Diving Into 35 Years of Craft Beer

We head into the archives to celebrate Rhode Island Monthly's thirty-fifth anniversary.
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(Photo by Paige Zuber)

In case you missed it, we have some exciting news: Rhode Island Monthly is turning thirty-five, and to celebrate, we teamed up with Narragansett Beer to deliver a limited-edition label available only in Rhode Island. The Rhode Well Traveled is a juicy and fruity IPA with an easy-drinking profile and a combination of East Coast and West Coast styles, according to Narragansett head brewer Lee Lord. You can grab cans of the Rhode Well Traveled at the Providence brewery for a limited time.

As we celebrate, we took a dive back into the archives to dig out some of the other beer milestones that have graced our pages over the years. It’s hard to believe that in thirty-five years, Rhode Island has transformed from a state where wine was king (our inaugural issue featured a story on Sakonnet Vineyards) to one where there are nearly as many craft breweries as cities and towns. Even the past ten years have seen explosive growth in the local beer scene. So sit back, crack open a cold one and enjoy this trip down beer memory lane.

April 2005 — “Hip Hops”

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This 2005 feature on Trinity Brewhouse was the first story we could find in our pages on Rhode Island-brewed beer. The story featured photos of brewmaster Sean Larkin, who would go on to found Revival Brewing Co., and a glossary of beer terms (microbrew: a beer produced in quantities of fewer than 15,000 barrels a year). Of course, Union Station and Newport Storm (now Newport Craft) had also been around since the 1990s, as this timeline indicates.

September 2005 — “Bottoms Up”

20230307 113929A business story in our September 2005 issue featured the exciting news that an East Providence native had purchased Narragansett Beer with the goal of reviving the former Rhode Island brand. It took more than a decade, but we now know Mark Hellendrung succeeded in not just making ‘Gansett cool again for a new generation, but bringing our favorite lager back in-state first to Pawtucket and then with the opening of a new brewery in Providence in 2021.

February 2013 — “Beer Me! The Insider’s Guide to the Rhode Island Beer Scene”

20230307 134042This 2013 brewery guide was our first. Kudos to our now-editor-in-chief Jamie Coelho for putting together this preview of the state’s burgeoning brewery scene, which included profiles on the just-launched Grey Sail Brewing Company and Foolproof Brewing Company.

September 2014 — “Getting Crafty”

Another snapshot of the early craft beer scene, this story by Joshua Aromin featured in-depth interviews with Sean Larkin of Revival, Jennifer Brinton of Grey Sail, Nick Garrison of Foolproof and Brent Ryan of Newport Storm.

February 2017 — “Narragansett Beer is Back”

Has it only been six years since the Guild launched a new beer empire in Pawtucket? This 2017 feature by Lou Papineau covers the opening of the Guild by co-founders Jeremy Duffy and Devin Kelly and Narragansett Beer’s decision to brew at the rapidly expanding co-op.


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According to our February 2006 issue, Narragansett Beer was trending after its purchase by Mark Hellendrung the previous year.



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