(Providence, RI) – Narragansett Brewing President, Mark Hellendrung, recently appeared on Bloomberg Enterprise where he shared the company’s history and gave a snapshot of how it is doing today.
Revenue has jumped from $1.6 million in 2006 to $3 million in 2009 to a projected $9 million in 2012. Growth has consistently exceeded 25% though the company has “been burning money” as Hellendrung puts it so he and the investors who bought the brand from Pabst Brewing in 2005 won’t break even until next year.
Production was a mere 7,000-8,000 cases a year in 2005 and they estimate that they will produce 900,000 cases this year (~65,000 barrels). The projection for 2013 is 1.2 million cases (~87,000 barrels). The company produced approximately 48,000 barrels in 2011, according to The Brewers Association.
Today, the brand is available in 2,500 bars, a far cry from just ten bars in 2005.
The brand is now available in a dozen states with Washington D.C. the latest market just recently added. Hellendrung would like to add upstate New York this winter and then work on Chicago to go along with Wisconsin which they added this past summer.
The company fields lots of calls from distributors in other states and Hellendrung acknowledges that some of them are looking to collect brands in order to keep them away from competitors.
He is open to a startegic partership with a larger company “because scale is important in the beer business.” Narragansett beers typically retail for at a lower price point than other craft brands so volume is especially key to profitability.
They’re still strong in the home base of Rhode Island with 300 draft lines in the local market. Hellendrung estimates that the largest brand in the state has 500 draft lines and feels there is still room to grow.
To foster that growth, the company closed on the 120 year-old Providence Brewing building earlier this year and has started construction to bring it into operation again. The cost for the first phase of completion is $1.5 million. There was no timetable noted for when brewing is expected to be up-and-running there.
Narragansett is currently contract-brewed out of North American Breweries in Rochester, New York.