October marks Ravenous Brewing’s 8th anniversary of making beer in Rhode Island. This year is extra special as it also marks roughly a year of their expanded operation in their roomy Cumberland digs. You can still find their early staples – the Coffee Milk Stout and Blackstone Pale Ale – that put them on the map, but a bigger space also means they can experiment with new and seasonal artisanal brews, too.
“This time of year we are asked if we have a pumpkin beer coming out and we always say no,” founder and brewer Dorian Rave explains. Instead, they celebrate their anniversary month with something a little different: the Black Harvest Sweet Potato Stout. “This beer marks the beginning of the fall season for us,” says Rave. “It’s brewed with an array of roasted barley, over 100 pounds of sweet potato, and the perfect balance of all your favorite fall spices.” Brewed only once a year, this rich concoction goes fast so get it before it kicks! -Abbie Lahmers
The recently opened Black Dog Donuts food truck brings loaded mini donuts on wheels to South County. Indulge in some homemade fried dough or their unique spin on donut treats called Squad Cups, which feature to-go trifles layered with cake, cream, and sweet toppings all piled into a cup. A favorite fall special is the Basic Witch Squad Cup, an autumn-spiced delicacy reminiscent of a Thanksgiving pie made with layers of mini donuts, pumpkin cheesecake mousse, ginger snap pieces, and whipped cream.
“We love donuts, and after some research, we realized there was no one in the area selling donuts from a food truck,” says owner Michelle Colberg, who, along with her husband Charlie, decided to open up their own. Catch Black Dog Donuts popping up at spots like Pump House Music Works, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Twelve Guns Brewing, and other spots across the state, with their full schedule posted on social media. @blackdogdonutsquad -Gianni Dejesus
Just in time to welcome folks in from the cold for hearty eats and Halftime Margaritas at the bar while the game plays on TV – beneath their signature wall of jerseys – J Gray’s Tavern reopened in September after a lockdown hiatus. The pause gave this Cumberland family tavern and sports pub a chance to reflect and renovate, with a new sign out front, the addition of a second bar, and other interior updates to safely serve patrons and keep the good times rollin’.
Watch for live music and special events like “Name That Tune” returning later in the fall or winter, but in the meantime, a digital jukebox, pool tables, darts, and friendly servers keep the vibes lively. Find pub-style fare for all tastes, from J Gray’s Classic Burger and rotating pizza specials to buffalo chicken dip and jalapeño poppers. Feeling adventurous? Try a round of Russian Roulette Wings – a mystery combo of sriracha and extra spicy. No need for reservations, but feel free to call ahead for availability. -Abbie Lahmers