Narragansett Resurrects an Old Favorite with Its Latest Lovecraft Release, Reanimator Helles

‘Gansett Bock is reanimated with hops in this mad scientist-inspired lager.

Reanimator Helles Lager, Provided

Reanimator Helles Lager, Image Provided

Reanimator Helles Lager will hit shelves soon, as the third H.P. Lovecraft-branded beer from Rhode Island-based Narragansett Brewing begins rolling out this week.

The crisp, floral, Bavarian-style brew is based on a blend of pale and pilsner malts and Northern Brewery hops, the same way Narragansett’s former spring seasonal, Bock Lager, began before it was retired last year. Reanimator Helles Lager gets a jolt from dry-hop additions of Czech Saaz, Hallertau, and Citra hops. The result is dryer and hoppier than a traditional German bock, with a little spicy complexity and a sweet nose.

The beer gets its name from a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale, Herbert West—Reanimator. The story centers on Dr. West, a narcissistic but brilliant doctor who invented a “reagent” to resurrect the dead. The story, originally released in the early 1920s as a serialized satire of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, inspired a 1985 horror film “Re-Animator,” as well as other literary adaptations.

The story is one of Narragansett president Mark Hellendrung’s favorite Lovecraft tales.

“This inspired us to reanimate one of my personal favorites, our beloved Bock. In our case, dry-hopping Czech Saaz will serve as the ‘serum’ used to ‘revive’ the beer—but to a slightly different state—just like Dr. West’s subjects.”

The 6.5% helles was brewed under supervision by Narragansett head brewmaster Sean Larkin, who also owns Revival Brewing in Li’l Rhody. The 16-ounce cans feature label art by Cranston, Rhode Island, artist Aaron Bosworth, and shows one of the characters Dr. West’s serum revives, a boxer, coming back from the dead. The Reanimator Helles follows other Lovecraft releases, a honey ale and Innsmouth Olde Ale, in a series of four beers that simultaneously celebrates Providence’s most famous native son the brewery’s 125th anniversary year.