WARWICK -- Forget the quarantini. The new drink for the social distancing denizens of Rhode Island is a beer called “Knock it Off.”
The Providence gift shop Frog & Toad has sold more than 6,000 T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Knock it off” -- Governor Gina M. Raimondo’s admonition for those who blow off her social distancing directives.
And now, Frog & Toad is partnering with a Warwick brewery, the Proclamation Ale Company, to produce “Knock it Off” beer -- a double IPA that, like the T-shirts, doubles as a fundraising vehicle for the Rhode Island Foundations’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
“For me personally, I plan on knocking it off and knocking one back,” Frog & Toad co-owner Asher Schofield said Thursday.
The beer will be available for pre-order beginning Thursday evening, with curbside pickup starting Friday, said Lori Witham, creative lead for the Proclamation Ale Company.
A four-pack of 16-ounce cans sells for $18, including tax, and $2 of that total will go to the COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund provides grants to nonprofits, such as the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen and Meals on Wheels, that are helping Rhode Islanders amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Witham said the beer bears the same artwork, created by Maret Bondorew, that’s on the T-shirts.
“This ‘knock it off’ statement is really important,” she said. “No one should be taking this lightly at this point, and if we can get that message out to everyone, the faster we can get through this.”
While people are accustomed to going out to have a drink and socializing, the “new normal” involves bringing beer home and enjoying it there, Witham said.
“But the beer community is still bringing people together,” she said. “This shows the unity in the community, and it will help people in need.”
The Proclamation Ale Company has worked with Frog & Toad in the past, Witham said. “We have a lot of respect for Asher and what they do there,” she said. “We love when they’re taking these taglines and turning it into a trend but also using it to do something really good.”
The brewery -- on Kilvert Street, near T.F. Green Airport -- contains a large tap room that had been gaining in popularity and becoming a larger part of the business. But the tap room had to close because of the pandemic, and the brewery has laid off about half of its 16-member staff, Witham said.
So the “Knock it Off” sales also offer a way for Rhode Islanders to support a local business and enjoy a local product, she said.
In the days ahead, as Rhode Islanders remain stuck at home, sipping these new brews, what would be an appropriate toast?
Witham said the “Knock it Off” cans carry a message for the moment: “Spread the word, not the virus.”