It's all coming together


It’s brewing.

The first vat at the Apponaug Brewing Company is full, and brew master Justin Tisdale is treating it like a first born, which it is. Located at the Pontiac Mill, which is still undergoing renovations into apartments and commercial space, the company hopes to open within a month.

And the place is coming together as Tamara McKenney shared during an impromptu visit Friday. A delivery truck had just pulled up with supplies for the kitchen. Head chef Marc Alexander checked out the equipment as he talked about a menu with smaller portion servings designed to promote “shared plates.” He said there would be a mix of traditional and eclectic dishes.

“It’s all about fresh and local,” he said.

Shared plates go along with McKenney’s vision of the brewery as a place to bring community together. McKenney and Kris Waugh are business partners who met when they founded an IT recruiting company. They looked at a variety of business opportunities before settling on a brewpub.

The beer they brew will only be sold at the brewery.

McKenney is planning a patio overlooking the Pawtuxet River with 45 seats as well as an interior alcove with setups for gatherings of six and eight people. There’s also seating at the bar and at nearby tables separated from the actual brewing area by a glass wall for a total of 85 seats.

McKenney finds herself consumed by paperwork, a lot of it regulatory, but she’s excited as the plan comes together and new life in the old mill is less and less of a distant dream. (Text and photos by John Howell)


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Brew good beer. I went to Brutopia twice (2nd time was for a function). Both times the food was okay. Beer sucked, won't be back. Good luck, Rhode Island needs more good brewers. Eventually people will catch on that most of our local breweries produce poor quality beer. Maybe not Trinity has been selling crap for years and people still go. I look forward to supporting a well made Warwick beer.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

You sound like an expert, where can a "good" brew be found in RI in your opinion?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Expert, no. Well versed in drinking a lot of different beers, yes. Whether you like a particular style or not isn't important. If the beer is well made with quality ingredients you can tell. Captain's Daughter is excellent. Grey Sail does a nice job with all their beers. Prohibition and Whalers do a nice job. Whoever brews Conga does a nice job (Revival?). There are a few I haven't tried. Newport Storm sucks but Tew's rum is very nice. Not impressed with Tilted Barn, Trinity or Brutopia. Maybe I'm just jealous because VT has Lawson's (although the canned crap they schlep to us is brewed by Two Roads in CT), The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead (3 growlers in my fridge that I will share with friends tonight watching the game), Switchback, Magic Hat (not really great but #9 is really well made) Long Trail, Fiddlehead, Foley Brothers, 14th Star (EG's The Savory Grape has some), Harpoon and I'm probably missing some. Others I've left off because they're not deserving of mention. MA has Jack's Abbey, Trillium, Tree House, Cape Ann, Harpoon, Clown Shoes and others I can't remember. MA has a lot. Hope this helps.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

You guys need to get down to Sons of Liberty and try some of theirs. It's worth the drive, the "brewstillery" is a great place to hang out, and you can work through a flight of four beer pours for $12.

Note: This is not an advertisement or commercial endorsement, and intended only for educational and/or entertainment purposes.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Crickee, I've heard the same. I went to their distillery when they first opened. There whiskey was god awful. It's mellowed quite a bit over the years. I'll take a trip and hit Sons and Whalers.

Thursday, August 30, 2018