Newport Storm Gets New Name, New Leadership And Some New Ownership

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There are some big changes taking place at 293 JT Connell Highway.

Across the craft beer world, the market is maturing. The segment has slowed its growth and competition is stepping up. Every brewery has to offer superior beer or they’ll start falling behind fast. This is taking place at a time where there’s a lot of money coming into the industry. Conglomerates are buying up some breweries while some serious investors are looking to get into the action. This is making the waters rather treacherous for a lot of the smaller breweries like Newport Storm…or rather…Newport Craft Brewing And Distilling Co.

What’s Newport Craft Brewing And Distilling Co.?

Newport Craft Brewing And Distilling Co.Newport Craft Brewing And Distilling Co. is the new name for the umbrella company that was formerly known as Coastal Extreme Brewing. That company had two brands, Newport Storm and Newport Distilling Co. (the makers of Thomas Tew Rum) . They’ve always been intimately entangled under the same roof, but the products came out under the different brands. They’re being consolidated under “Newport Craft…”. This move simplifies things a bit and means that the company no longer has to worry about managing parallel branding, marketing and social media efforts.

Introducing Brendan O’Donnell

Brendan O'Donnell CEO Newport Craft Brewing And Distilling Co.

Brendan O’Donnell (on right), the new CEO of Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co. judges Cocktail Wars Newport, featuring his company’s very own Widows Walk Rum

Brendan O’Donnell, who took over La Forge as managing director last year, is the new CEO of Newport Craft Brewing and Distilling. Brendan made his first public appearance as a judge at the second week of Cocktail Wars Newport, a bartending competition featuring his new company’s own Widows Walk Rum.

Derek Luke and Brent Ryan, the two original founders of the company who have been running the company since its inception, are staying on. Brent remains company president and master distiller and Derek remains brewmaster, and the two will be focused on what has always been their primary concern, brewing beer and distilling spirits (mostly rum, but a few new products are up their sleeve.)

Some New Ownership

While Derek and Brent maintain their ownership stakes in the company, the rest of the company’s owners and investors have been bought out by a financial entity that was left anonymous in a recent newspaper article…though feel free to connect the large and plentiful dots.

New Products

So what’s changing for the Newport Storm customer? Not too much…if one realizes how much the brewery and distillery have been evolving. Obviously, mainstays like the Hurricane Amber Ale and Thomas Tew Rum remain available, but production of their Sea Fog whiskey has taken off (though those take seven years to age, so it’ll be a little while before the increased production hits store shelves). The Rhode series of beers, which include the popular Rhode Soda sessionable IPA and the newer Rhode Trip rotating single-hop New England IPA is about to grow again with the upcoming Rhode Rage double IPA, whose recipe is getting finalized as you read this.

Newport Gin Newport Craft Brewing And Distilling Co.

Newport Gin

Come June, Sons Of Liberty’s True Born Gin will no longer be Rhode Island’s only entry into the juniper infused category. Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling will be introducing Newport Gin, which, as all their products are, will be hand-crafted in small batches.

Craft Beer Release Schedule

Here’s the release schedule for their 2018 craft beers.

Newport Craft Beer And Distilling Co 2018 Newport Storm Release Calendar

Craft Spirit Release Schedule

Newport Craft Distilling 2018 Spirits Release Calendar Thomas Tew


One more thing…

For the past six years, Newport Storm has partnered with Pour Judgement to put on the Newport Craft Beer Festival. This year that partnership continues, though as Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co. Tickets are still available…though it will sell out so if you want tickets, you should really get on that.

Otherwise, check out the Newport Craft Brewing And Distilling Co. website to see how things are progressing.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Craft Beer Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?