PROVIDENCE – A boost for Rhode Island’s growing craft-beer industry could be on tap.
A Providence group is seeking $1.4 million in city financing to help build an $8 million contract brewery on the city’s West Side.
The loan request, from Isle Brewers Guild LLC, is scheduled to be discussed by the Providence Economic Development Partnership on Wednesday.
Isle Brewers Guild is led by Jeremy Duffy, vice president of business development at Providence public relations firm Duffy & Shanley Inc., and Devin Kelly.
If built, the brewery slated for an old warehouse at 489 Kinsley Ave. would make beer under contract for local brewers who don’t have sufficient production capacity themselves.
For years the growing number of craft-beer makers in Rhode Island have contracted with out-of-state breweries to produce their recipes and lamented the lack of an in-state option.
Two weeks ago, the PEDP’s loan committee referred the Isle Brewers’ application to the full board for discussion because the requested loan is significantly larger than its typical small business loans.
Half of the estimated construction cost would be financed with equity and half in debt from lenders including the city, according to the PEDP officials. At least one local beer company would be an investor in the project.
Providence Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Don Gralnek, also a PEDP Loan Committee member, said Isle Brewers had previously approached the PRA for financing help, but the project wasn’t a good fit for that agency’s real-estate purview.
A PEDP loan, on the other hand, could be secured by brewing equipment, which is expected to represent $6 million of the project’s total cost.
Gralnek said in addition to the brewery itself, the project would include a restaurant and beer garden.
Gonzalo Cuervo, chief of staff for Mayor Angel Taveras, called the brewery proposal “unique” and told the loan committee it “seems appealing.”
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