4. Narragansett Brewing
Why it's not craft:
Uses adjunct ingredients in its beer, makes some of its beers outside its brewing facility
Wait, isn't Narragansett
of the Brewers Association? Yes, but that clearly hasn't meant much to this list so far, so why start now?
But doesn't Narragansett appear at the American Craft Beer Festival in Boston each spring? Why yes, it does.
Then what's the problem? Again, it essentially comes down to adjuncts. The original recipes for Narragansett Lager dates back to 1890 and, as a result, has a touch of corn thrown in. Its Narragansett Light, meanwhile, is basically built around adjuncts. The two products are brewed at the North American Brewery in Rochester, N.Y., which the Brewers Association already hates for being owned by North American Breweries and its private-equity parent company
KPS Capital Partners
, but we'll get into them a little later.
Narragansett's been trying to get into craft beer's good graces, however. Its lineup has expanded to include an Oktoberfest and Summer Ale that took home silver at the 2011 World Beer Championships. Its trademark 16-ounce tallboy cans also seem like a sure fit in the craft community, but a beer best known for being the beer of choice at Red Sox games in the 1950s and for its 'Gansett Girl pinups (which still find a home on the
) may have a long way to go before it gets cozy in craft circles.