News Bites: Newport Vineyards Opens Taproot Brewing Co. / Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. Loyal Lemonade / Strawless by the Sea Launches

by David Dadekian
Published: Last Updated on

Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.

Something’s Brewing at Newport Vineyards

The winery to open Taproot Brewing Co. on June 20th

Taproot Brewing Company
Taproot Brewing Company

After 23 years of perfecting the art of winemaking, Newport Vineyards & the Nunes family are thrilled to announce the opening of Taproot Brewing Co. on June 20th.

“I’ve been making beer longer than I’ve been making wine,” says Newport Vineyards owner John Nunes. “Over the last few years Newport Vineyards has transformed into a beverage, culinary and events destination; adding craft beer was a natural fit.”

Taproot Brewing Co. is equipped with a state-of-the-art seven-barrel brewhouse, located just as you come through the main entrance of the winery. The focus is unfiltered hop-forward beers made in small batches and meant to be enjoyed immediately for the ultimate freshness. There is an in-house canning system allowing guests to take packs of beer home with them.

Taproot beer will be on tap at Brix Restaurant, and available to all guests at the winery. Vineyard Executive Chef Andy Teixeira is very enthusiastic about the brewing venture being integral to his work, “We are working with some of our farm partners to donate the spent grain from the brewery for compost and feed.” Lunch will be served at the brewery, with views overlooking the winery and vineyards, offering a slight twist to the current lunch menu to include beer pairings, in addition to wine pairing options.

The Taproot name not only represents the obvious nod to the Nunes family vineyard roots, but also symbolizes their history rooted in Aquidneck Island agriculture. The vineyard is situated on preserved farmland that has been in the Nunes family for over 100 years.  Just as a taproot anchors a plant to the ground encouraging more roots to stem from it, the family’s rich farming roots have inspired other elements of the company to grow.

For Public Posting: All are welcome to attend Taproot’s Grand Opening Party on Wednesday, June 20th, 5pm – 8pm. For more information and to RSVP, please visit

Follow Taproot Brewing Co. on Facebook @TaprootBeer, and Instagram @TaprootBeer. For more details, please visit

Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. Introduces 9% ABV Hard Lemonade

Rhode Island’s Sons of Liberty Ignites Start Of Summer With Canned Craft Cocktail

Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. Loyal Lemonade
Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. Loyal Lemonade

Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. has made their debut in the ready-to-drink (RTD) category with a canned hard lemonade. Loyal Lemonade, a craft cocktail, is a 9% ABV hard lemonade made with real lemons. The new summer drink is now available in over 600 locations throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Loyal Lemonade is made with Sons of Liberty’s Loyal 9 Vodka and it showcases a few differences between other products in its category. “This is 9% alcohol. It tastes like a light, refreshing lemonade, but it is 9%,” explained Sons of Liberty founder Mike Reppucci. Most popular canned and bottled products in the RTD category are 5% alc/vol.

The lemonade also uses fresh lemon peels. “We have peeled thousands and thousands and thousands of lemons,” says distiller Chris Guillette. “Just like any of the flavored whiskies we’ve produced, we want to use real flavors, real ingredients. It’s a lot more work, but it makes for a better product in terms of quality and taste.”

Sons of Liberty, known for their internationally awarded spirits, is canning roughly 20,000 cans a week and loading up local liquor store shelves everywhere. “The reception and support of the lemonade so far is unbelievable,” said Reppucci. “600-plus locations already is insane. We’re looking forward to seeing this shared amongst friends and families at backyard parties and barbeques all summer.”

The slim, 12-ounce lemonade cans, adorned with America’s red, white and blue, are sold in 4-packs for $11.99. They can be purchased at liquor stores throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts or Sons of Liberty’s tasting room in South Kingstown. The team at Sons of Liberty said to also lookout for their follow-up product: Loyal Tea.

Strawless by the Sea Launches in Newport for World Oceans Day 2018

Green Drinks Newport, Clean Ocean Access and the Last Straw 
Collaborate to Encourage a Strawless Summer

Strawless by the Sea
Strawless by the Sea

In response to increased plastic waste on beaches and in the ocean, Green Drinks Newport is excited to announce that it has partnered with Clean Ocean Access and The Last Straw to launch Strawless by the Sea, a collaborative campaign to eliminate plastic straws in Newport, Rhode Island. 

Strawless by the Sea will launch on World Oceans Day, Friday, June 8, and will continue through the summer months. Bars, restaurants and other establishments in Newport, such as coffee shops and yacht clubs, are encouraged to make a voluntary commitment to stop offering plastic straws and stirrers to stop plastic pollution at the source.

According to the Ocean Conservancy, over 500 million plastic straws are used every day in the U.S., which is enough to circle the earth 2.5 times. Plastic straws are used for 20 minutes on average, but take up to 500 years to break down.

“Last summer I was eating at an outdoor establishment on a very windy day and watched several plastic straws blow into the water,” said Kara DiCamillo, Green Drinks Newport Organizer and Clean Ocean Access Board Member. “I’ve attended many beach clean-ups hosted by Clean Ocean Access and knew that I’d be picking those same straws up one day.

“Green Drinks has been gathering like-minded people together each month in Newport for 11 years to network and share ideas so, with Clean Ocean Access and The Last Straw, Strawless by the Sea aims to be a collaborative effort to help spark a local movement. We have amazing leaders in our community who have already brought awareness to plastic straw pollution, such as the Pell Elementary School, Sailors for the Sea, the New York Yacht Club, the Clarke Cooke House and the recent Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover, hosted by Sail Newport. Our goal is to take it one step further and to track the number of plastic straws that all of us will help to eliminate over the upcoming months.”

In Newport, straws are among the top 10 items found during beach clean ups and can do so much harm to seabirds, turtles and other marine creatures. Clean Ocean Access has removed over 2,000 straws on our beaches in the past five years, while more than 650 have been collected by their marina trash skimmers in Newport Harbor in just eight months.

“We are thrilled to see the community-led efforts to eradicate plastic straws, and this effort aligns perfectly with our successful two-year campaign for a plastic bag ordinance on Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands,” said Dave McLaughlin, Executive Director and Co-founder of Clean Ocean Access. “The spirit of our position for the plastic bag ordinance was to tickle more persuasion so that people start making better choices in their daily lives to eliminate single-use plastics and to switch to durable reusable alternatives. There are real cost savings for businesses and consumers and this initiative advances the efforts of the biggest islands in the Ocean State to lead by example that a thriving economy and a healthy economy go hand in hand.”

Restaurants can reduce the use of plastic straws by implementing a “Straws Upon Request” policy, switching to paper straws or reusable straws or by going completely “strawless”. We invite the owners and general managers of restaurants, bars, cafés and coffee shops across the city join us now and commit to switching to alternatives that are kinder on our natural resources.

Tyler Bernadyn, a local hospitality professional who started The Last Straw, an internalized campaign to educate bartenders and their guests on the importance of recognizing and reducing plastic pollution, says that he knows we can all do better. 

“Seeing how many single-use straws and plastic cups are wasted during a single service and watching these same items wash up on our beaches and pollute our harbor really inspired me to start this initiative,” he said. “Being behind the bar, you have an opportunity to encourage change and help protect our most valuable resources here in Newport, which is our beaches and waterways.”

Several Newport establishments are already making a difference and have joined Strawless by the Sea:

  • Bannister’s Wharf Marina & Guest Rooms
  • Belle’s Café at the Newport Shipyard
  • Brix Restaurant at Newport Vineyards
  • The Clarke Cooke House
  • Fluke
  • Malt
  • Mission
  • Newport Dinner Cruises
  • Scales and Shells
  • Taproot Brewing Co. at Newport Vineyards (coming June 20)
  • TSK
  • Winner Winner

Environmental groups and local businesses have also backed Strawless by the Sea, including: Bowen’s Wharf, Discover Newport; Sail Newport; Sailors for the Sea; The Ocean Project and; World Oceans Day.

“As an individual, refusing a single-use plastic straw in our bars and restaurants in Newport is the easiest and simplest way to take action today to address plastic pollution that is in our waters and on our beaches,” DiCamillo said.

To join the collaboration and to learn more about Strawless by the Sea, visit: and follow the conversation on Facebook and Instagram: @strawlessnewport, #StrawlessbytheSea, #StrawlessNewport.


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