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Celebratory brews

Three new Gaspee-themed beers commemorate Sestercentennial

Posted 5/3/22

By RORY SCHULER

Almost 250 years ago, a revolution was brewing in Warwick.

Now the taste of revolutionary brewing will be available on-tap and canned.

As the Gaspee burning Sestercentennial …

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NEWS

Celebratory brews

Three new Gaspee-themed beers commemorate Sestercentennial

Posted

By RORY SCHULER

Almost 250 years ago, a revolution was brewing in Warwick.

Now the taste of revolutionary brewing will be available on-tap and canned.

As the Gaspee burning Sestercentennial approaches, three breweries have crafted commemorative beers to mark the occasion.

“We wanted to do something exceptional for the 250th, something that hadn't been done before,” said Gaspee Days Committee Vice President Karen Kenney. “I reached out to a dozen local breweries and received responses from Linesider, Moniker and Apponaug breweries. The three of them all belong to the Brewers Guild and were able to connect, collaborate and coordinate their individual ideas and styles so that they would each be unique to the 250th.”

Apponaug Brewing Company, located in the Pontiac Mill, 334 Knight St., Warwick will be releasing “Hannah's Revenge.” The Linesider Brewing Co., 1485 South County Trail, East Greenwich, has launched “Sestercentennial.” And the Moniker Brewery, 432 West Fountain St., Providence, has introduced a brew called “First Blow for Freedom.”

“All of the names are Gaspee references,” Kenney said. “Apponaug will be brewing an American IPA (India pale ale). Linesider will be brewing a golden ale and Moniker will be brewing an American Wheat beer.”

O’Rourke’s Bar and Grill, at 23 Peck Lane, in Historic Pawtuxet Village, has Moniker’s “First Blow for Freedom” on-tap.

“They are excellent,” said Parade Marshal and President of the Pawtuxet Rangers Ron Barnes, a Johnston resident. “They are not made with Narragansett Bay water, (fortunately) but they were very good.”

Historians have tracked America’s earliest recorded beer brewing back to 1587, and the nation’s first commercial brewery was built and operated by the Dutch West India Company in 1632 in Lower Manhattan, New York.

“The styles are conducive to the time period as well as the ingredients used,” Kenney said. “The label ideas and artwork are so amazing and we are so proud of each one and are thrilled to have been able to associate our name on each.”

The breweries have also pledged to hand some of the profits back to the Gaspee Days Committee.

“They each donated 10 percent of each barrel brewed to the GDC and (the beers) will be available for purchase at the Block Party,” Kenney said.

The Gaspee Days Block Party has been scheduled for 6-11 p.m., Saturday, May 28, in Pawtuxet Park, with live music performances by Salters Groove, RI Bucket Drummers, and Neal & The Vipers.

On June 9, 1772, a British tax-collecting ship known as the “Gaspee” chased a small packet sailing up Narragansett Bay from Newport to Providence, known as the “Hannah.”

According to the Gaspee Virtual Archives (gaspee.org), “Capt. Benjamin Lindsey of the Hannah refused to drop anchor, even after warning shots were fired from the Gaspee. Dudingston ordered a chase, and the Gaspee pursued the Hannah up the bay. Crafty Captain Lindsey, thoroughly familiar with the bay and its tides, maneuvered the chase so that the Gaspee ran aground on Namquid Point.”

Lindsey quickly alerted John Brown, who “instructed his loyal sea captain, Abraham Whipple, to gather and prepare longboats.”

As news of the Gaspee grounding spread, local revolutionaries gathered, boarded longboats, ambushed and burned the British vessel in the middle of the night — all made possible by a tiny boat named “Hannah.”

“We named the beer ‘Hannah’s Revenge’ after the flute Hannah that lured the Gaspee aground,” said Tamara McKenney, “BrewEO” of Apponaug Brewing Company. “We just thought it was a fun name — a fun beer and a fun name to celebrate a 250th anniversary. That particular recipe is part of our experimental series.”

Apponaug’s “Hannah’s Revenge,” will be available Thursday, May 5, on-tap at the brewery’s bar.

“They have some interesting labels,” said Steve Miller, President of the Gaspee Days Committee. “They’ll be out on the shelves in the liquor stores in the Pawtuxet area in the near future.”

(Warwick Beacon reporter Alex Malm contributed to this report.)

Gaspee, Gaspee beer

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  • JohnStark

    Love how the community is getting behind such a local and historic event!

    Tuesday, May 17 Report this