life-size wood carving of Charlie Daniels! — will make this beer summit a truly singular experience. Tix are $25. Call 508.943.3871 or hit indianranch.com.