The state’s newest small batch brewery, West Passage Brewing Company, was a nice discovery on a recent rainy evening. The former Gillian’s Ale House on Post Road near Wickford in North Kingston has been renovated and transformed into a multi-room tasting center and restaurant.

The brewery, which opened this summer, features an extensive food and drink menu … and although we were there to focus on the ales, the pub-style food was excellent, a perfect complement to the brews.

Speaking of which, thanks to the brilliant innovation known as the 4 oz. pour, I was able to sample several of their offerings while there. With winter approaching, let’s just say their strongest brews on the night I visited were the darker, heavier lagers and IPA’s.

I enjoyed the Sarcastic Charlie, a rich malty amber brew, likely named for a regular patron. The Turbo Body Wag, a lighter-shaded ale that went done easy, packs a punch at 7.8 ABV, as did the Drunken Horseman, a darker, heavier IPA, coming in at 7.1ABV.

The Narragansett Bay influenced Slack Sheet APA was my favorite, with scents of Citra and a slightly bitter aftertaste. The Tippy Mouse is a medium-bodied ale, with a cool and refreshing feel. My colleague, WUN contributor Thom Cahir, enjoyed a tall glass of Accidental Red Lager, which he found to be a tasty “light, smooth, fall brew.”

As mentioned, the food offerings alone are well worth a visit. I sampled the Cheese and Ale Dip appetizer with Bavarian pretzel bites, an assortment of pub chips, and vegetable sticks. (Note: the veggies were only there to make you feel better, the app certainly does not qualify as health food.) Thom polished off a plate of street tacos, which looked and tasted delicious. The full menu includes sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads, along with selections for “little tanks.”

West Passage Brewery is a welcome new part of the local craft brewery scene, and I look forward to a return visit. Note: It was busy on a Friday evening, parking is tight, plan accordingly. For more on West Passage Brewery, visit their web site here.

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Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.