Brewery of the Month:
Shaidzon Beer Co.
This month's featured brewery is Shaidzon Beer Co. We would like to thank co-owner Chip Samson for talking with us about the brewery.
When did you open: November 2017
Where are you located: West Kingston, RI
Where can people find you: As of right now, we are only distributing in Rhode Island, but we are going to start expanding into Massachusetts (but only in very limited quantities).
Do you have a philosophy behind the beers you brew: We like to use influences from very traditional 100-year-old beer styles. For instance, our house pilsner recipe is a traditionally brewed pilsner- light, clean, has hops that represent the Czech style (which is why we use Saaz hops). Basically we want to stay true to form and show what we are influenced by.
Why did you open Shaidzon: My business partner, Josh Letourneau has been brewing commercially for about 10 years now- he had been homebrewing since he turned 21. He had been the head brewer of Grey Sail in Westerly since they opened, and before that he brewed at Mayflower brewing in Massachusetts. Josh and I both grew up in RI and had been friends since we were teenagers. After high school, I went to college in Colorado, and also lived in Wisconsin and North Carolina- all of which are big beer states with great brewery scenes. Back in 2004, craft beer didn’t have much of a presence in RI (especially not compared to states like Colorado). Today, though, the craft beer movement in Rhode Island is going in a great direction- it has a lot of momentum behind it. New breweries are putting out great beer right from the get-go and beer drinkers are getting really excited about what local brewers have to offer. We wanted to be part of that.
We wanted to open in Rhode Island because we wanted to brew the great craft beer that we love close to our friends and family in RI. We both felt a strong connection towards RI which is why we decided to open the brewery here. There’s also a lot more room to grow in terms of the craft beer scene in Rhode Island. There are plenty of beer drinkers in RI who can be taught more about great craft beer
What is behind the name “Shaidzon”: When Josh was at Grey Sail, Grey Sail had some legal trouble behind their name against Full Sail Brewing of Oregon. We wanted to avoid that with the name of our new brewery. The root behind it was that I was driving and needed to have my “shades on”. The name sounded cool, so we gave it a unique spelling. The name was originally just supposed to be a place holder (for legal reasons) when we were working with our attorney, but the name eventually just stuck and we became Shaidzon from that point on.
What styles of beer do you prefer to brew: Josh tends to like Belgian style beers, while I prefers German-style lagers (pilsners, dunkels, bocks). So we have different preferences, but at the same time we don't want to pigeonhole ourselves into one niche of styles.
What are your core beers: Buffalo Czech Pilsner, Lowland Villager, Never Tomorrow IPA. We would like to keep a dark beer option at all times, but we haven’t had one that has stuck around at all times. We are playing around with a beer called “Gino Time” which is an English Dry Stout.
Plans for fun/cool beers: We have our first beer coming out from our sour program soon- we aged a saison in red wine barrels which we will be blending with a sour ale. That beer should be coming out in the next couple of weeks. We are also excited to be experimenting and brewing with a Norwegian farmhouse style of beer called Kviek.
Plans for the future: We are starting to have live music more at the brewery where we feature local artists who come in and play for a few hours- it really adds to the atmosphere at the brewery itself!