After a quarantine respite, our “Brewery of the Month” column returns for July. Going forward, we’ll visit a different local establishment regularly and report back on our findings. We know, it’s a tough assignment…

On a more serious note, like many small businesses, local breweries have been adversely affected by the economic downturn. We encourage you get out and visit when you are comfortable, within established guidelines of course.

Meanwhile, we recently headed to Pawtucket on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. Our destination – RI’s largest micro-brewery, The Guild, a unique collaborative of regional breweries. On the campus of the Narragansett brewery, the exterior is non-descript, but the inside is warm and friendly.

The Guild offers a wide variety of brews – from lighter offerings like the “Power of 3 Fruited Sour” to higher octane brews like Devil’s Purse Pollack Rip IPA at 7.5%. Most are brewed in-house while others like Night Shift, Devil’s Purse and Wash Ashore complete the menu.

Along with a few friends including WUN ace photographer Rick Farrell, I sampled a flight of ales. I found “It’s a Blonde with Fruit” to be very tasty. It’s certainly not a sour, but more a sweet refreshing ale. The award-winning Santilli IPA from Everett, MA based Night Shift was a fairly straightforward American IPA, mildly bitter, similar to Whalers APA. An excellent brew, no doubt.

I also tasted the Cape Cob based Devil’s Purse “Pollack RIP,” a rich citrusy IPA, a bit bolder than the Santilli. Finally, The Guild’s own Phase Brew Hazy Session Ale is a lemony smooth ale highly recommended for first-timers.The brewery also features non-beer selections including the popular Willy’s Superbrew Sparkling Ginger Lemon and Hoot Hard Seltzer. Snacks are also available.

Things were quiet on the day we visited, with about half of the well distanced outdoor tables occupied by late afternoon.  The well-apportioned indoor space, which typically fills to capacity on busy weekends, had a lot of open tables. Most importantly these days, the staff followed all state mandated policies, social distancing and mask wearing being the norm.

You can’t do much better than the Guild when it comes to local breweries. The taproom is open Wednesday -Sunday. For times and further details, click here.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines.
Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse," a roots/folk/rock radio show every Tuesday, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. He is a former educator in the Scituate, RI school system where he taught Social Studies for over 30 years.
Ken is presently on the board of the Rhode Island Folk Festival and Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music), a non-profit that brings diverse musical acts to the Newport area.