Just last Saturday I had an absurdly happy beer moment. I won’t make it a secret to any of you, I really, really enjoy the range of Narragansett beers. The lager is consistent and tasty, the bock is scrumptious, the marzen is lovely, and the porter… oh dear, the porter. Brilliant. The thing is, to my knowledge, they had yet to start shipping to my area. I’d only ever tried them when I was in the Boston area, or when friends from the Boston area smuggled some Gansett goods down here. But after a survey of the cooler at my local liquor store, I found TWO Gansetts. Summer Ale and Cream Ale, each of which I’ve been dying to try. Happiness is happening. The summer ale is brewed with two-row pale malt and Citra hops, checking in at 4.2% ABV.
Pouring it slowly, a large, fluffy, bright white head emerged out of this one, sitting atop a lovely looking body. You can clearly see the subtle, delicate carbonation in this one, gently snailing around the pale, bright golden body. I usually find out what the ingredients are before I review a beer on here, but lately I’ve been diving in head first in an effort to compare my tasting notes to what the beer was actually brewed with. It’s kind of a test to see if I can pick up on anything that’s actually in the beer, and it’s also a way to free my mind to find other aromas and flavors I wasn’t already programmed to find. With this beer, I dunked my nose above the rim and could think of only one word: “Citra.” I knew it right away, as a balanced array of tropical fruits, such as pineapple and mango, came hopping right out of the glass. But it’s used judiciously, which I believe is most flattering to the Citra hop.
I couldn’t be happier that this beer is now available in my area. Finally, there’s another beer I can slot in next to Brooklyn Summer Ale and Hop Sun as my summer brews of choice. When you have a beer with this set of flavors, I often prefer the carbonation to be delicate, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here. It’s as round as beer gets. There’s a quick whack of tropical fruit up front, mainly watery fruits such as pineapple, with just a touch of orange rind. It gives way to a bready, juicy center of pale malt, followed by a finish that boasts a lovely, moreish bitterness, drying out nicely.
The Verdict: I’ll be drinking plenty of this in the coming months. Deep, malty, with a bright hop aroma and flavor, and that wonderful, subtle carbonation that I enjoy so much. Good stuff.