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Taste Test

5 Local Craft Beers We're Drinking this Fall

Rhode Island’s pre-winter chill and changing leaves act as harbingers for something tastier on the horizon: October’s seasonal beers. Breweries all across the state are overflowing with the stuff, each beer a combination of the respective brewery’s ideals and hands-on techniques. So of course, we had to have a taste.

With creamy chocolate tones and an unapologetic assertiveness, Revival Brewing’s Octoberfest Lager features an initial sweet kiss hello followed by a deliciously bitter goodbye. 

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Clear hints of autumn dance through Narragansett Beer’s Fest, a traditional German Oktoberfest-style beer that balances seasonal flavor with refreshing drinkability.

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A little sweet, a little bitter, Grey Sail’s Autumn Wind offers a toasty, smooth flavor that sends a surprising chill across the tongue, as if the beer were actually infused with an autumn wind. 

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When it comes to beers appropriate for accompanying autumnal pumpkin desserts, Newport Storm’s Oktoberfest takes the cake - or pie - with its intoxicating smell and light caramel taste. 

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Smoother than the typical IPA, Foolproof’s Imperial IPA combines a strong bitter kick with floral hints, creating what one taster described as an “Olde English” drinking experience. 

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Halloween Fun

Get into the Spirit with Providence Ghost Tours

As the leaves begin to turn and the chilly October winds swirl along our East Side streets, the timing is ideal for the return of the East Side Ghost Tours, those masters of the macabre, who regale visitors with stories about the strange happenings that once took place in Providence. These guided walking tours begin at 60 Congdon Street, near Prospect Terrace, nightly throughout the month at 7pm. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 on the day of. Contact Providence Ghost Tours to make a reservation or to learn more about the program. Thanks to some of our politicians, Providence can be a scary place anytime. But come October... well, the ghost tours will explain that it could be worse.

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Family Fun

Lippitt Mansion Plans a Vampire Spooktacular

The historic Governor Henry Lippitt Mansion at the corner Hope and Angell Streets will hold its fourth annual Vampire Spooktacular this month. Everyone is invited to dress up in costumes and enjoy food, drink and special Halloween Vampire performances that kids of all ages can, uh, sink their teeth into. The event will be held on October 25 from 8-11pm. The Lippitt Mansion seems like the perfect haunt for this kind of event, so enjoy. For specifics, visit their website.

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Food News

Autumn Brings New Chills

With the warm weather of summer now fading into October’s sweater weather, the East Side sees the appearance of two new ice cream shops. Over on Thayer, in the corner store once occupied by Symposium Books, is the East Side’s relocated Ben & Jerry’s (224 Thayer). At the time of writing, the store expects to open on October 1, though hints at a possible later opening on October 15.

A few streets away, on Wickenden, Sweet Berry Frozen Yogurt joins the growing number of ice cream/gelato shops now stationed on the small street. Located next to Amy’s Cafe and across from Coffee Exchange, this little shop is sure to see a ton of foot traffic directed its way, even with the winter nip nestling comfortably into the air.

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The How-to's of Consignment

So, you’ve got stuff to consign? You’ve got options. While some shops buy entirely from private collectors, estate sales or wholesalers (Hall’s on Broadway is one of these shops, as is Foreign Affair), others buy resale outright or offer consignment routes.

At hope returns, customers can come into the store with their items, fill out paperwork and leave the merchandise for one week. After that week, the customer returns and is given a percentage of the resale value. Any items that were not bought within the seven days are returned to the consignor or are donated in-store to the Rhode Island Foster Parent’s Association.

Ana-Lia’s offers a 90-day consignment cycle (which then can be rolled over to one more 90-day cycle), after which items are returned to the consignor or donated to a local charity. Ana-Lia’s and the consignor split the proceeds.

At Blackbird’s, make an appointment before bringing in your gently loved items (they are usually booked three weeks out). The merchandise will stay in-store for 60 days, taking gradual markdowns, and remaining items are returned to the consignor.

Glitz offers a no-appointment-necessary consignment method. Simply bring your merchandise into the store and give it a second chance.

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Charity

A Rhode Island Non-Profit That's Music to Our Ears

The Victoria Alviti Music Foundation is on a mission to keep music alive in schools across the nation. Sharon Alviti started the Rhode Island-based nonprofit in memory of her daughter Victoria. Victoria had a passion for music, which she shared as a professional DJ, booking performances around the world. At 22, Victoria was involved in a tragic car accident in Malibu. Before she passed she shared with her mother her dream to start an oranization that kept music in schools.

Today, her mother and their foundation are doing just that. The foundation offers a 12-week program to participating schools. All students receive a recorder, a lesson book and basic music literacy instruction. Additionally, participating music teachers receive professional development. The students spend those 12 weeks learning music provided specifically for them by Carnegie Hall. All of their hard work culminates in a grand concert in which students get to play side by side with the Rhode Island Philharmonic.

In its short existence, the foundation has had great success with the program, reaching 7,000 students last year and 10,000 this year. Sharon hopes to reach 14,000 next year and the sky’s the limit from there. It cost about $18 per student for the program. The foundation relies heavily on local donations and fundraising events to cover these costs.

Want to help the cause? Attend their 3rd Annual Jazz on the Green fundraiser at Alpine Country Club on September 22. The event includes a Tuscan buffet, raffle prizes and a silent auction. Guests will also enjoy live performances by Mike Renzi and friends. September 22 at 3:30pm. Alpine Country Club, 251 Pippin Orchard Rd., Cranston. $40. For more information email the organization.   More

Food

Gourmet Ramen: Not an Oxymoron

College students understand the limitless possibilities of store-bought, just-add-water ramen. You can cook it as directed, eat it dry with peanut butter (a personal favorite) or even add veggies to create an illusion of nutritional benefits. But if you’re running out of ideas on how to prepare the noodles, or simply want to eat ramen the way it’s supposed to taste, Ken’s Ramen (51 Washington St, Unit D) welcomes you to enjoy their professionally crafted ramen dishes. Their paitan (whole chicken broth) is “simmered for over 30 hours for maximum richness and savoriness” - something no salt packet could ever recreate – and combined with “customized thin hakata ramen noodles.” Call for hours of operation.

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Events

A Hilarious Night at AS220

While cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago continue basking in their comedy glory, Providence maintains an uneasy state of comedy caught somewhere between floundering and underappreciated. But with the help of AS220, local comedian Randy Bush seeks to push PVD into the national spotlight, by creating a monthly comedy series known as Lulz!

“I was asked by AS220 to do [a comedy series] because I performed at Foo Fest last year and there was much success with the little 40-minute set I curated,” says Bush. In addition to performing at Foo Fest, Bush’s relationship with AS220 extends to “opening for bands, doing storytelling nights and variety shows.” Quite simply, Bush brings the comedy while AS220 brings the opportunity, and together they form an entertainment powerhouse ready to raise PVD’s comedic standards.

“I hope to achieve a true alternative comedy scene here in Providence,” says Bush, arguing that the city pales in comparison to the aforementioned big three (LA, NYC, Chicago). “Also I love the whole legacy that comedians like Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Louis CK and (even) Sarah Silverman have given us. Providence is interesting enough to also have [an alternative] scene but no one is really doing it. That’s where I hope to change that.”

Currently the monthly series features local comedians coming from Providence and Boston, so as to showcase the talent tied to the region. With time, though, Bush seeks to expand the bubble to include “more people from all over the country,” even some “internet famous comedians as well.” Bush jokingly adds, “Because I’m hosting, and I’m obsessed with internet and nerd culture, there will be lots of that.”

True to his alternative focus, though, Bush, an openly gay comedian, wants to tilt the monthly series away from the mainstream comedy tendency to be “so ‘bro’ heavy,” …   More

Fashion Event

A Vogue Night in Providence

If you’re a fashionista, get ready to explore new styles. Tziporah Salamon, a New York fashion icon, will be making her way to the RISD auditorium on October 3 (7-9pm) for a special presentation full of fashion-fun . Hosted by Wayland Square’s Clad in boutique, Ms. Salamon’s “The Fabric of My Life: A Sartorial Autobiography” will touch upon her life history and reveal stories of all kinds. You will learn about her birth to Holocaust survivors, and even about current successes like her appearance in Australian Vogue. What’s unique is that every story will be expressed through style and wardrobe, where Tziporah will be using her extraordinary, vintage pieces to inspire her audience. If the presentation isn’t enough to satisfy your hunger for all things vogue, you can visit Clad in boutique the following afternoon (1-3pm) to get up close and personal with Tziporah. Here she will show attendees the steps in making an unforgettable, self-expressing outfit that will surely turn heads. And to top it off, you can enter to win your own studio portrait and a $200 Clad in gift card if you show up in your inspired attire. $25 event donation optional. RISD: 7 Canal Walk, Providence River Greenway, Providence. Clad in boutique: 32 Friendship St., Westerly.   More

Events

A New Way to Apartment Shop Downtown

This September will be the official mark the onslaught of autumn; with leaves and student bodies falling back to Providence. With these new changes, prospective Providence residents in the form of opportunistic professionals and those emigrating from nearby states on business ventures follow. In the wake of these droves, the Downtown Providence Living Tour offers those eager to join the mini-metropolis we love so dearly a tour of available luxury apartments, condos and microlofts in just one day's time. On September 21st, from 11am to 5pm, the tour will bring patrons by the 903, Arcade Providence, AS220, Avalon at Center Place, Regency Plaza, The Promenade, Providence G, The Residences, Waterplace and Westminister Lofts while stopping by shops boutiques and everything in between! The path may be traveled by complimentary shuttle service, bike or foot and guests are encouraged to go by their own pace in order to get the most authentic experience of what it means to embrace downtown living. All guests must visit AS220 at 115 Empire St. in order to register before they can begin the tour. Purchase your ticket in advance online.   More

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