The History of the

Brewing Industry in
Rhode Island

By Edward J. & Gregory S. Theberge
The 17th Century

Shortly after Roger Williams founded Rhode
Island in 1636 there was beer...
The 17th Century

The first known Brew House in Rhode Island
was established in 1639 by Sergeant Baulston
of Providence.
The 18th Century

In Newport, the first brewer of record was
Daniel Sabree.

He began his career at the turn of the 18th
century and continued brewing beer until his
death in 1745.
The 18th Century

Other Notable
Brewers in 18th
Century Newport
Included:

Anthony Young
John Wright
John Lance
Joseph Belcher &
Giles Hosier
The 18th Century

Receipt For “9 Cask of Beer”
Brigg William Taylor
Newport September, 1765
The 18th Century

There is also record of a Brew House on Smith Street in
18th Century Newport. This was run by George Rome
who acquired the establishment from a group of English
businessmen who held the title of this property due to an
unpaid debt from a previous owner. Rome would operate
this brewery until the outbreak of the American War for
Independence, at which time his loyalties to King George
III forced his return to England.
The 19th Century

Unfortunately, very little additional material exists
prior to the 19th century and the Industrial
Revolution to tell the history of Rhode Island’s
brewing past.

Providence 1848 by Fritz Hugh Lane
Giles Hosier
Newport

1795
Giles Hosier
Newport

Advertisement - Newport Mercury
March 1795
(Courtesy Elizabeth Sulock & The Newport Historical Society)
John Carpenter’s
Providence
Brew-House

Early 19th Century
Job Carpenter’s
Providence
Brew-House

Advertisement - Providence Patriot and Columbian Phenix
July 26, 1817
The
Providence Brewery

Early 19th Century
Providence Brewery
John B. Lyon - Agent

Advertisement - Newport Mercury
August 5, 1820
Providence Brewery
John B. Lyon - Agent

Advertisement - Newport Mercury
May 5, 1821
Providence Brewery
John B. Lyon - Agent

Advertisement - Newport Mercury
May 5, 1821
Peter Grinnell & Son
Providence

Early 19th Century
Peter Grinnell & Son
(Brewer - or - Agent)

Advertisement - Newport Mercury
June 7, 1817
The Eagle Brewery
Providence

Early 19th Century
The Eagle Brewery

Advertisement - Providence Patriot and Columbian Phenix
March 29, 1834
The Eagle Brewery

Advertisement - Providence Patriot and Columbian Phenix
October 26, 1833
Merchants
Brewing Company
Pawtucket

1875 - 1879
Merchants
Brewing Co.

Very little is known of this small Rhode Island Brewery other than
it operated at 37 East Avenue in Pawtucket from c. 1875 - 1879.

“Birds EyeView of Pawtucket, & Central Falls, R.I. 1877”
Merchants
Brewing Co.

“Birds EyeView of Pawtucket, and Central Falls, R.I. 1877”
Merchants
Brewing Co.

WAS THIS IT ????
The Brewery
at the Corner of
Fountain & Jackson Streets
Providence

1820 - 1957
The Brewery At the Corner of
Fountain & Jackson Streets
Providence, Rhode Island
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

On June 24, 1824, two brothers from Sharon, Massachusetts, purchased
a $250 parcel of land from John and Nathan Mathewson located at the
corner of Fountain and Jackson Streets in Providence, Rhode Island.
With $300 worth of additional land they purchased the following year,
Oliver and Otis Holmes built themselves their home and a brewery.
Little did the two brothers know that beer would be continued to be
brewed at this location for 133 years.

When it began, the Holmes Brewery was a simply built one and a half
story structure. During its first year of operation, the brewery produced
8 barrels of beer per day.

Providence in 1818 by Alvin Fisher
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

Oliver Holmes was born on August 17, 1792. He was married to
Deborah Ann Hawkins of Providence, Rhode Island. A year after
her untimely death in 1832, Oliver married another woman from
Providence, Mary Ann Potter.

Otis Holmes was born a year after his brother Oliver on October 16,
1793. On July 27, 1822, he married Oliver’s sister-in-law, Almira (or
Elmira) Fenner Hawkins of North Providence. Over the years,
Elmira and Otis would have eleven children. Two of their boys,
George Otis and Charles Butler Holmes, worked in the family
brewery.
Providence in 1818 by Alvin Fisher
Holmes
&
McCullock

According to an 1826 Providence Directory, the brewery which was
located on Fountain Street became known as the “Holmes and
M’Cullock Brewery”. Alexander M’Cullock was listed as a brewer at
this location until 1838. Around 1830, a third brother from Sharon,
Massachusetts, Daniel, moved to Rhode Island and joined the family
business. He married Mary Proctor Najec of Providence.

Oliver Holmes passed away on April 24, 1841. At the time of his
death in Providence he was only 49 years old. Six years later, his 37
year old brother, Daniel, passed away on March 30, 1847.

Providence in 1818 by Alvin Fisher
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

Advertisement - Providence Patriot and Columbian Phenix
May 23, 1832
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

Advertisement - Providence Patriot and Columbian Phenix
March 29, 1834
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

According to “The Descendants of
George Holmes of Roxbury” by
George Arthur Grey in 1905, we
note that there once was:

“A brass plate with an engraved
representation of the first brewery
is in possession of some member of
the Holmes family”

This engraving has, in fact, actually
survived. After being passed on to
future brewers who operated at the
corner of Fountain and Jackson
Streets, it finally has made its
current residence in the collection of
the authors of this manuscript.
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

Silver Wash Copper / Brass Engraving of the Holmes Brewery
c. 1850
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

Silver Wash Copper / Brass Engraving of the Holmes Brewery
c. 1850
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

Silver Wash Copper / Brass Engraving of the Holmes Brewery
c. 1850
In addition to producing beer, Otis Holmes
was an ardent political activist. In 1842, he
made the local newspapers due to his
a l l e g e d a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h a s u ff r a g e
movement in Rhode Island known as the
Dorr Rebellion. This unsuccessful uprising
over voter rights was led by Thomas Dorr
and took place in Providence and the
outlying town of Chepachet. After a brief
standoff by the "Dorrites", the rebellion
was quickly suppressed without much
incident by chartered troops under the
Rhode Island State Militia. In the end,
those involved, including Mr. Holmes, were
accordingly imprisoned for their crimes of
treason. According to Otis Holmes’
deposition, he was incarcerated for 59 days
under rather harsh conditions:
Thomas Dorr

Sunday June 25, 1842

Warren (Rhode Island) Gazette

"Mr. Holmes, proprietor of the Brewery, where the late suffrage meetings
have been held, was arrested this p.m. and is now a prisoner"
The Deposition of Otis Holmes, Brewer

"I, Otis Holmes, of Providence, in the State of Rhode Island, brewer, fifty years
of age, depose and say: That on Sunday, the 26th of June, 1842, my house in
Providence was entered by a body of armed men. They searched the house,
breaking the locks, though I offered to give them the keys. I was laying on the bed,
and taken by two men, who seized me by the collar. One was named Samuel
Thomas; the other I did not know. Charles Harris, at the same time, put a pistol
to my breast. They found nothing at my house but my training musket, which I
had many years; they took it, and have never returned it. They carried me to my
brewery, and broke in there; I had previously offered them the keys to my
premises. In the brewery they found two old ducking guns, without locks, and one
old musket with a shattered lock and no ramrod. They took these, and they have
never been returned. There was also a hunting powder-horn, with about half a
pound of powder, and a canister of about a pound of powder, which belonged to
another man who left it there. They also broke into my store and counting room,
and ransacked that, my private papers, and then marched me to the office of
Henry L. Bowen, Esq., justice of the peace. I was carried through the streets by
two men having hold of my collar, and another in front with a pistol. There were
about thirty men with muskets; I made no resistance. The course lay through the
principle street of the city. ...”
The Deposition of Otis Holmes, Brewer

“... I heard no charges, and was not examined before Mr. Justice Bowen, but was
marched to jail with a file of soldiers, in company with ten others. I was put in a
room in the jail, and remained there seven days, and then, with-out examination,
put into one of the cells of the state prison, with seven others. It was large enough
for us to lie down, by lying heads and points. I remained there twenty-one days.
The suffering was extreme, from heat and want of air, with plenty of vermin.
The health of the prisoners suffered materially. During this time I was examined
by the commissioners. They charged me with keeping arms to aid the suffrage
cause. No proof was shown. I was remanded. I then got a writ of habeas corpus
before Judge Staples, of the Supreme Court, and went before him in a room in the
jail, and, upon a hearing, was discharged. I was then immediately committed by the
deputy sheriff, on a warrant from Henry L. Bowen, on a charge of treason. I
then applied for another writ of habeas corpus, which Judge Staples ordered to be
heard before the whole court in Newport. I was there heard, and allowed bail of
twelve thousand dollars, with surities. In the next sitting of the court in the
county of Providence, the grand jury found no bill against me, and I was
discharged. I was in close prison fifty-nine days.
Otis Holmes"
Otis Holmes & The Dorr Rebellion of 1842

Chepachet Inn Postcard c. 1905
Formerly Sprague’s Tavern

Tavern Keeper "General" Jebeddiah Sprague was Thomas Dorr's Chief Military Advisor. During the
Rebellion of 1842, his tavern was used as Dorr's Headquarters. It was here that the “Dorrites” made their
final stand. Contract Troops from the State forced their entry into this building during which time George
Bardine was wounded in the thigh. Ironically, when this photograph was taken at the turn of the 20th
century, the Inn proudly displayed a corner sign from the James Hanley Brewing Company, a future
descendant of the Otis Holmes Brewery. The tavern still operates to this day as the Tavern on Main.
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

According to the City Directories of Providence, Otis Holmes
continued to be listed as a “brewer” at 60 Fountain Street in 1850.
That year, his son, George Otis Holmes, was listed as a “brewer” at
33 Jackson Street. Given these street addresses, it is quite possible
that the physical plant of the Holmes family brewery was expanding
by this time. This becomes apparent as the George O. Holmes Co.
was listed as a “brewer” at both 33 and 36 Jackson Street in 1856.

As the United States entered and endured a bloody Civil War from
1861 to 1865, George Otis Holmes’ brother, Charles Butler, was
listed as a “brewer” at 60 Fountain Street in Providence. It is likely
that he took over his father’s share of the family business by this
time. Otis Holmes was not listed as a “brewer” in 1856, yet 60
Fountain street was listed as his “home”. This likely implies that his
residence was still at the brewery but that he was retired.
Oliver & Otis
Holmes

1867 was the last year in which a member of the Holmes family was
either residing at, or brewing beer, at the corner of Jackson and
Fountain Streets in Providence. By 1868, a gentleman by the name
of John Bligh was listed as operating as a “brewer” at this location.

Otis Holmes passed away in Providence, Rhode Island, on April 17,
1870. Mostly forgotten to the ages, he was truly the first "modern"
brewer in Rhode Island’s history.
John Bligh

In 1857, John Bligh operated a “Saloon” located at 30 Orange Street
in Providence, Rhode Island. Public records indicate that he sold
“Wines and Liquors” at 33 Orange Street from 1858 to 1861. In
1862, he relocated his business to 29 Orange Street.

In 1865, John Bligh was deeded the brewery that was owned by Otis
Holmes and his wife Elmira for $13,350. He called his new
enterprise the “Narragansett Brewery.” While it would be natural
to assume that this brewery was the "Famous" Narragansett
Brewing Company that was incorporated in 1890 and located in the
Arlington Section of Cranston, it, in fact, had nothing to do with it.
John Bligh

Broadside for John Bligh’s “Narragansett Brewery”
c. 1872
John Bligh

Brewery Workers: John Bligh’s “Narragansett Brewery”
c. 1872
John Bligh

A November 5, 1869 edition of
the Providence Morning
Herald advertised that John
Bligh’s "Narragansett
Brewery" was producing Hop
Beer, Porter, as well as XX,
XXX, Pale, and Amber Ale.

An 1875 Map of Ward 4T of
Providence revealed that this
brewery was now composed of
one large brick (or stone)
building, one framed building,
and three framed outbuildings.
John Bligh

1875 Providence Map Detail - Ward 4T
(David Rumsey Map Collection)
John Bligh

1875 Providence Map Detail - Ward 4T
(David Rumsey Map Collection)
John Bligh

While John Bligh was brewing
beer at the corner of Fountain
and Jackson Streets, he sold his
products, in addition to wines
and liquors, at a store located at
33 Orange Street. In 1874, this
business was relocated to 48, 50
and 52 Orange Street.

According to the Providence
City Directory, John Bligh
continued to run his brewery
until 1874.

Stoneware Jug c. 1874
John Bligh
John Patrick
Cooney

John P. Cooney was a wholesale distributor of fine wines, liquors,
cigars and teas who ran his business at 100 Canal Street in
Providence, Rhode Island. Born in Ireland, he emigrated to the
United States in 1857 when he was 19 years old.

After reaching America, John Cooney first settled in Oil City,
Pennsylvania. This area became a boomtown with the drilling of
the first commercially successful oil well there by Colonel Edwin
L. Drake on August 27, 1859. Despite this, John Cooney decided
to leave the Keystone State to be with his uncle, Father Edward J.
Cooney, who lived in Providence, Rhode Island. It was here that
the young Irishman started a very successful liquor and tobacco
business in 1862.
John Patrick
Cooney

John Cooney was married to Ann McCabe. The couple had six
children: Edward J., John Philip, Mary, Angela, Helen, Catherine
and Ann. He was elected to the Providence City Council in 1875,
being the first Irish American to serve this position where he
headed the Building Projects Committee until his passing.

Photograph of the Cooney Family in 1872
Courtesy the Cooney Family Estate
John Patrick
Cooney

While the American Civil War
was raging furiously down south in
1862, John Cooney became the
Providence agent for Torge and
Co.’s New York Ale and M.P.
Reed's New York Pale and Amber
Ales. By the bloody battle of
Gettysburg in 1863, he was
producing his own brand of
stomach bitters, syrups, and
cordials. He was selling a variety of
teas to his Rhode Island clientele
by 1875 and by 1876, he went into
the business of brewing beer with a
good friend of his, James Hanley.
John P. Cooney
Courtesy the Cooney Family Estate
James Hanley

When the American Civil War
broke out in 1861, James E.
Hanley was living at 131 Main
Street in Providence, Rhode
Island. At this location, he
imported and sold a variety of
foreign and domestic wines,
whiskies, liquors, and cigars. He
also sold ale from the cities of
New York and Philadelphia. His
brother, Thomas J. Hanley, acted
as a clerk for the business.
James Hanley

James Hanley was born to Patrick and Bridget (Farnell) Hanley
in the County Roscommon, Ireland, on September 7, 1841. He
emigrated to the United States in 1845. James Hanley was
married to Martha Josephine Cummings on May 9, 1863.
Together, the couple had nine children (Abigail Louise, Mary
Grace, Martha J., Clara T., Walter H., Ethel Gertrude, George
E., Gerald T., and one child unknown)

Note the Same
Logo as John Bligh
James Hanley

In 1866, James Hanley relocated his business to 139 North Main
Street in Providence where he sold a variety of Liquors, Wine,
Rye, Bourbon, and Wheat Whiskeys. At that time, he also was an
agent for Burton’s India Pale and and XXX Ale. Hanley also
had his business at 166 North Main Street where Kentucky Rye,
Pennsylvania Rye, and Bourbon Whiskey were advertised for
sale. He also sold "Bass and Allsop's Ale in Hogsheads, Barrels and
Half Hogsheads." at this location. While acting as a clerk for his
brother, James, Thomas J. Hanley also owned and operated a
liquor store at 193 High Street in Providence.

In 1870, the two Hanley brothers formed a formal partnership
and established a new company. In 1879, the company of James
Hanley and Bro. was listed at 341 High Street in Providence.
Cooney & Hanley

Through their associations as liquor wholesalers, John Cooney and
James Hanley became good friends. In 1876, the two Irishmen
decided to branch out from their wholesale operations and go into
the business of brewing beer together. That year, they purchased
the Merchants Brewing Company of Pawtucket located at 37
East Avenue and formed the partnership of Cooney & Hanley.
Cooney & Hanley

Receipts from 1877 & 1878
Cooney & Hanley

The Babe Ruth of Rhode Island
Breweriana Autographs
“Hanley”
Dated 1878
Cooney & Hanley

Steadily, the Cooney and Hanley
Brewery became more and more
successful over the first three years it
was in business. Then tragedy struck.

In 1879, John P. Cooney became
terminally ill. Aware of his mortality,
he sold his shares of their brewery to his
partner and friend, James Hanley.
Within a year, he passed away. He was
only 41 years old. In his eulogy, it was
noted that he was "one highly esteemed
for his business integrity and one also
possessing in an eminent degree those
social qualities which made him a
welcome guest at the fireside."
Cooney & Hanley

Monument to Reverend E.J. Cooney and His Nephew John P. Cooney
St. Francis Cemetery of Pawtucket, Rhode Island
James Hanley & Co.
Silver Spring Brewery

After John Cooney’s passing, James Hanley changed the name of
his brewery to the “James Hanley & Co.”. It also went by the
name of the “Silver Spring Brewery”.


Seeing an opportunity to expand his business, James Hanley
decided to move his operations back to Providence. In 1879, he
leased the brewery building once operated by John Bligh at the
corner of Fountain and Jackson Streets from his John Bligh’s
widow, Ellen. In 1880, Ellen Bligh formally deeded the brewery
to James Hanley.



James Hanley & Co.
Silver Spring Brewery

PROVIDENCE, R.I. by O.H. Bailey & Co. 1882
(Norman B. Leventhal Map Center)
James Hanley & Co.
Silver Spring Brewery

PROVIDENCE, R.I. by O.H. Bailey & Co. 1882
(Norman B. Leventhal Map Center)
James Hanley & Co.
Silver Spring Brewery

PROVIDENCE, R.I. by O.H. Bailey & Co. 1882
(Norman B. Leventhal Map Center)
James Hanley & Co.
Silver Spring Brewery

Advertisement for the James Hanley & Co.
c. 1879 - 1882
James Hanley
Importer & Wholesaler

While James Hanley was running his brewery, he and his brother,
Thomas, continued to run their import & liquor wholesale
business in Providence. In 1884, their establishment was listed at
32 Exchange Place. In 1886, the address changed to 30 Exchange
Place. They advertised that they sold wines and liquors,
Kentucky and Pennsylvania Rye and Bourbon Whiskey, as well
as India Pale Ale, Stock Ale, and XXX Ale from the Silver
Spring Brewery.
James Hanley
Importer & Wholesaler

Stoneware Jugs for 32 Exchange Place (Left) & 30 Exchange Place (Right)
The Rhode Island Brewing Co.

According to state records,
James Hanley incorporated his
brewery with William Carney
and Charles A. Mathewson as
the Rhode Island Brewing
Company on May 31, 1883. At
this time, the brewery had an
initial capital stock of
$500,000. James Hanley
served as President and
Treasurer of the brewery.
The Rhode Island Brewing Co.

Still located at the corner of Fountain and Jackson Streets in
Providence, the Rhode Island Brewing Company produced India
Pale Ale, XXX Stock Ale and Porter. It also produced a
Canada Malt Ale which was "very rich in nutriment, a delicious
family beverage, and especially adapted for invalids." 


In 1892, the A.F. Parson's Publishing Company of New York
published a wonderful account of the Rhode Island Brewing
Company in their booklet "Industries and Wealth of the
Principle Points of Rhode Island, being the city of Providence,
Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, Newport, Narragansett
Pier, Bristol & Westerly":
The Rhode Island Brewing Co.

"Rhode Island Brewing Company, Brewers of India Pale and Canada
Malt Ale. - The Opinion once prevailed among certain classes of the
community that first class ale and porter could not be brewed in
America. This sentiment is solely confined to Anglomaniacs, who
obtain their clothes from England, and all they can of what they eat
and drink.

This company are extensive brewers of ale and porter, which are noted
throughout New England for their purity and excellence. Their India
Pale Ale is equal, if not superior, to any Bass or Allsop pale ale ever
imported, while their Canada Malt Ale is very rich in nutriment, a
delicious family beverage, and especially adapted for invalids. Their
Stock Ales and Porter cannot be excelled by any brewery in the
country.
The Rhode Island Brewing Co.

The business was founded here in 1867, by Mr. John Bligh, who was
succeeded in turn by Cooney & Hanley in 1876, and by James Hanley &
Co. in 1879; and in 1886 the present company was incorporated with a
capital stock of $500,000, and with James Hanley, president and treasurer.
This gentleman is an authority to everything pertaining to brewing, and
he is constantly effecting improvements which serve to place him in a
position to promptly meet the growing demand for his justly celebrated ale,
and to maintain it's high standard and superiority.

The plant comprises a ground area of 25,000 square feet, on which are
erected a series of five-story brick buildings, all equipped with modern
appliances, apparatus and machinery, while the mash tubs, vats, settling
tanks, pumps, refrigerators and storage vessels all bespeak the watchful
care and intelligent enterprise of the management. The brew kettle has
the capacity for brewing 200 barrels at a brew, while there is storage room
for 8,000 barrels, and the annual productive capacity of the brewery is
100,000 barrels.


The Rhode Island Brewing Co.

The brewery is a model of order, neatness and good management,
and has no superior in these respects in the country. The best malt
and hops are utilized, and these are handled in such a manner as to
result in the production of ale and porter which for purity, flavor
and quality are unexcelled in this or any other market. An inferior
grade of ale or porter is never permitted to leave the premises; hence
its excellent reputation with retailers, families and connoisseurs. A
splendid line of stock ale is kept on hand, and the trade is large and
influential all through New England. Mr. Hanley, the moving spirit
of the enterprise, has resided in this country since childhood, and
commands the respect and confidence of the entire community."



The Rhode Island Brewing Co.

Rhode Island Brewing Co. Lithograph Behind the Bar
Providence Brewing Co.

As a totally separate venture from his operations at the corner of
Fountain and Jackson Streets, James Hanley joined with John
E. Goode to operate the American Brewing Company in 1894.
This brewery was located on the corner of Eagle Street and
Harris Avenue in Providence. This brewery would later be
called the Providence Brewing Company.






According to State incorporation records, the Rhode Island
Brewing Company officially became known as the James Hanley
Brewing Company on May 29, 1895. The brewery thrived with
its production of Peerless, India Pale, Pale Export and Cream
Ales. It also produced a popular Porter.



 The James Hanley Brewing Co.

The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
Hanley, Hoye & Co.

While the James Hanley Brewing Company was growing rapidly
and becoming quite prosperous, the Hanley brothers liquor &
wine wholesale business moved to 54 Exchange Place in 1898. It
was then known as the Hanley, Hoye & Co. where Eastern Ryes,
and Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey were also sold.
At the end of the 19th
C e n t u r y, t h e J a m e s
Hanley Brewing
Company introduced its
first advertising icon that
it would use to promote
its products for many
years to come. He was
affectionately known as
t h e " C o n n o i s s e u r, " a
stately older gentleman
toasting a glass of Irish
ale.

The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
1901 Lithograph Calendar
James
The Hanley
James Brewing
Hanley Co.Co.
Brewing
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
James Hanley
Celebrates
Admiral George Dewey
c. 1903

1901 Lithograph Calendar
James
The Hanley
James Brewing
Hanley Co.Co.
Brewing
Providence Grays Scorebook

The James Hanley Brewing Co.
Henry Clossick’s Mug
1908

Photograph of the Cumberland House
The James Hanley
c. 1900 Brewing Co.
Photograph of the Cumberland House
The James Hanley
c. 1900 Brewing Co.
Photograph of the Cumberland House
The James Hanley
c. 1900 Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
Like all breweries of the time, the James Hanley Brewing
Company relied heavily on the horse and wagon to transport its
products. Being an aficionado of the “finest and fastest driving
horses”, James Hanley used only the best Belgian Draught Horses
available for the task. The James Hanley Brewing Company
became "World Famous" for its 6 & 9 horse wagon teams which
were often seen at fairs and parades throughout New England. 




Roger Williams Park, Providence c. 1910
1911
1911
1911
Sadly, James Hanley passed away at 159 Prospect Street,
Providence, Rhode Island, on August 31, 1912. He was laid to rest
in Saint Francis Cemetery in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

A life member of the American Irish Historical Society, his
organization honored their friend with a heart-felt obituary: 




"James Hanley, a life member of the American Irish Historical Society, died in
Providence, August 31st, 1912.

He was born in the County Roscommon, Ireland, September 7th, 1841, and came
there to Providence, where, at an early age, he entered an active business life which he
followed to the time of his death. His early boyhood knew the hardships of toil and
little of the school, but he had the gift of clear thinking and an ambition to know, and
as he grew in years, knowledge of men and things and books came, and with it a
broadness of character and a business ability of wide and successful range. His
experience as an investor and his familiarity of values were quickly recognized by his
business associates, and his judgement was considered of rare value to the banks and
large corporations with which he was associated.

In a manner Mr. Hanley was reserved but cordial, and his relations with his fellow
members in this Society and the public in general were always marked by a quiet
dignity and courtesy. His purse was ever open for charity and his heart true to his
friends who will always remember him.

Mr. Hanley, at the time of his death, was President of the old established corporation
of Hanley-Hoye Company, President and Treasurer of the James Hanley Brewing
Company, President of the Providence Brewing Company, director in the National
Exchange Bank and in other corporations.
He was a large owner of real estate in his home city, and in all his enterprises he
depended almost entirely upon his own judgement and financial accumulations. The
secret of his success was a combination of industry, clear business judgement and
fairness towards those with whom he dealt.

He was reluctant to attract notice, and, although frequently importuned to accept
official positions in financial institutions, persistently refused until he became a
member of the reorganization committee of the Union Trust Company, and later
when that company sold to the National Exchange Bank, he became a director in the
latter institution.

Mr. Hanley had a love for horses, and during his career was the owner of the finest
and fastest driving horses in the State, an of very notable horses of the American
turf.

He will be sadly missed among a large circle of friends and acquaintances."

(Written by Thomas Zanslaur Lee)
The Hanley Family Gravesite

St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket
The Hanley Family Gravesite

St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket
The Hanley Family Gravesite

St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket
The Hanley Family Gravesite

St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket
With James Hanley's passing, the role of President and Vice
President of the brewery was passed on to his sons.

In 1913, a second advertising icon was commissioned by the James
Hanley Brewing Co. to compliment their popular “Connoisseur”.
This new character, a lovable British Bulldog affectionately
known as the “Watchdog of Quality” was painted that year by
Frederic Stanley, a commercial artist who was gaining quite a bit
of popularity at the time.

Not actually put into widespread use by the brewery until after
the repeal of prohibition in 1933, this bulldog became synonymous
with the brewery as the 20th century progressed. This painting
hung in the administration office of the brewery until its final
closure. In fact, The James Hanley Brewing Co. considered this
image of the bulldog so valuable to its identity that it insured the
painting with Llyod's of London. 





The “Watchdog of Quality” by Frederic Stanley
James Hanley Brewing Co. 1913
The “Watchdog of Quality” by Frederic Stanley
James Hanley Brewing Co. 1913
As a means of marketing its products
more efficiently, the James Hanley
Brewing Company stopped relying on
independent bottling companies in
1915. A June 29, 1915 advertisement
in the Taunton (Massachusetts) Daily
Gazette proclaimed that "Hanley's Ale
- The Standard of Excellence - is now
bottled at the brewery."

Depending on what type of Ale suited
your taste, you could recognize it by
the color of the label it was packaged
with. Pale Ale came in a Red labeled
bottle. Dark Ale came in Blue. You
could get Half Stock Ale in a Green
labeled bottle and Extra Ale in
Purple. If Porter was your favorite, it
could be found in a Yellow labeled
bottle.



The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The Inner Workings of a Pre- Prohibition Brewery

The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
The James Hanley Brewing Co.
Match Books & Match Safes
c. 1910 - 1918

The James Hanley Brewing Co.
After remaining neutral for
three years, the United States
entered the European “Great
War” on April 6, 1917. Before
the Armistice was finally
declared on November 11, 1918,
116,516 American servicemen
lost their lives for their country
and 204,002 were wounded.
As her troops returned from the "War
that would end all wars", the United
States came under pressure to recognize a
rapidly growing and national temperance
movement. This ensuing storm
dramatically changed the lifestyles and
livelihoods of many Americans,
particularly those in the liquor and beer
industry. Despite an earlier veto of the
proposed bill by President Woodrow
Wilson, the United States ratified the
18th Amendment of the Constitution of
the United States on January 19, 1919.
Known as the "Volstead Act", the
production, importation, exportation and
sale of alcoholic beverages became illegal
throughout the United States. This
National Prohibition Act went into effect
on January 29, 1920.


BUT JUST FOR THE RECORD...

All but 2 of the 48 United States Ratified
the 18th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States

The ONLY 2 States to REJECT the 18th Amendment were:

CONNECTICUT

RHODE ISLAND

So Don’t Go Blaming Us For the Lack of
Good 1920s BREWERIANA !!!!
As with every brewery located with the
United States, the James Hanley Brewing
Company faced many hardships with the
enactment of prohibition in 1920. While
most of its competitors shut their doors
during these difficult years, The James
Hanley Brewing Co. managed to survive
with the production of a near beer known
as "Limited." James Hanley's sons did all
they could to keep the brewery operational.
In 1922, Walter H. Hanley was listed as
President and Director of the brewery as
well as the Hanley-Hoye Company. His
brother, Gerald T. Hanley, would be listed
as both Vice-President of the James
Hanley Brewing Company and Vice-
President and Director of the Providence
Brewing Company. In July of 1924, the
stockholders of the James Hanley Brewing
Company voted to sell the corporation’s
real estate and equipment to the James
Hanley Company. This sale was carried
Prohibition Era Near Beer
into effect on March 4, 1925.



December 5, 1933
The 21st Amendment of the
Constitution of the
United States is Passed

Prohibition is Repealed

Beer Flows Once Again!
The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
1935 - Hanley’s Ale Is Brewed Once Again... BUT...

“Although the first ale put out by Hanley’s in 1935 was disliked by many, the
present ale is acceptable to a worth-while section of the market.”

“In May 1935 Hanley’s Ale was put on the market. Local distribution was
wide enough to give many ale drinkers an opportunity to try the product.
Sales at first were encouraging, but after a few weeks they fell off sharply.
Accompanying the drop were a number of complaints from distributors and
consumers. Most frequent criticisms named a bitter taste, an offensive odor,
or a laxative effect...”

(The Report on the Distribution Problems of Hanely’s Ale 1935)

The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
1935 - Hanley’s Ale Is Brewed Once Again... BUT...

“Rumors founded on dislike of the first product have seriously reduced sales.”

“The rumor that a certain beer has a marked laxative effect is a hardy
perennial of the brewing business, and such basis in fact as it has is founded on
the fact that all beer has a mildly laxative effect. Whether or not the first
Hanley’s had a much more pronounced laxative effect than other beers is
immaterial now. Dislike, founded on this or some other basis, gave wide
currency to the rumor. As dislike spread, the rumors gained impetus and
variety, but the ale itself bore the brunt of the attack...”

(The Report on the Distribution Problems of Hanely’s Ale 1935)

The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
James Hanley Supports the Bad Guys in 1937

for the record:
We are Diehard
red sox
fans

The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
The James Hanley Company Survives the 1938 Hurricane

The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
The James Hanley Company - The 1930s
“That’s My Pop” Puppy Print of 1941

The James Hanley Company - The 1940s
“That’s My Pop” Puppy Print of 1941

The James Hanley Company - The 1940s
Scollay Square
The James Hanley Company - The 1940s
Hanley’s 1947 “Fountain of Melody” Radio Broadcasts
Station W.E.A.M. Providence

The James Hanley Company - The 1940s
Gerald T. Hanley passed away at
the age of 66 years on March 14,
1950. His Presidency was
succeeded by Justin Hanley
Dempsey. In 1954, the Board of
Directors for the James Hanley
Co. included Justin H. Dempsey,
and majority stockholders Joseph
J. Bodell Sr., and Andrew P.
Quinn. In addition, there were
four newly appointed directors:
Abraham Beliline, C. Richard
Duffy, William B. Glase, and
Harold Arcaro, who also served
as the Chairman of the Board
based on his majority holdings of
preferred stock.

The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
On February 25, 1955,
Harold Arcaro replaced
John H. Dempsey as
President of the James
Hanley Co.. At that
time, the Board of
Directors was reduced
from seven to five
members.

The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
On May 2, 1957, Carl Haffenreffer of the Narragansett
Brewing Company of Cranston, Rhode Island, announced that
his company purchased the rights to all of the “Hanley” brands of
beer and ale. This transaction did not include the sale of any
tangible real estate in Providence. The following day, Harold
Arcaro formally acknowledged the sale of the Hanley Brewery
and that the directors of the company would begin to dismantle
the physical plant and dispose of any and all property.

On March 14, 1960, the storage tanks of the brewery were
removed. In time, the brewery would be demolished to make way
for the construction of the Route 95 Interstate which passes
through Providence.

The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
BEER WOULD NEVER BE
BREWED AT THE CORNER
OF
JACKSON & FOUNTAIN
STREETS AGAIN

The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
The Brewery Site Today...
The James Hanley Company - The 1950s
John Bligh’s “Narragansett” Brewery

The Brewery Site Today...
1875 Providence Map Detail - Ward 4T
(David Rumsey Map Collection)
on)
tens i
(Ex
in
unta
Fo

Ja
ck
so
n
W
ay

The Brewery Site Today...
on)
tens i
(Ex
in
unta
Fo

Ja
ck
so
n
W
ay

The Brewery Site Today...
Historic Timeline

HOLMES BREWERY
c. 1820 - 1862

JOHN BLIGH “NARRAGANSETT” BREWERY
1867 - c. 1876

COONEY & HANLEY
"MERCHANT'S BREWERY"
1876 - 1879

JAMES HANLEY & CO.
"SILVER SPRING BREWERY"
1879 - 1883

RHODE ISLAND BREWING CO.
1883 - 1895

JAMES HANLEY BREWING CO.
1895 - 1920

THE JAMES HANLEY CO.
1934 - 1957
Reed’s Brewery
Fletcher & Co.
Providence, Rhode Island

1830 - 187?
Reed’s Brewery
1838 - 1855

Fletcher & Co. Brewery
1856 - 1866

William F. Baker & Co.
1868 - 1870

Reed’s Brewery, W.F. Baker Prop.
1870 - ?
In 1838, an obscure little
brewery operated at the corner
of Pine and Richmond Streets
in Providence. It was located in
a defunct 1795 parish known as
the “Tin Tap Church”. Prior to
b e c o m i n g a b r e w e r y, t h e
building housed a circus. The
Brewery was originally owned
by Rufus Reed. By 1856, it was
under the operation of Calvin
Fletcher. Fletcher eventually
sold his business to William F.
Baker in 1868.
Fletcher & Co. Brewery
1856 - 1866
Fletcher & Co. Brewery
Providence Directory of 1866
The Newport Brewery

Early - Mid 19th Century
The Newport Brewery

Rhode Island Republican
February 24, 1841
The Molter Brewery
Cranston, Rhode Island

1866 - 1920
Kelly & Baker Brewery
Kelly & Woefel Brewery
Woefel & Molter Brewery

This small brewery began life as the Kelly & Baker Brewery
in 1866. Despite being listed with a Providence, Rhode
Island, address, it was actually located on Spectacle Pond in
Cranston. Today, this site is known as Molter street, a dead
end drive located in a neighborhood next to the famous
Rhode Island landmark, Twin Oaks Restaurant. 


Over the years, the Kelly & Baker Brewery underwent
numerous ownerships and subsequent name changes. Shortly
after the business began, Baker sold his principle shares to
Andrew Woefel. The Kelly and Woefel Brewery operated
until 1868 when Nicholas Molter bought out Charles Kelly.
At that time, the company became known as the Woefel and
Molter Brewery. 


Kelly & Baker Brewery
Kelly & Woefel Brewery
Woefel & Molter Brewery

Nicholas Molter was born in Germany on October 10, 1818.
He was educated in the public schools of the Hesse Homurg
Duchy. As a young man, he worked on his father’s farm and
later learned the blacksmith’s trade. He worked as such until
he emigrated to the United States in 1840. After working a
few odd jobs for the first six years in America, he became a
dealer in pork products in Providence. Nicholas Molter was
married to Wilhelmina Ulrich. His political views were
usually independent, but he usually voted with the
Democrats. 


Nicholas Molter Brewery
What Cheer Brewery

Nicholas Molter was a prominent member of the German-
American community. In 1876, he became the sole
proprietor of the Nicholas Molter Brewery when he bought
out Andrew Woelfel. When this occurred, his establishment
had offices at 115 and 117 Pine Street in Providence. Also
known as the What Cheer Brewery, it produced traditional
lager beer which was sold throughout New England as well
as "some of the other states." Although the original
brewhouse burned down in 1876, it was rebuilt that same
year under Nicholas Molter's supervision. 


Nicholas Molter Brewery
What Cheer Brewery

c. 1878
Nicholas Molter Brewery
What Cheer Brewery
Nicholas Molter Brewery
What Cheer Brewery
Molter & Oehm
What Cheer Brewery
N. Molter & Sons

Over the years, additional
partners in the company would
come and go. In 1877, Nicholas
Molter took on a partner, Henry
H. Oehm. The brewery became
known as Molter & Oehm,
Proprietors of the What Cheer
Lager Beer Brewery.

By 1885, Nicholas Molter
completely took over the brewery
with his sons, Henry T. and John
N. Molter. While still known as
the What Cheer Lager Beer
Brewery, it also went by the name
of the N. Molter & Sons Brewery.
Molter & Oehm
What Cheer Brewery
N. Molter & Sons


In 1895, Henry T. and John N.
Molter assumed all
responsibilities of the brewery
f r o m t h e i r f a t h e r. H e n r y
Molter passed away one year
later in January of 1896.


The N. Molter's Sons
B r e w e r y / H . T. & J . N .
Molter Brewery / What Cheer
Lager Beer Brewery had its
offices at 14 - 20 Potter Street
in Providence. It was known
for its production of What
Cheer Lager Beer.
Molter & Oehm
What Cheer Brewery
N. Molter & Sons
Molter & Oehm
What Cheer Brewery
N. Molter & Sons
Nicholas T. Molter Brewery
What Cheer Brewery

In 1897, Henry T. Molter
became the sole proprietor of
the What Cheer Lager Beer
Brewery. In addition to What
Cheer Lager Beer, he made
Princess Ale around 1905.
These two products were
"Guaranteed to be
A B S O L U T E LY P U R E "
and they were "Brewed
Especially for Families and
Recommended by the Medical
Profession". At this time,
Henry Molter had his office in
Cranston.
Nicholas T. Molter Brewery
What Cheer Brewery
Nicholas T. Molter Brewery
What Cheer Brewery
Nicholas T. Molter Brewery
What Cheer Brewery
Consumer’s Brewing Co.

In 1911, Henry T. Molter
changed the name of his
brewery to the Consumer’s
Brewing Co.. It became known
for its Minster Lager Beer. 


It has been said that Henry T.
Molter quit the brewing
business in 1915 to become
involved with silk
manufacturing. Whether this
(or the enactment of
prohibition in 1920) closed the
brewery's doors in the years to
f o l l o w, t h e y w o u l d n e v e r
reopen.
Consumer’s Brewing Co.
Historic Timeline

KELLY & BAKER BREWERY
1866 - Unknown

KELLY & WOEFEL BREWERY
Unknown - 1868

WOEFEL & MOLTER BREWERY
1868-1876

NICHOLAS MOLTER
"WHAT CHEER" BREWERY
1876-1877

MOLTER & OEHM BREWERY
"WHAT CHEER" BREWERY
1877-1885

N. MOLTER'S & SONS
"WHAT CHEER" BREWERY
1885-1895

HENRY T. & J.N. MOLTER BREWERY
"WHAT CHEER" BREWERY
1895-1897

HENRY T. MOLTER
"WHAT CHEER" BREWERY
1897-1911

CONSUMER'S BREWING CO.
1911-1920
Consumer’s Brewing Co.

The Brewery as it Appeared in 2008
The Keily & Eagle Brewing Co.
Providence, Rhode Island

1866 - 1920
Keily & Sullivan Brewery
1873 - 1877



Bartholomew Keily was a Providence bottler who ran
his business at the rear of 154 Pine Street at the corner
of Richmond. He took over the P. Corbett Bottling
Plant in 1872 which bottled a wide variety of sodas.

Bartholomew's brother, Owen, and Eugene Sullivan
joined his business in 1873 and started a brewery known
as the Keily and Sullivan Brewery.


Keily & Sullivan Brewery
1873 - 1877

Stoneware Bottles - Keily and Sullivan Brewery
Dated 1874 & c. 1873
Keily Brothers Brewery
Eagle Brewing Company

In 1877, the Keily & Sullivan Brewery became known as the
Keily Brothers Brewery after Sullivan left the business. In
time, it became known as the Eagle Brewing Company
which produced Red Star Ale and Lager Beer. At this time,
the Brewery was located at the junction of West Exchange,
Ames, Bruce and McAvoy streets in Providence.


Keily Brothers Brewery
Eagle Brewing Company
Eagle Brewing Company

Around 1895, The Simon
Levin & Sons Co. became
wholesalers for the Eagle
B r e w i n g C o m p a n y. T h i s
company was located at 208
Chalkstone Blvd. in
Providence. Simon Levin &
Sons held offices at 150 Charles
Street when becoming
incorporated in 1900 with
Morris Levin. By 1902, the
company was known as the
Levin Bros. They would go out
of business in 1913.



Eagle Brewing Company



The Eagle Brewing Company had an annual capacity of
150,000 barrels at the turn of the 20th century. Like many
other breweries, it closed its doors with the enactment of
prohibition in 1920.


Eagle Brewing Company
Eagle Brewing Company
Historic Timeline

KEILEY & SULLIVAN
BREWERY
1873-1877

KEILEY BROS.
EAGLE BREWING CO.
1877-1888

BENJAMIN KEILEY
EAGLE BREWING CO.
1888-1899

EAGLE BREWING CO.
1899-1920
The Narragansett Brewing Company
“Providence” / Cranston, Rhode Island

1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Without doubt, the largest and most famous of all
the breweries to ever operate in the state of Rhode Island was
the Narragansett Brewing Company. A true "Neighbor" in
every sense of the word, “Gansett” was a mainstay in the
Ocean State for nearly 100 years.

The Narragansett Brewing Company was originally
established in Providence by six German-American
businessmen in 1888. The “Original Six” investors of the
fledgling company included: Jacob Wirth from Boston,
Constand A. Moeller, George M. Gerhard, Augustus F.
Borchandt, Herman G. Possner and John Fehlbert.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

John Fehlbert was a German
immigrant who ran a
successful dairy business. By
far, his most popular and
lucrative product was
"Butterine", an early
precursor to margarine.
Fehlbert’s profits allowed the
“Original Six” to construct
their new brewery with an
initial capitalization between
$120,000 and $150,000.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Although the Narragansett
Brewing Company originally
advertised that it was located in
Providence, Rhode Island, it was
actually built just beyond the
city’s limits in nearby Cranston.
It was located at the corners of
Cranston Street, New Depot
Avenue and Garfield Avenue.
This area was known as
Arlington and was well known
for its artesian wells and
superior water quality. It was
also conveniently located along
the New York/New Haven/
Hartford Railroad Line.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

The Narragansett Brewing Company was incorporated in
1890. That year, under the direction of Brewmaster George
Wilhelm, the first barrel of beer rolled off the production
line.

1898
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983


The Narragansett Brewing Company produced 397
barrels of beer during its first year of operation in 1890.
One year later, this number rose to a remarkable 27,887
barrels. From the very beginning, the company’s hallmark
products were Half Stock Ale and Export Lager Beer.

The Narragansett Brewing Company thrived during its
first thirty years of operation. During this time, it would
become the largest brewery in all of New England. Much
pride was taken in the slogan, "The Famous
Narragansett... Made on Honor, Sold on Merit".
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983


In 1901, as the 19th Century
rolled over into the 20th, the
Narragansett Brewing
Company produced 114,182
barrels of beer. By 1908, it
turned out 196,173. These
figures would double in the
years that lead up to
Prohibition. During this time,
the brewery was producing
Half Stock Banquet Ale and
Select Stock Lager. It also
made, on a more limited and
seasonal basis, Porter and Bock
Beer.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In addition to increasing production from its meager
beginnings in 1890, the Narragansett Brewing Company
also expanded its physical plant over the first thirty years
of operation. Much money was reinvested in the company
and over $4,000,000 was spent on improvements. By 1915,
the brewery occupied 42 acres of land and now housed
thirty buildings on its property.

One of these buildings was a new hygienic bottling plant.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a
quite common for independent bottling companies to bottle
a brewery's products at a site distant from the brewery
itself. With the brewery's new bottling facility, the
Narragansett Brewing Company could now bottle its own
beer.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

The Narragansett Brewing Company also built new boiler and
engine rooms in addition to two cold storage basements. A
cooperage shop was constructed on site so that wooden beer
barrels could be fabricated.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In the early years, the Narragansett Brewing Company relied
on horses and wagons to transport its products. For their care,
the brewery built a stable and garage large enough to hold 50
wagons on its grounds. In addition. a blacksmith and carpenter
shop were also constructed.

In later years, these horses and wagons were eventually
replaced by motorized wagons. Despite this, the Narragansett
Brewing Company would continue to keep ceremonial teams as
romantic symbols of the brewery's proud heritage. They were
commonly used for promotional purposes and were often seen
at regional fairs and parades up until the early 1960s.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

For the transportation of its products beyond the local
market, the Narragansett Brewing Company relied on a line
of refrigerated railroad cars. The New York/New Haven/
Hartford Railroad Line ran adjacent to the brewery which
allowed for the transportation of goods to and from the
facility. With the refrigerated railroad car, spoilage was less of
an issue in the days prior to Pasteurization.


Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Narragansett ale and lager could now be found throughout
New England and beyond. With shipping available through
the local ports in Narragansett Bay, Narragansett “Export”
was now found in such far off and exotic destinations as
Turkey, Panama, the West Indies, and Egypt.

Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

When a brewery delivered its products to a neighboring
establishment by the keg, the delicious product had to be
dispensed. This was done by the "tap" system. In order to
keep beer or ale at the ideal temperature, kegs were stored
in the basement. They were connected by lines to
stanchions, or "taps", located at the establishment's bar
where the product was drawn from below.

In 1917, the Narragansett Brewing Company conceived a
plan to ensure its faithful customers received the product
they so requested. They promoted a "Point to the Tap
Sign" campaign in which brass and porcelain markers were
mounted in front of draft stanchions located on the
proprietor's bar. This way, when a customer requested a
Narragansett product, they received a Narragansett
product.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In addition to producing ales and beers, the Narragansett
Brewing Company also operated a large artificial ice facility
on its grounds. It had nine artesian wells on the property in
addition to an ice pond, ice house and three refrigeration
machines.


Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

As ice was the only means of refrigeration during the late
19th and early 20th centuries, the Narragansett Brewing
Company kept very busy stocking neighborhood ice boxes. At
the dawn of the 20th century, it has been said that 25 tons of
ice per day were distributed to 1500 customers.


Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

There's probably nothing more American, or anything
that goes better with beer, than baseball! Taking
advantage of Rhode Island's local team, the Providence
Grays, the Boston's Americans (Red Sox) and
Nationals (Braves), the Narragansett Brewing
Company often promoted its products by putting its
name on promotional items. In many years to come, the
brewery would be very active in sponsoring the local
nine in Boston.

Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In the years prior to
prohibition, the officers of
the Narragansett Brewing
Company included:


President:
Constand A. Moeller

Vice-President:
John H. Fehlbert

Treasurer:
Joseph H. Gerard

Brewmaster:
Otto Henn

Plant Manager:
Emil Schierholz


Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
After remaining neutral for
three years, the United States
entered the European “Great
War” on April 6, 1917. Before
the Armistice was finally
declared on November 11, 1918,
116,516 American servicemen
lost their lives for their country
and 204,002 were wounded.
As her troops returned from the "War
that would end all wars", the United
States came under pressure to recognize a
rapidly growing and national temperance
movement. This ensuing storm
dramatically changed the lifestyles and
livelihoods of many Americans,
particularly those in the liquor and beer
industry. Despite an earlier veto of the
proposed bill by President Woodrow
Wilson, the United States ratified the
18th Amendment of the Constitution of
the United States on January 19, 1919.
Known as the "Volstead Act", the
production, importation, exportation and
sale of alcoholic beverages became illegal
throughout the United States. This
National Prohibition Act went into effect
on January 29, 1920.


Third, the Narragansett
The Narragansett Brewing
Brewing Company
Company
did all it continued
could to stay its production
alive during of
malt tonic. First,
prohibition. As malt tonic had aa new
it produced low
alcohol content sodas.
line of flavored and was soldcarbonated
These and used
for
b e v medicinal
e r a g e s i npurposes
c l u d e d only,
G i nit
g ewas
r Anot
le,
prohibited
Sarsaparillaunder and Root theBeer.
Volstead Act.
Neither was "Near Beer", a non-
intoxicating malt beverage required by
Second, the Narragansett Brewing
law to have an alcohol content less than
Company continued to produce ice at its
one half of one percent. During
artificial ice facility.

Prohibition,

 Narragansett took their
“Gansett”

 Pilsner, made it a near beer,
and gave it the slogan "The New Brew
with

 the Old Name".







Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

As time went by, prohibition gradually began to take its toll on
the aging Narragansett Brewing Company. The 40 year old
brewery slowly became outdated. If the company was to survive,
it required modernization, as well as the guidance and financial
support of a leader in the industry to pull it off.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In 1931, the Narragansett Brewing
Company approached Rudolph F.
Haffenreffer, Jr. to inquire if he
was interested in running their
brewery. Mr. Haffenreffer was the
son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Sr., a
prominent brewer in Boston who
began his Haffenreffer Brewing
Company in 1870. He had run this
company until his death on March 8,
1929. Fortunately for
N a r r a g a n s e t t , R u d o l p h , J r. ,
accepted their offer and assumed
control of the Narragansett
Brewing Company with the titles of
President and Chairman of the
Board.
Rudolph F. Haffenreffer, Jr.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Under his supervision and financial
assistance, the Narragansett
Brewing Company underwent
dramatic alterations to became the
largest New England company of its
kind during the waning years of
prohibition.

One way or another, Rudolph
Haffenreffer and the Narragansett
Brewing Company managed to keep
their operations running until
President Franklin Delenore
Roosevelt signed into law an
amendment to the Volstead Act on
March 23, 1933 thus repealing
prohibition.
Rudolph F. Haffenreffer, Jr.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In 1933, the Narragansett
Brewing Company began
using water from the
Scituate Reservoir.

In 1936, the brewery
began placing its products
in newly developed cans. It
was the first brewery to
do so in large volume.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Rudolph Haffenreffer
was an aficionado of
cigar store “Indian”
carvings. He would hire
the talents of his son’s
Dartmouth College
friend, Theodore Geisel
(a.k.a. “Dr. Seuss”), to
help market the
Narragansett name.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

The Narragansett Brewing Company began sponsoring the
Boston Red Sox and Braves radio broadcasts in 1947. They
would continue to do the same for the Red Sox radio and
television broadcasts for 20 years
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Corner of Weybosset and Dorrance Streets in Providence
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

South Main Street, Providence
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In Front of The Old Howard Theatre, Scollay Square, Boston
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Test Labels
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Test Label
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

1954 Boston
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Rudolph F. Haffenreffer
passed away on October 9,
1954. The Narragansett
Brewing Co. was then run
by his sons, Rudolph
Haffenreffer III
(President) and Carl
Haffenreffer (Executive
Vice President).
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Executive Staff in Front of the Administration Building
Narragansett Brewing Company c. 1955
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company Annual Banquet c. 1955
Featuring Hi Neighbor Girl Irene Hennessy, Frank Carrera, Bob Sousa,
Jim Duarte, John Vincent & Joe Tavares of Colonial Liquor
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Harvard square
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In 1957, the Narragansett Brewing Company bought out the
Hanley Brewing Company of Providence making it the sole
brewery to operate in Rhode Island. It also bought out the rights
to the Haffenreffer and Croft Brewing Companies of Boston as
well as the Enterprise Brewing Company of Fall River and
Krueger Brewing Company of New Jersey.

In 1959, the Narragansett Brewing Company celebrated the first
annual production of 1 million barrels of beer.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Mr. Morgan at the Brewery
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Steven Toppa
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Ed Sally
Theberge Pierce
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Scollay Square, Boston, 1958
Scollay Square, Boston, Massachusetts c. 1955 - 1957
Scollay Square, Boston, Massachusetts c. 1955 - 1957
Boston Garden
In 1957, the Narragansett Brewing Company bought out the
Hanley Brewing Company of Providence making it the sole
brewery to operate in Rhode Island. It also bought out the rights
to the Haffenreffer and Croft Brewing Companies of Boston as
well as the Enterprise Brewing Company of Fall River and
Krueger Brewing Company of New Jersey.

In 1959, the Narragansett Brewing Company celebrated the first
annual production of 1 million barrels of beer.
1956 red sox schedule
featuring “Gansett Girl” Irene hennessy
Relaxed...
Refreshed....
1962 Hi Neighbor Girl
Penny Sjoka of Turner Falls, Massachusetts
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Elaine May & Mike Nichols
Narragansett Beer Commercials With Nichols and May c. 1963
Narragansett Beer Commercials With Nichols and May c. 1963
Narragansett Beer Commercials With Nichols and May c. 1963
Narragansett Beer Commercials With Nichols and May c. 1963
Narragansett Beer Commercials With Nichols and May c. 1963
Narragansett Beer Commercials With Nichols and May c. 1963
Narragansett Test Can
Red Sox Broadcasters Mel Parnell, Ned Martin & Curt Gowdy
1964
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

In order to overcome rising economic
conditions, The Narragansett Brewing
Co. was sold to the Falstaff Brewing
Company for $17 Million and $2 Million
of common Falstaff stock in 1965. The
Narragansett Brewing Company would
operate under the supervision of Falstaff
for 16 years.
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Beer Commercial c. 1966
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Television Commercial
c. 1972
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Narragansett Bock Beer Festival with Joseph Garrahy and William Deveraux
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
BOSTON BRUINS 1969 - 1970

Coach Harry Sinden Celebrates the Stanley Cup Victory with a Gansett!
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

1974 Chevy El Camino, 1st Place, Narragansett Car Show
Gansett in the Movies
JAWS
1975
Gansett in the Movies
JAWS
1975

Great Little Actors
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

The Last Narragansett Beer Commercial
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Narragansett Brewing Company Administration Building c. 1990
Narragansett Brewing Company
1890 - 1983

Narragansett Brewing Company Administration Building c. 1990
Narragansett Brewing Company
2009
The American / Providence
Brewing Company
Providence, Rhode Island

1892 - 1927
American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

American Brewing Company
1892 - 1896

Providence Brewing Company
1896 - 1920
American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

This brewery was located in a majestic brick building at 431
Harris Avenue in Providence, Rhode Island. Built on the
corner of Eagle Street, it was originally known as the
American Brewing Company when it was established in 1892.
In 1896, James Hanley, principle owner of the James Hanley
Brewing Company, became the brewery's president. He would
rename his new enterprise the Providence Brewing Company.


The Providence Brewing Company was famous for it's
production of "New England's Famous" Bohemian Beer and
Canada Malt Ale. It also produced a "Dark" Columbian Beer,
XXX Sparkling Ale, Standard Pale Ale, and Nutshell Ale.

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Reversed Glass Sign c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927
American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

The Brewery in 1909 - Photograph Courtesy the City of Providence

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Lithograph Calendar 1898

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Cart c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

In 1897, James Hanley hired John E. Good, proprietor of the
Providence Bottling Company, to act as the brewery’s secretary
and treasurer. The Providence Bottling Company was one of
numerous independent bottlers who distributed the brewery’s
product. After nine years of employment, John Good left this
position and returned to his former occupation.

As the early 20th century progressed, the Providence Brewing
Company declared it had its own "Brewery Bottling". It became
known for its “Bohemian” Lager and Canada Malt Ale.

In 1907, James Hanley hired Gustave F. Mensing to manage
the company. Mensing would hold this position until the closing
of the brewery with the enactment of prohibition in 1919.
Although this act was repealed in 1933, the facility would never
re-open.

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Reversed Glass Sign c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Lithograph Calendar and Celluloid Mirror c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Porcelain Tray c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Bottle Label c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Postcard & Corkscrew c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Newspaper Ads 1905

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Bottle Label c. 1910

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Trays c. 1910

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Trays c. 1910

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Reversed Glass Sign c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company Tray, Opener, & Bottle c. 1900

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Opener & Porcelain Tap Marker c. 1910

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Bottles & Tray c. 1910

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Bar Sign Postcard c. 1910

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company - Boston Branch - Photo Courtesy Boston Public Library

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Providence Brewing Company - Boston Branch - Photo Courtesy Boston Public Library

American / Providence
Brewing Company
1892 - 1927

Tower
Above the Line is Gone
Location

The Providence Brewing Company as it looked in 2008 - 431 Harris Avenue, Providence

The Park Brewing Company
Providence, Rhode Island

1899 - 1913
Park Brewing Company
1899 - 1913

This little brewery was located a short distance from Roger
Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island. It stood at the
junction of 1100 Elmwood Avenue and McKinley Street.

According to state documents issued on April 25, 1900,
Frederick E. Perkins, James H. Hagan, and Charles J.
Christie filed "in the office of the secretary of state according
to law, their agreement to form a corporation under the name
of Park Brewing Company, for the purpose of engaging in the
business of manufacturing, brewing, and selling ale, beer,
porter, lager beer, and malt liquors and for manufacturing
mineral waters, distilled waters, hygienic ice, cereal and pure
food products, and for transacting any business connected
therewith or incidental thereto, and with the capital stock of
three thousand dollars, and also filed the certificate of the
general treasurer that they have paid into the general
treasury of the state the fee required by law."
Park Brewing Company
1899 - 1913

The Park Brewing Company became
known for its production of ale, lager,
porter and malt extract where "Chemists
find them clean and pure". These
beverages were available both by the keg
and by the bottle. Louis John Vetterman
was listed as the company's Brewmaster
in 1902.

After the Park Brewing Company closed
in 1913, the building housed the Eastern
Film Company where some of the
nation's first silent films were
produced. In addition to making comedies,
westerns, and war movies, they also
produced a variety of documentaries.
Park Brewing Company
1899 - 1913


Sadly, the brewery building was completely destroyed by fire on
August 23, 1917. 


Today, there is nothing left that even remotely resembles the
Park Brewing Company, or the neighborhood it once occupied.
Roger Williams Park is still there, but the brewery site is now
occupied by the Elmwood Avenue exit ramp extending off the
Huntington Expressway (Route 10).
Park Brewing Company
1899 - 1913
The Hand / Rhode Island
Brewing Company
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

1898 - 1938
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

HAND BREWING
COMPANY
1898-1933

RHODE ISLAND
BREWING COMPANY
1933-1938
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The Hand Brewing Company was located at the corner of
Mendon Avenue and Freemont Street in Pawtucket, Rhode
Island. Without doubt, this brewery had the most colorful
history of any of the breweries to operate in the Ocean State.
With a capital stock of $250,000, the company
was incorporated on August 9, 1898, by Michael Hand, Sr., his
son, Michael Hand, Jr., and Bernard Cabisius. 


Michael Hand, Sr., was no stranger to the brewery business. He
was previously associated with the Gulf Brewing Company of
Utica, New York, and both the Scranton and Lackawanna
Brewing Companies of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The Hand Brewing Company c. 1900

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Michael Hand, Sr., and his first wife, Bridget, had four
children. One of these children, Michael, Jr., followed in his
father's footsteps and became a brewer. He was born in Utica,
New York on September 12, 1866. In 1890, he married Annie
E. Connell from Scranton, Pennsylvania. After moving to
Rhode Island with his father, Michael, Jr., took up residence at
161 Cottage Street in Pawtucket.

Although Michael and Annie had seven children together, their
marriage, to say the least, was extremely tumultuous. Often
engaged in legal battles, they frequently managed to make the
headlines in the local newspapers. Some of their antics included:

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

"Michael Hand, Jr., Charged With Two Assaults. Mother-In-Law and Sister-In-
Law Complainants - Held In $100"
Pawtucket Times: December 10, 1902

"Pawtucket Millionaire Slept With The Dog. Picturesque State Of Affairs In
The Hand Family-Michael, Jr., Fined For Two Assaults"
Pawtucket Times: December 20, 1902

"Says Wife Like His Would Drive The Judge To Drink. Michael Hand, Jr., Makes
Fierce Attack On His Wife And Her Brother While Testifying In Action She
Brought For..."
Pawtucket Times: March 26, 1904

"Mrs. Rutledge Charges Brother With Cruelty. Tells Pitiful Story, Alleging
Michael Hand, Sr., Was Abused"
Pawtucket Times: April 21, 1914

"Witness Says Young Hand Threatened Arson Providence, April 28"
Pawtucket Times: April 28, 1914

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Advertising Sign of the Hand Brewing Company c. 1900

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Porcelain over Metal Corner Sign of the Hand Brewing Company c. 1900

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Tasting Glass & Account Book of the Hand Brewing Company c. 1900

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

After Michael Hand, Sr., lost his first wife,
the 85 year old re-married a Scranton,
Pennsylvania, widow by the name of Bridget
McHugh.

During its heyday, the Hand Brewing
Company thrived with the production of
Celebrated Half Stock Ale, Lager Beer and
Porter. It proclaimed that it produced "The
Beverage for the Man that Works." The
Hand Brewery had an annual production
capacity of 100,000 barrels a year. It even
had its own bottling facility, hiring Francis
Gavin to manage this department in 1907. 

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Serving Trays of the Hand Brewing Company c. 1900

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Advertising Fan of the Hand Brewing Company c. 1915

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Sadly, Michael Hand, Sr., passed away in 1911. He was buried in
St. John's cemetery of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

After the passing of his father, Michael Hand, Jr., took over the
operations of the Hand Brewing Company. Unfortunately, this
duty would only last four years. Michael Hand, Jr.,
unexpectedly passed away after a two week bout with
pneumonia on February 2, 1915. He was only 49 years old. His
untimely death left his widow, Mrs. Annie E. Hand, to serve as
both the brewery’s president and treasurer.

As the country slipped into the dark days of Prohibition, Annie
and the Hand Brewing Company would manage to
get themselves into trouble on more than one occasion. 

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

With the Volstead Act and the enactment of Prohibition in
1920, the Hand Brewing Company struggled for survival.
During this time, the brewery was given a permit to produce
low alcohol content cereal beverages. These attempted to look
like real beers, but they were actually only 1/2 of 1% in alcohol
content. They included such delicacies as Pilsner "style",
Sparkling, Celebrated Half Stock, and Stout.

Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Despite being able to produce these quasi-beers legally, the Hand
Brewing Company tested the Federal Prohibition Act on more
than one occasion. Producing illegal beer, it was the only
brewery in Rhode Island to do so at this time. Obviously, this
practice was frowned upon by the Federal Government. Local
officials were ordered to raid the brewery on numerous
occasions. In a 1983 Pawtucket Times article, Annie Hand’s
son, Robert R. Hand, claimed that the Hand Brewing
Company was under the impression that it was doing nothing
wrong when it produced the illegal beer. According to Mr.
Hand, a local politician allegedly gave the brewery permission to
operate. Although he is not named in the article, it is quite
probable that this “politician” was Mr. James Lavell, a local
realtor and “real boss of the Republican machine” whose
“behind-the-scenes conduct of political schemes for his own
aggrandizement found leader of both parties willing to help” .
James Lavell

Enter James Lavell...

James Lavell

James Lavell was a bottler and wholesale/retail liquor dealer
who ran his business at 24-28 Fountain Street in Providence.
He was the son of James and Bridget Lavell. Born in Ireland,
James emigrated to the United States with his parents when he
was 15 years old. When they arrived, the Lavells established
their home in Pawtucket. Within a few years, James’ father
started the liquor business on Fountain Street that his son
would eventually take over. When he did, the Lavells moved to
Chase Street in Providence.

James Lavell was married to Mary A. Keenan. The couple had
one son and six daughters. Lavell took over his father’s business
at the turn of the 20th century. Sometime around the start of
Prohibition, he moved his family to Pawtucket at 36 Park
Place.
James Lavell

In 1907, James Lavell acted as a wholesale dealer and agent for
the James Hanley Brewing Co. of Providence, Rhode Island.
Exerting his political influence through the licensing
authorities, he managed to have the products from Hanley’s
competitor, the Hand Brewing Company of Pawtucket,
boycotted from the saloons operating in Pawtucket. It is
estimated that during a 7 year boycott, the Hand Brewing
Company lost a half million dollars.

Eleven years later, just prior to the start of Prohibition, James
Lavell severed his ties with the Hanley Brewing Company.
Enabling himself into a stronger position of power in
Pawtucket, he became one of the Hand Brewing Company’s
largest distributors.
James Lavell

As the country went into the dark days of Prohibition, James
Lavell’s business at 24 Fountain Street, now known as James
Lavell & Son, became recognized in Rhode Island’s as a
speakeasy. Just a stone's throw away from the local police
precinct, it somehow managed to receive a blind eye from the
local authorities despite the fact that it was known to have "the
longest bar in Rhode Island."

During Prohibition, James Lavell also ran two realty
companies, Beacon Realty at 72 Fountain Street and Crescent
Realty at 42 Fountain Street. Reportedly, the 42 Fountain
Street location had a “club room” where Lavell entertained his
political cronies and stored hundreds of thousands of dollars
from his business transactions.
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

As Prohibition waned on and Annie Hand struggled to keep
the Hand Brewing Company fiscally alive during those
extremely difficult times, she approached James Lavell’s
Crescent Realty Company for a mortgage on her property. The
loan was approved with the brewery acting as security.

According to Robert Hand in the 1983 Pawtucket Times
article, the Hand family lost their brewery when a “politician”
foreclosed their mortgage. Unable to pay off the loan, Annie
Hand lost her property. The Hand Brewing Company thus
became the sole property of James Lavell by 1921.


Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Just like the family that proceeded him, James Lavell was fined
on numerous occasions for producing illegal beer at his newly
acquired brewery. Many of his sales transactions reportedly
went down at his Realty Company located at 42 Fountain
Street.

The manufacture of illegal beer under the direction of James
Lavell began in the summer of 1921. Producing over 15,000
barrels of beer during the first 5 months it was in operation, the
brewery brought in a revenue reported to be worth over
$450,000. A federal injunction hanging over the brewery from
1923 to 1924 did little to restrain it from operating over the
next few years. Up until 1926, the brewery continued to run
day and night as it producied a total of 60,000 barrels of beer
annually. Lavell was finally forced to stop production in 1927
at which time he switched over to near beer.
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Eventually, the federal government caught up with James
Lavell. After being arrested, he went on trial in June of 1931
for federal tax evasion. Although the federal government
previously charged him for concealing an income worth between
$1,485,000 and $3,000,000 (of which, Lavell claimed $15,500)
James Lavell was finally convicted by Judge Ira Lloyd Lettis
for concealing $102,000 worth of bootleg beer income from 1925
to 1928. He was sentenced to serve 18 months at the Atlanta
State Federal Penitentiary. On June 24th, 1931, using a
newspaper to shield his face from the photographers gathered
around him, James Lavell boarded his train, bound for prison.


Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The Atlanta State Federal Penitentiary c. 1935

After paying a fine of $9485, James Lavell became eligible for
parole on December 22nd, 1931. When it was finally granted on
January 8, 1932, his parole went into effect April 22nd. James
Lavell served half the time he was sentenced to serve in
Atlanta.
Rhode Island
Brewing Company
1933 - 1938

Released from jail, James Lavell eventually settled a Federal
Civil Suit filed against him for $2,000,000 in federal taxes in
April of 1933. He paid $51,277.70.

Prior to the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, James Lavell
invested over $100,000 into modernizing his Pawtucket
brewery. By July of that year, he renamed his brewery the
Rhode Island Brewing Company. Now legal, he produced Rhode
Island Special Brew, Special Ale, Celebrated Half Stock,
Special Porter, and Lavell's Celebrated Half Stock Ale.

Due to fierce market competition with legal competitors, the
Rhode Island Brewing Company was only able to survive for
five years, closing its doors forever in 1938.



Rhode Island
Brewing Company
1933 - 1938

At 7:00 in the morning of June 8, 1939, Manual Chauvier, a
family employee of James Lavell, found the brewer dead in his
garage. Slumped behind the wheel of his automobile and still
clutching a partially lit cigar, he was the apparent victim of a
heart attack. 

Rhode Island
Brewing Company
1933 - 1938

Tap Knob and Bottle of Lavell’s Half Stock Ale
Rhode Island Brewing Company c. 1934
Rhode Island
Brewing Company
1933 - 1938
Rhode Island
Brewing Company
1933 - 1938
Rhode Island
Brewing Company
1933 - 1938
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The Hand / Rhode Island Brewing Company as it appeared on January 28, 1942
(Providence Journal Archives)
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

"...to be wrecked to get a million bricks and tons of copper
and other materials for defense."

The Hand / Rhode Island Brewing Company as it appeared on January 28, 1942
(Providence Journal Archives)
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The Hand / Rhode Island Brewing Company as it appeared on January 28, 1942
(Providence Journal Archives)
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The Hand / Rhode Island Brewing Company as it appeared on January 28, 1942
(Providence Journal Archives)
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The corner of Fountain and Union Streets, March 3, 1940.
(Providence Journal Archives)
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The corner of Fountain and Union Streets, March 3, 1940.
(Providence Journal Archives)
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Doorley's Tap at 24 Fountain St., corner of Union Street as it appeared in 1954
(Providence Journal Archives)
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

Doorley's Tap at 24 Fountain St., corner of Union Street as it appeared in 1954
(Providence Journal Archives)
Hand Brewing Company
1898 - 1933

The Hand / Rhode Island Brewing Company as it appeared in 2008
George B. Boyden’s
Crescent Park
Providence, Rhode Island

1886 - 1979
George B. Boyden’s Crescent Park

Crescent Park was established in 1886 by George B. Boyden
on the shores of Narragansett Bay in Riverside, Rhode
Island. For nearly a century, this quaint little amusement
park was a favorite destination for many Rhode
Islanders during the hot summer months. 


Crescent Park originally began as a small shoreline resort on
land that George Boyden rented from the Providence and
Warren Railroad. The park's location near the Providence
River was ideal.

Nestled among picturesque cottages dotting the shoreline,
Crescent Park was located near a 400 Foot Long dock off
Bullocks Point. A favorite destination for many tourists, the
park quickly evolved with the addition of many new
attractions designed to entice the public. During this "Golden
Age" of amusement parks, George Boyden purchased the local
"What Cheer Hotel" in 1889 and aptly renamed it the
"Crescent Park Hotel."
George B. Boyden’s Crescent Park

In the early years, visitors came to Crescent Park in droves
by steamship and trolley. They found such amusements
as The Music Hall, Flying Toboggan, The Rivers of Venice,
The Steeplechase, Midway, Exposition Hall, and the ever
popular Bamboo Chutes. Over time, Crescent Park became
known as the "Coney Island of the East". In 1901, the park
was purchased by the Hope Land Company. In 1914, it opened
the Shore Dining Hall which was followed by a Bicycle Track
and modern Dance Hall. 


As the 20th century progressed, Crescent Park underwent
many ownership changes. Rides came and went. Among some
of the favorites were the "Flying Fish", Western Funhouse,
and Charles Loof Roller Coaster originally built in 1914.

Crescent Park Souvenir Pin c. 1910
George B. Boyden’s Crescent Park

So what about the BEER?


Quite honestly, we don't know too much about it. What we do
know is that an unused bottle label of "Crescent Park
Boyden's Extra Table Beer" has miraculously survived the
ravages of time as has an original beer bottle marked George
B. Boyden - Crescent Park, R.I. 


Without question, this clearly confirms that George B.
Boyden of Crescent Park, Rhode Island, had his own line of
beer at the dawn of the 20th century. Who brewed it and
whether or not this beer was actually sold in the park, to the
general public, or in Boyden's Crescent Park Hotel, is
uncertain.

All we do know is that Rhode Island has a fascinating
brewing history!


George B. Boyden’s Crescent Park
George B. Boyden’s Crescent Park

As the 20th century
progressed, Crescent
Park became a favorite
destination for folks to
enjoy a shore dinner of
clams and lobsters. It
was a great spot to hold
an annual outing. Once
such local company to
enjoy all that Crescent
Park had to offer was
the Narragansett
Brewing Company.
George B. Boyden’s Crescent Park

Although Crescent Park was quite popular with the
community during the 1950s and 1960s, attendance
eventually declined as the years began to pass. Sadly, it would
officially shut down in 1979.

Although most of Crescent Park's structures burned to the
ground in various fires before and after its abandonment,
local interest in the Loof Carousel led to its preservation and
registration as a National Historic Landmark by the
National Park Service. Although the Midway is gone and
the site is now surrounded by trees, condominiums and a
beautiful park, the Loof Carousel still remains at its original
location. Thanks to the efforts of many who fought for its
preservation, it will be there for the enjoyment of many
generations of Rhode Islanders to come!



George B. Boyden’s Crescent Park

The Loof Carousel 2008
W. Hill & Son
Providence, Rhode Island

Pre 1853 - 1883
W. Hill & Son
Pre 1853 - 1883



This Newport brewery, according to an 1856 Business
Directory, was located at 5 Brewer Street. Very little is
known of its existence.


According to the 1902 book, “The State of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations at the End of the Century: A
History”:

"The brewing business was formerly quite an important one in
Newport, and about the time of the Rebellion the ale brewed by W.
Hill & Son of that city had a large sale throughout the State.
After changing hands several times it went out of business about
1883." 


The "Rebellion", of course, is a reference to the American
Civil War.


And that's about all we know for now...
The Mount Hope
Brewing Company

1891?
The Mount Hope Brewing Co.
1891 (?)

It is quite probable that this brewery never existed.


According to the American State Reports, however, the
Rhode Island General Assembly passed an act on May 29,
1891, to incorporate the Mount Hope Brewing Company for
the purpose of "manufacturing, brewing, and selling lager beer,
beer, porter and ales."

In addition to this act, a very rare stock certificate for the
Mount Hope Brewing Company, issued in Providence, Rhode
Island, on January 21, 1891, also exists.


The Mount Hope Brewing Co.
1891 (?)
The Mount Hope Brewing Co.
1891 (?)

Whether or not this brewery ever got off the ground and
produced beer is another question. There is no other
information available to either confirm or deny its existence.
Where this brewery was to be located is also uncertain. As the
certificate was issued in Rhode Island, and the brewery was to
be named the Mount Hope Brewing Company, it is possible
that it was planned to be built in one of the towns bordering
Mount Hope Bay. Was it to be built in Warren, Bristol,
Tiverton or Portsmouth? We just don't know.



The Mount Hope Brewing Co.
1891 (?)

Of course, the name "Mount Hope"
may have nothing to do with location.
During the mid to late 19th century, a
Mount Hope Distilling Company
operated at 42-48 Peck Street in
Providence. Could this have been
affiliated with the Mount Hope
Brewing Company? Probably not, but
a beer bottle does exist from this
establishment. Until more
information surfaces, another Rhode
Island mystery has yet to be solved.
Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & HofBrau Haus
Providence

c. 1890 - 1927
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

Jacob Wirth
(June 2, 1840 - August 10, 1892)
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

Without doubt, Jacob Wirth deserves special recognition in the
annals of Rhode Island’s Brewing History. 


Jacob Wirth originally came from a rich family history of
prosperous wine growers from Kreuznach, Prussia. In 1868,
shortly after emigrating to the United States, he established a
wholesale and bottling company at 60 Eliot Street in Boston.
There, he imported and wholesaled fine Rhine wines as well as
wines from the many provinces of Germany and France. Jacob
Wirth was also the sole Boston agent and wholesaler for the
lager beers of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company of St.
Louis, Missouri. He sold George Ehret's Hell Gate Lager from
New York and Robert Smith's India Pale Ale from
Philadelphia. Jacob Wirth also brewed his own beer. One of his
products included "The Boss Lager."


The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

1877 Lithograph
(Boston Public Library)


The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

In 1878, Jacob Wirth moved his establishment across the street
to a series of Greek-revival bow front row-houses located at
37-39 Eliot Street. There, in addition to his prosperous
wholesale business, he opened a restaurant.

This was, and still is, a most impressive establishment. It
catered to the famous, as well as the not-so famous, of Boston.
Upon entering Jacob Wirth’s restaurant, guests were greeted
by a long mahogany bar which offered the finest selection of
draught beers. Atop the back bar, a relief with the motto
"SUUM CUIQCE" (to each their own) stood below an image of
Jacob Wirth himself. Throughout the restaurant tables and
chairs were spread over sawdust covered floors. There, in
a d d i t i o n t o b e e r, g u e s t s c o u l d e n j o y t r a d i t i o n a l
German delicacies such as sausages, pigs feet, bacon, herring and
cheese.


The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

In 1880, Jacob Wirth and his wife, Maria, had a son by the
name of Jacob. That year, the elder Jacob opened a wholesale
and bottling franchise at 160 (and later 164) Broad Street in
Providence, Rhode Island. While Jacob Wirth continued to
run his Boston headquarters, his nephew, Henry R. Wirth,
managed the Rhode Island branch. 


When the Narragansett Brewing Company was
incorporated in 1890, Jacob Wirth was one of the original six
investors. His company, The Jacob Wirth & Co., bottled
Narragansett Select Stock Lager at their Rhode Island and
Boston branches. Jacob Wirth also became the brewery's sole
agent in Boston.


The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

By 1892, the Providence location of the Jacob Wirth & Co. was
listed at 186 Weybosset Street. Here, in addition to importing
and bottling fine wines, beers, and ales, the company also
established a restaurant known as the Jacob Wirth & Co.
HofBrau Haus. Like its Boston relative, this establishment
was quite popular within the community. The Jacob Wirth &
Co. also had addresses of 25-27 Page street and 17 North Main
Street in Pawtucket.

Jacob Wirth passed away on August 10, 1892. He was laid to
rest in the Forest Hills Cemetery located in Jamaica Plains,
Massachusetts.


The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

With his passing of his father, Jacob Wirth (Jr.) took on the
responsibility of managing the family business. His mother,
Maria, passed away in 1989.

By the year 1900, the Providence branch of the Jacob Wirth &
Co., under the direction of Henry R. Wirth, would be listed at
227-231 West Exchange Street. They would become one of the
largest wholesalers and bottlers of domestic wines, beers, and
mineral water in New England.

1906 Advertisement
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

Jacob Wirth and Company - Located at 227 West Exchange Street
(Providence Public Library)

The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

Tasting Glasses from Jacob Wirth’s Hofbrau Haus
1907 - 1911

The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

Coaster from Jacob Wirth’s Hofbrau Haus
1907 - 1911

The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

Like many other fine establishments, the Jacob Wirth & Co. in
Rhode Island hit hard times during the dark years of
Prohibition. In order to survive, the business became known as
the Wirth Concorde Ade Co. in 1927. Still listed at West
Exchange Street, they produced "a delicious and refreshing
drink made from grapes." Like most businesses serving alcohol
during these years, the HofBrau Haus closed its doors forever
around this time.

Meanwhile, up in Boston, the Jacob Wirth & Co.
would continue to operate as a restaurant. Unlike its Rhode
Island counterpart, it would survive prohibition as well as the
hardships of anti-German sentiments during and after World
Wars I and II.
The Jacob Wirth
Bottling Co. & Hofbrau House
c. 1890 - 1927

Jacob Wirth, Jr., passed away on
December 12, 1965. His wife, Dorothy,
passed away on October 20, 1995.

Although Eliot Street has since been
renamed Stuart Street, the Jacob
Wirth & Co. Restaurant continues to
operate to this day under the ownership
of the Fitzgerald family. Looking much
the same as it did when the Wirths
were operating it, it is a fitting tribute
to their legacy.





Umfreville & Co.’s Brewery
Warren
1859
Umfreville & Co.’s Brewery
1859

1859 Advertisement from the Providence Evening Press

Henry Wilkens
Lunch Room

c. 1880
Henry Wilkens
Lunch Room

Advertisement - Rhode Island Business Directory
1880
Rhode Island
Brewery Workers Unions
Rhode Island
Brewery Workers Unions

At the dawn of the 20th century, workers throughout the
United States were able to negotiate fair working conditions and
improved wage earnings through their participation with Labor
Unions. Rhode Island brewery workers were no exception.

Local No. 114 of the United Brewery Workers of the United
States was founded in the state of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations in December of 1896. This union was composed of
Rhode Island brewers, engineers, coopers, drivers, barn men,
firemen and helpers.

Local No. 114 elected John McMorrow as its first President. He
would serve this position a total of three consecutive terms. He
was succeeded by Henry Ullman.
Rhode Island
Brewery Workers Unions

Frank Yuhass, an employee of the Providence Brewing Company
on Eagle Street, served as the Union's first Treasurer. Other
elected officials included Mr. Chris. J. Leinhos, Financial
Secretary, and Fritz Berger, Recording and Corresponding
Secretary.
Rhode Island
Brewery Workers Unions

A Local No. 114
Brewery Workers Badge
Providence, R.I.
c. 1910
Rhode Island
Brewery Workers Unions

When a large number of employees from the James Hanley
Brewing Company joined the Brewery Workers Union of Rhode
Island in 1898, it was thought advisable to divide the organization
into two separate Locals.

One of the reasons for doing this was the issue of language. For
the past two years, Local No. 114 was composed primarily of
German speaking immigrants from German based breweries. To
accommodate the many English speaking members from the Irish
based James Hanley Brewing Company, Local No. 166 was
established on November 15, 1898.
Rhode Island
Brewery Workers Unions

Ireland native Patrick Finneran, employee of James Hanley's
Rhode Island Brewing Company, served as the Union's first
President. Michael Wren served as Vice President. Ireland
natives Frank J. Farrelly served as Recording Secretary and
John Lynch served as Treasurer. John McMorrow, former
President of Local No. 114, served as Financial Secretary.
Rhode Island
Brewery Workers Unions

Prior to 1899, the average brewery employee worked six and a
half days per week. His average work day was twelve hours long
and he rested on Sunday afternoons. For this, the average
brewery worker earned a wage of ten to twelve dollars per week.

With Union labor negotiations in 1899, a worker’s wage
dramatically improved. He would earn no less than thirteen
dollars per week, yet no more than twenty-five dollars per week.
Over successive agreements set over the first few years of the
20th Century, the number of hours worked was "reduced from
twelve to nine, with holiday and Sunday work excluded whenever
possible, and to be paid for at the rate of fifty cents per hour,
other overtime work being at the rate of thirty-five cents per
hour." In addition, men could not be discharged from the brewery
unless union officials were notified.
Rhode Island
Brewery Workers Unions

By 1899, both the James Hanley Brewery and the Providence
Brewing Company were strictly Union and "signed the scale of
prices of the Brewery Workers organization".

Until the last door was locked with the closing of the
Narragansett Brewing Company, the brewery workers of Rhode
Island had a trade union.
Sullivan Brothers
Distribution
Providence, Rhode Island

1881 - 1918
Sullivan Brothers Distribution
1881 - 1918

In 1881, two brothers, Daniel J. and John F. Sullivan, began a
bottling company and wholesale distributorship of fine wines,
liquors and mineral spirits at 376 Wickenden Street in
Providence. In 1888, they were bottling a wide variety of sodas,
tonic beers, and ginger ales under the name Sullivan Bros. Steam
Bottling Works. 


By 1892, the two brothers had locations at 398 Wickenden
Street, 1 Shofield Street, and 62 Ives Street. At this time, they
were also bottling and wholesaling a variety of ales and lagers
including those produced by the Narragansett and Jas. Hanley
Brewing Companies.


Sullivan Brothers Distribution
1881 - 1918



Around 1897, there were five Sullivan brothers in the family
business. In addition to Daniel and John, the partners now
included Timothy J., Eugene D., and Dennis R. Sullivan. The
company became known as The Five Sullivan Brothers. They
also had locations at 577 Wickenden Street in Providence, and 9
Warren Avenue in East Providence.


The Sullivan Brothers Company went out of business in
1918, two years prior to the enactment of prohibition.


Sullivan Brothers Distribution
1881 - 1918

The D.R. Sullivan Family Liquors located on 78 Ives Street in Providence. This branch of the
family business was under the management of Dennis R. Sullivan who is likely one of the two
gentlemen standing in the foreground. Note the large Narragansett Lager sign in the left front
window as well as the Hanley's Ale corner signs to the left and right of the front entrance.
Coutu Brothers
Coutu Brothers
Coutu Brothers
Warwick Brewing Company

1902 (?)
The Warwick Brewing Co.
1902 (?)

Other than Incorporation records from 25 June, 1902, nothing is
known of this Brewery. It is possible that it was the predecessor to the
Warwick Brewing Company that opened its doors after prohibition,
but this is purely speculative.
The Warwick Brewing Co.
1902 (?)

Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Assembly of the
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

Warwick Brewing Company
Natick, Rhode Island

1933 - 1936
The Warwick Brewing Co.
1933 - 1936

Very little is known about this mysterious brewery that opened its
doors shortly after the repeal of prohibition in 1933.

According to various references, the brewery was located in a small
building at 27 East Avenue in Natick, a neighborhood in Warwick,
Rhode Island. According to a contemporary keg label, however, the
brewery was located at 7 East Avenue, but this may be erroneous.

Irregardless of its actual location, the brewery did not fair well
during its three year existence as it permanently closed its doors in
1936.
The Warwick Brewing Co.
1933 - 1936

1973 Uncle Ernie Oest Photograph of the Brewery Building
The Warwick Brewing Co.
1933 - 1936

Keg Label
The Warwick Brewing Co.
1933 - 1936
Roger Williams
Brewing Corporation
Providence, Rhode Island

1933 - 1940
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
1933 - 1940

The Roger Williams Brewing Corporation was one of five
breweries in Rhode Island to open its doors after the repeal of
prohibition in 1933. It was located at 61-71 Troy Street in the
Olneyville section of Providence.

Established by Joseph Bertolaccinni, the brewery made Roger
W i l l i a m s A l e , P a l e A l e , L a g e r a n d P o r t e r. I t a l s o
produced Westminster Half Stock, Westminster India Pale Ale,
Down East Special XXXXXX Cream Ale, Old Brew Cream
Ale and Union Cream Ale.

The Roger Williams Brewing Corporation hired Julius Cabisius
as its brewmaster. He was a graduate of the Brewmaster's School
of the Wahl Henius Institute in 1895. The motto of the Roger
Williams Brewing Corporation was "The Beer of Good Cheer".
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
Roger Williams Brewing Corp.
The Consumer’s / Hollen
Brewing Company
Hillsdale (Warwick), Rhode Island

1933 - 1938
The Consumer’s Brewing Company
1933 - 1935

After the repeal of Prohibition in 1933,
the Consumer's Brewing Company
opened its doors and began brewing beer
at 745 Jefferson Boulevard in the
Hillsgrove section of Warwick, Rhode
Island.

In addition to Consumer's Beer and Ale,
the brewery also produced Good Luck
Ale. For an advertising mascot, the
young brewery chose a stately father
figure and "Ask Father" for a motto.
Apparently, not too many people favored
dad’s advice as the fledgling brewery
faltered. New ownership took over
operations within just two years.
The Consumer’s
Brewing Company
The Consumer’s
Brewing Company
With new management in 1936,
the Consumer’s Brewing
Company became known as the
Hollen Brewing Company. It
produced Hollenbru and
Canadian Ales. Even with this
change in marketing, the
brewery succumbed to market
challenges. The Hollen Brewing
Company closed its doors in
1938.

The Consumer’s
Brewing Company
The Hollen
Brewing Company
The Hollen
Brewing Company
The Hollen
Brewing Company
The Hollen
Brewing Company
The Hollen
Brewing Company
The Hollen
Brewing Company
The Hollen
Brewing Company
The Hollen
Brewing Company
Kent Brewing Company
West Warwick, Rhode Island

1933 - 1934
The Kent Brewing Company
1933 - 1934

The paint was hardly dry when the Kent Brewing Company
closed its doors after opening them with the repeal of prohibition
in 1933.

The Brewery was located in an old stone mill building at 2 Bridal
Avenue in West Warwick, Rhode Island. It produced Kent Ale
and Kent Stout Ale.
The Kent Brewing Company
1933 - 1934

1973 Uncle Ernie Oest Photograph of the Brewery Building
The Kent Brewing Company
1933 - 1934
The Emerald Isle
Brew Works, Ltd.
West Warwick, Rhode Island

1993 - 1996
Emerald Isle Brewing Co.
1993 - 1996

This wonderful little brewery was located just around the corner
from the old Kent Brewing Company in West Warwick, Rhode
Island. Like the Kent, the Emerald Isle Brew Works was located in
an old stone mill building adjacent to the Pawtuxet River. It had a
street address of 1454 Main Street.


The Emerald Isle was started in 1993 by dentist Ray McConnell and
his son, Mike. It produced fine cask-conditioned ales. The brewery
was famous for its Bank Street Ale, Emerald Isle Ale and Emerald
Isle Porter. It also produced a Holiday Ale and Beaver Tail Ale.
Emerald Isle Brewing Co.
1993 - 1996

All of these brews required the use of an expensive beer engine, more
commonly known as a hand pump, to be dispensed. This method
harkened back to the days when beer was kept in a pub's cool cellar
(50-55 degrees fahrenheit) and the publican dispensed his offerings by
pumping them up from the cellar by hand. This method can still be
seen in the pubs of England and Ireland.

Unfortunately, it was the beer engine that eventually led to the
demise of the Emerald Isle Brew Works. It was expensive to purchase
and install (they came from England), and only a very few local pubs
catered to a clientele savvy enough to enjoy something other than Lite
beer. Eventually, it became impossible to continue running the
brewery on such a limited basis.
Emerald Isle Brewing Co.
1993 - 1996

Despite the outcries of many (your author included), the Emerald Isle
Brew Works closed its doors in 1999. Many of us have still not
forgiven those responsible for doing this to us. 


Our good friends, Ray and Mike, have since moved to the great state
of Maine. Ray and his wife, Marilyn, run a bed and breakfast in
Damariscotta. Appropriately enough, it is called Alewives and Ales.
Emerald Isle Brewing Co.
1993 - 1996
Private Stock Lager Beer Label
Bottler A.F. Cappelli
Atwells Ave., Providence

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.