It all started in 1888, with six local businessmen—”The Original Six”— who came together to form the Narragansett Brewing Company. In December of 1890, the first beer was produced, and the following year the company officially incorporated. In 1891, the Narragansett Brewing Company concocted nearly 28,000 barrels of beer under the company’s promise of the purest ingredients, uncompromised cleanliness and absolute perfection of brew. Then in 1914, when the company built the most modern bottling plant in the region, it became official: Narragansett Brewing Company was the largest lager beer brewery in New England.
The 1920s were a sobering time for everyone. By the end of Prohibition, the financial condition of the brewery was not what it used to be. Rudolph Haffenreffer had built one of Boston’s first brewery complexes, and when he passed away in 1929, the New England Brewing Company was turned over to his sons Rudolf, Jr. and Theodore.
In 1931, the repeal of Prohibition appeared likely and Narragansett Brewing Company approached Rudolf, Jr. for help financing and managing the modernization of the brewery. Fortunately, he agreed. Rudolf Haffenreffer Jr. would eventually become president and chairman of Narragansett Brewing Company and remain involved until his death in 1954. By 1955, Gansett was the number one choice of consumers and the largest selling beer in New England and by 1957 Narragansett was the last remaining brewery in Rhode Island. Today, under the leadership of former Nantucket Nectars President, Mark Hellendrung, ‘Gansett is working to revive and reestablish the beloved local favorite. In 2010, Narragansett is poised to hit the milestone of 1 million cases sold since the re-acquisition. Naragansett is famous for its drinkability and the advertising slogan, "Hi, Neighbor, have a 'Gansett!" most famously uttered by Boston Red Sox announcer Curt Gowdy.