Not long ago the Narragansett beer brand, originally brewed in 1890, was nearly dead. Once the most popular beer in New England and a major sponsor of the Red Sox, the brand had suffered a staggering decline in popularity since the 1970s. The physical brewery shut down in 1981 and production moved to Indiana. In 2005 a group of Rhode Island investors bought the Narragansett line and set out to revive it’s popularity. Although the new owners haven’t been able to open a Rhode Island brewery yet, they have revived the Narragansett name, contract brewing the traditional lager along with a series of seasonal and specialty beers. One of their newest creations is Del’s Shandy which is Narragansett lager mixed with the lemon concentrate used to make Del’s frozen lemonade. It is no surprise that the collaboration between two of the most iconic brands in Rhode Island was incredibly popular. The first run sold out extremely fast. Now that they’ve upped production you can find Narragansett Del’s Shandy in their popular 16 oz. tallboy cans.
Narragansett Del’s Shandy pours a clear light yellow with a moderate white head. The smell is all lemon, if you put this next to a glass of lemonade and asked me to tell which was which by smell I wouldn’t be able to. The lemon comes through strongly in the flavor too, along with a touch of sweetness. Even with all of the lemon, this is clearly a beer, it has the solid malt backbone of a flavorful American style lager. Del’s Shandy is light and easy to drink, a great beer to sip on the porch. The finish is clean and a little dry, thirst quenching and refreshing. I can see why the shandy style has become popular this summer, it still tastes like beer but provides a nice change of pace. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.