Monday, March 17, 2008

Tasting Notes: Narragansett Lager

Brewery: Narragansett Brewing Company
Date Poured: January 2008
ABV: 5.0%

My Mainer friend Dave sent me this beer in a box full of Cadillac Mountain Stout. Talk about a rough in the diamonds.

The story of Narragansett mirrors the story of many an American regional brewer in the second half of the 20th century.

Narragansett was a regional brewery based out of Rhode Island and founded in the 1880's. It was quite popular around southern New England for years. It was a sponsor of the Red Sox in the old days and Robert Shaw's character in Jaws drank cans of Narrangansett.

The Haffenreffer brewery (of Boston, where Boston Beer now houses their test brewery and Sam Adams tour) became closely involved with Narrangansett in the early 60's as many regional brewers struggled to survive. Eventually, the Haffenreffer lines would become part of Narrangansett and then all were swallowed by the Falstaff Brewing company. The brewery in Rhode Island was closed in the early 80's and the brand quickly declined in quality and sales. The brand has changed hands many times over the years but in 2005 it was purchased by an interest that revitalised the recipe and the brand and it is now being contract brewed by High Falls Brewing (JW Dundee, Saranac) in New York.

Pours bright yellow gold with a creamy white head, lots of lacing, persistent but becomes thin. Lot's of bubbles Lightly sweet and bready pale pilsener malt, light twinge of noble hops.

Taste is basically the same. Sweetish aftertaste. Inoffensive but I wish it had a bit more crispness in the mouth.

This is a nostalgic brand. Being that I am not a native of New England I can say it's no better or no worse than a lot of industrial lagers but doesn't particularly appeal to me.

Narragansett Beer

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