Narragansett Beer

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Narragansett Lager Is an Easy-Drinking Nostalgia Trip

January 14, 2019

By Jerard Fagerberg, January 14, 2019

Narragansett Lager was once the best-selling beer in all of New England. It was Rhode Island Schlitz. Most famous as the official beer of the Boston Red Sox for over 30 years and the drink of choice for Jaws shark hunter Quint, ‘Gansett fell out of favor in the 1970s and disappeared from the market in 1981. In 2005, a group of investors brought it back, and since then, ‘Gansett has reappeared on dive bar taplines, on store shelves, and in the palms of blue-collar drinkers all along the East Coast.


Narragansett casts its lager in bronze. Most local macros pour near-clear yellow, but good ol’ ‘Gansett sports that roasty Vienna lager brown seen in beer commercials from the 1970s. Though the head disappears hastily, it leaves you with a mug of vintage-looking refreshment.


Beers of this ilk often fall short when it comes to the aroma, and ‘Gansett is no different. Try pulling in a deep breath, and all you get are some razor-thin malt and sulfuric lager yeast esters. It’s not an impressive turn for this revitalized classic, but ‘Gansett is most at home in a tallboy can anyway

Narragansett’s flagship lager is an easy-drinking relic that’s been restored to its former glory.”


There’s nothing in this beer to slow you down.‘Gansett is brewed with Iowa corn, and that sweet, vegetal taste is the most enduring among the beer’s few flavors. Elsewhere, the two-row malt does what it's supposed to do, bolstering the body with some light, grainy flavors but ultimately staying out of the way. You can drink forever and never get full, though you may get a little bored.


Nostalgia is a hell of a drug. It can convince you that almost anything bygone is worth reviving. But Narragansett’s flagship lager is an easy-drinking relic that’s been restored to its former glory. Sure, the glory is that of a cut-rate local favorite, but that’s ‘Gansett’s niche, and it’s been filling it longer than most beers have been in production.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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