The Best Breweries in Rhode Island
Long Live Beerworks
Head here for a hop fix when in Providence. Long Live Beerworks is a fixture of today’s Rhode Island beer scene beloved for juicy New England IPAs, pastry stouts, and smoothie sour ales. (Don’t overlook the cleaner Euro styles, either: brewer Armando DeDona trained in the U.K. before debuting this outfit on Providence’s West Side.) The fresh, playful brews are the main draw at Long Live, but the cool and comfortable taproom is worth appreciating, even if you’re just picking up cans to-go. Situated in a renovated factory building, it has a private patio that’s family- and dog-friendly, plus big windows inside and mid-century details that are total #designgoals. Plan your visit around frequent food pop-ups, then head up to the mezzanine level to get a whole view of the place, including the shiny production area. Take me there.
Proclamation Ale Company
If you ever have time to kill before a flight out of TF Green Airport, it’s a perfect excuse to visit Proclamation Ale Company. Not that any beer lover should need one: Proc, as it’s lovingly called, was founded in 2014 and has since become one of the most respected—and fun to visit—breweries in the Ocean State. From the recognizable hazy IPAs like Tendril and Derivative to exclusive brews like the refreshing Laggy Pop, a lime and sea salt lager made in collaboration with The Highroller Lobster Co., you’re visiting the Warwick spot for nearly 20 beers on tap. But you’ll want to stay for the vintage arcade games, trivia nights, and events like Daveapooloza, an annual celebration (with a skate ramp!) in honor of Proc’s late founder Dave Witham. The taproom often hosts food trucks, but if you’re hungry and you don’t have a flight to catch, consider another stop for lunch on your RI brewery tour: Nearby riverside brew pub Apponaug Brewing. Take me there.
“Made on honor” since 1890 (that’s a slogan printed on these iconic cans, in case you’re new to New England or beer), Narragansett Beer has had its own craft beer renaissance since being purchased by Rhode Island son Mark Hellendrung in 2005. ’Gansett still produces a mass-market amount of the lager Quint crushes in Jaws, but the destination brewery in Providence, which debuted in 2021, offers a true taproom experience. There’s an umbrella-shaded patio and occasional live music, plus exclusive small-batch beers made on-site by head brewer Lee Lord, an alum of Cambridge Brewing Company. We love the refreshing Fox Point Pale Ale, but check out the draft list to try a rotating entry like a 7% malt liquor-inspired brew called Good Luck. ’Gansett also has a kitchen on-site that dishes up food like pretzels and flatbread pizzas. Take me there.
A relatively new arrival on the Rhode Island beer scene, Moniker Brewery is a welcome addition in the West End of Providence. A former auto body shop has been transformed into a small taproom and expansive outdoor beer garden with fire pit tables and large, comfortable tables to fill with friends and family. The dog-friendly beer garden is also heated and shoveled year-round. But it’s not just about the pleasant experience at Moniker: The beer is solid, too. From crisp, clean lagers like the flagship State of Flow German-style Pilsner to less-seen styles like a herbaceous Gruit and IPA collaborations with other New England breweries, there is truly something on the menu for every beer fan. There’s often a food truck parked on-site and live music in the beer garden. Take me there.
Tilted Barn Brewery
Farmhouse breweries in scenic locales can be found across the beer-drinking world, but Rhode Island’s Tilted Barn is the real deal. The Exeter operation, which began brewing in 2014, is an update of co-founder Kara Richardson’s 100-plus-year-old family farm. Along with husband, Matt, and the Tilted Barn crew, the farm continues to grow hops, and it hosts a weekly farmers’ market from June through October selling homegrown foods and other locally made products. In 2020, the couple unveiled a new-build brewhouse and taproom that’s no longer “tilted,” but it’s nevertheless a practical, relaxing setting for enjoying the fruits of Tilted Barn’s labor. Light and refreshing Lawn Boy Barn Lager hits the spot, whether you’ve arrived at the brewery after a hard day’s work or a beach day; and the hoppy beers are fresh and fantastic. Don’t miss the house-favorite Violet IPA, a hazy, 6.5% number that’s floral and citrusy. Take me there.
Newly relocated to an industrial annex inside a classic New England mill building in Cranston, Buttonwoods Brewery is endearingly rough around the edges. Mismatched furniture with tabletop games and a parking-lot beer garden is the vibe, typically set to a soundtrack of emo music. (So Rhode Island!) It’s a simple and comfortable setting—not to mention, dog-friendly—for a range of no-nonsense beers, such as a crisp Kolsch, Object Permanence IPA, or barrel-aged beauties. Visit on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday to match it with barbecue and other comfort food by Our Table, the in-house kitchen. On Fridays and Saturdays, you’ll also find Origin Beer Project in the house, an “alt prop,” or alternating proprietorship, a separate company that uses the same brewing equipment and shares taproom space. The collaborative, community spirit of this spot is what beer is all about. Take me there.
Origin Beer Project
Origin Beer Project shares space with Buttonwoods Brewery, but it brings something totally different to the table. Launched in 2020 by married couple Erika and Cheyne Tessier, who had diverse beer-industry backgrounds (husband Cheyne is still a brewer at Buttonwoods), Origin crafts traditional styles like amber lagers and IPAs as well as creative brews like a 3%, fruity-red Dystopian Past Grisette and an imperial stout flavored with vanilla and beets. Starting something new during a global pandemic poses unique challenges, to be sure, but the alt-prop arrangement—where the Tessiers brew their own recipes on Buttonwoods’ equipment, and sell their own products in the taproom on Fridays and Saturdays—is giving Origin room to grow. Beer fans are better for it. Take me there.
Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island
The scenic, beachside community of Westerly, RI, is a stop on Amtrak’s Northeast Regional route and also home to Grey Sail Brewing. Since 2010, Grey Sail has been a respected craft brewery, known for its easy-drinking Flagship Cream Ale and the delicious double IPA, Captain’s Daughter. These cans with old-school labels are recognizable throughout New England, but visiting the Westerly taproom is a must. Located next door to Grey Sail’s former-factory brewery is a beautiful Victorian mansion, which has been lovingly restored into family-friendly tasting rooms with period details like mantle pieces and ornate crown molding. Outside the house is well-landscaped, with dog-friendly beer garden seating, an outdoor bar, and Vetrano’s Wood Fired Pizza on-site Wednesday through Sunday. Check the schedule for other visiting food trucks and live music. Take me there.