April 22, 2017 11:05PM
By Jason Vallee
Sun staff writer
WESTERLY — The legend continues to grow at Grey Sail Brewing.
The local craft brewery with a facility on Canal Street has long taken pride in remaining a small, family-owned company, but its line of brews is big on flavor — so much so, in fact, that the company earned distinction from both Men’s Journal and Beer Advocate Magazine as having one of the top brews in the state of Rhode Island.
“We take pride in being a small, family-owned brewery, so for us to not only compete with the larger companies and receive this kind of distinction is a great honor,” said Jen Brinton, who owns Grey Sail Brewing Company with her husband, Alan.
After tasting literally thousands of qualifying beers, many of them labeled as “world-class” by the Brewers Association, a national craft beer organization with a membership of more than 7,200 active U.S. brewers, Men’s Journal chose the double IPA as top beer in Rhode Island alongside Narragansett Autocrat, a coffee milk stout produced by the Narragansett Brewing Company.
“A little boozier and a little less bitter than most DIPAs, Captain’s Daughter is decidedly dangerous,” Men’s Journal wrote of the brew. “Light in its looks but bodacious in mouthfeel and alcohol level, the brew is made with pilsner malt, flaked oats, and an aggressive amount of Mosaic hops.”
Two beers were chosen from each state as part of the review. In Connecticut, the choices were Coriolis Double IPA by New England Brewing Company of Woodbridge, and the Ol’ Factory Pils by Two Roads Brewing Company of Stratford.
In Massachusetts, Mettle, a double IPA from Trillium Brewing, and Tree House Brewing’s Julius, an IPA beer-smoothie combination, took top honors.
The recognition, which Brinton credited to a recipe concocted by “humble, but very talented” Grey Sail Brewer Josh Letourneau, is just the latest in what Brinton and her husband hope will be a year full of positive memories in 2017. The company is expanding its Canal Street business — two new brewing tanks were delivered Thursday — and is looking forward to unveiling its renovated facility to the public with new equipment available for full capacity use by the end of June.
Grey Sail Brewing currently has 10 employees and will increase its staff to 12 once the renovations are complete, Brinton said. The company will increase its capacity to 15,000 barrels, the largest capacity a brewer can have while still being considered a local brewer, but Brinton is telling the community not to worry — Grey Sail will remain a local brewer for the foreseeable future.
“We are not going to grow just to grow. Our business model has always revolved around growing only if the demand is there,” Brinton said. “We intend to remain a local brewery and will stay actively engaged in the community. It’s the identity we built our base with and one we take great pride in.”