In June, Newport Vineyards announced a daring new move: the Middletown winery was about to open a brewery as well, called Taproot Brewing Co. For many fans, this was the last thing anyone expected of New England’s most prolific grape grower. But for John Nunes, co-owner of Newport Vineyards, it all made perfect sense.
“I’ve been making beer longer than I’ve been making wine,” he remarked. “Over the last few years, Newport Vineyards has transformed into a beverage, culinary, and events destination. Adding craft beer was a natural fit.”
The surprise was also welcome: Taproot started with four brand-new beers, which were fermented in the brewery’s eight barrels in anticipation of the June 20th opening. Within a month, Taproot had developed four more beers, and the tasting room is already a popular destination.
The Nunes family has maintained its farm on Aquidneck Island for more than a century, and they planted their first grape vines in 1977. The vintners specialize in the “Napa experience,” inviting travelers to stop in and savor their diverse portfolio. Taproot adds another layer to the oenological fun; visitors can try cans, pints, and flights, sample the cheese menu, or even order a full lunch. Try the Witbier and Summer Blonde while the weather’s still warm, then save the Porter for the fall. 909 East Main Road, Middletown