Narragansett Beer returning to Rhode Island

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – The Narragansett Brewing Company will be brewing beer in Rhode Island for the first time since 1983.

Mark Hellendrung, President of the company, announced the move on the company’s website Sunday morning.

The company will move into a complex at 461 Main Street in Pawtucket in May, and begin brewing. “If everything goes as planned, we’ll be pumping beer out of here in August,” he told Eyewitness News later in the day.

A Narragansett ad campaign in 2009 pledged to bring the beer back to its Rhode Island roots.

Hellendrung wrote in the website announcement that plans to move the brewery back to Rhode Island have been stymied over the years, most recently when a fire caused by a drug lab producing butane hash oil destroyed a mill building in Providence.

The company will move its offices from Ship Street in Providence into the Pawtucket building next week, after which it will begin several months of restoring the building and installing the brew house.

The 130,000 square foot complex will be part working factory, part destination — including brewery tours, a sampling room, a gift shop, and exhibits of memorabilia, including old ‘Gansett television commercials voiced and written by legendary comedy team Mike Nichols and Elaine May.

“It’s just the completion of a journey. It’s such a storied brand, 125 years, and so many generations of people worked in Cranston, and grew up with Curt Gowdy, Red Sox baseball and Dr. Seuss,” Hellendrung told Eyewitness News. “And just to be a part of that is truly amazing.”

The beer is currently brewed in Rochester, New York.

Kim Kalunian and Jared Pliner contributed reporting to this story.

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