Local distilleries produce a growing number of Rhode Island liquors.
A little over a decade ago, there were no Rhode Island liquors. There were a limited number of breweries and a few vineyards making wines, but no distillery operated within Rhode Island’s borders. It its colonial days, Rhode Island (and Newport especially) was awash in distilleries, most of which used molasses to make the liquor known as “rum”.
At its peak, Newport had 22 distilleries, making it the rum capital of the world. Unfortunately, as time went on,rum makers discovered that they didn’t have to transport molasses all the way up to Rhode Island in order to turn it into rum and one by one, the distilleries started disappearing, until 1877 when the last one closed.
135 years went by before Rhode Island had its next licenced distillery producing liquor for market. Now there are two.
Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Company – Thomas Tew Rum
While the Extreme Coastal Brewing (aka Newport Storm) subsidiary started in 2006, it wasn’t until a couple years later that Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Company began selling its famed Thomas Tew Rum to the public. The reason was the barrel aging process. Thomas Tew Rum is single-barrel-aged and each barrel is individually tested until it is determined ready for sale. Given the variations in barrels, local temperatures and the like, this process can be done in as few as two or as many as six years.
For those in a hurry, Newport Distilling introduced a new rum in 2016 called Widows Walk. Widows Walk is an overproof white rum which skips the barrel-aging process entirely.
The expanding lineup.
Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling is expanding their spirit lineup far beyond just rum, with moonshine, gin and more being released monthly.
Learn more about Newport Distilling at their website.
Sons Of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co.
Sons Of Liberty entered the Rhode Island liquor scene in 2011 with the introduction of Uprising Whiskey. Since that time, Sons of Liberty has been brewing and distilling an ever-evolving range of liquors in their South Kingstown, Rhode Island facility.
This is what we have on hand with more than a bottle or two in inventory. That said, if you’re looking for a limited or rare Sons of Liberty product, feel free to stop by or contact us with any questions.
…And those are your Rhode Island Liquors.
Obviously, the Rhode Island hard liquor industry is still in its infancy as compared to the state’s 40+ year old winemaking segment and the booming craft brewing culture that only consisted of a couple brew pubs 20 years ago. That said, craft distilling has come into its own and we expect things will only get better. Bridge Liquors will gladly carry the products of local Rhode Island producers, especially if they remain as high quality as the products you see above.