Welcome Back Narragansett- A Light Beer With a Big History
“Hi, Neighbor, have a ‘Gansett!,” was a slogan your Granddad heard during Boston Red Sox games for decades. Founded in 1890 in Rhode Island, Narragansett Beer grew over the years to be the most popular beer in New England and boasted of owning the largest, state-of-the-art brewery and bottling plant in the region.
In 1965 they were bought by Falstaff Beer Company and slowly began to decline in popularity. Narragansett sponsored Red Sox baseball until the late 1960s but were dropped in favor of another sponsor.
The New England brewery stayed open until 1981 when it was closed and all production was moved to the Falstaff Beer plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After the move in operations many Narragansett Beer customers felt that the quality of the beer had declined and so the drop in sales continued to accelerate.
The original brewery and bottling plant sat abandoned for over a decade. Demolition started in 1998 and continued until 2005.
In 2005 something else happened. A group of local Rhode Island investors bought the Narragansett Beer brand and were determined to refurbish, reinvigorate and resurrect the once beloved local brew. They’ve been busy and now, once again Narragansett Beer is available in Southern New England.
The lager and light beers are currently being brewed at a brewery that’s been producing excellent beers for more than 125 years in Rochester, New York, until they can get facilities in Rhode Island up and running. However, Narragansett Beer is also brewing and bottling several craft brews in Providence including a Fest, Porter, Bock and a Cream Ale. The brand also brews a Summer Ale, available only during the summer season.
Also, it should be noted that Narragansett is being newly discovered by a whole new appreciative audience. Check out one of the currently hip, popular bars or concert venues and you’ll see many of the college-age patrons enjoying an ice cold Narragansett. Yes! They are being adopted as one of the hip “new” beers by the current hipster demographic. They’ve made the leap as a perennial favorite transforming from granddad’s brew to the younger generation’s choice.
Narragansett Beer will be at the 2nd Annual Hyper-Local Brewfest at Friday, June 14, 2013, 6:30 – 9:30pm Saturday, June 15, 2013, 3:00 – 6:00pm and Saturday, June 15, 2013, 7:00 – 10:00pm. This annual event highlights and promotes local craft and various artisanal brews. Drop by and welcome them back!
This post was written by Stewart Wise of Goosefat: A Somerville-Cambridge Cook’s Repertoire, go check him out!