Brew Review

Beer Review – Narragansett Porter

Narragansett Porter

A while back, I met G-Lo for lunch and on the way back to the train, I heard the siren’s call and found myself in the Foodery. Along with a number of sours (to further my education), I picked up a beer that I was fairly certain I would like, the Narragansett Porter. I am a big fan of the style and find that it is great by itself or as a complement to a meal. Anyway, the beer comes from the Naragansett Brewing Company. ‘Gansett was founded in  Cranston, RI in 1888. After a variety of ownership changes, the beginning and end of Prohibition and then several more ownership changes, Narragansett, in 2005, was purchased by a group of Rhode Island investors. Today, production is contract brewed by the Genesee Brewing Co. The lager and light beers are brewed by in Rochester, NY while the bock and porter are craft-brewed in Providence, RI and Pawcatuck, CT.

Here is what Narragansett has to say about their Porter:

Gansett Porter offers an extremely approachable craft experience that, unlike many of the other porters on the market, is not overly smoky or bitter. The Narragansett Porter has a deliciously mild chocolate flavor with just a hint of smokiness and hops to balance out the finish.

I found this beer to be…

  • Appearance: Ruby-tinged, chocolate brown with lots of tan foam.
  • Aroma: Coffee, roasted malt and a little smoke.
  • Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter with a smooth roasted finish.
  • ABV: 7%

This was a good beer; not exceptional but a solid effort. And, I found that it really didn’t seem to lose anything coming out of the can. I only wish that I had bought two cans.

11 replies »

    • Ah nice! The one on 10th Street or the one in Northern Liberties? If you went to the one in NoLib, I certainly hope that you stopped in to Standard Tap. That place is fantastic!


    • Hmm. I’m with you, Patrick. 7 percent is pushing into “imperial” territory for a porter.

      I feel like “not exceptional but a solid effort” describes a lot of porters. By no fault of the the brewers, but perhaps more to the style. Like porters, I find brown ales aren’t flashy but are great to drink for their simplicity. You know what you’re getting and that’s just fine.

      LIMPD – did you sense any booziness to this brew or did the roasted characteristics simply dominate?


      • I think you are right about the style. Not overpowering but just great drink. And, there really wasn’t a drift into booziness. The beer retained the roastiness despite the higher ABV.


  1. Once again, I’m minding my own business and come across a picture of what appears to be an unusually tall can of beer. How did he do that? Must be hanging around with the guy who does those blur photos, The G-Lo. Then it occurred to me that I know that beer – I had ne a few months ago but my can was shorter. No – it just looked shorter because it was placedinto the massive 1.5″ blanket of snow from the Blizzard of ArchNemo The Terrible Fish!!

    For the most part I agree with your basic take on the brew itself. Just OK. Nothing whatsoever to recommend its purchase again, especially with so many truly wonderful porters out there.

    About that blurtography….


    • Obviously, this couldn’t hold a candle to any of your beloved West Coast brewers but what other East Coast brewers should I look for (aside from Great Lakes’ Eddie Fitz or Smuttynose’s Robust Porter)?


      • Ooh.. Eddie Fitz is a fantastic porter, How about the Third Coast? Bell’s Porter and Founders Porter are both exceptional. Maine Beer Co. King Titus is a current favorite as well – love the silky cocoa texture. Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter is another great East Coast option.

        And while we’re at it…. Defoe!


          • I thought Defoe played Gansett Porter in a period film, The Brewery Boys. Set during Prohibition, the highly regarded film also starred Mandy Patinkin, as Isaac “Old Brown” Ayle and Kevin Bacon, oddly enough playing Kevin Bacon.


        • I knew I could elicit a Defoe out of you. The Third Coast does make some wonderful beer. I just find them a little hard to find and was hoping for something other than Yuengling Porter. I wonder if the style just doesn’t have enough oomph to make it a profitable venture versus making stouts.


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