News Bites: RI Craft Beer Week 2023 / Little City Thrifty Vintage Market Returns / RI Red Food Tours PVD Valley / Hope & Main Makers Marketplace / Newport Restaurant Group Donations

by David Dadekian

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


RI Craft Beer Week 2023 is March 3-12

Rhode Island Craft Beer Week 2023
Rhode Island Craft Beer Week 2023

Get thirsty for some local fun! The second annual RI Craft Beer Week will be from March 3rd to March 12th 2023.  This celebration of RI’s beer manufacturers will feature happenings at Rhode Island breweries as well as events featuring Rhody beers at bars, restaurants, liquor stores and more. Get ready for a “Saugy Showdown” hot dog eating contest at Linesider Brewing.  Dust off your thinking caps for “Name Your Beer” Trivia at Narragansett Brewing; the winning team will get to name a new beer! Musical Bingo, anyone? Smug Brewing will host that fun twice during the RI Craft Beer Week! And the “Rhode Map Challenge” contest will be happening all week long. Visiting all the breweries this week could win you beer festival tickets!

There are now 36 breweries in the RI Brewers Guild, compared to only five a decade ago! At least two more are set to open in 2023. Each of these small businesses employs Rhode Islanders, adds local culture, and boosts tourism in the Ocean State.  And what they brew is delicious! Let’s celebrate them!

Kyle Toste, Assistant Brewer at Linesider Brewing in East Greenwich is enthusiastic about the week.  “I got into the professional craft brewing industry here in Rhode Island about three years ago and have always loved the camaraderie among all the breweries. RI Craft Beer Week is a celebration of breweries in our state and an opportunity for us to celebrate with our patrons in fun and unique ways. I love RI Craft Beer Week because it gives us a chance to create events that show a different side of us than just being ‘brewers’ like our Saugy Eating Contest at Linesider or an Industry Karaoke Contest at Narragansett and SO MANY MORE!”

One of the more unique features of RI Craft Beer Week is the “Rhode Map Challenge”.  Utilizing the RI Brewers Guild Passport App on your smartphone, craft beer enthusiasts can check into and post photos of their beer from as many RI Breweries as they can that week.  The RI Brewers Guild wants to be clear that this should only be attempted with the help of a designated driver.  Prizes will be awarded to the top five fans including two tickets to the Newport Beer Festival, two tickets to the Ocean State Beer Festival, two entries to the Craft Brew Races Newport, and more! Last year more than a thousand people checked in at RI Breweries during RI Craft Beer Week.  Be part of this year’s fun!

“One of the many benefits of living in Rhode Island is that you can travel basically anywhere in the entire state in under an hour.  With the help of a dedicated designated driver, fans can visit all or at least most of our members during RI Craft Beer Week! Last year two diehards made it to them all!” said Gary Richardson, Executive Director of the RI Brewers Guild.

RI Craft Beer Week stickers and coasters will be available at some locations during this week and all events will be listed on the RI Brewers Guild website by February 24th.  For more information about RI Craft Beer Week and to find events near you visit: https://www.ribrewersguild.org/ri-craft-beer-week/

“RI Craft Beer Week is fun because it recognizes the hard work and creativity of small local businesses,” states Rob DaRosa, co-owner and brewer at Smug Brewing Company in Pawtucket. “That is something worth celebrating!”

Brooke Cure, Community Manager at Narragansett Brewery states, “It’s nice to have a week that supports all the brewers in RI and to get creative hosting some fun events for the people who support us!” Gregory Martell, co-owner of Rejects Beer Co. in Middletown commented, “March signifies the very beginning of being able to enjoy RI beers outside on the patio again.  We are so ready for that! And Craft Beer Week is a great reason for us to travel to see our friends breweries…even if it means crossing bridges!”


Little City Thrifty Vintage Market Returns to WaterFire Arts Center

March 4 & 5, 2023
Noon to 6pm (11am Early Buying Hour)
WaterFire Arts Center
475 Valley Street, Providence, RI

Recently named “Rhode Island’s Best Flea Market” by national publication Domino Magazine, Little City Thrifty is a curated weekend of indoor vintage and antiques shopping, with items available for purchase at all price points. From high-end designer vintage clothing to out-of-print vinyl records to art and collectibles, you’ll find it all at WaterFire Arts Center on March 4th & 5th. 

Little City Thrifty’s March event will bring vintage lovers and dealers from far and wide, and will feature over 90 booths of vintage and pre-loved clothing, books, barware, records, art, ephemera, furniture, home decor, and much more. The lineup includes local favorites, as well as well-known vendors from 8 other states, with businesses coming from as far as Indiana.

“Going into our third Little City Thrifty Vintage Market, it’s been incredible to see how passionately the vintage-loving community here in New England has supported our event and all of the small businesses that vend with us,” says co-founder of Little City Thrifty, BJ Mansuetti. His wife and business partner, Robin Dionne, adds, “As a lifelong vintage collector and seller, I love to see the vintage community breathe new life into pre-loved items. The venn diagram of fashion, sustainability, and community building at Little City Thrifty makes for a very special weekend.”

Entry includes a complimentary small beverage, provided by participating beverage sponsors. Attendees will have their choice of a small cocktail from Bully Boy Distillers, a small beer from either Rejects Beer Co. or Trinity Brewhouse, a small hot coffee from New Harvest Coffee Roasters, or a glass bottle of Topo Chico sparkling mineral water.

General Admission tickets are $8 in advance and may be available for $10 at the door, if the event does not sell out. “Early Buying Hour” tickets are also available but are very limited. For $15, these tickets allow for entry a full hour before the event starts, and they’re perfect for those who want some extra elbow-room while shopping and to get a first look at the vendors’ collections and rare items.

For a full list of vendors and to purchase advance tickets, visit www.littlecitythrifty.com.


Rhode Island Red Food Tours Announces the PVD Valley Neighborhood Victuals Tour

Explore Providence’s repurposed industrial corridor on a winter tour that will introduce you to local foodpreneurs, brewers and distillers.

Rhode Island Red Food Tours

Rhode Island Red Food Tours is excited to announce the launch of the PVD Valley Neighborhood Victuals Tour, kicking off this Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 at 11 a.m. The tour will commence each Saturday at 11 a.m. thereafter through April 1st. 

Focusing on foodpreneurs, makers, brewers and distillers within the inclusive Valley neighborhood in northwestern Providence, tour guests will learn more about how this former industrial corridor was transformed into a sprouting food and arts hub and will be introduced to small batch craft food products made in Rhode Island, as well as the people who are committed to primarily utilizing sustainable local and regional ingredient sources. 

With a fascinating history and strong sense of community, the Valley neighborhood continues to evolve while attracting Rhode Island businesses, artists and culinary artisans, farmers and chefs responsible for building this burgeoning food and drink production scene. PVD Valley Neighborhood Victuals Tour guests will also be introduced to two stalwarts of the neighborhood’s renaissance: The Steel Yard; a historic industrial complex turned non-profit industrial art center and shared studio, and the 60,000-square-foot Farm Fresh Food Hub.

“This is something we’ve been working on making a reality for some time now,” says Paula Silva, Rhode Island Red Food Tour’s founder and Chief Tasting Officer. “The Valley neighborhood is one of the Capital City’s true success stories and has been a magnet for so much talent in the food and drink space—and it keeps getting better. We’re also thrilled to be introducing our first winter tour. Our Newport Neighborhood Tour and Downcity Providence Tour, which take place from springtime through the end of the year, continue to be the top-ranked food tours in the state, but we wanted to offer something during these relatively quieter months that really showcases our exceptional RI makers in the food and drink scene which thrives year-round.” 

Details: 

  • Guided tour of the neighborhood and marketplace includes tastings from 8+ local food and drink purveyors. 
  • Tickets cost $79 per person (includes alcohol tastings. Non-alcohol substitutions may be provided if specified when purchasing tickets).
  • The duration of the tour is 3-3.5 hours and guests can expect to walk approximately half a mile.
  • Tours operate rain or shine.
  • Rhode Island Red Food Tour gift certificates are available, can be applied toward any available public Rhode Island Red Food Tour, and do not expire. 
  • Free shopping tote included.

Hope & Main Plants Roots in Downtown Providence Makers Marketplace

Invites Locals to Become Foodieconomists at New Urban Eatery Showcasing Local Foods and Global Flavors

Seeking to create more equitable access for emerging food-preneurs of all means and backgrounds, Hope & Main, Rhode Island’s first food business incubator, is opening the Makers Marketplace at 100 Westminster Street in the heart of downtown Providence. Hope & Main’s first entry into Rhode Island’s capital city marks the beginning of the next era for the organization which has helped more than 450 food businesses to launch since its inception in 2014.

The Makers Marketplace at 100 Westminster Street will feature dozens of locally made foods and drinks from a diverse member community, many of whom come from the state’s urban core. The space will allow for tasting, sipping and shopping while serving to expose thousands of people who work in the city’s Financial District to the culinary delights curated by Hope & Main’s food-preneurs.

Lisa Raiola, President and Founder of Hope & Main said, “For a new food business, the journey to a retail shelf is full of high hurdles. The opportunity, just a few months into launching your business at Hope & Main, to feature your product at the Downtown Makers Marketplace is a huge advantage for food start-ups. This will help to accelerate new brands into the local marketplace– I think much to the delight of Rhode Island eaters everywhere!”

Hope & Main Makers Market will be open weekdays for breakfast and lunch, offering hand-crafted locally sourced items, grab-and-go foods, a curated selection of Hope & Main members’ products and prepared foods, as well as a coffee, tea and craft beverage bar anchored by (Hope & Main member business) Schastea

Breakfast and lunch menu items also include tastes of Hope & Main makers. Order up a breakfast bowl and find heaps of hash made with La Arepa Black Beans. Enjoy an H&M Melt and discover Chicamonina Barbacoa seasoning. Magic Bird salsa, Chi Kitchen Kimchi Slaw, Pickily quick pickles, Buns Bakery rolls are also featured in menu offerings.  

Products and prepared foods in the Hope & Main Makers Marketplace range from traditional Argentinian baked empanadas from The Perfect EmpanadaOrisirisi flavorful gourmet pepper sauce, Hibiscus fruit spreads and sparkling drinks from KassumayBasil & Bunny prepared vegan egg salad, Hunky Dory pimento cheese, to Naked Fig Mediterranean hummus, nostalgic chocolate chip cookies from Mariiannas Cookies and Treats, and dozens more locally crafted foods from member businesses.

This unique concept is made possible with support from Papitto Opportunity Connection and Paolino Properties. Both organizations embraced Hope & Main’s mission to create more and equitable access for emerging food-preneurs of all means and backgrounds. Hope & Main estimates 40 percent of its entrepreneurs are people of color.

“Hope & Main plays a vital role in the emerging food economy of Rhode Island,’ said Barbara Papitto, founder and trustee of the Papitto Opportunity Connection. “By bringing its Makers Market alive in downtown Providence, Hope & Main is giving power to food-preneurs of color located in our state’s urban core. This new market provides critical exposure to food businesses at the time when they need it most.  The Papitto Opportunity Connection is pleased to support this important work.”

The food sector is one of Rhode Island’s largest sectors for economic output. Launching and supporting local food businesses, particularly in the Providence area has been a focus of Hope & Main as many makers come from the urban core. 

“I’m proud to be a supporter of Hope & Main and of the many ‘food entrepreneurs’ that go through their incubator program by providing a place for them to bring their products to market,” said Joseph R. Paolino Jr., CEO and Managing Partner of Paolino Properties. “I was thrilled to partner with the good people at the Papitto Foundation to help make this vision a reality. The Hope & Main Downtown Makers Marketplace will not only be a wonderful asset to our campus at 100 Westminster Street and for the people who come downtown to work every day, but it will be an opportunity to showcase our growing food economy to visitors to our city, train the next generation of hospitality workers, and spark new business development right here in Providence.” 

In the coming months, Hope & Main Makers Marketplace will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the Providence community. They plan to host events with guest chefs, maker tastings, pop-ups, and corporate catering.


Newport Restaurant Group Donates $60,750 to Local Nonprofits through 2022 Gift Card Donation Program

$2.00 from every gift card purchase in 2022 was donated to support the fight against food insecurity

RI Community Food Bank NRG Donation

Newport Restaurant Group (NRG), an award-winning collection of unique restaurants and hospitality venues located throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts, is pleased to announce that it has donated $60,750 to local nonprofits that focus on food insecurity as a result of its annual, year-round gift card program. Through the program, $2.00 from every gift card purchase is donated to area non-profits with a mission toward fighting food insecurity. Since the program’s inception in 2019, more than $150,000 has been distributed to local agencies.  

“Every year, all our employee owners and I are grateful to our guests for their continued support of our gift card program,” said Paul O’Reilly, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newport Restaurant Group. “Each gift card order throughout the year allows us to continue to support organizations that provide help and hope to those experiencing food insecurity in our region.”

2022 recipients include the RI Community Food BankHope’s Harvest RIDr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, and Aquidneck Community Table in Rhode Island and Brookline Food Pantry and The Food Project in Massachusetts. 

In addition to the financial support, NRG employee owners volunteer with these organizations throughout the year in a variety of ways, from collecting non-perishable food items for the RI Community Food Bank to preparing and serving dinners at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, to harvesting surplus fruits and vegetables at local farms that are distributed to hunger relief agencies through a partnership with Hope’s Harvest.

The 2023 gift card program is ongoing and gift cards can be purchased at any NRG property or online at www.newportrestaurantgroup.com

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