I have been meaning to blog about the Great Pumpkin Ale festival this weekend, however I can’t seem to find my piece of paper with my comments on the beers. Maybe it’s in my office? Hopefully more on that tomorrow…until then, Trinity Brewhouse, in Providence, Rhode Island.
I try to stop into Trinity whenever I am in Providence, be it to pick up my ‘Gansett schwag, or visit friends. Trinity brews everything right on the premise, and the menu of beers on draft is constantly changing. They also serve food, ranging from traditionall pub food, to twists on the traditional. I had their double-loaded raviolis, which are, “Pazzo pasta potato, cheddar and chive filled ravioli, deep fried and baked with Monterey jack and Colby cheddar, topped with sour cream, crumbled bacon and scallions.” And they were awesome. It was like twice-baked potatoes with ravioli, and of course a pint of a solid beer. What more can someone ask for?
I was happy to see their seasonal pumpkin beer was on the menu, as it wasn’t when I was there the previous week. The pumpkin beer has 4.5 alc/vol, and is a deep caramel color. As in, caramelized sugar or something, not the hue of a tooth-pulling Sugar Daddy sucker. The taste was very similar to the Wachusett pumpkin ale, strongly malt-based with a caramel flavor with hints of raisin and a subtle bit of vanilla, it wasn’t outwardly pumpkin despite being made with pumpkin puree. I’m sure the malt taste was attributed to it being made with special B malt. The malt was especially strong mid-sip, with a slightly hoppy aftertaste.
Here is where it gets weird. I placed an order of hot wings (I’m kind of a sucker for wings), and when I drank the beer with my hot wings, the pumpkin flavor was bursting out of the beer. I don’t know if it was the contrast between spicy and what was then considered sweet compared to the wings, or what. I was mildly disappointed in the beer until this revelation. If you aren’t a fan of sweeter beers, drink this solo, however if you, like me, enjoy sweeter beers, get this with an order of wings or another powerful tasting food and enjoy the pumpkin revelry provided.
Next I had a pint of their Imperial Oktoberfest. Between 8% alc/vol, and the threat of a snowy drive back to Cape Cod looming over my head, this was my last beer of the night. This amber beer is bottom fermented, meaning that it is fermented at a lower temperature, and esters are not produced (at all or as much, I’m not sure), meaning that the yeast doesn’t affect the flavor as much. This beer had a very smooth taste, with a slight hoppy bitterness, but it wasn’t overpowering and went down quite well. The high alcohol content was not noticeable at all.
This trip to Trinity will remain ingrained in my mind for a long time, not because of the brewhouse itself, but because when I walked outside, everything was coated in snow, which was whipping in every direction. Not to mention, it was not even Halloween yet. The “first” start of a New England winter, spent in a brewhouse in the company of a friend with good beer and hot wings. Not a bad way to start the season.
Conclusion: I am partial to this brewhouse because of the food, beer, and atmosphere. I’ve only been on weeknights, but it’s never too crowded and I can always sit at the bar with friends, or by myself reading a book. If bold, strong beers (some are at 8.5%), are your thing, then definitely enjoy some of the drafts. If not, you can stick with their wide selection of bottled craft beers, but you can do that anywhere. Instead I suggest you try their Kolsh, which is light and smooth. It’s the one I first started with there, and I became hooked.
By the way, I think both of my aforementioned views are null and void now until next October. In that case, try the White Electric Stout, 7.5% alc/vol. It’s my favorite.
Visit their website at: http://www.trinitybrewhouse.com