Let me tell you, it’s a long drive from Canton, Georgia to Warwick, Rhode Island. I made the trip in two days, really two long days of solid driving. I don’t get back to Rhode Island, the state where I grew up, as much as I should, so when I do, it’s a big deal for me. Of course, people ask me why I don’t fly, but hey, you can’t bring back cases of Narragansett beer and other assorted goodies on a plane.
Anyway, I arrived at my brother’s house late on a Thursday night, just in time to watch the Patriots beat the Steelers to open the 2015 NFL season. We did some shopping the next day and took a ride to Gillette Stadium, but it wasn’t until the next afternoon that I got my first taste of beer at Brutopia Brewery & Kitchen in Cranston. I sampled just about every beer they had, ordering two samplers and two pints while I was there (my brother was driving, that's him in the red Patriots shirt). How refreshing that Brutopia doesn't offer a million shades of IPA only; still I was happy to see they did have a few on the menu. One of them was Brutopian Never-Ender IPA.
A few things to note about Brutopia. They tout themselves as Rhode Island’s Best BBQ and Craft Beer Spot! The brewer here, Sean Larkin, used to brew for Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, RI, and I would run into him frequently in the 90s when I wrote for the Yankee Brew News. Sean also runs Revival Brewing Company of Providence, Rhode Island, and draft revival beers are brewed at Brutopia. You’ll also (obviously) find them on draft here at Brutopia.
From the name, one might think Never-Ender IPA to be a so-called "session IPA", but it's not. The beer has an alcohol content of 6% by volume with 65 IBUs. It was running $5 for a 16 ounce glass, but I got it in a sampler of 4 beers for $5. Don't ask the hop varieties as the menu says NOT GIVING THIS SECRET AWAY!
The website calls this an East Coast IPA, though the menu calls this an American IPA. I can remember when what is called East Coast IPA today was West Coast IPA, or American IPA.
Whatever brand of IPA you call it, Brutopian Never-Ender IPA has an earthy floral hop aroma and a light orange amber color and a bit of caramel malt up front. Hops emerge quickly, with a bit of citrus and pine competing against more herbal grassy hops. The finish is pleasantly bitter and lingers a while after sipping.
I can easily see why they call this Never-Ender; it's one of those beers that you can gently pull on all evening long and never get tired of.
The food was excellent here as well. No visit to Rhode Island could be complete without biting into a hot steaming clamcake, and an order of them here was chock full of big juicy clams. They weren’t really available before 4PM, but the staff prepared them for me anyway. A barbecue sampler tray was as good as anything I’ve found in the south, with tasty pulled pork, brisket, and ribs.
Rest assured, I’ll be back to visit Brutopia again. If you’re in the area, you’d be crazy not to stop by.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.