Rejects Beer opened up exactly one year ago as the pandemic was raging … a practice that is becoming increasingly familiar for new businesses. A year and a couple of visits later, we can confirm that Rejects is here to stay, a welcome addition to the local brewery scene.

Rejects is located next door to Diego’s Barrio Cantina in Middletown overlooking Easton’s Pond. It’s named after a spot well-known to locals –  Reject’s Beach, the small strip of sand accessible to the public directly adjacent to Bailey’s Beach. 

The Brewery is housed in a remodeled garage at 124 Aquidneck Avenue on Easton’s Pond. The tasting room certainly isn’t fancy, but it has a great retro vibe – think 80’s basement complete with about a half dozen vintage stand-up video games and a huge screen on the wall. For those brave enough, there’s outdoor seating in a pair of igloos set up right in front of the entrance.

They don’t do (4 oz.) flights but do offer a half-pint serving, so taste-testing is straightforward. My colleagues and I sampled a few brews on a recent Sunday afternoon and were not disappointed. Overall, these beers are characterized by bold tastes, each offering quite different from the rest. Note: The ABV on several of these is higher than average  – something perhaps needed to survive the long Newport winters.

On to the beer … as an IPA fan, I gravitated in that direction. I sampled the 12 O’Clock High (6.2 ABV) and found it to be a solid brew, mildly bitter with a citrus touch, pretty typical if you like IPA’s.  Another winner is Shipwreck Bay (7.2 ABV), named for a famous surf spot in New Zealand. This unique IPA is very smooth, with hints of white wine and citrus. I took home a four-pack.

I also enjoyed the Baltic Porter (7.4 ABV), a flavorful brew with hints of chocolate and coffee, and a lot more kick than a Guinness. It’s the perfect beer for a frosty winter evening on the Pond or by your fireplace.

The Japanese Lager (4.8 ABV) stood out as lagers go. It’s brewed with Sorachi Ace hops, bold and refreshing, and more bitter than most lagers. If you prefer a more traditional beer, check out the Peralta Pils, a traditional German-style Pilsner, also available to go.

If you’re not a beer fan, we recommend the tasty Duckdive Tangerine Vanilla Sour, which is available to go in four-packs. It packs a punch, coming in at 7.1 ABV, somewhat higher than your typical sour.

Although we didn’t stop in the gift shop this time, I found it to be one of the better brewery merch sites in the state on a previous visit. Do plan to stop upstairs and pick up some Rejects swag or a four-pack to go when you visit.

Reject’s is well worth a visit – before a dinner out, to watch a game on the large screen, or as a destination for beer lovers. Highly recommended! Check their website here for more. 

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.