Saturday, 06 November 2010 14:39 Written by COLLEEN CUSHMAN - Contributing Writer
"Hi neighbor have a ’Gansett!" is likely to be heard while shopping around in your favorite liquor stores, or hanging out at the local bars. You may have noticed ’Gansett Girls hollering about try "New England’s beer". If you have yet to try any of the Narragansett beers by the end of this you will be itching to grab some next time you’re out.
So what’s all the fuss about? Well not only is Narragansett a traditional New England beer that your grandparents most likely used to sip on, on summer days when they were our age.
One of the trademarks of Narragansett is its rich history along with its deliciously rich taste. Narragansett beer began in 1890; by 1914 Narragansett Brewing Company became the largest lager beer brewery in New England. Through the prohibition although it took a toll on the company financially they were still allowed to brew beer for medical purposes.
After the prohibition things started to look up for Narragansett Brewing Company, by 1944 Narragansett became partners with Major League Baseball. Narragansett first sponsored the Boston Braves, and later the Red Sox. The duo really hit home once Curt Gowdy, the team’s announcer, became the official spokesperson for Narragansett.
By 1955 Narragansett was the largest selling beer in New England, and shortly after they celebrated their brewing of one million barrels of beer, quite an accomplishment at the time. The interesting thing about Narragansett Brewing Company is their passion for beer, and their kindness to all.
During the 1960’s Narragansett employed 850 employees and they all received free beer, and were actually encouraged to drink during the workday! Now how many jobs are going to let you do that?
Falstaff Brewing Corporation then bought Narragansett Brewing Company for a total of $19 million in 1974. Unfortunately by 1983 the brewery in Cranston Rhode Island closed its doors. Luckily for us, in 2005 Mark Hellendrung bought Narragansett from Falstaff and was able to get Narragansett back in business. Mark was able to get in touch with the original brew master Bill Anderson and together they were able to bring Narragansett back to its original deliciousness.
Now enough with the details and let’s get to the good stuff, the beer itself.
Narragansett believe it or not has more than the Lager and the Light, which you see in liquor stores and local bars.
As you may have seen this fall season in a past article or in your liquor store, a favorite hit the market, the Narragansett Fest. The orange tall boy can is unmistakable and the flavor is even more unique with traditional aromas, the unique hops and malts add together to create a smooth and mouth-watering taste leaving you wanting more.
Another Narragansett beer that most people have yet to hear about let alone try is the Porter. This is the perfect beer for those cold stormy winter nights. Once it starts snowing this porter is sure to satisfy and warm your spirits.
It is a traditional American style porter that it has a robust malt flavor with slight hops characteristics. What sets this apart from other porters is that it is not overly smoky or bitter. The Porter has a mild chocolate flavor with a smooth slightly bitter smokiness. What used to be referred to as Narragansett Dark was discontinued by Falstaff when it bought Narragansett. Hellendrung brought back this old favorite to the Portuguese communities of New Bedford and Fall River.
Narragansett Bock is another name that not many are familiar with. The Bock is the spring seasonal. This brew is a dark lager with hints of caramel and chocolate not too overpowering but just the right amount for a smooth delectable taste.
With such a wide selection, Narragansett’s range of beers has something for everyone.