Greg Theberge New England Breweriana Expert
Hi Neighbor!, and welcome to the first installment of the "official" Narragansett Brewing Company History Blog!
My name is Greg Theberge and I’ve been asked by Mark to act as your weekly brewery tour guide through a century’s worth of amazing ’Gansett history. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to conclude this little tour of ours in the old 1890 Hospitality Room (with all of it’s samplings of tasty suds), but I’ll still do my best to fill you in on some of the little nuances that once made Narragansett such a great Rhode Island company for so many years.
For those of you who are old enough to remember the original brewery located in Cranston, I hope this blog brings back some great memories. For those of you who don’t remember it, but simply enjoy the great taste of the new Narragansett beers, I hope you get an appreciation for what was once New England’s most famous and largest brewery. After all, unlike so many other beers currently being brewed in this area today, ’Gansett is the only one that is always served up with nostalgia and memories of the good times of days long gone by - those days when you could buy a beer that was brewed by one of your neighbors.
As a means of introduction, my dad, Ed, and I have been collectors of antique Rhode Island brewery advertising for well over thirty years. It’s hard to believe that such a long period of time has gone by since we originally began this quest of ours, but during that time we’ve managed to accumulate a lot of nice historical material and have made a lot of great friends along the way. Most importantly, our hobby is a means for my dad and I to spend some valuable time together.
When we first heard that ’Gansett was once again being brewed, we were obviously very excited about the news. After all, Narragansett has been a huge part of our lives for so many years. Although we’re not officially part of the new Narragansett Brewery (the only paychecks we have are from 1955), we’re both delighted to see the direction that it is going in. Like Mark, we are both eager to see the day when Narragansett is once again brewed on New England soil.
When looking back at the history of the Narragansett Brewing Company, I think it’s important to recognize that the new owners appreciate the fact that Narragansett Lager Beer is more than a name or a product to sell. It means a lot more than that to a lot of people. Whether you shared a cold one with a buddy while listening to a Sox game, or brought a bucket of ’Gansetts to a backyard clambake (sorry Clammie) makes no difference at all. It’s all about tradition and people, New England people, and the memories that they make.
In closing this weeks history "session", I always like to think that there are some long deceased Gansett brewers smiling down at us while appreciating the efforts that everyone has put in over the years to keep their dream alive. I’m pretty sure the "original six" would be proud of what is being done to their brewery 120 years after they conceived it. These are exciting times, so make sure you "Drink Your Part" and sign that petition! More to come in the weeks ahead.
Greg can be reach at GSTheberge@yahoo.com.