Narragansett Lager Beer Brewed Since 1890
Roll out the Barrel: 5.0% Alcohol by Volume and 12 IBUs. A classic American
lager and the workhorse of the Gansett stable. Available all year long in
bottle, can and on tap! 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
Taste & Enjoy: 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 2008 World Beer Cup. 2010 Gold Medal winner in the lager
category at the 14th annual Great International Beer & Cider Competition in
Providence, RI. Winner of bronze medal in the 2010 World Beer Championship.
Winner of the silver medal in the 2011 World Beer Championship.
History of the Narragansett Brewing Company
Narragansett Brewing Company was founded in 1890 with $150,000 in capital. A
brick brewing house was built in Cranston, Rhode Island, and in December 1890,
the first beer was produced. The following year, the company officially
incorporated. The grounds of the Narragansett Brewing Company included a barn, a
stable, a blacksmith, seventy-five horses, forty-five wagons, gas-powered
trucks, electric trucks, twenty-five refrigerated train cars and its own ice
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. Rudolf F. Haffenreffer, a Rhode Island industrialist and
philanthropist with Massachusetts brewing interests, would eventually become
president and chairman of Narragansett Brewing Company and remain involved until
his death in 1954. The Haffenreffer brewery in Boston survived until 1965, at
which time brands Haffenreffer Lager Beer, Pickwick Ale and Pickwick Bock Beer
were licensed to the Narragansett Brewing Company.
Falstaff Brewing Company purchased Narragansett Brewing Company on July 15, 1965
for $17 million in cash and $2 million in Falstaff common stock. The plan was
for the brewery to continue operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Falstaff,
under Haffenreffer management, and that the Narragansett brand would be retained
and actively promoted.
Multi-millionaire Paul Kalmanovitz obtained majority control of Narragansett's
parent corporation, the Falstaff Brewing Co., on April 28, 1975. The San
Francisco brewer and businessman bought the brewery for an undisclosed amount.
Soon after the purchase Falstaff's corporate headquarters moved from St. Louis,
Missouri to San Francisco, California.
The brewery officially closed on July 31, 1981. When production of the beer
moved to the Falstaff plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1982, many felt that the
quality of the beer was not the same, and the decline in sales accelerated.
After sitting abandoned for over a decade, demolition began on the main brewery
buildings on October 27, 1998. The brewery's Trolley Barn located across the
street was spared for redevelopment, but eventually succumbed to the wrecking
ball in June 2005. The Cranston Municipal Courthouse and the Sanford-Brown
Institute were both built on the site of the brewery proper, with the trolley
barn lot still remaining vacant. In a large lot south of the former brewery
grounds is the Cranston Parkade, originally opened in 2000 as the Brewery
Parkade, a retail plaza anchored by a Kmart, a Lowe's and a Stop & Shop. The
original name was a nod to the neighboring brewery.
After changing hands several times, the brand was bought in 2005 by a team of
local Rhode Island investors led by former juice executive Mark D. Hellendrung,
who announced plans to expand its market share and reinvigorate the Narragansett
brand identity. Since the purchase, the brand has indeed been revitalized with
the help of former brewer Bill Anderson, and some sharp new packaging.
Narragansett beer, now contract brewed by Genesee Brewing Company, has been
available again throughout Southern New England since spring of 2006. The lager
and light beers are brewed at their brewery in Rochester, New York, while the
bock and porter are craft-brewed in Providence, Rhode Island and Pawcatuck,
Connecticut. The brand also produces a summer ale, available during the summer
season and a cream ale, a year-round offering.