Today is the birthday of Michael Hand, Jr. (September 12, 1866-1915). He was the son of Michael Hand Sr. , who founded the Michael Hand Brewing Co. in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1898. Michael Jr. joined the family brewery and the two of them ran the brewery until Sr. passed away in 1911, and Jr. then became sole owner and continued running it until his own death in 1915. His widow, Annie continued the brewery until it was closed by prohibition. A local beer distributor, James Lavell, who also had a realty business, tricked her and ended up owning the brewery, and also went to jail, but after prohibition ended, he reopened it as the Rhode Island Brewing Co. It remained in business for just five years, closing for good in 1938.
And there’s this account from the Providence Journal:
The brewery was built by Michael Hand of Scranton, Pa., in 1898 and run by Hand and his son Michael Jr., of Pawtucket, until their deaths in 1911 and 1915, respectively. The younger Hand’s widow, Annie, was left to run the brewery, which still brewed beer, even during prohibition. Operating out of a tiny building housing Beacon Realty on Fountain Street in Providence, beer distributor James Lavell took orders and cash for the hooch he made at the Hand Brewery. He ended up in jail, but not before his Crescent Realty had loaned money to Annie Hand, secured by the brewery, and then foreclosed on the mortgage, becoming its owner as prohibition ended.