Narragansett’s Latest Lovecraft Beer: White Ship IPA

The white IPA is inspired by H.P Lovecraft's tale of a lighthouse keeper's journey aboard a mysterious ship.

Narragansett's White Ship. / Photo provided.

Narragansett’s White Ship. / Photo provided.

H.P Lovecraft and Narragansett fans, grab your sea gear and your nearest drinking buddies—the White Ship has docked.

This white IPA is the fifth installment in the brewery’s Lovecraft series, a drinkable homage to the stories of science fiction legend H.P. Lovecraft, in the form of unique brews and accompanying artwork. Narragansett and Lovecraft were both born in Providence, Rhode Island, 125 years ago, so the brewery launched its series in January 2015 to pay respects to that bond.

White Ship is a reference to the 1919 novella of the same name, which follows lighthouse keeper Basil Elton on a mystical voyage. Elton and a bearded tour guide embark on a mysterious white ship to explore a few otherworldly islands. The lighthouse keeper learns about one place, Cathuria, “the Land of Hope,” which isn’t on his tour guide’s itinerary, because no man has ever found it. But the keeper becomes obsessed, so the guide agrees to go there. But instead of finding Cathuria, they find the world’s end. After careening into the void, Elton wakes up next to the lighthouse where he began his journey.

It’s a tale of the risk-reward nature of curiosity, something the ‘Gansett team sees in the mysterious nature of the white IPA style (essentially a hoppy Belgian wit).

“The White Ship is one of my personal favorite Lovecraft stories,” Narragansett president Mark Hellendrung wrote in a press release. “It’s the perfect combination of obscurity, curiosity, and a desire to search out the unknown. For us, we have wanted to explore a White IPA for a while. It’s a style that lends itself to blurring guidelines and pushing creative boundaries, much like H.P. Lovecraft himself.”

This white IPA is a 6.8 percent ABV beer that flaunts tangerine-like flavors often found in an American IPA, coupled with the creaminess and yeasty character of a Belgian beer. The beer’s label, designed by Rhode Island artist Pete McPhee, depicts the story’s lighthouse and the main character’s dreamy journey. White Ship IPA is available now in 16-ounce tallboy cans and six-packs for around $12.

Previous beers in Narragansett’s Lovecraft series include an imperial red, I Am Providence; Innsmouth Olde Ale, and Reanimator Helles Lager. The Olde Ale and Helles have both earned gold medals at the 2015 Tastings World Beer Championships, with the Innsmouth ale garnering an additional silver medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.

Speaking of journeys, how goes Narragansett’s quest to move home to Rhode Island? The Pawtucket brewery is still under construction, with equipment expected to arrive in the coming weeks.