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.

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,"...