Autumnfest beer hits local bars this week

Autumnfest beer hits local bars this week

A special Autumnfest Beer released by Foolproof Brewing Company in partnership with the Woonsocket Rotary Club Autumnfest Committee will be available at this year’s Autumnfest and local restaurants in the weeks leading up to the event.

WOONSOCKET – There’s a new way to experience Woonsocket’s favorite fall festival, and you don’t have to wait until Columbus Day weekend to try it.

For the first time this year, the Woonsocket Rotary Club Autumnfest Committee in partnership with Foolproof Brewing Company of Pawtucket has released a limited edition “Autumnfest Beer” to celebrate the city’s annual event. The beer will be available in select restaurants in the weeks leading up to the event and will be the highlighted brew in the beer tent during Autumnfest weekend.

Mike Dubois, a member of the Rotary Club’s Autumnfest Committee, said the project has been in the works since February, when he began reaching out to local breweries. The Rotary Club annually operates the beer tent at the festival and wanted to bring something new to this year’s event, he said.

“We’ve been operating the beer tent for a number of years, and this year we just wanted to do something different. So we asked for permission to use the logo from the Autumnfest Steering Committee and they were gracious enough to let us do it,” he said.

Dubois said the committee initially tried contacting Woonsocket’s two local breweries, Ravenous and Lops, but reached out to Foolproof in Pawtucket when the city-based breweries were too small to take on the project. Nick Garrison, president and founder of Foolproof, said they’ve previously done collaborations with other organizations, but this is the first time the company has brewed a beer in honor of a local festival.

“We’re excited. It’s a busy time of year in terms of festivals, but I think it will add a unique touch to the event and I think it will be Foolproof’s first time being involved in this event,” he said.

Garrison described the beer as a “fruity-centric pale ale” with nice fall flavors and a light and drinkable taste. The beer, he said, was developed by Foolproof’s staff as an easy-drinking option that will serve as a great accompaniment to the fall event.

“It’s a very kind of organic, ad hoc process for us,” he said. “We always brew beers that we like to drink.”

The company brewed 35 kegs of the special beer, about three-quarters of which will be reserved for Autumnfest weekend. The remainder will be available at Kay’s, Ciro’s, Savini’s Pomodoro, River Falls, the Stadium Theatre and other possible locations in the weeks ahead, with the official launch celebrated today, Sept. 5.

Though the beer is only available on draft for now, Garrison said if the project goes well, they may return to do another Autumnfest beer next year, with the possibility of putting it in cans and selling it in local liquor stores.

The special brew, said Dubois, is the latest in a series of changes the Rotary Club has brought to the beer tent to keep it current and attracting a new generation of patrons. Over the years, he said, the club has introduced televisions for sports games and celebrity pourers and expanded the offerings with local craft beers. Starting last year, the tent obtained a full liquor license to serve mixed drinks in addition to beer and wine.

“It’s probably bigger than ever,” he said.