The ‘Gansett Cream Ale Tweetup

Last night was pretty sweet.

DigBoston hosted a tweetup IRL event for Narragansett’s Cream Ale release party at the Salty Pig in Boston.

For those who don’t speak Twitglish, I’ll translate.

After last week’s Bock release at Stoddard’s, I was a bit miffed that my social duties didn’t allow for meeting the happening players in the ‘Gansett/Boston beer community, which I had been looking forward to. Fortunately, through the wonders of Teh Twitterz, I was invited to attend the Cream Ale release at the Salty Pig, a gastropubby type place just across the street from the Back Bay T stop in the big bad city. As more details emerged, I found that it was a DigBoston event, Dig being a social event publication and website. They were publicizing it as a twitter meetup (tweetup) IRL (in real life) so you can meet the faces behind the twitter handles. And this time, SquirrelFarts would be riding solo.

Oooooh purty.

I parked in my undisclosed location in the Back Bay area, and took a stroll over through the Christian Science Center grounds, which were BEAUTIFUL at that time of evening. The buildings were literally glowing in the last rays of the drowning sun. Making my way past the homeless man who was chatting on an iPhone, I got to the Salty Pig feeling like a salty pig myself, slightly sweating in the unseasonably warm temps, and done no favors by the brick ovens in the restaurant. Fortunately, there was beer. FREE beer.

Also, there were tshirts. I didn’t have to fight a surly bar back this time. Total score.

Narragansett’s cream ale was a big seller of theirs in the 1960s and 70s, though the style is somewhat unusual these days. One of the best-known regional relics is Genesee’s Cream Ale, affectionately (sometimes derisively) nicknamed Genny Cream. Genesee Brewing is out in Rochester, NY, and any baby-boomers throughout NY State and Pennsylvania will undoubtedly know the name. I recently snagged myself one of their current “heritage” sample packs with the Genny Cream, Genny Beer, and 12 Horses Ale in retro stubby bottles and period labels. I’m a complete sucker for that stuff. Anyway, the flip of it is that ‘Gansett currently contract brews their year-round beers (the lager and now cream ale) at, of course, Genesee Brewing.

I’d go into more of the history, but Honest Pint, who I met last night, did a fantastic job of that already, so go read it here: Narragansett Cream Ale: Crème de la Cream.

The event started slow, but built up pretty quickly. All manner of folks from Dig staffers to bloggers to brewers pounded the (free!) Cream Ale tallboys until the bar ran out and began serving Gansett Lager in its stead. With the event tab compensated by someone other than me, the beer and pizza provided went into my belly most satisfyingly. The weekday diners looked quite confused at the can-clutching crowd, but we chatted away (mostly about beer, naturally) and got to know who was who behind the internet pseudonyms. I thought the cream ale was decent: like Gansett’s lager, it’s a better-than-average offering for its style, but nothing mind-blowing. Still, quite tasty, if a bit bitter on the start and tinny on the finish. It’s a nice beer, best served achingly cold, and should be a smash this summer. Go git yerself some.

The early days of analog Twitter.

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