Thursday, June 14, 2012

Narragansett Lager Review

Another of my Trader Joe's finds, Narragansett Lager held a special excitement for me as it would be my first beer from Rhode Island.  By the time I tried it, I had already enjoyed the previously-reviewed canned beers and so my inclination to ascribe low expectations to the beer barely gained footing.  Even my general lack of enthusiasm for all-things-lager failed to assert itself since I had been enjoying a streak of unexpectedly good beers, many of which represented things that I generally disliked in beers.

The first thing that I noticed upon tasting the 'Gansett was that my streak continued; this was an excellent representation of the American Adjunct Lager.  Whereas corn, rice, and other adjuncts would ordinarily dominate the palette of such a beer, a complex medley of flavors greeted the tongue.  Sweet maltiness married well with a refreshing hop burst atypical of the style that has been vilified thanks to Big Beer and all of its offerings.  Although its light straw color and evanescent, fizzy head made it look like one of those beers, one sniff and one taste is all that it takes to dissolve any and all concerns about the similarities; any comparison that could be drawn would be superficial at best.

If the lager-style of beer represents the roots of American beer drinking-culture, then the Narragansett Lager stands as a proud exemplar of the frothy foundation.  Its century-plus long brewing tradition is emblematic of New England's reverence for local history and the pride that New Englanders take in things that are, in essence, local to them.  The fact that Narragansett's brews are popping up in more and more locations throughout New York is a good sign that our neighbors to the northeast have no problem sharing one of their local treasures--another solid beer that will surely quench your summer thirst.

Grade: A-