Narragansett beer returns to Rhode Island

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WHDH) - For Rhode Islander Mark Hellendrung, the dream of bringing Narragansett beer back to Rhode Island took place on a bar stool in 2002.
He didn’t like the choices, so a guy at the end of the bar said,

“Give the kid a ‘Gansett. And it was just amazing. It was just the stories that were told about the history of this great beer,” Hellendrung said.

That began the fermentation in the recesses of Hellendrung’s mind, out of work from a juice company, to bring the brew back.

“It just became a mission, like something that had to be done.”

After years of negotiations with Falstaff, the company that bought Narragansett, Hellendrung purchased the name, and went back to the original recipe.

“It had sort of been morphed into basically a sort of watery light beer. And now it’s got a lot more flavor,”

Now, as part of the “Isle Brewers Guild,” Narragansett is so far one of two that will be making beer at the under-construction mill facility in Pawtucket, which will be open to the public.

The Guild nurtures small craft breweries through growing pains.

“Capacity issues, of capital issues, of human resource issues. And so what really we’ve become is a secondary facility in order for those brands to get to the next level,”

“It’s just such a rich history. To be able to do that here is — there could be nothing bigger.”

Right now, to help build the excitement, a total of 250 retro cans hidden within cases of the beer have golden stickers that, when redeemed, will win you a free VIP Tour of the new facility, plus some other goodies.

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