Crystal City Shops
220 20th St S, Arlington, VA 22202
Narragansett is an old brand. It all started in 1888 with six businessmen and $150,000. In December of 1890, the first beer was produced, and the following year the company officially incorporated. In 1891, the brewery produced nearly 28,000 barrels of beer under the company’s promise of the purest ingredients, uncompromised cleanliness, and absolute perfection of brew. Then in 1914, when the company built the most modern bottling plant in the region, it became official: Narragansett Brewing Company was the largest lager beer brewery in New England. Prohibition took a toll on the brewery but it made it through. Shortly afterwards, it hooked up with a young artist named Theodore Geisel (who’d soon be known as Dr. Seuss), who designed the beloved Chief Gansett icon that was a favorite for ‘Gansett drinkers.
The end of World War II saw the launch of an extensive advertising campaign, which featured the now legendary “Hi Neighbor. Have a Gansett” line. Ads appeared in newspapers, magazines, billboards, buses and trolley cars. Narragansett also began a long and happy relationship with Major League Baseball, sponsoring the Boston Braves in 1944 and later the Boston Red Sox. The 1960s and 1970s, while not bad for the company weren’t great, and by the middle of the 1970s, with increased competition from Anheuser-Busch, the brand was feeling the pinch.
On July 31, 1981, citing increasing competition from the national brewing companies, the Narragansett Brewing Company laid off 350 workers—effectively ceasing production at the Cranston brewery. By February of 1982, production of the Narragansett brand had shifted to the Falstaff plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The water from the Scituate Reservoir had been considered the finest in the country; the water in Fort Wayne, not so much.
In 2005, lifelong Rhode Islander Mark Hellendrung, along with a group of New England investors, purchased the rights to Narragansett Beer from Falstaff. Former Brewmaster from ‘Gansett’s glory days, Bill Anderson was brought on board to ensure the authenticity of the brew. That October, for the first time in a quarter century, Narragansett Beer was back in bottles and on bar taps. Today, it is back to being brewed in Rhode Island!
- Lager: “This beer is brewed just right for drinking—crisp and refreshing. It’s got more flavor than other premium lagers, yet it’s one of the most drinkable beers in the world. Narragansett has the highest rating of all domestic premium lagers on BeerAdvocate.com, and received the bronze medal for American Lagers at the ’08 World Beer Cup. Winner of the silver medal in the 2011 World Beer Championship. Winner of the gold medal at the 16th Annual Great International Beer & Cider Competition in Providence, RI 2012.” Brewed with six row malt, secret blend of Pacific Northwest hops, corn from Iowa, the same lager yeast strain the brewery has depended on since just after Prohibition, and the purest water from Lakes Ontario and Hemlock. 5% ABV, 12 IBUs
- Summertime Citra Ale: “Narragansett Summertime is a light session ale made with two row pale malt, citra, galaxy and chinook hops. The citra hops are a very popular, newer variety that deliver aromas of citrus and passion fruit without overpowering the taste buds. The beer is blonde in color and the mild kiss of the hops complement the pale malt perfectly, making it extremely drinkable. The Summertime Citra Ale is craft brewed in small batches at North American Brewery in Rochester, NY under the supervision of the award winning brewmaster, Sean Larkin from Trinity Brewhouse and Revival Brewing. Winner of the Silver Medal in the 2011 World Beer Championships!” 4.2% ABV, 24 IBU
- Town Beach Day Pass IPA: “When Narragansett Beer first got its start over 125 years ago, the town of Narragansett, Rhode Island was the ultimate vacation spot. Vacationers traveled from all over the eastern seaboard to spend their summers on the Town Beach. Today, that beach and countless others along the New England coast still serve as summer’s main attraction, a free and easy spot to relax and enjoy the simple pleasure of a cold beer with good friends.” This is the IPA that you want to sneak onto your favorite beach! Bright, crisp, it packs a citrus kick from the balance of hops, but is quite sessionable. Dry-hopped with Citra for great aromas of passionfruit and grapefruit, this is a go-to summer IPA. 4.7% ABV, 55 IBU
- The Temple: “A twisted, more hop-forward interpretation of a Sticke Altbier that brings an ocean of complexity to the senses. Flavors of caramel and bread wash over your pallet from a blend of munich, caramunich and chocolate wheat malts, which are brightened up by the rolling essence of honeydew melons and strawberries from modern Huell Melon hops and the subtle floral and spice form traditional Perle hops.” 7% ANV, 40 IBUs