Tapping The Keg: Narragansett Summertime Citra Ale


(Photo via Chilled Magazine)

(Photo via Chilled Magazine)

When most folks think of Narragansett brewing company, they think of a cheap beer to buy in bulk. The PBR of New England, if you will. Many of your college professors and parents of Connecticut might recall drinking this classic brew at a party and reflect on how much their palate has grown. Personally, for the price, Narragansett is a fantastic tasting beer that out performs its so-called peers like Rolling Rock, Coors and Bud Light.

Who could deny Narragansett’s classic branding with their refusal to make themselves modern and sleek while still hanging on to their pinup girls shouting: “Hi-Neighbor! Grab a ‘gansett!” While their classic ale might still be a staple in many New England homes, little is known about their session and seasonal beers that the brewery also produces. In fact, the only place I have ever seen such unusual beers for sale from Narragansett is in Rhode Island itself. Which brings us to our review.

Floored to find anything but their classic ale for sale, I had to get some of their Summertime Citra Ale. With a simple pen and ink drawing of a surfer riding a wave in past the Narragansett towers, washed with yellow and sky blue, all tied together with bright yellow plastic, recyclable can ties, this ale is an eye catcher.

The brewery set out to brew a beer that is “extremely refreshing and drinkable. A beer that would be perfect for a day at the beach or a backyard barbecue,” and they did just that. Out of the can, this beer has a wonderful apricot gold color and a steady, yet very thin head of ultrafine bubbles that gives you a moustache with just a few sips.

The nose of this beer gives notes of a citrus forward hop (like Citra hops that are all the rage these days) grapefruit, and straw. The top confirms a bit of the nose but is primarily light and crisp, with a tangy citrus undertone. This gives way to the middle where more mellow lemon and lime flavors are at play with a medium body and light breadiness. The finish is where the lightly toasted malt gets to shine through. And even with a good amount of such a citrus forward hop, there is virtually no bite at the end of this well-balanced summer beer.

This brew would be great for any fare that is served at the locations is was built for, like the beach, a barbecue, or a cookout.** This beer would be a nice pair to any dish that highlights fresh herbs like parsley and basil. On the grill, white fish and chicken are gonna your friend here as well as virtually any summer vegetable, grilled or otherwise. This beer is hard to find but surprisingly has been one of my favorites this summer, and with an ABV of 4.7%, it won’t destroy you even if you’re a little dehydrated.

Overall rating: 8.5/10

**As a culinary mind I must add a note to delineate these two events as they are often used interchangeably and this is incorrect. Most all barbecues are cookouts but not all cookouts are barbecues. Grilling burgers and hot dogs, is not a barbecue. Slow cooking meat with wood fire and coals is barbecuing.

Dan Wood is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.wood@uconn.edu.

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