Our fearless leader appeared before the Rhode Island House of Representatives yesterday to tell them all about 'Gansett and our petition. Check out the video below!
Read the transcript after the jump.
Thank you Mr. Speaker
Special thanks to representative Kenneth Carter of North Kingstown
Honorable members of the House
In 1890, almost a century and a quarter ago, six German immigrants started the Narragansett Brewing Company on a hope and a dream… a dream of making a great tasting lager beer reminiscent of the beers of their homeland, and a hope that they could make a business of it.
I think they would have been amazed if you told them then that their Narragansett Lager Beer would become the #1 beer in New England for 50 years, employ 1,200 Rhode Islanders and produce nearly 2 million barrels a year. That Hi Neighbor would be a slogan that echoed throughout New England.
Upon hearing of this great success, I think they would have been equally shocked to hear of the decline that would befall this great beer, culminating in the closure of the brewery a quarter century ago. While a sad story indeed, it’s a story not all too unfamiliar to us and iconic businesses in this state.
However, unlike many of those other stories, Narragansett beer is different. We have a chance to rewrite history together and rebuild the Narragansett Brewery.
Today, ‘Gansett is the largest, fastest growing beer in the state. Now is the time, a time of rising unemployment and difficult economic climate, a time when American breweries are selling out. Now is the time to reverse this trend, to rebuild the Narragansett Brewery, create jobs, and stimulate Rhode Island’s economy.
To do this, we need to sell about 7.5M cases of ‘Gansett per year throughout New England. While this is a large task, it is doable, and the volume is a far cry from the 25M cases once produced annually by the brewery. I’m also proud to announce that we are at roughly a third of our goal to sell 600,000 cases of ‘Gansett per year in Rhode Island.
Wouldn’t it be great to build something together, create hundreds of jobs, all while enjoying a tasty Narragansett Beer?
While a full scale brewery is our ultimate goal, we believe that we are about 18 months away from the opening of phase 1 of our brewery: a draft beer facility. To do so, we believe that we need to go out and get ‘Gansett on draft in only another 185 bars in New England. You can even help us in this endeavor by asking for ‘Gansett in the bars and restaurants in your districts. You can view our brewery plan on our website at Narragansett Beer.com. It’s so close I can taste that first ‘Gansett coming out of the tank!
As such, I am here to offer my company, this great brand, a beer that has always been owned by the people of this state, as a model, as a case study, of what business and government can do together when we share a common goal.
And as we work to build this brewery, I ask two simple things from you:
1. Drink Your Part! We need every Rhode Islander to get behind this effort. For those of you who currently drink ‘Gansett, thank you. For others who have beers from far away places in your fridge. Please, make the switch, I need your help.
2. Support the Cause! Let’s work together to create some jobs! Whether it’s enterprise seed funding, land, underutilized buildings, equipment financing support, job creation grants, every little bit helps! We received one small loan from the Small Business Loan Fund already to hire two people, and I look forward to working with local, state and federal agencies to continue our goal of rebuilding the brewery.
Over the next month we will be forming a blue ribbon committee of civic leaders, architects, planners, etc to work with me on the brewery. You can go to our website and support the cause by signing our petition to build a brewery and create jobs.
I also invite you all to our public rally next Thursday at 5:00 at Biltmore Park, where I invite you all to speak on behalf of our plan, followed by ‘Gansetts at Murphy’s Deli and McFaddens. Thank you Mr. Speaker for this gracious invitation to speak with you today, and I thank you for your support!