Narragansett’s Latest Beer Pays Homage to the USS Massachusetts
Narragansett has been reimagining its 125-year-old brand with a couple of series of beers named and designed for various elements of Rhode Island lore. The brewery’s latest beer, a sessionable pale ale, hits shelves today with a nod to some Massachusetts history.
South Coasters will instantly recognize the USS Massachusetts on the label of Big Mamie Indestructible American Pale Ale. The armored warship is the centerpiece of the Fleet Museum at Battleship Cove in Fall River. The imposing ship, the Commonwealth’s official World War II memorial, is impossible to miss from Interstate 195, and it’s been a destination of class field trips since it debuted in 1965.
Despite having the well-documented distinction of launching the first (1942) and last (1946) American 16-inch projectiles of WWII, “Big Mamie,” as her crew called her, was headed for a scrapyard in 1964. But thanks to efforts from the citizens and schoolchildren of Massachusetts—and a fundraiser by Narragansett—the USS Massachusetts returned to Fall River’s historic waterfront on June 12, 1965. Half a million people lined the shores of Narragansett Bay to welcome the ship back to New England.
“Narragansett is a historical and iconic beer and 50 years ago they stepped up and said ‘Hi Neighbor’ to support the saving of another historical icon—Big Mamie—the USS Massachusetts,” Brad King, executive director of Battleship Cove, said via a press release.
‘Gansett president Mark Hellendrung told the Herald News (Fall River) the archival image of Big Mamie on the new cans is the same image the company used on collection boxes it placed in liquor stores 50 years ago.
“Knowing what Big Mamie truly represents and learning more about Narragansett’s role in rallying New England to help preserve such an important part of American history—it’s something that hits me, even if only for a second during my [commute past Battleship Cove] every day,” Hellendrung said in the press release. “I’ve come to learn that my wife’s grandfather served in the US Pacific Fleet with Big Mamie in WWII, and this release is our way of honoring him and every brave American who has fought for our country.”
The 4.5-percent ABV pale ale was brewed under supervision by ‘Gansett head brewer Sean Larkin with all-American Pale, Cara Belge, Vienna and Special B malts, and Chinook and Liberty hops. The crisp, bright beer is available through the winter all around New England and New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Florida, as well as Portland, Ore. and Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn.
Narragansett is hosting the official release party for the new brew on the Fall River waterfront on Veterans Day.
Big Mamie Indestructible American Pale Ale release party, Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 6 – 8 p.m., at the Cove, 392 Davol St., Fall River; 508-672-4540 or cove392.com.