DRINK: ‘Gansett announces new brew, hints at returning production to RI

Image courtesy Narragansett Beer.

By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News

As promised, Narragansett Beer is coming out with another Rhode Island-inspired flavor.

In October, WPRO’s Andrew Augustus reported that the brewing company would release another new flavor after the New Year, and Narragansett Beer President Mark Hellendrung gave Kim Kalunian on the WPRO Saturday Moring News the exclusive details.

Narragansett Beer's HP Lovecraft Brew comes out in January 2015.
Narragansett Beer’s HP Lovecraft Brew comes out in January 2015.

“We’re launching a partnership of sorts with H.P. Lovecraft, the ‘Dark Prince of Providence,’” said Hellendrung. “He was the inspiration of many, including Stephen King, Metallica and Guillermo del Toro.”

Lovecraft was a Providence native and became famous for his macabre horror stories like “The Call of the Cthulhu.”

“So we’re celebrating his literary work with a Lovecraft Honey Ale and that will be coming out on Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday on January 19,” he said.

Narragansett’s Del’s Shandy flew off store shelves this summer, and they’re once again producing their Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout this winter. Hellendrung says they’re brainstorming other locally-inspired brews.

“Maybe a Big Blue Bug Blueberry Shandy that might be interesting,” he said.” “We’ve got a lot of great things coming for 2015.”

This year, the brewery was prominently featured in a Gina Raimondo ad during her campaign for governor. Helledrung said it was a lesson for them as they dealt with both the positive and negative feedback from the ad.

“We just tried to take the high road and be positive,” he said, saying he’s “pumped up” about the future.

One of the issues brought to light by the ad was Narragansett’s lack of actual beer production here in the Ocean State. While the company is headquartered in Rhode Island, beer is produced in New York and Massachusetts.

But when asked if they had any plans to return beer production to Rhode Island, Hellendrung hinted it could be happening soon.

“We’re working really hard on a project and we should have some really pretty big news just after the first of the year.”

Next year marks the brewery’s 125th Anniversary. This December, Narragansett Beer will hold their 124th Anniversary Party at The Met.

Listen to Mark’s full interview with Kim Kalunian from the WPRO Saturday Morning News: 

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