ACBT: Narragansett Porter

Arm Chair Beer Travel You can’t always drive, fly, swim, or crawl to where the beer is coming from, so sometimes you have to let the beer come to you. When I am not on trips to far away brands, I head over to my local liquor store (or beer bar) to find a little somethin’ somethin’ I haven’t drunk before.

Here’s an interesting tid bit. Marijuana, which has born the brunt of the holy jihad against inebriates, in recent history had found a way to legally get into the market: medicinal uses. Can you believe that during Prohibition a few crafty brewers managed to get their beer to market in the same manner?

Narragansett Brewing, founded in 1890, added a porter to its lineup in 1916. When the Dark Ages of Prohibition came along and made beer brewing illegal, they were one of six breweries which received a patent from the US government to continue brewing the porter. It was believed porter had health benefits; in particular it was good for those suffering from anemia. Granted, you had to have a prescription from a doctor for your beer, but it was still available.

In 2012, Wisconsinites got the prescription as ‘Gansett Dark (as the New Englanders used to call it) came to the Badger State. Only three places (at the time of writing) have it in stock: The Coffee Grounds in Eau Claire, Tosa Wine & Spirits in Wauwautosa, and Trig’s Country Market in Rhinelander.

Narragansett Porter took a bronze medal in 2011 and a silver in 2012 at the Great International Beer Competition, and a silver medal at the World Beer Championships in 2011. It comes in pint cans and makes for some nice winter drinking.

About the beer: Narragansett Porter is an American-style porter brewed under the supervision of Brewmaster Sean Larkin at Trinity Brew House in Providence, R.I., and High Falls Brewery in Rochester, N.Y. Ingredients include Chinook hops for bitterness, Simcoe hops for aroma, black malt, pale malt, chocolate malt, Munich malt, crystal malt, roasted barley, and ale yeast. It is released seasonally as a winter brew. Expect a mild chocolate flavor and a hint of smokiness and hops to balance out the finish. Narragansett Porter is 7% abv and 28 IBUs.

Narragansett brews have long been popular among the New England states but have moved down the coast through D.C. into the Carolinas and even Florida.

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About Kevin Revolinski

Kevin Revolinski is a beer-friendly travel writer and author of a number of travel books including a couple of brewery road-trip guidebooks. While traveling the world, he makes a point to seek out the local brewers and best beer bars. He has had a beer in at least 60 different countries. His home website is TheMadTravelerOnline.com. Google Plus