PAWTUCKET – The opening year for The Guild, at 461 Main St., was a success by every measure, say its owners, and they’re set for aggressive expansion in 2018.

Jeremy Duffy, founder and co-owner of the craft beer consortium, said The Guild this year is looking to add another 10 employees to the 20 already working there, double its brewing to some 40,000 barrels of beer, an “incredible number,” said Duffy, and develop new amenities.

The departure of tenant Living Well Adult Day Services in the latter part of 2017 opened the door to developing The Guild’s beer hall. Also planned this year are a new beer garden in the outdoor courtyard area of the complex, a new event center in the former Faroles Restaurant space on the back end of the complex, and a new education platform.

“We’re doing well, and we’re super focused on executing right now,” said Duffy.

Last Friday, The Guild launched a double IPA, the “hottest beer in New England” right now, said Duffy. The latest “taproom exclusive” shows off the variety of what the brewery can produce. The exclusive beers are not sold beyond the walls of the brewery, and are meant to provide another attraction at the venue, in addition to the beers of The Guild’s partner breweries. The exclusive offerings will also be served in the new beer hall. Brewmasters are partnering with their friends across the country to make new and exciting beers, said Duffy.

In 2017, The Guild and its employees produced close to 20,000 barrels of beer, or 3.5 million cans, making it Rhode Island’s biggest brewer in its opening year.

Since the taproom opened at the former Kellaway Center last June, The Guild has attracted 22,000 people to sample offerings. That’s a “legitimate number” based on the company’s point of sale system, said Duffy.

The numbers put The Guild right near its expected total of 50,000 tourists in one year, and Duffy said he expects it to increase in 2018.

The new beer hall at 461 Main St. is expected to open by May, according to Duffy. A larger beer garden is expected to open by June. Both amenities will host live music and events, he said, with food trucks continuing to be incorporated, moving The Guild further toward becoming a food and beverage campus.

Mayor Donald Grebien said the city is proud of what The Guild and its owners have accomplished in a short time.

“Having Narragansett Beer being brewed back to Rhode Island, in Pawtucket, was a milestone in and of itself,” he said. “Since their opening last year, The Guild has continued that success, bringing in other New England craft brewers like Farmer Willie’s and Devil’s Purse. They have also been drawing more and more visitors to Pawtucket with events like a local food truck festival.”

Local organizations have also been using The Guild for events, such as the Pawtucket Foundation annual meeting, he said.

“We are proud of all of our breweries throughout Pawtucket for showcasing the rebirth of our mills,” he said.

The Guild has also been receiving plenty of calls about hosting special events, so the former Faroles Restaurant space, with further upgrades, will make a great spot for weddings and other special occasions, added Duffy.

The Guild will pursue three new brewing partners in 2018, “great New England brands,” said Duffy.

“One will blow people away,” he promised.

Two announcements on new brewers are expected in the next 30 days, bringing the number of partners under one roof to eight.

Duffy wasn’t saying the names of the new partners. Current partners include Narragansett, Newburyport, Devil’s Purse, Great North, and Farmer Willie’s. Sons of Liberty is also a partner, but The Guild doesn’t do much brewing for the company, said Duffy.

The Breeze previously reported that Maine-based Peak Brewing would be one of the new brewers to have beer produced at The Guild. The two other breweries set to be announced are from Massachusetts, according to Duffy.

To put the 40,000 barrels of beer expected to be brewed this year in perspective, there are about 13.8 cases of beer in a barrel, meaning more than 500,000 cases will be brewed here in 2018.

In addition to the eight or so breweries expected to be partners at The Guild by the end of 2018, Pawtucket also has three other breweries: Foolproof Brewing, Crooked Current Brewery, and the Bucket Brewery.

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