Providence Brewing Company founder calls NP location ‘prime destination’

Providence Brewing Company founder calls NP location ‘prime destination’

NORTH PROVIDENCE – This town is a prime destination for a brewery, says Efren Hidalgo, founder of the Providence Brewing Company.

Hidalgo is looking to take what he’s learned over a decade of brewing at home and open a new brewery in the commercial complex at 1920 Mineral Spring Ave. Rhode Island has seen significant gains in the craft brewing industry over the past few years, said Hidalgo, and North Providence now has the opportunity to get in on the movement.

To open the Providence Brewing Company, Hidalgo and his business partners need town officials to amend the local zoning ordinance to allow a brewpub. The Town Council last week voted to send the proposal to its ordinance committee and request a recommendation from the North Providence Zoning Board on the proposed zone change.

The idea, said Hidalgo, is that, like Providence, North Providence adopt a new subsection to the restaurant and entertainment section of the ordinance allowing microbreweries and distilleries.

Town Council President Dino Autiello said he likes the idea of bringing in a new type of business to town but wants to make sure the proper process is followed.

Councilor Manny Giusti asked Hidalgo if there will be any odor emanating from the property when brewing operations are running, and Hidalgo said no, everything will be contained with proper venting. He said the brewery will only serve beer.

Hidalgo told The Breeze he’s excited to tap into a craft beer market that’s now hitting its stride in Rhode Island. He said he envisions beer lovers traveling a brewing corridor of sorts from Providence Brewing Company down to the four Pawtucket breweries.

Providence Brewing Company would be located in about 1,000 square feet in the lower level of the commercial complex, a spot that previously held an exotic pet store and small eatery, among other businesses.

Hidalgo, a Providence resident, said he’s been gleaning as much wisdom from other local brewers as possible, and said all have been eager to help him. Like others who have won success, he plans to start small and build his reputation, he said.

If all goes according to plan, Hidalgo hopes to begin construction in the Mineral Spring Avenue facility by September.

Like Narragansett Brewing Company up the road, the Providence Brewing Company name goes back a long way, said Hidalgo.

The original Providence Brewing Company, which had a solid base in southern New England, first opened in 1896. The Great Providence Brewing Company tried to revive the name during the 1990s, he said.

Hidalgo said he originally wanted to move into Centredale, a neighborhood he loves, but said this spot just outside the village, in the same complex with Blast Fitness, will work just fine.

“It’s a beautiful community to be a part of,” he said. “This is a nice little venture for the neighborhood.”

The addition of craft breweries is known to create more eclectic neighborhoods with new business development, said Hidalgo, and Providence Brewing Company will hopefully have the same effect in North Providence.

The idea at the outset is to sell beer to customers only out of the 1920 Mineral Spring Ave. location, said Hidalgo. The business model works now that Rhode Island allows consumption of 36 ounces of beer and sale of the equivalent of a case of beer at breweries, he said.

He plans to can the beer and eventually distribute it.

Two of the beers Hidalgo plans to start out are a tropical double IPA with mango and passion fruit flavors, a tribute to his Cuban heritage, and a seasonal Hefeweizen, or wheat beer.

A sub brand of Providence Brewing Company, Urbn Beer, will allow a more “playful” side to the company, providing the opportunity to try out different styles for short runs, said Hidalgo.

Efren Hidalgo, of Providence, stands in the space at 1920 Mineral Spring Ave. that he hopes to soon convert into the Providence Brewing Company. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey) At top is the company logo.


1920 Mineral Springs Ave, oh ya, beside McDonalds and the Health Club almost across from our soon to be vacant police dept. building.
Manny, you can't make beer without fermentation which gives off gasses, in your case an odor, to me it's a good smell of yeast converting the mash to alcohol but then again I like beer/ale.

Again, nothing but negative comments from grarnold. This guy could find fault with anything. Who cares what you like. Just go away!!

My family has visited many breweries on vacations. I wish them well and hope that it can become a stop for craft beer lovers.

This is not far from my work, will be stopping on my way home frequently!

This may be the biggest thing to happen to NP in decades. It's about time someone creates a unique business to attract people from outside the town. I'm sure our town council will screw this up.
Good luck Efren