History Bytes: Getting Crafty with Craft Beer

June 25, 2020

Newport’s restaurants and bars are having to get creative with how to serve their clientele while following Covid-19 reopening guidelines. Some establishments have taken to setting up tables on sidewalks and streets to meet space restrictions. In 1770 local Quaker merchants and brewers, Thomas Robinson and Giles Hosier needed to get creative for a different reason. They had run out of space to store their ever-growing supply of barrels, hogsheads and bottles of beer. Their solution was to successfully petition the Rhode Island General Legislature to lease the basement of the Colony House for beer storage for 14 years. The Hosier – Robinson partnership ended in 1774 and their brewery closed soon afterwards. In June of 1795 Hosier was back in business, once more petitioning the General Assembly for space in the Colony House. Beer is no longer stored in the Colony House basement. Hosier’s house however continues its association with the beverage. Located at Broadway and Hosier Street, it is now the home of the FastNet Pub.

Banner: 2004.13.83, Undated print of the ‘Statehouse’, or Colony House.