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Beer Review: Narragansett Fest Lager

Beer Review: Narragansett Fest Lager


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Narragansett Fest Lager is a beer that almost never was. Brewed for the third time this year since 2005, the fall seasonal is the product of a brewery that was shuttered — permanently, it was believed at the time — in 1983 and demolished over the ensuing decades. In 2005, a longtime New Englander purchased the rights to the Rhode Island beer from then-owner Falstaff Brewing Co. and brought back former brewmaster Bill Anderson to oversee production. One of the first beers they brewed was the Fest.

Registering at 5.5 percent ABV and 22 IBUs, the traditional German Oktoberfest-style lager is brewed in Connecticut and Rochester, N.Y., with almost exclusively with German malt and hops: Vienna, Pilsner, Light and Dark Munich malts, and Northern Brewer & Tettnanger hops. Its credentials are enviable, boasting two silver medals from the World Beer Championship and a gold medal in the Oktoberfest category at last year’s Great International Beer & Cider Competition in Providence, R.I.

The beer does exemplify the style, with a robust malt backbone that lends its strong roasty, bready essence to the aroma and flavor and provides a somewhat thick mouthfeel without a lingering aftertaste. It pours a ruddy amber that leans toward copper, though its ivory head lasts about as long as a train delay out of Munich.

It’s definitely a beer to be drunk cold, as it loses some of its sparkle when warmed up. In its warm state, however, it loses the chilly bracing quality that could sadly mute the pop of spices, like anise and light peppercorn, often cooked into traditional German meats like wurst. Though if you’re planning to serve it with food, the beer would better serve chilled side dishes, like potato salad and kraut, cold, hearty and waiting for a cool sip to wash them down.

— Tara Nurin, The Drink Nation

More From The Drink Nation:

Spirits Review: Dad's Hat Rye
A Whiskey Tasting With Rachel Barrie
Great American Beer Festival: Five Things We Loved


10 Lager Recipes You Can Brew at Home

Lager beer stretches far beyond what comes in 30-can cases at your local package store. The cold-fermenting family of beers covers an array of flavors and is as diverse as its warmer-fermenting sibling, ale.

We’ve compiled 10 lager recipes, from award-winning American lagers to eccentric, professionally brewed craft beer examples. You’ll find a lager style for every type of beer drinker!

Find many more lager and other beer, mead, and cider recipes in our homebrew recipes archive.


Best Overall: Firestone Walker Brewing Pivo Pilsner

  • Region: California
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • Tasting Notes: Citrus zest, lemongrass, floral

Experts were largely in consensus on Firestone Walker’s Pivo. “There is no better pilsner brewed in America for my money than Pivo,” says Max Shafer, the head brewer at Roadhouse Brewing in Jackson Hole, Wyo. He notes the beer will “satiate your thirst and itch your hoppy scratch.” He even modeled his brewery’s pilsner on Pivo.

“This beer is the perfect blend of West Coast hoppy meets crisp lager,” adds Skip Schwartz, the innovation and wood cellar lead at WeldWerks Brewing in Greeley, Colo. With a “bone-dry, bitter finish” and slightly spicy hop complexity, it’s a “perfect lager,” Schwartz says.


Narragansett Beer

Who doesn’t like a tallboy—16 ounces of cold, foamy beer? With its simple red label and proclamation of “made on merit, sold on honor,” an aluminum pint of good old ‘Gansett lager is a workhorse of a beer. A beer for after a long day at work, for a backyard barbecue, for a day out on the beach or a night out at a show, an anytime beer, the beer of New England—and the beer we almost lost.

Once upon a time, Narragansett was the number one beer in New England. Launched in 1890 in Cranston, by the early 20th century ‘Gansett commanded a majority of the market share, aided by a state-of-the-art brewery built between 1890 and 1914 that even included its own blacksmith shop and ice-making facility. Though the company had to weather the storm of Prohibition, as did the rest of the country, they pulled through by making “medicinal” brews, and by mid-century were back at the top of their game.

This happened in large part because of the leadership of then-President Rudolf Haffenreffer, a man whose family had their own Boston-based brewing dynasty, a dynasty he eventually brought under the Narragansett umbrella.

Perhaps you recognize the Haffenreffer name from 40-ounce bottles of Private Stock malt liquor, a Pabst product. Either way, Haffenreffer was a beer wizard, and rebuilt the brand beyond even its pre-Prohibition glory. At one point Haffenreffer even hired a young Theodor Geisel, the man you might better know by Dr. Seuss, to do some design work for the brewery. Probably not because of Dr. Seuss, at its peak in the mid-’60s Narragansett controlled almost 70% of the New England beer market. It was the official beer of the Red Sox, where announcer Curt Gowdy made popular the ad slogan, “Hi, neighbor, have a ‘Gansett.” The neighbors sure did have a ‘Gansett—in fact, they had more than a few. In 1972 the plant was pumping out 1.7 million barrels of beer annually for Narragansett, plus several other labels.

By this time the St. Louis—based Falstaff Brewing Company owned the brewery. Producing 1.7 million barrels of beer for the various regional labels owned by Falstaff, including Pickwick and Ballantine, ran the factory into the ground. The Cranston facility simply couldn’t keep up with demand, and it was easier to close than to modernize. In the early 1980s despite considerable intervention by the Rhode Island state government, the Narragansett brewery was shuttered and, years later, demolished to make way for a shopping center.

So that should be it, right? Just another American story of consolidation and destruction, a New England business outsourced and forgotten to time. Enter Mark Hellendrung. Hellendrung, a Rhody native, rose through the ranks of Nantucket Nectars to become that beverage company’s president. After leaving Nantucket Nectars, and after a brief stint at Burlington, Vermont—based Magic Hat Brewing Company, Hellendrung, along with a group of investors, bought the Narragansett brand from the Pabst Brewing Company in 2005. After more than 20 years ‘Gansett was coming home.

Asked about buying the brand, Hellendrung explained that at that moment he had a choice to make: He could bring everything back, rebuild the brewery and hope the brand took off. Or, he could bring back the brand and use this as a springboard to bring back the brewery. In the end, Narragansett went with the latter. Hellendrung contracted with Genesee out of Rochester, New York, to produce Narragansett beer.

It wasn’t enough to simply have Genesee in a Narragansett wrapper. As Hellendrung explained, this is a beer with heritage, the beer that your father and grandfather drank it had to come back in earnest. So the company tracked down Bill Anderson. Anderson was the last brewmaster of ‘Gansett, back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It was his charge to bring back the taste of the forgotten beer, and so he did.

Hellendrung didn’t stop there, though. The whole brand is a reclaiming of the past the new cans take their cues from old packaging, and special edition throwback cans are periodically released. Obviously the first throwback can was in the iconic ‘70s design that the character Quint crushes in another icon of New England life, the movie Jaws. And of course the quotable line, “Hi, neighbor, have a ‘Gansett” had to come back too. Maybe you’ve seen it around lately, at your local liquor store or bar or, perhaps, as I recently did: scrawled across the black baseball cap of a guy walking down Broadway in Providence.

Understand, however, it’s not just about looking back. The company is looking forward too and looking forward to bringing the brand all the way home in their new factory in Pawtucket. The new factory will only make their more specialty-focused brews the lager production will stay in Rochester. Pawtucket will be home to the seasonal offerings like the Narragansett Porter, the result of collaboration between the company and local micro-brewer Sean Larkin. Larkin, also of Providence’s Revival Brewing Company, is now the head brewer for Narragansett. Their Fest, Bock and Summer, plus the popular Del’s Shandy, Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout and Allie’s Double Chocolate Porter will be proudly … made in Rhode Island.

Hellendrung believes that, despite the talk about job creators these days, realistically there’s not a large company that will swoop in and create tons of jobs here. Instead, we need the small and midsize companies to come back and each create a few, to rebuild community in business—and that’s just what ‘Gansett aims to do.

“It used to all be regional,” he said. “We beat the big guys by participation.” The company’s primary marketing budget doesn’t go to print ads and billboards it goes to grassroots efforts—block parties and kickball leagues.

Making responsible food choices isn’t always easy there’s so much hype around local and organic and sustainable. For my part I choose to spend my money on a local CSA, but this doesn’t leave a lot left for things like beer. Sure, I enjoy my small-batch craft beers. I’m pretty sure Hellendrung and all the fine folk at Narragansett do too. But at the end of a long day with a couple of bucks left in my pocket, it’s nice to know that I can sidle up to my favorite stool at the local bar, have the bartender pull me a pint of ‘Gansett lager and rest easy knowing that even if the grain might not be grown locally, or the hops, my money isn’t just going off to some huge faceless company but back into the region where I live. By my estimation, anyhow, midsize companies like Narragansett are just another way to scale down food systems, to bring food and community back home.


Recession Lager Recipe

A lager recipe for a dry, light and crisp American lager designed with a recession budget in mind.

This recipe for a dry, light, and crisp American lager was designed with a recession budget in mind. This is best fermented with a lager yeast at 52°F (11°C), though an ale yeast at 65°F (18°C) is acceptable.

OG (est): 1.043
FG (est): 1.010
IBU (est): 11
ABV (est): 4.2%

MALT/GRAIN BILL

6.5 lb (2.95 kg) Domestic Pilsner
1.5 lb (680 g) Flaked Maize

HOPS SCHEDULE

0.5 oz (14 g) Mt Hood at 60 minutes

YEAST

DIRECTIONS

Mash the grains at 148°F (64°C) for 60 minutes. Substitute Saflager-S23 to ferment from 50-55°F (10-13°C). Substitute rice syrup solids for the flaked maize for a St. Louis flavor.

MALT BILL

5 lb (2.27 KG) Pilsner Liquid Malt Extract

HOPS & ADDITIVES SCHEDULE

0.5 oz (14 g) Mt Hood at 60 minutes
1 lb (454 g) table sugar at 15 minutes

YEAST

Use corn sugar for a Rocky Mountain feel or substitute rice syrup solids for a St. Louis flavor.

The talented homebrewers at Hops & Berries homebrew supply shop in Fort Collins graciously helped develop this homebrew recipe. The recipe is built to yield a batch size of 5 gallons (19 liters) and assumes 72 percent brewhouse efficiency.


10 Things You Should Know About Narragansett Beer

Narragansett Brewing is an American beer success story. The first ‘Gansett lager debuted in 1890, after which the Rhode Island-born brewery survived Prohibition, became the biggest lager maker in New England, and then, after complications following the 1965 sale of the brewery to Falstaff Brewing Corporation, shut down in the 1980s.

Resurrected as a brand in 2005, then as a Rhode Island brewery in 2017, Narragansett is now one of the top 50 breweries in the U.S. It ranks at No. 44 of more than 6,000.

Beyond the Narragansett name is a rich history. Here are 10 things you should know about the New England beer that was laid to rest and rose again.

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hop Aroma Poster

‘Hi, Neighbor!’ is a slogan more than a century old

Narragansett Brewing Company’s “Hi, Neighbor! Have a ‘Gansett” ad campaign started after World War II, when the beer maker’s cheery slogan graced newspapers, billboards, and trolley cars. The brewery itself started more than half a century earlier, in 1890.

Narragansett was once the biggest lager producer in New England

Way before New England was famous for its hazy IPAs, in 1914, Narragansett was the region’s largest lager brewery, equipped with the most modern bottling plant New England had ever seen. According to Narragansett, in 1955 its beer was the No. 1 choice of consumers in New England, and by 1957, its brewery was the last in Rhode Island.

Narragansett’s graphic designer was Dr. Seuss

In an effort to revive the brewery after suffering significant financial losses during Prohibition, Narragansett approached a young artist to design a new mascot as part of a marketing campaign. That artist was none other than Theodore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, who is credited with creating Narragansett’s well-known, albeit completely inappropriate “Chief Gansett” character. Narragansett still celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday today. He would have turned 110 on March 2, 2018.

Narragansett once gave every employee a gold-plated beer

In 1959, Narragansett brewed its one-millionth barrel of beer. To commemorate this accomplishment, each employee was presented with a gold-plated bottle of Narragansett Beer.

Narragansett ‘sold out’ in 1965, and it was terrible

In 1965, Falstaff Brewing Corporation purchased Narragansett 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, but the transaction ran into problems. Two days before the sale, the U.S. Government began an antitrust action against Falstaff — a suit that lasted nine years, until 1974.

Narragansett closed in 1983 and was demolished in 1998

After a series of legal issues regarding ownership and distribution, Narragansett officially closed its doors in 1983. Its equipment was shipped off to China in 1995, and its facilities, including the beloved bottling plant, were demolished in 1998. All that was left of its 10 buildings in Cranston, R.I. was a small barn, which burned down in 2005.

Narragansett is back on top

The Narragansett brand was brought back to life by Rhode Island resident Mark Hellendrung in 2005. At the time, the beer was brewed at North American Breweries in Rochester, N.Y. By 2016, Narragansett had raised enough money through its “Drink Your Part” campaign launched in 2011 to bring ‘Gansett back to its home state. In 2017, Narragansett beer was finally brewed in Rhode Island once again, at Isle Brewers Guild (IBG), a craft cooperative in Pawtucket. Its first beer was aptly named “It’s About Time IPA.”

‘Gansett lager: good for what ‘ales’ you?

During Prohibition, Narragansett brewed and sold porter for medicinal purposes. The brewery was one of six in the U.S. granted a patent from the government to do so. At the time, it was called Narragansett Dark. Today, it’s called Narragansett Porter, and it’s available as a limited release in the classic tall boy can.

Narragansett + horror novelist = whiskey

Following (indirectly) in Dr. Seuss’s footsteps, another literary icon, H.P. Lovecraft, had a hand in Narragansett’s success. The horror fiction writer inspired a line of ‘Gansett beers and even a whiskey, Lovecraft Whiskey. We hear it makes a mean Daiquiri.

Narragansett has an unofficial ambassador, Pizza the Corgi

Pizza the Corgi has been spotted in some Narragansett swag. So has this pug. But… they’re kind of mean about cats.


America’s First Dry-Hopped Beer

According to the program, which was the information given to us by the brewery, “This dark brew uses malted barley, a small amount of corn grits, top fermenting yeast and a blend of Cascade and Bullion hops. Ballantine [actually presented as Narragansett] Porter is dry hopped in storage during transfer from primary to secondary. CO2 is used to reinvigorate the hops later. … The peak for this brew is around 45 days. The alcohol content is over 6% by volume.”

It struck me that this may have been the first modern-day American-brewed beer that was dry hopped. The few existing microbrewers such as Sierra Nevada, Boulder Beer, River City, and Anchor Brewing were more likely late hopping during the brewing stage. I don’t recall that dry hopping in the fermentation/aging tanks had made its way into the process with American microbrewers yet.

I vividly recall that ʼGansett was delicious, and it has become the kind of beer I really enjoy these days. I wanted to recreate it, so I formulated Flubadub ‘Gansett Porter to replicate what I experienced in 1982. It was after I had formulated my recipe that I came across the above description, and to my delight, my recollection jived with the brewery’s description with one exception. My beer is a bit lower in alcohol content, which is where I am at these days.

Bullion hops are very difficult to get, so I substituted German Hallertauer. Their low bitterness and earthy flavors are easy to navigate. You’ll notice I add a touch of homegrown wild Colorado hops. These hops have a sulfur-like onion character and hardly any bitterness value their IBU contribution to this recipe is only about 3 BUs. My feeling is that a blend of wild hops and Hallertauer can somewhat replicate Bullion’s character.

So, let’s cut the shuck and jive and get on with the recipe.

Charlie Papazian is founder of the American Homebrewers Association and the author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.

Yield: 5.5 gallons (21 L)

The following beer recipe is featured in the September/October 2018 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Access this issue along with the archives with Zymurgy Online!

Learn about Charlie Papazian's endeavor in brewing this recipe with hops grown at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

After 48 years of brewing, I still enjoy explorations and recreations with homebrewing. I often tell a story about the beers of the first Great American Beer Festival in 1982, which featured 22 breweries pouring 40 beers for 750 attendees. The “microbreweries” that attended that very first year were Boulder Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, River City Brewing, and Anchor Brewing.

The two beers that seem to be the most memorable were brewed by the then Falstaff Brewing Company: Ballantine India Pale Ale and Narragansett Porter. Both were distinguished by brilliant Cascade dry hopping. Both had a perfect foundation of malt character that elevated what I would call “old-school” Cascade hop flavor and aroma.

For those of you who weren’t around in those early days of Cascade hop cultivation, the Cascade hop of today is very different in character than the original cultivars we welcomed as Cascade hops in the early 1980s. A bright conflagration of citrus and pine is one way I recall experiencing it. My homegrown hops cultivated from those original cuttings still maintain those old-school characters.

The interesting thing about the Narragansett Porter is that it was once a regional brand of New England. The brewery faltered and the brand was bought by Falstaff and briefly resurrected for regionally reminiscent beer drinkers. But the version of Narragansett Porter presented at the 1982 Great American Beer Festival was different than the traditional brew of previous brewers and years.

I reviewed the 1982 Great American Beer Festival program (which I still have) and discovered some interesting information about that 1982 beer. The beer that was originally going to be sent and presented at the Great American Beer Festival was something called Ballantine Porter, and that’s what they sent us program information for. When the beers arrived, we discovered that the brewery had changed the name to Narragansett Porter and festgoers were the beneficiaries. It was a dark, medium-bodied porter with a balanced roasted, toasted dark malt flavor. The lightness of corn and a medium malt body accented the flavor and aroma experience of dry-hopped Cascade perfectly.


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Beer Review: Imperial Black Steam from Narragansett Brewing Company

I am totally intrigued by the California Common beer style, a.k.a. “steam beer.” It seems like the forgotten step-child of our whole craft beer renaissance — which is surprising since the style really has so much potential. If you need evidence, look no further than this Imperial Black Steam from Narragansett. Despite its imperial status and our automatic assumption that “black” equals “bitter,” this steam beer is soft as silk and drinks like a beer with half its ABV. It also makes the perfect transition beer as we move from the hoppy beers of summer into the darker beers of the cold months ahead.

Beer Facts: Imperial Black Steam from Narragansett Brewing Company, Providence, RI (California Common, 9% ABV, 30 IBU)

Appearance: Hazy dark brown that goes russet against the light with a thick, creamy cap of mocha-colored foam. Look out for the milkshake mustache as you drink.

Aroma: Tootsie rolls! Sweet and chocolaty with a touch of wet coffee ground aroma.

Taste: Steam beers came about when settlers to California and the Western US attempted to brew lager-style beers at ale temperatures. Lagers typically ferment best at temperatures around 50°F, but without refrigeration, our frontier brewing forefathers had to make do with fermenting their lagers much warmer, around 65°F. This created beers with the smooth character and balance of lagers but with the slightly more fruity, complex yeast flavors of an ale. In other words, the best of both worlds.

In Narragansett’s hands, this steam beer profile takes on whole new characteristics with some darker malts and light hand with the hops. It is creamy and so very very smooth. It’s like taking a bite of French silk pie, and it has the smooth chocolate flavors to match. It’s not too heavy — more like chocolate milk than milkshake. A touch of coffee-like bitterness keeps things grounded, and the finish is super clean. Very balanced.

You’d never guess that this was 9% ABV. It is one of the most quaffable dark beers I’ve had in a great while, and I would happily quaff this one all evening long! This would make a great intro beer for someone just getting into darker beers. For veteran craft drinkers, this beer is a reminder than not every dark beer needs to feel like drinking a meal. I really enjoyed drinking this steam beer and am now on a quest to find more bottles before they’re gone.

Food Pairings: Creme brulée or a sweet bread pudding

Emma is a former editor for The Kitchn and a graduate of the Cambridge School for Culinary Arts. She is the author of True Brews and Brew Better Beer. Check out her website for more cooking stories.


11 Cheap American Beers Ranked From Awful to Drinkable

America is in the midst of a craft beer revolution. Even the least beer-friendly stores will have a couple of craft or local options on the crowded shelves. But you know what’s also on those shelves? Cheap macro beer. It always has been there and it always will be. It’s time to accept the inevitability and choose the best of the worst.

For this list, I narrowed it down to full-calorie beers, because if you’re counting calories while drinking beer, you’re already too far gone for me to help you choose. Full calorie doesn’t mean these beers are heavy, though. Some of them are actually lower on the calorie count than some light beers, thanks to the low alcohol content. But these also aren’t marketed as “light” (or “lite”) beers, and in many cases, there’s a lighter option.

Here are 11 of the cheapest full-calorie American macro beers, ranked from worst (never drink again) to best (fine, I’ll have one more).

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hat

Natural Ice

Did you even know Natty Light has a huskier brother? If you didn’t, skip this and continue reading this list in blissful ignorance. Natural Ice (and it’s higher-alcohol sibling, “Natty Daddy”) are thick, syrupy, adjunct-filled, 6 percent alcohol by volume slammers that have “ice” in the name because you need to drink them ice cold to get them down. This goes for all beers with “ice” in the name. When it comes to cheap beer, the less taste the better. This could do with a little less.

Busch

I became familiar with Busch in college, where it was referred to as “Busch Heavy” rather than simply Busch, and it sat in a cooler of Natty Daddies, Steel Reserve, and Bud Ice. That was good company for this beer. It’s got a lot of corn sweetness, but the most noticeable flavor is a weak skunky taste. And no, the skunkiness doesn’t taste like it was put there on purpose.

Yuengling

You have to put politics aside if you want to judge this beer fairly. The owners of America’s oldest running brewery are Trump endorsers, leading some beer drinkers to initiate a boycott. This ranking is about ranking beer, though, not rating companies on a scale of Basket of Deplorables to Snowflakes. Yuengling has more to it than your traditional macro, and also feels heavier. So cross out chugging, if that’s your cheap-beer goal. It’s malty, toasty, and sweet, but it also tastes like parts of the metal tank got into each can and keg. It’s not available west of the Mississippi, but don’t worry westerners, you’re only missing out on a middling cheap beer.

Miller High Life

When I was in Yakima, Washington, with the brewmaster of Founders, he admitted that he can appreciate a Miller High Life or two when the time is right. And he’s not the only one. I’ve had multiple people swear by the Champagne of Beers when it comes to cheap and macro. Personally, I don’t like the touch of armpit flavor left in my mouth, but it goes great when chugged as a boilermaker with a shot of Jack Daniels.

Old Milwaukee

Want to feel like an aging man from the North? Grab an Old Milwaukee. The beer is made by Pabst Brewing Company and comes in cans that look straight out of a commercial form the 1970s. It also won an award in 2001 from the Great American Beer Festival. Really. It’s got less adjunct rice and corn flavors than the big guys, but it has a slightly metallic acid taste instead. The metallic acid isn’t so off-putting that you never want to have another one again, but it’s there. In the end, it goes down easy. There’s not much more to say than that.

Milwaukee’s Best

Ah, Milwaukee’s Best, a.k.a. the “Beast.” It’s a beer renowned for its chuggability and its prevalence at college tailgates and fraternity houses. Milwaukee’s Best is better than Old Milwaukee — sorry, nostalgia loving bandwagoners. This beer has earned its position on the list because it actually tastes like beer. Of course, if you really want something that is relatively cheap and tastes like beer, there are plenty of local craft options out there. Keep Milwaukee’s Best for keggers.

Budweiser

The King of Beers is only the king in sales, not taste. Sketchy business practices of its parent company, AB InBev, aside, Budweiser is a perfectly middling beer. If there’s only one thing I could ever say about Budweiser, it’s that it’s always there. Literally, always. It also holds a special place in my heart, which you can learn all about here. There’s a sweet rice aftertaste and not much else, but if that’s what you’re looking for, go ahead and buy the cans with the bowtie.

Coors Banquet

By far the best heavy macro beer out there. Sure, that’s like being named America’s least- hated corporate overlord, but take a win where you can get one. It’s an adjunct, which means there’s plenty of cheap corn in there taking the place of grains like barley, but it’s an adjunct with some lasting flavor. Kind of. If you consider heavy carbonation and sweet corn flavors something desirable (or at least desirable enough to crush a couple cans by the barbecue). Just don’t save it for 32 years before drinking it. It doesn’t work.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Don’t call me a hipster. Yes, PBR’s artist-inspired tall boy cans have taken over Brooklyn and faux dive bars around the country, but when matched up against the rest of this lot, it’s a fine and dandy beer for $2 a can. It’s watery, slightly grainy, cheap as hell, and easy to find. You don’t have to have a mustache or wear flower-patterned short- sleeve button-ups to drink this, but it does seem to taste better in places with dim lighting and sticky floors.

Rolling Rock

Rolling Rock is high school reincarnated for me. It tastes of angst and raging hormones, which just happens to also taste refreshing on a hot summer day when you really want to get rolling. In California, 36-pack cans get the party started, but if you get it in bottles, it looks a little classier and people might mistake it for an import. Rolling Rock is a beer that’s honest with you. It cops up to the fact that it uses both rice and corn as adjuncts. It’s light as carbonated water, and at only 4.4 percent alcohol by volume, it kind of tastes like sweetened water, too.

Narragansett

I could go on and on about the accolades of Narragansett’s pop culture cache (Jaws) and prep boy sailing cred (blame the New England lifestyle), but again, this list is about taste. Narragansett is the best tasting cheep beer out there. It can clean your palate after a briny oyster, quench your thirst after a marathon of sailing the high seas, and wash away the taste of a bad day. It’s less sweet than many of the other beers on this list, and tends to lean more toward tasteless than tasteful (see above statement about less is more for cheap beer). No matter where I’m at, I’m always happy to say grab me a ‘gansett.


Watch the video: Festival piva