Ok, let’s get it over with right off the bat: “It’s a Rhode Island beer, and this guy is a transplanted Rhode Islander with what the Germans call “sehnsucht” for his native state. Of course he’s gonna love this beer and rave about it until the cows come home! Bias, bias, bias!!!”
Cut me some slack here, dear reader. Sure, I was born in Little Rhodie. And sure I go all native like every time I have the chance to visit. Who doesn’t? I can still be objective though, especially when it comes to beer. I’m not going to rave about a bad one just because it comes from the state I grew up in. Technically, the beer under consideration today, Narragansett Summer Ale, is not “from” Rhode Island anyway, since it’s brewed under contract by Genesee in Rochester, NY. That doesn’t really matter, though, because this is a great beer no matter where you (or it) come from.
Still, the company is based in Providence, Rhode Island, and the original Narragansett brewery operated in Cranston from 1890 to 1981. The brand was revived in 2006, and the new owners hope to sell enough contract beer to finance a new brewery in Rhode Island. Every time I’m in Rhode Island I like to help the cause and bring some ‘Gansett back to Georgia. This visit was no exception, and so I picked up a 36-pack of Narragansett Lager for football season. I was specifically seeking out the Summer Ale as well, though that was harder to find and I had to visit a few stores to finally land some.
Narragansett Summer Ale pours to a pale golden color with a light spritzy head formation and a refreshingly tart, citric nose. The palate is crisp and delicately malty, a bit fruity, then quickly yields to a zesty lemony-citric (Dell’s Lemonade sans sugar anyone?) hoppiness. In the finish, that punctuates the beer wonderfully, and the beer ends nicely with a gently bitter hop finish.
Narragansett Summer Ale sells for about $8 for a six-pack of 16-ounce cans, and that’s a steal because this one hell of a refreshing summer brew. At just 4.2% alcohol by volume, it’s perfect sipping ale. Indeed, the brewery calls it a session blonde ale, and I can see that easily. What sets this apart from most blonde ales, however, is the fruity, citrusy Citra hop aroma and flavor that make this beer such a delight.
Absolutely fantastic sipped straight from the can on a hot summer day or in a glass; I can taste a day at Scarborough Beach in every can.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.