Brewery of the Month – We Visit Providence Brewing Company

Things are certainly brewing in Providence…

the Providence Brewing Company, a welcome addition to the area’s growing lineup of micro-breweries, recently opened at the Farm Fresh RI center on Sims Avenue in the Valley neighborhood.

The state’s newest micro-brewery isn’t exactly new. The Providence Brewing Company opened in the 1800s and closed in 1920 due to Prohibition. The new incarnation opened in 2018 on Mineral Spring Ave. in North Providence. But the brand has moved beyond this location – owner Efren Hidalgo’s goal was to open a first-class tasting room in the capital. Like everything else these days, Covid got in the way.

“The biggest challenge we faced, which was pretty much the one any business faced when trying to start up or, in our case, relocate, was the supply chain,” Hidalgo noted in an interview. “It was a nightmare to get the materials our contractors needed to do the construction, not to mention the high price of those materials. On top of that, our contractors were struggling to maintain full-time help.

Work was delayed but finally completed last month. The location is close to the original Providence Brewing Company which opened in 1814 in Newport and later moved to Providence. “We are only two blocks from our namesake,” Hidalgo explained. “I was able to trademark the original name and all rights to it, it meant a lot. In a way, I was bringing back a piece of Providence history not far from where it began.

I attended the grand opening with photographer Rick Farrell and we agree, PVD Brewing has a bright future ahead of it. We sampled a few beers including “Every Time We Say Goodbye”, a slightly bitter Session IPA and the Tattoo of Blood Sour Ale. Hidalgo described the origins of Tattoo.

“It’s a hibiscus IPA, a sour one, called Tattoo of Blood. It’s all about focusing on the art, the story people go through when they get a tattoo on their body, and everything that’s involved in augmenting your body. In many cases, you put your life story on your sleeve. These are people who are brave enough to tell us about their pain, their pleasure, and everything in between.

The Brasserie currently offers several draft beers, with more to come.

“We’re hoping to do a special version with Red’s Sauce (which is right next to the brewery) where we’ll work together to deliver a spicy, barrel-aged stout. We also hope to work with New Harvest, the coffee roasters next door, on a series of coffee stouts based on their coffees.

As the first Hispanic-owned brewery in the state, Hidalgo wants customers to know the company embraces diversity. His family immigrated from Cuba where his father once worked in a brewery.

“Beer transcends race, religion, sexual orientation, whatever. I bring some of the love for craft beer that my dad had when he worked at a beer company in Cuba. By starting this brewery, we have the impression of closing the loop, we are closing a loop here between two generations. We are an all inclusive company.

PVD Brewery joins neighbors ISCO Spirits and Revival Brewery in what is quickly becoming a destination for beer lovers.

“We are really excited to be part of this new destination. Across the street we have Industrious Spirits and next door Revival Brewery. We become this ideal destination where people can go from place to place and enjoy different types of fare and different types of drinks,” said Hidalgo. “We are also working on live entertainment…there is a space (in the tasting room) that will be dedicated to live music or comedy.”

It looks promising! To learn more about the Providence Brewing Company, visit their website here.

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