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     BEYOND THE PALE small black logo
STORY AND PUB PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRIS POH
Richard Benjamin - Photographer of Rhode Island as seen in American Public House Review                         
  
ALSO FEATURED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE A FEW CAPTIVATING IMAGES
   OF PROVIDENCE AND ENVIRONS
BY THE ACCOMPLISHED PHOTOGRAPHER;
   RICHARD BENJAMIN.
   CLICK BELOW TO MUSE OVER MANY MORE ON HIS WEBSITE:
  
                                PHOTOS OF RHODE ISLAND
    


                                                                                           Thanks to Photos of Rhode Island by Richard Benjamin

Claiborne Pell Bridge across the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island by Richard Benjamin as seen in American Public House Review
CLAIBORNE PELL BRIDGE ACROSS THE NARRAGANSETT BAY




Watney's Red Barrell coaster as seen in American Public House ReviewMy first encounter with something beyond the boundaries of America’s northeast and Midwestern brewing tradition was Watney’s Red Barrel. I remember the first sip as if it were yesterday. It occurred on a Saturday afternoon in late September of 1972 at Pooh’s Pub, a decent jazz venue on Kenmore Square in Boston. I still possess the glass vessel that delivered the amber nectar over the lips of a young man that had mainly found satisfaction and solace in Scotch whisky and robust red wines. But here was clearly another case of the prophet not being welcomed in the homeland.

Because Watney’s was pasteurized and served somewhat chilled from a keg pressurized by carbon dioxide, it was given little quarter from the traditional English bitters drinking crowd. To further infuriate the Brits, it also had a nasty habit of forming a bit of froth at the top of the glass. Only their less civilized American cousins would tolerate and actually embrace such nonsense. But for a colonist such as me that had only experienced the timidity of American lagers and pilsners – Watneys was a bold step in the right direction.




Entrance to Trinity Brew house in Providence, RI as seen in American Public House Review
TRINITY BREWHOUSE IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND




Ballantine IPA sign at TRINITY BREWHOUSE in Providence, RI as seen in American Public House ReviewAs I continued my walk down the beer garden path with Mr. Barleycorn, I encountered many fine offerings from the British brew masters. And with the emergence of domestic craft brewing in the early nineteen eighties, one no longer needed to shop only the import shelves in order to experience a world class ale or stout. It was during one of those “keep the dollars onshore moments” that I discovered Ballantine IPA. Here in the green bottle with the beige clipper ship on the label was 60 International Bittering Units and 7.5% abv of hop perfection.





Kettle at Trinity Brewhouse in Porvidence, RI as seen in American Public House Review
"WE BREW THE BEER HERE"




In a 1980 article for the British beer journal, “What’s Brewing,” author and respected beer advocate, the late Michael Jackson had this to say about Ballantine India Pale Ale, “ wonderfully distinctive…an outstanding American ale unique in its fidelity to the East Coast tradition of Colonial Ales.” In the February-March 2000 edition of “Celebrator Beer News,” Fred Eckhardt wrote, “Ballantine IPA would be a good choice for the greatest and most enduring American brewing triumph of the early and mid-20th century.” From a more personal perspective, Ballantine IPA continues to this day to be the most memorable and pleasant beer drinking experience of my life.

Sadly though that experience ended in 1983, when Falstaff, which had owned and brewed the Ballantine brands since 1972, closed their Cranston, Rhode Island brewery, the sole producer of the much lauded IPA. In keeping with the vagaries of the beer industry, Pabst attempted to reintroduce the product in 1995; but the competition from the many now seasoned microbrewers quickly proved to be insurmountable.





The bar at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, RI as seen in American Public House Review
THE FRESHLY BREWED BEER IS OF THE ESSENCE AT TRINITY'S MAIN BAR .  .  .



The basement bar at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, Rhode Island as seen in American Public house Review
.  .  .  AND IN THE BASEMENT BAR AS WELL




This past summer, my wife and I journeyed up to the Rhode Island capital via the high speed water ferry, which conducts regular passenger service between Newport and Providence. The trip along Narragansett Bay is one of the most stunning passages on the eastern seaboard.  After a leisurely downtown stretch of the gams we adjourned to familiar barstools on Fountain Street.





Celebrity mural at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, Rhode Island as seen in American Public House Review

Ladies room mural at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, RI as seen in American Public House Review
DISTINCTIVE MURALS

ADORN THE WALLS




sign at Trinity Brewhouse in providence, RI as seen in American Public House ReviewIt was our second time at the TRINITY BREWHOUSE; but this was the first time my eyes caught site of the sign concerning their own Rhode Island I.P.A. and its relationship to Ballantine’s ill-fated India Pale Ale. This kicked off a lengthy conversation about the brewing of big beers in “Little Rhody” with Tommy Tainsh, who shares the brewing responsibilities along with Sean Larkin at Trinity.

During that afternoon I switched off between the IPA and Tommy’s Red Ale. The rich mix of East Kent Goldings and Tettnanger hops put me in somewhat philosophical state of mind. I thought back to my first walk through the streets of Providence. It was during a trek up to Boston on a very hot, July day in 1970 that I decided to abandon my hitchhiking post on Route I-95 in search of a cold drink. What little I saw of the city was most unimpressive. Providence, like so many other New England towns at that time, was suffering from economic obsolescence. It was a city rife with poverty, despair and political corruption.

Today all that has changed. Providence has become a beacon of cultural, civic and urban revitalization and a much celebrated New England destination. The city is a microcosm of what America has been and what she can become.




                                                                                  Thanks to Photos of Rhode Island by Richard Benjamin
Kennedy Plaza in Providence, RI as seen in American Public House Review
KENNEDY PLAZA




I find it sublimely ironic that Trinity Brewhouse was founded by Joshua Miller, a respected and hard working state senator who just happens to now represent the good people of Cranston, Rhode Island. And while he hasn’t been able to resurrect Ballantine India Pale – here at Trinity, they’ve come pretty damn close! 




                                                                                      Thanks to Photos of Rhode Island by Richard Benjamin
Providence waterfires by Richard Benjamin as seen in American Public House Review
THE CELEBRATED WATERFIRES OF PROVIDENCE

 



Trinity sign at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, RI as seen in American Public House Review



TRINITY BREWHOUSE


186 FOUNTAIN STREET
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND 02903

(401) 453-2337


www.trinitybrewhouse.com


MAP AND DIRECTIONS



Brewed here sign at Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, RI as seen in American Public House Review

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