Brent Ryan and Derek Luke of Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling named Grand Marshal of the 64th Annual Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade to be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
From garage to Grand Marshal, Brent and Derek have done it all when it comes to brewing, distilling and their community.
“When Brent told me last year that the committee chose us for this year’s parade, I remember I was on the canning line during a production run – which made for one of the more memorable canning days!” said Derek Luke. “It’s just such an honor to receive the Grand Marshal distinction and being recognized by the community certainly evokes emotions of both joy and proudness!”
Brent and Derek met in college when they shared their love for beer. In 1998, they moved to Newport with a couple other friends where they founded Coastal Extreme Brewing, which still is Rhode Island’s oldest microbrewery.
Besides beer and spirits, both Brent and Derek share a passion for their community and community involvement. They both have volunteered their time for many different organizations and events over the years, as well as donating beer to different fundraisers, one of which being Fort Adam’s largest fundraiser, The Newport Storm Luau. In 2010, the Newport Craft Beer Festival started and since then, has raised over $200,000 for local non-profits.
“Since 1999 Derek and I have tried to support as many community efforts as our time and resources would allow. It became apparent early on how important the Parade was for the community and the businesses that benefit from it during their slow winter months,” said Brent Ryan. “To be recognized as having made a significant contribution to the success of the Parade is exceptionally meaningful to me”
Before the re-brand in 2017, Newport Storm Brewery was featured in the New York Times as well as on the television show, Dirty Jobs. Since then, Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling has been featured in USA Today, Men’s Journal, Travel + Leisure and more.
The brewery has always participated in the Annual Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade and has even been a main sponsor of the event in the past.
“To simply hang out, take some time away from work, and literally enjoy the fruits of our labor with our buddies over the next few weekends–and that helps support not only the parade event but help out the community……pretty cool and an amazing honor!” – Derek Luke
“While I have always enjoyed representing our Brewery and Distillery in the Parade, I am really looking forward to walking this year with our families. It will be really enjoyable to let them see firsthand why we’ve put so much effort into it over the years. That said, the Grand Marshal Roast should also be a highlight…” – Brent Ryan