Narragansett Beer Honored for Unique Marketing Series

Narragansett Beer has been “Made on Honor” for more than a century at the Rhode Island brewery. Showcasing local craftsmen in its region, the “Made on Honor” series was broadcast on the brewery’s website and YouTube channel.

“Our social media guy had this idea where there is this do-it-yourself generation, a backlash to the Walmartization of America, where people are really into craftsmanship of local goods,” said Narragansett owner Mark Hellendrung.

The series showcased the work of a Farmer’s Market, a denim company, a carver and pickle maker, just to name a few of the 20-some pieces produced by a local cable company.

That campaign recently captured a Community/Public Service Campaign award in the 39th Annual Boston/New England Emmys. The spots were produced and edited by Anthony Finucane and Alexandra Contos of CoxHub.

“It was a great honor for them to highlight how meaningful this series was,” Hellendrung said. “They brought the production quality and equipment, but we brought the stories and participants. There is so much pride in all these startups and the entrepreneur spirit. Everyone … has a great story and to be able to tell these stories through the series and recognize all the other craftsman is a lot of fun.”

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Hellendrung said the series wasn’t exactly a marketing campaign, but it did help with brand recognition while partnering with other makers of craft goods.

“The way we market ourselves, instead of a Super Bowl commercial or buying a car hood in NASCAR like the big guys, it’s all done much differently for all the craft brewers,” Hellendrung said. “It’s all about being local and having that entrepreneurial spirit.”

The Emmy was just a precursor for the big event later this year as Narragansett returns to Rhode Island for the first time since 1981 with the opening of “The Guild,” a new facility that Narragansett will share with other breweries.

Hellendrung said that the 100-barrel production facility and taproom should be open by the fall.

“It’s awesome to have a front row seat on that thing,” he said. “We have a good plan behind it and we are ready to rock and roll.”

Since 2005, the brewery has contract brewed out of Rochester, New York, making about 80 percent of its 100,000 bbls volume with its Lager.

Now, the 100-bbl system will help pump out more craft selections, including a return of its Porter and Marzen along with the brewery’s IPA and Pale Ale.

Hellendrung is most excited about being able to showcase the 125-year history of the brewery with a 1890 Room. Memorabilia will be on display in the new taproom.

“[We can] showcase all the memorabilia of the last 125 years in one place and run all the old TV ads and show a lot of stuff that has been spread out all over the Internet and our offices and now we can bring it out for people to see,” he said.

Narragansett was the first beer to sign a sports sponsorship with a franchise, inking a deal in the 1940s with the Boston Braves, and later Boston Red Sox.
“The older guys know us but for some of the younger craft drinkers drinking us, unless they go spend time on our website they only have a vague notion of what we are and what we were,” Hellendrung said. “They don’t get the depth of it unless you read about it, but with thousands of visitors, we can tell that story [to them], one at a time.”

1 Comment

  1. Fact-checks: They’re not “return[ing] to Pawtucket, Rhode Island for the first time since 1983.” The brewery was established in Cranston in 1890 and closed in 1981.

    The contract brewing in Rochester started in 2005.

    And “its Lager,” not it’s . . .

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