February Food News: New Brewery, Tiverton Cheese Shop Expands & Find Seafood Online

The latest in East Bay dining


New brewery is all about the laid-back, local vibes

Rejects Beer Co. sidled into its Aquidneck Avenue digs in December once the finishing touches were made on the taproom, which owner Leigh Kirmil describes as “industrial garage meets casual vintage wood-paneled basement from the ‘80s – with a water view.” The name shouldn’t drive you away from their quality craft brews – “Rejects” refers both to the beach off of Ocean Drive in Newport and the counterculture way of life the brewery embraces. “We love our slowly developing strip near the beach,” Kirmil explains, “and the fact that you can stare out at Easton’s Pond, sipping an ice-cold beer after a long day of surfing, skating, or whatever, without all the craziness of downtown Newport.”

Watch for the surprisingly crushable Mole Stout along with plenty of flavorful brews, like a blackberry vanilla kettle sour and winter warmer barley wine, in the works from brewer Justin Tisdale. Kirmil recommends their popular 12 O’Clock High, a New England-style IPA: “The name is based on a local cliff diving spot some still take their chances on.” 


The big cheese in Tiverton

Your neighborhood cheese shop in Tiverton Four Corners has grown, doubling its footprint but not detracting any from its homey atmosphere. The Cheese Wheel Village Market is a family-owned staple known for not only their selection of quality cheeses, meats, and deli products, but also a commitment to sharing their expertise in fine charcuterie fixings with anyone who visits. Now, owners Bill and Diana Bothelo will be able to expand their collection of specialty – and often local – goods with a larger retail floor to allow for a streamlined experience and more space for coolers.

The expansion comes just in time for mid-winter cravings. “In addition to the homemade soups, chowders, and stews we’ve been making, we will also have some marinated meats ready to take home and prepare as well as several other dishes that will be ready to heat, cook, and serve,” Diana explains. “What we carry and prepare will be driven by our customers and the season. We’ve got several ideas that we’ll be starting with but ultimately we’re willing to try anything and keep what works.” 


New DEM website feature perfect or finding local fish

The RI Department of Environmental Management’s SeafoodRI.com website now puts enthusiasts even closer to the catch with a weekly updated landings page. The new feature makes it easier to have fresh seafood, just landed by local fishermen, served up for dinner in a splash. Under the “For Consumers” tab, see what kinds of fish, lobsters, and crabs came up in the latest haul and then find retailers – whether directly off the boat from fishermen or local markets and restaurants – carrying the variety you’re hankering for, from butterfish and fluke to classic quahogs.

For the abundance of fish harvested right here in Rhode Island, you might be surprised by the amount of seafood that’s imported to meet the demands for popular species in our restaurants and markets. Wakefield-based organization Eating with the Ecosystem partnered with DEM and the RI Seafood Marketing Collaborative to help increase awareness of local seafood retail with the new landings webpage. The only thing closer to the catch is reeling the line in yourself. 


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