A Message From Our Owner, Mark Hellendrung: Bringing Back The Brewery

Hi, Neighbor! I suppose the place to start with my first blog post is the question I probably get asked most frequently: “Why did you...


Hi, Neighbor!

I suppose the place to start with my first blog post is the question I probably get asked most frequently: “Why did you buy Narragansett Beer?” It’s a pretty simple question, but I love all the different motivations behind the asking, ranging from “I love 'Gansett, so glad you did it” to “that’s what my old man drank, what are you, nuts?” I guess it all started in 2004 at a local bar in Newport, Cappy’s Hillside Café. I was having a couple beers with a buddy of mine, and we were ready for our next beer, but nothing was really grabbing our attention. While talking with the bartender, some guy a couple stools down said “what you need is a Narragansett!” I took him up on the offer and we got two cans of 'Gansett in gold 16oz packaging that looked like it hadn’t changed in 20 years (turns out it hadn’t). The beer wasn’t remarkable (more on that later), but the stories that ensued were. We heard about Curt Gowdy and Red Sox baseball, and Harry Walker, the Cappy’s patron who hadn’t stopped drinking 'Gansett, and Jay Warner, the local salesmen who used to come into the bar in the 70s with a fistful of Narragansett Beer Red Sox tickets and yell “who’s coming to the ballgame with me?” I couldn’t believe how strong the emotions were about Narragansett, and was equally curious about what happened to the once proud brand. Over the next couple months, I talked to hundreds of New Englanders about 'Gansett and while many conversations started with a typical sarcastic New England response like “why would you want to bring back Narragansett Beer” nearly all ended with “damn right, you should bring that back.” I even weaseled out of a speeding ticket in New Hampshire once after talking to the state trooper about how he would listen to the Red Sox on the radio with his mom while she drank 'Gansetts.

So why did I buy Narragansett Beer? Simply, it was a shared belief and a dream. I believed, like many of the people I spoke with, that Narragansett Beer was just too good to let die like many of the other New England institutions that make New England so great. And if we did this thing right, by making a great beer again, and renewing all those old relationships, while making some new ones along the way, we could fulfill the dream of bringing the Narragansett brewery back to New England. You can help us by signing our petition.

Mark Hellendrung

Back to News