“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Dr. Emmett Brown
On my way to Foolproof, I made the mistake of ignoring the website’s order of ignoring your GPS and instead, following their written directions. Of course my iPhone would show me the way. You know, internet and satellites and stuff. Cut to me pulled over on the side of the road, mascara running down my face due to tears of frustration, iPhone: long gone out the window.
Heed this, reader. Follow their directions. It’s a tricky route, but a great reward at the end.
So let’s take a step back. I’d like to turn your attention away from New Hampshire’s Seacoast, where it seems like you can’t even walk into a convenience store without hearing the owner’s plans for turning it into a nanobrewery – and focus on a part of the country that doesn’t get noted as much for its beer; Rhode Island.
Foolproof Brewing is becoming the Cinderella-story of the brewing world. Opened in December 2012, Foolproof has already completed one expansion; adding two new fermenters to keep up with production, each with a 60-barrel capacity. In May 2013, their distribution spread beyond Rhode Island and into Massachusetts.
I recently had the chance to meet up with Nick Garrison, founder of Pawtucket’s Foolproof Brewing, where he explained to me a bit behind the Foolproof brewing philosophy. “Before we start looking at styles, flavors, ingredients – we look at the experience. We call them sacred beer-drinking experiences,” he explained. “We brew our beer in tribute to those experiences.”
Each of Foolproof’s three year-round canned offerings serve as a representation for different time when we normally knock back a few beers. Barstool, their flagship golden ale, is made for a night out at the bar with friends. It’s well-balanced and relatively light in body. “You can have a few of them and not fall off your barstool,” Nick said.
Backyahd is a great representation of an easy-drinking, well-balanced IPA; very approachable and fits well with the backyard grilling experience it is designed for. Almost 50% of Foolproof’s sales are Backyahd.
Their third canned beer is Raincloud, a Robust Porter. According to Foolproof, Raincloud has developed an almost cult-like following among dark beer lovers; aimed for those rainy days when you just want to stay inside, read a book or watch a movie – my kind of beer indeed.
Honestly, I never really buy six packs. Usually I’m working my way through a bottle collection or I just pick up a growler. I hadn’t even heard of Foolproof until a few months back, when I was shopping for an easy-drinking yet hopefully not schwilly ale, and was caught by their really sleek and appealing can design. The portability of cans definitely fits well with the Foolproof brewing philosophy and has made Foolproof the beer I go to when I’m looking for something to drink a couple of out on the porch or take to the beach.
Nick and brewer Damase Olsson, a graduate of the World Brewing Academy, are also taking Foolproof past the cans and into the world of big beers and styles that you don’t see much of in the Ocean State. Revery, a Russian Imperial Stout, comes in at almost 11% – smooth and rich, with a huge malt bill. La Ferme Urbaine is a farmhouse saison brewed in conjunction with a local farmer. These speciality beers are sold in 22 oz. bombers and only available for limited times.
The Rhode Island craft beer scene is indeed growing and Foolproof is quickly becoming one of the state’s most popular beers. Thanks to increasing demand and the brewery’s high ceilings, allowing for upward mobility and bigger tanks, we may even see another Foolproof expansion.
Join Foolproof at the brewery on Saturday, August 17th from 12:00-4:00 for Augtoberfest, – food trucks, live music and the release of their newest beer King of the Yahd, an Imperial IPA and Backyahd’s “big brother”. Click here to purchase tickets.
Foolproof Brewing Company
241 Grotto Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 02860
Brewery tours operate on Saturdays (1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00). Tours are approximately 1 hour long, cost $10 and include a Foolproof glass, tour of the brewery, and samples.