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And now, a triumphant return to Rhode Island this week with Pawtucket’s The Guild, where triumphant returns are the name of the game.
Way back in 1888, 6 businessmen created a little brewing company that became one of the best-selling beers in New England for a very long time; a little company called Narragansett Brewing Co. Since that time, Gansett has had quite a roller coaster ride, including a rebirth in 2005. With the opening of the Guild earlier this year, Narragansett finally made its triumphant return to brewing in the state it originated.
The Guild is different animal than most breweries. While Narragansett is the big name there, it’s certainly not the only one. The Guild is a “craft collaborative”, a brewing facility that offers the use of all of their equipment for up and coming brewers looking to increase their capacity without the necessary capital to do it all on their own. It’s a great idea that the Isle Brewers Guild deserves a lot of credit for. Way to keep us drinking!
There’s a lot of space to be had at in the ever popular “repurposed factory” style brewery. A nice sized bar, a few scattered cocktail tables and a merch area make up the interior floor along with a cool outdoor seating area complete with cornhole boards. There’s also a ton of space on the second floor that is currently not being used, but will make for a great function area in the future. The building is still growing and evolving, but there’s a ton of potential.
Hopefully next time, the random Radio Flyer wagon won’t be the only thing upstairs in the middle of the empty floor. I’ve seen far too many horror movies for that not to be creepy.
Since there are a bunch of breweries using the facility, I had a nice variety of beer in my flight. We can start with the Gansett’s It’s About Time IPA, a malt forward and darker IPA that has as much caramel flavor as it does hops, keeping it from being overly bitter and very approachable. Next was Newburyport Brewing’s Melt Away session IPA, a citrusy and crisp IPA that has a breadiness that smacks down the pineiness before it gets overwhelming, making for a real nice brew. Then was Devil’s Purse Surfman’s Check ESB, which has a cereal like maltiness to it with just enough hop to let you know it’s in there as it finishes. It’s quite tasty. Lastly, the Great North Aleworks IPA is a smooth, mildly piney IPA with hints of sweet bread and grapefruit, giving it a West Coast IPA feel with New England IPA characteristics. It’s a pretty great IPA.
I’ll also give Farmer Willie‘s a shout out for making a delicious ginger beer, a good refreshing change of pace beverage for sure. I’ll probably use it to add some extra punch to a dark and stormy at some point this summer.
The Guild is a really cool spot now, and should only be getting better. Go welcome back Narragansett and try a bunch of other emerging brews while your there!