Narragansett Lager - Narragansett Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Narragansett LagerNarragansett Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

1,010 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,010
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 64
Gots: 188 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Narragansett Brewing Co. visit their website
Rhode Island, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 09-29-2003

We brew our lager with six row malt, seedless hops, corn from Iowa, our lager strain (the same one the brewery has depended on since just after Prohibition), and the purest water from Lakes Ontario and Hemlock.

12 IBU
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,010 | Reviews: 355
Photo of lionking
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up some on a visit to a friend in Mass. Had saw the beer was being brought back so I tracked some down and brought a 12 pack home. It is now brewed by High Falls for Narragansett. Used to buy this in PA back in the early 90s when it was being made by G Heilman I believe. My local distributor always had specials on Narragansett, Ranier, American, Golden Anniversary, etc.

New Englanders like their own products, so bringing a mid priced light lager to give the locals a local choice seems like a good idea.

Poured a nice golden yellow into an Anheuser Busch glass purchased at the Merrimack NH brewery tour gift shop. Head was about one finger. Faint smell of hops i believe. Taste was balanced with some mild carbonation. Some lacing left on the glass as I drank it down.

Overall, a competitor to Bud/Miller/Coors rather than to Sam Adams. Priced accordingly as well.

Seems to be a trend in bringing back retro beers. Most of these brands werent missed when they left the first time, but I always support having choices.

Photo of Drew966
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Narragansett Beer pours a light golden yellow with a thick head that laces nicely as it fades from a sixteen ounce can. There is a typical macro lager aroma, albeit on the mild side. The mouthfeel is average for a macro lager. The flavor is grainy with a touch of spicy hops. Pretty good flavor for a macro.

Photo of IntriqKen
2.76/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pint can poured into a pint glass....golden yellow with a full finger white foam head that melts and leaves a sticky map on the side of the glass.

Lager aromas even hint at skunkiness even though it's in a can. pale malt and little else.

Taste is thin even for a lager. Wow...this isn't the way I remember 'gansett from the '60's. I seem to taste some corn although I didn't think they used adjuncts. A little hop bite on the end that is nice.

Aftertaste is clean and mouthfeel is decent for a lager but I'm still disappointed.
Sometimes memories are best remembered rather than revisited.
<sigh>

Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a delirium glass for shits and giggles. Gansett pours a clear straw yellow, with a decent white head that lowers at a normal rate. Light lacing. Light aroma of cereal grains, with no solid hop character. It has that mass produced beer aroma, with a sharp finish. Sweet flavors with a little twang at the end. Good mouthfeel, carbonation is medium. Very drinkable, but it is what it is, a better than average vintage/retro American beer. It could easily be my Pabst replacement. Good beer for the value.

Photo of madjr80
2.74/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I read the review of this beer and figured it may be a good "cheap beer" to try. It poured a yellowish gold with a decent body and the head of foam was amazing. The taste was nothing special, but it wasn't horrible either. A good beer to have served ice cold for washing down pizza. You can definately taste the adjucts, but I still would rather drink this over the other macros out there. @ 6.00 for a six pack of talls, it is a good budget beer.

Photo of Saunapoika
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks like an inviting golden lager. Nothing too exceptional about it but I would argue that it's a bit darker than say Milwaukee's Best. Little white head on this that clings to my pint glass all the way down.

S: Straw, dry dusty smell. Almost like hay harvest in the field late in the year. Not a bad thing though.

T: I like it. It's smooth and has a slight dryness to it. I can taste a bit of the straw that I smelled in it. To be sure, it's a decent brew for the price.

M: Carbonation not unlike any other standard lager. Nothing jumps out of this one but nothing stands out as bad either.

D: I can swill quite a few of these and enjoy looking under the caps at the puzzles and sayings they've got. It's great cooking beer as well for beer bread and making chili.

Photo of sudz42
2.9/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As mentioned this is better than Bud, but I think there's a sort of myth-cult quality to this beer that inflates its rating beyond what it really is--just a decent American macro pale lager.

I just squeezed a couple lime wedges into my pint glass and now it's party time, Corona style.

Hey, it's brewed by the Genessee/High Falls brewery so quality has to be above average.

Wish it lived up to its mythic stature. Oh well, next?

Photo of erosier
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Local beer bar has $2 tallboy Narragansett night so I had a few of these. Pours a golden yellow with a nice white head that sticks to the sides of the glass as it fades. The aroma is of medium malts with some medium hops blended together for that classic American macro aroma. The taste isn't too bad for this kind of beer. Nice mixture of the malts and hops that blend pretty well and quench my thirst. The mouthfeel is OK as it has a bit of a bite to it, but it is very drinkable and I don't mind have a few of these for $2 at the local bar. Worth a shot.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a six pack because someone I was trading with had it on their want list. I probably never would have picked it up otherwise. Kinda glad I did.

Pours a golden yellow color with a creamy white head that leaves quickly. The color reminds me of the apple juice my daughter drinks. The beer is sparklingly clear. The smell is malty, apricots, and a little skunky. Taste is light. Mouthfeel is thin crisp and refreshing. Not to bad for a macro. I could drink a few of these and still operate heavy machinery (that's a joke). Honestly it was better than I had expected.

Photo of altgeeky1
3.8/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is (figuratively, and quite literally so) NOT your grandfather's Narragansett. There's a lot to be prejudiced about - the (now ancient) Narragansett history of being a mass produced low-end beer, being sold in 'twist off' bottles, etc. This might explain the emphasized surprise, seemingly reluctant faint praises, etc. These guys have a name but also a historical image problem. These folks had a table at the American Beer Fest 07, and I stopped by more on a curiosity than a desire to try it, and I have to say they got the beer part right. I have to say I like this beer.

Pours nicely from the bottle into a standard pint glass. This produces a generous head, layered nicely with a fine bubble strata above a coarse bubble base. At this point you might expect heavy carbonation..

Smells maltier than your average 'American' lager. Aroma hops. A pronounced - not overpowering - yeasty smell.

Tastes pretty damn good, like a lighter version of something Sam Adams would make. They don't overdo malt heaviness, and you don't taste any adjuncts like rice or corn (I have no idea if they use such ingredients, but you try this beer _expecting_ it will taste like a Coors or Bud). It finishes slightly dry, with some hop bite left in the mouth. Might make for a good session beer.

Photo of albern
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm voting thumbs up on this beer. Admittedly, I came at this with very negative assumptions dating back to my college days when this beer had a reputation for being quite nasty, and acquired several negative plays on the name. I saw the 81 BA ranking and felt that in middle age, I ought to be more open minded about this beer. I'm glad I was. This is a respectable lager that is quite drinkable and enjoyable. It pours a very golden bright yellow with some head that dissipates quickly. The smell is your typical sharp lager hop smell with some corn or grain adjunct. The beer is not particularly dry or biting and not cloyingly sweet either. It benefits from the right balance and this is what makes this beer so respectable. Macros tend to sin in either extreme, but not Narragansett. The beer has a modest carbonation, a light feel, a watery mouthfeel and no real aftertaste. Another strong plus is that Narragansett settles nicely as the beer warms, unlike so many other Macros that need to be drunk close if not at the freezing point lest the beer disintegrate into its ugly parts. Again, not so Narragansett. This is a pretty decent lager worth a try. L'Chaim.

July 2009: I'm adding some points here. I've had this several times in the can and this is now my go-to lawnmower beer when it is hot outside. There is a nice sweetness to the lagery malts, and boy is this a light beer. Nothing to complain about for sure.

Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled through BA johnnnniee and BEERFEST THE MOVIE BIF!! (Yeah you spell it that way.)

Clear yellow lager with an OK white colored head. Would have given it more but the head was a little skimpy.

The smell is sweet and hoppy with lots of herbal Nobel hops scent but no spiciness. No fruitiness or anything this is all traditional lager.

The taste starts out mildly sweet and hoppy with lots of toasted grain aroma. Nice spicy Nobel hops flavor possibly the best example of this aspect of Nobel hops I have tasted. Mildly herbal flavor and about perfect bitterness levels. Damn good lager.

The mouthfeel is good.

Certainly drinkable I wish I had much more of this. Minor lack of a really tall head and simplistic scent but where this beer really shines is in the taste. A really good American made lager.

Photo of auxiliary
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - nice golden color with a white foamy head and some lace.

smell - Clean crisp smell, some hop smell, and malt smells here.

taste - Some hop flavor, more on the macro side, i don't think this taste much like the light version.

mouthfeel - Light body, kinda a bland.

drinkability - Not a bad beer, now lets bring this back to RI will ya.

Photo of sawbones420
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I recently did a review of Brooklyn Lager straight out of bottle, reasoning that I'm pretty much always going to be drinking Brooklyn Lager straight out of the bottle unless I order it at a bar. I've chosen the same path with Narragansett, since I will never pour this beer into a glass for as long as I live. While I claimed that I would write a newer review of Brooklyn's lager served in a pint glass at a later date, I make no such claim for Narragansett's fine brew. This is a beer that is meant to be consumed straight out the can.

The 16 oz. tall boy is majestic and enticing, solely because I know what the aluminum exterior is hiding beneath. Trying to take a more objective approach, this looks like straight-up old man beer. I wasn't around back in its heyday, when it was the official beer of the Red Sox, but I imagine aside from the web address printed on the top and side of the modern day can, the old and "new" designs are probably close to identical.

Crackin' the bad boy. This smells like American Lager. No bullshit. Nothing fancy, but this ain't crap either, despite its costing the same as many low-end beers.

Taste:
(see smell paragraph immediately above)

Conclusion:
6 bucks for a 6 pack of tall boys ($5 at Downtown Wine 'n Spirits in Somerville!), this is unbeatable in my eyes. It costs the same as dreg macrobrews such as PBR and the like, yet tastes noticeably better. If you're gonna go cheap, at least go local(regional) and cheap. Pretty widely available in Boston liquor stores, I just wish more bars carried this beer. I tend to stray from glass bottles, as it's a waste of money, but for watching sports, I'll rock the 'Gansett tall boy any day of the week.

This beer works all year round, hot or cold.

Photo of BuckSpin
4.23/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz bottle in a Shaker pint

BAside: great retro packaging. Love the label & bottlecap...very old school.

Poured very smooth with a soft crackle. Lite nose, nice estery quality, faint hops. Malts rise with some air and are strawlike, hay, a little bready. Head is classic - a fat finger's worth of tight, compact, creamy, slightly sculpted pearl white foam that has a decent retention and laces in thick curtains. Slight chill haze to the body, which is a pale, warm corn silk gold in hue with a decent amount of carbonation as a multitude of bubbles rise chaotically thru it. For what it is it looks the part very well.

Creamy, crisp, semisweet, very clean, semi-dry with a damp, muted crunch, rather nice. There is a pleasing smoothness to it, a crushed velvet like feel. I was not expecting an AML to have such a nice mouthfeel. This is by far the smoothest of its genre I've ever had.

Malts have faint hints of caramel/butterscotch and are overall semi-sweet, no metallic aspects noticeable. If I try I can barely detect a whisper of some hop bitterness, but we are talking miniscule at best. Its going down very easy & clean. The bread qualities of the malts grow on the palate as it really evens out, some very distant hops are barely citric, and it finishes very clean, slightly refreshing, balanced & semi-dry with a somewhat sticky sweet (not sugary) aftertaste.

Damn, this was pretty good! Without question the best of its genre I've ever had. This beats the hell out of any BMC hand down. I would drink this big time in the summer as a lawnmower beer and even just keep some around for those times you want a beer like this. It is screaming for simple food - burgers, pizza, etc. There is definitely room in the world for beers like this. I like this, I will drink more of it, I'll have it around for my "I only drink Bud" friends & family. Definitely recommended!

Photo of Brad007
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium yellow color with a head that fades fast. Aroma is bready/fruity with some malt showing through. Taste is strong and leaves a bready aftertaste with even a touch of bitterness. Goes down well. Not too bad of a beer but certainly not something I'd drink often.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.2/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz brown bottle from Tiger Town in Gardiner. Dirty yellow (not quite gold) translucent body with a half inch of off-white head that quickly dissipates. Smells malty with hints of hops and adjuncts. Tastes sweet with just a hint of hop bite toward the finish, with adjuncts playing a bit of a role too. Very clean finish. Definitely the most flavorful American Macro/Pale Lager I've had. Lighter in mouthfeel but not watery or thin by any means. Extremely drinkable. I'm actually impressed with this one. And the combination of drinkability, good flavor, and price make this one a beer I'll be buying regularly.

Photo of Rainintheface
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured with vigor into Sam Adams glass.

A: darker shade of straw, medium carbonation with nice frothy white head.

S: slightly sweet smelling. light hops and a bit of grains

T: nice level of hop bitterness for a macro, sweet maltiness but not to sweet. very nice

M: crisp, light and refreshing with just right amount of carbonation

D:a nice macro lager. this is one I will enjoy over and over.

Hi neighbor! It's nice to see 'gansett back. They were pretty much closing shop when I started drinking beer so I don't know how closely it resembles the original, but it's damn tasty.

Photo of sraimondi
3.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this one from a 12 oz. bottle. Nice yellow/straw color, a bit darker than the normal "macro", with sheet lacing. Initial smell is malt with some faint hint of grass. The taste is better than average for the style, with definite malt sweetness. While there is little hop bite/finish, the hops are definitely present, as they keep the taste from being cloying. The mouthfeel is soft and somewhat rounded. The drinkability is good. I really like this one for the style.

I'm heading to RI for biz this week, and I am looking forward to having this on draft as well as sampling the bock and porter, which are not available in NW Connecticut.

Photo of frankbro
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank Gansett back in the 70's in 7 oz returnable bottles.(35/case) I don't know if the new stuff is the same, but it's very good. It's not brewed in RI, but in Rochester under licence. It was $4.59/6pk 16oz cans or $5.49/6k 12oz bottles. No brainer. It has a beautiful yellow color and a 2in head that left a little lacing. In order the smell was malt, hops, and cerial. The taste was the same, but the hops were more pronounced. I gave it a 'low' score on drinkability because I found the beer substantial in character(filling), and probably couldn't nail more than 2 of them without a little break. I'm glad to see it back!

Photo of Foxman
3.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours an especially clear and rich gold. A finger of bright white head sinks soon to fuzzy froth. Spits of lacing navigate the inside of the glass.

The aroma is lightly toasted malt, somewhat sweet, and is that a niblet or two of yellow corn? No matter, it peppers slightly with a crisp hop air.

Upon tasting, the malt is briefly berry sweet, distantly vegetal, and narrowly doughy. The hops are a bit spicy, with black pepper and a noble tang in tow. It quickly crisps to a softly biting and very dry finish. The refreshing nature forgives a few sins.

Light bodied, it flows nicely and imparts a clean closing impression.

I honestly wasn't expecting much, but I'm pleasantly surprised. It won't wow anyone, I wouldn't think, but it has the crisp, satisfying character that results in a very drinkable if a bit macro-esque lager. Pretty decent for a mainstream flagship beer, I believe.

Photo of Wasatch
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to TheManiacalOne for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, slight hops, some spices, and caramel. The taste is malty, slightly hoppy, and spicey/caramel. Light-Medium body. The finish is clean and crisp. Drinkable, the last time I had one of these was about 35 years ago, when I lived in Pawtucket, RI. It's not bad, way better than a Bud, Coors, or Miller.

Photo of scriabin
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I recall Narragansett as a the mass-produced lager from the 1970s, although I was too young to partake in its frothy tastiness. Fast forward 30 years, and it seems the reborn Narragansett has developed a very slick, nostalgia-based marketing campaign selling itself as a simple, straightfoward brew. I enjoyed this one for being what it is - a clean tasting, enjoyable lager that is a nice complement to a summer cookout. Although it lacks the complexity of other so called premium lagers, sometimes you just want to sit down with your basic quality lager at the end of the day and relax. It's sort of the "girl next door" of beers, and doesn't aim to be on the cover of the next FHM magazine; and there's nothing wrong with that. I predict this will become a staple in my beer fridge.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the end of the American Beer Festival up in Boston, since they were giving some of this away to those of us that helped out. I had never tried this before, and hadn't even heard of this beer before. As odd as it is for me to say, this may the most "basic" beer that I've ever drank. Is that good or bad? I'm not sure, but it's nice to know that a straightforward brew like this doesn't have to be bland and watered-down!

Nothing was exceptional or bad about this at all. It had a standard pour, a bit of a head, and no lacing to be found whatsoever. The taste is very malty and bready, with the hints of filler that one would expect out of a beer of this style. There isn't much in the aftertaste, but the biscuity taste to this never really disappears either. It reminds me a lot of PBR, and has the same appeal to it, in my opinion. Don't expect a lot of flavor, or depth to this, but do expect to be mildly surprised!

The 5.10% ABV makes this a really good session beer, and the drinkability of this makes it a worthy candidate as in introduction for the craft beer novice. No, it's not going to blow anyone away, but for someone looking for a cheap 6-pack, this would be a far superior choice to the BMC's in this world. Even for me, it's nice to have a drink like this now and then, and just let go from thinking my way through what I enjoy. Narragansett fills this role perfectly!

Photo of KevinB
2.83/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a mug. Appearance was a golden yellow with a foamy whitehead.1 finger head, light lacing.
Smell was faint, traces of grains, corn, malts and hops can be detected. Taste was nice, sweet, very light malt flavor with a clean dry finish.
Mouthfeel, very light bodied beer, medium carbonation, honey overtones.
Drinkability a pretty light and smooth brew, it's drinkable but for what it is I would prefer something else.
Overall it's nice a bad beer, a pretty decent macro, but it's priced between a budget and premium. Not sure why it's placed in a sixer with many crafts, I would rather pick up a 30 pack of Genny Creams for 11 bucks afterall they are the ones who are contracted to make it. It's a decent beer and it's nice to see a New England label back.

Narragansett Lager from Narragansett Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.