Every great city needs a beer garden, said Jeremy Duffy, co-founder of The Guild brewery in Pawtucket.
“They bring people together and build community,” he said.
Now, he’s doing his part to make that happen introducing The Guild PVD, a weekend-only, pop-up beer garden in downtown Providence that launched Sept. 25 for a six week run.
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The outdoor space with beer poured from a truck, occupies 4,200 square feet in the Providence Innovation District Park, by the pedestrian bridge. It will be open Friday-Sunday, with limited capacity, through Sunday, Nov. 1. There are no reservations, only walk-ins from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Each weekend will also feature different food trucks organized by Smoke & Squeal BBQ and Ocean State Food Truck Festivals.
How did The Guild get here?
It started with Duffy talking to I-195 Redevelopment District Commission last year after the opening of the pedestrian bridge. They discussed The Guild offering some temporary concessions.
“This was all pre-COVID,” Duffy said.
Fast forward to last summer when Duffy was told the park was ready and setting up a beer garden would go well with Governor Raimondo’s “Take it outside” campaign.
And so a public-private partnership between The Guild, Rhode Island Commerce and the 195 Commission was born.
Though smaller than Duffy’s original vision, the space offers distanced seating for 74 people at long tables set eight feet apart, outside.
“The views are phenomenal,” he said. “Everyone seems thrilled,” he said.
The Guild, which brews for not only Guild beers, but also for Wash Ashore Beer Co., Night Shift Brewing, Devil’s Purse, Narragansett Beer and others, serves a sampling from a beer truck manned by Guild staff.
The first weekend, Duffy said they were busy the entire time and served more than 600 people from a wide selection of craft beers from The Guild brewing partners Peak Brewing Company, Monopolio and Willie’s SuperBrew.
Duffy now expects the partnership to do the beer garden on a larger scale in 2021.
In Pawtucket, The Guild never shut down during the pandemic. They did make a change to fill more cans than draft tanks destined for restaurants.
“We are probably only going to be down 10-15 percent,” Duffy said.
Retail on site took a hit, though, he said, being closed from March and opening outside only in May.
They had to cancel a lot of events, including weddings. Now they can do smaller events.
“We expect a great 2021,” he said. “But we have to get out of winter months and flu season and then get a vaccine.”
He’s hoping for a strong second quarter and teased some news.
“We have big plans, on production, with new brewers coming in.”