Friday, August 17, 2012

Narragansett Brewery

 Only In Rhode

As I've mentioned from time to time, we sometimes develop "favorites" among the products we sell, usually due to the unique story of the product or because we just love the people behind the product. With Narragansett Brewery, it's both.

Narragansett Brewing Company was founded in 1890, when a brick brewing house was built in Cranston. In December 1890, the first beer was produced. The following year, the company officially incorporated.
Narragansett Brewing Company: A History
History of Narragansett Brewery

The grounds of the Narragansett Brewing Company included a barn, a stable, a blacksmith, seventy-five horses, forty-five wagons, gas-powered trucks, electric trucks, twenty-five refrigerated train cars and its own ice plant.
In 1914, when the company built the most modern bottling plant in the region, it became official: Narragansett Brewing Company was the largest lager beer brewery in New England. They became the official beer of the Red Sox and they brewed beer for numerous other regional brands.
Narragansett Brewing was sold in 1965, for $17 million to Falstaff. That company was taken over by a new owner in 1975, and the corporate headquarters moved to San Francisco. The Cranston brewery officially closed in 1981, and the building was demolished in 1998. 

Narragansett Beer Pint Glass
'Gansett Pint Glass

Then in 2005, the Narragansett brand was bought by a team of local Rhode Island investors, led my Mark Hellendrung (one of the original founders of Nantucket Nectars - yes, he's a juice guy). Their plan was to resurrect the brand and once again operate a brewery in Rhode Island.

Well, Narragansett Brewery we named one of Inc. magazine's 5,000 fastest growing companies in America, coming in at 1,526 this year. They also announced this week that Narragansett Lager will be available outside the Northeast for the first time ever! They've expanded distribution into Wisconsin, which is serious beer-drinking territory! 

It's exciting that the company is doing so well and I love that they chose to bring the old 'gansett back to life. They are a great team of people who truly believe in the cause and I think we owe it to them to drink our part, as often as possible.

They should be building that new brewery anytime now, and when they do all Rhode Islanders can happily say "Hi Neighbor!"