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Home » FOOD AND WINE in MA » MASSACHUSETTS (all topics) » Companies are Never too Old to Start Something New
Companies are Never too Old to Start Something New

Narragansett Breweries Debuts their First-Ever Summer Ale

By Peter F. Demers | June 06, 2011

The famous Narragansett Breweries introduces, for the first time in its 120 year history, the seasonal release of a summer craft brew, Narragansett Summer Ale.

The Narragansett Breweries are one of the oldest brewers in New England. Founded in 1888, by the “original six”, one of whom was Jacob Wirth - a name familiar to Bostonians for the famous restaurant on Stuart Street.

Most New England beer drinkers are familiar with the company’s icon, the famous “Chief Gansett”, but it’s doubtful that many realize that this famous icon was designed by another famous icon, Theodore Geisel, known to millions as Dr. Seuss.

With the launch of the now famous line, “Hi Neighbor, have a Gansett” and the signing of the Red Sox’s Curt Gowdy, as company spokesperson, Narragansett Beer became the best selling beer by the mid-fifties.

After being purchased by the Falstaff Brewing Company in 1965, the company and its aged Cranston, Rhode Island brewery began to see their dominance of the New England market erode. By 1981, increased competition and the cost of maintenance of its turn of the century main brewing facility in Cranston was more than the company could maintain. The company’s Cranston plant was closed and the equipment was shipped to China in 1995.

In early 2005, lifelong Rhode Islander Mark Hellendrung, along with a group of New England investors, purchased the rights to Narragansett Beer from Falstaff. Former Brew master 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. With the introduction of Narragansett Summer Ale, Narragansett is responding to today’s more discriminating beer drinkers who seek variations on their favorite beverage designed to match their lifestyles and the seasons.

Narragansett Summer Ale is brewed under the supervision of award-winning Brew master Sean Larkin, at Trinity Brew House in Providence, RI, Cottrell Brewery in Pawcatuck, CT, and High Falls Brewery in Rochester, NY.

This light session ale features two row pale malt and citra hops, a very popular, newer variety of hops with very evident aromas of citrus and passion fruit that complement the pale malt perfectly. A supremely drinkable summer craft brew, the malt flavor is smooth and subtle, balanced out by a crisp hop bitterness, perfect for the beach, boat or ballgame.

The Summer Ale Tallboy can features iconic imagery of the famous Narragansett Towers. Once part of the Narragansett Pier Casino, the Towers remain a historic landmark, having endured two great fires in 1900 and 1965 and three tremendous hurricanes. The surfer catching waves in the foreground symbolizes Narragansett Bay’s reputation as one of the region’s top summer surfing destinations.

Distributed throughout New England, Southern New York, and Philadelphia at leading stores, bars and restaurants, Summer Ale will be available on draught and in ‘Gansett’s signature 16oz. Tallboy cans.

For further information on Narragansett Summer Ale or to find a retailer near you, visit: http://www.narragansettbeer.com/products/summer-ale.


Narragansett Brewing Company

60 Ship Street, Providence, Rhode Island

(401) 437-8970

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