Holiday Dinner Beer and Food Pairing Guide

It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time to enjoy the company of our friends and family around the table to break bread and raise some pints. Many of us are quick to grab a bottle of wine to pair with our holiday dinners, but beer truly makes for a versatile pairing that’s sure to please even the pickiest of palates (we know we all have someone like that at our table)!

There’s really no science behind it – it’s all about what you enjoy. But the one rule I follow is to keep the “Three C’s” in mind: complement, cut, and contrast. If you want to highlight certain spices or flavors in a food, pair it with a beer that has some of the same elements to complement. If you want to offset (cut) the heat of a spicy dish, go for a classic American lager. If you want to showcase different notes, use contrasting flavors to do that.

With that in mind, here’s a guide to beer and food pairings for the holiday season with our Winter Favorites Variety Pack.

Boston Lager & Blueberry DIY CheeseBoston Lager: This flavorful beer is great any time of year, but especially when shared with friends and family around the holidays.  Boston Lager’s balance of complex flavors make it a great pairing for a wide variety of foods, but during the holidays we love how the roasted malts add depth to roasted meats like turkey, duck, and lamb. This year we tried something fun and new:  DIY Boston Lager soaked cheese.  It’s a great way to kick off any holiday celebration and surprise your friends with something unique. Want to try it at home? Check out our (fun and easy) recipes.

winter lager brussel sproutsWinter Lager: We’ve been enjoying Winter Lager this time of year since 1989, as it was one of our first seasonal beers.  Bold and rich with a touch of holiday spice, we couldn’t imagine the cold winter without it! The deep maltiness and warming spices of Winter Lager enrich the flavors of a hearty beef stew or mellow the sweetness of desserts like pecan pie. For a tasty side dish, try Brussel sprouts with Winter Lager and bacon.

white ale walnut breadWhite Christmas: For a change of pace from the darker holiday brews, this wheat ale is crisp and light, yet with the familiar warmth of holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel.  It’s a great pairing with lighter dishes like salad with cranberries and goat cheese, and also compliments desserts like fruit tart or cheesecake.  Its wheat and spice also make it a perfect ingredient in beer bread – like in this recipe for White Ale walnut bread. It’s also an amazing addition to apple pie!

old-fezziwig-ale-bread-pudding--en--cc42fa29-a2a2-4846-84c9-6f74c00343a3Old Fezziwig Ale: We often like to refer to Old Fezziwig as the Christmas cookie of beers, and it’s certainly one of our favorites during the holidays. The combination of rich maltiness with notes of toffee and dark caramel and holiday spice make this beer a great pair with desserts like carrot cake or apple pie or classic side dishes like sweet potatoes and squash.  Check out our recipe for Old Fezziwig Ale bread pudding.

Looking for more cooking with beer recipes for the holidays? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website. From all of us here at Samuel Adams, Happy Holidays!

GOT CULTURE? Boston Lager & Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Team Up #FTW

Here at the brewery, we know that beer and cheese is a delicious and easy pairing – for holiday parties at the brewery or as an easy appetizer– and while we know a lot about beer, we wanted to learn more about cheese. So, we invited Kurt Beecher Dammeier from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese to the brewery to talk about (and taste) beers and cheese. What’s better than that?

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is an award-winning cheesemaker based in New York City and Seattle and after spending time together, we learned we actually have a lot in common. Their passion for quality, full-flavored ingredients. coupled with their originality. made us jump at the chance to learn more about their artisanal cheese and to create interesting recipes for craft beer and cheese lovers alike.

Jennifer & Kurt Tasting Cheese

One of the creations we are really excited to share is Beecher’s Samuel Adams Boston Lager-soaked cheese. Kurt came to the brewery armed with his Beecher’s Dutch Hollow Dulcet cheese which had been immersed in Samuel Adams Boston Lager and other ingredients for three days.  As soon as we took the first bite we knew we had something special.  We were delighted by how Boston Lager’s Noble hops with their piney, citrus and herbal notes added complexity to a rich cheese like Dulcet, a double-cream cheese with clean, lightly tangy and creamy character. This easy to do recipe is perfect for holiday entertaining,  and is a great way to impress your craft beer and cheese-loving friend or family member. We also created a few other recipes below that we are excited to share.

Kurt and I will be continuing to explore the world of craft beer and cheese over the next few weeks (it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!). So, stay tuned for more flavorful and delicious ideas and recipes in the coming weeks!

DIY Boston Lager soaked-cheese recipes

For each soaked-cheese, boil 32 ounces of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and respective sweetener (honey or maple syrup) to a simmer for five minutes, add the remaining ingredients, and cool the mixture before adding Beecher’s Dutch Hollow Dulcet to soak for three days, stored in a refrigerator.

Boston Lager & Pomegranate DIY Cheese

  • Variety #1: Boston Lager (32 oz.), Blueberry Juice (16 oz.), Vanilla Extract (.5 tbsp.), Almond Extract (.5 tbsp.), Honey (1 tbsp.)
  • Variety #2: Boston Lager (32 oz.), Pomegranate Juice (16 oz.), Honey (1 tbsp.), Ground Hazelnuts (1.5 tbsp.)
  • Variety #3: Boston Lager (32 oz.), Cranberry Juice (16 oz.), Honey (1 tbsp.), Ground Pecans (2 tbsp.)
  • Variety #4: Boston Lager (32 oz.), Apple Cider (16 oz.), Maple Syrup (6 oz.), Whole Black Peppercorns (.5 tsp.), Rendered Bacon Bits (.5 cup)

We hope you’ll try this out and share your photos on Twitter or Instagram using #ForTheLoveOfBeer @SamuelAdamsBeer @BeechersNY

 

Learning to Homebrew: A Q&A with John Marra, 2014 Employee LongShot Winner

2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Home Brew ContestIn early November, homebrewers across the country celebrated National Learn to Homebrew Day. We thought this was a great excuse to catch up with our colleague John Marra, a member of the Samuel Adams team in Brooklyn, NY, who was recently named the employee winner of our LongShot American Homebrew Competition!

The contest began in 1996 as a way for us to recognize and honor American homebrewers who continue to push the boundaries of what beer can be, just as Jim Koch did 30 years ago in his kitchen as he homebrewed the first batches of Boston Lager. We recently announced this year’s winners at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO.

Here’s what John had to say about being named the employee winner and the challenges he’s faced as someone who is fairly new to homebrewing:

Q: How long have you been a homebrewer? How did you get into it?

A: I have only just begun to homebrew.  In fact, it wasn’t until April of last year that I got started when I began my career at Samuel Adams.   The Longshot Competition was definitely an eye opening experience as to how intricate and detail-oriented you need to be during the brewing and bottling process.

Q: What inspired you to brew a Dunkelweiss for your LongShot entry?

A: I brewed with my teammates Rachel McGown and Roxanne Diaz. We wanted to brew a style of beer style that wasn’t common to find in bars in our neighborhood.  We also knew that we wanted a recipe that was a simple, straightforward representation of that particular style.  After discussing my options with some other homebrewers that  I know and various homebrew shops, we chose a Dunkleweiss recipe.

Q: What was your reaction to being one of the winners of the LongShot competition?

A: I was completely blown away!  I couldn’t believe that the beer made it in the 2015 LongShot six-pack. That beer was truly a “long shot” to win the competition considering we were competing against plenty of people that homebrew regularly.

Q: What do you think the most common mistake homebrewers make is?

A: To be honest, I can’t speak on that level about the mistakes other homebrewers make because that would mean I view myself as being on a higher level than other homebrewers, which I’m not!  That being said, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to focus on keeping everything clean.  Bacteria are the easiest way to destroy a homebrewed beer, so going through the proper steps to sanitize everything that touches the beer after the boil is a must.

Q: Do you have any advice for homebrewers who are just starting out?

A: It’s ok to fail and fail often.  I had brewed beers that were undrinkable before and each time I would go through the brewing process I would learn something new or notice something I had done (or not done) the previous time that helped me get to that drinkable beer.

Another valuable piece of advice I received was to focus on keeping everything as simple as possible when you’re starting out. Going for big, bold beers is a complicated process, and that can be frustrating and discouraging if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to since the process can take 4-6 weeks from start to finish.  I focused on brewing a beer that was simple enough to brew while not overcomplicating the process. I have learned that there are a lot of things that can go wrong while homebrewing, so trying to keep the process as simple as possible helps!

Looking for some more homebrewing tips and tricks? Check out our Homebrewing Pinterest board.

Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Brewing & Business Experienceship: A Q&A with ChuckAlek Independent Brewers

As part of the Brewing the American Dream program, craft brewers nationwide have the opportunity to apply for the Samuel Adams Brewing & Business Experienceship. Through the Experienceship, each year one craft brewer is selected and provided the opportunity to experience extended coaching and mentoring from the Samuel Adams team, access to beer industry events, and the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer with us at the Boston Brewery.

2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Home Brew Contest

This year’s Experienceship winner is founder and head brewer Grant Fraley and co-founder and CEO Marta Jankowska of ChuckAlek Independent Brewers. ChuckAlek Independent Brewers opened its doors in January of 2013 in Ramona, CA. Named after their grandfathers, Chuck and Alek, the brewery pulls some of the past into the present by creating “Old School Beers for New School Palates,” with a particular focus on porters and stouts. We had a chance to chat with them about how they got into the craft beer industry, what they’re currently brewing, and how Brewing the American Dream has had an impact on their brewery.

Q: How did you get into brewing?

A (Grant): I got started brewing at home several years ago when I first moved to San Diego.  I got interested in doing more European and classic styles while pursuing my master’s degree in Geographic Information Science over in Germany and Austria.

Q: When did you make the jump into starting your own brewery?

A (Grant):  Marta and I were really interested in exploring different styles of beer that weren’t readily available in San Diego. You can get triple IPAs, double IPAs, black IPAs – they’re all so prevalent. We were brewing a lot of British and German styles at home and we were like hey – this isn’t really being done, so there was a good opportunity to bring underrepresented styles to San Diego craft beer drinkers. We opened ChuckAlek Independent Brewers with help from friends and family, but most of it we built out on our own, including the brew house.

Q: What were the biggest challenges you faced?

A (Marta): One of the biggest challenges we faced was articulating our identity. One of the best pieces of advice we got from a friend in the beer industry is that we needed to form a very clear story as to who we are and our mission. There are already so many breweries in San Diego, so if we just went into it saying “hey, we make awesome beers” we might be OK, but no one would really notice us.  That really took us some time.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of owning your own brewery?

A (Marta):  It’s a lot of fun! We get so many customers come in who are blown away. People come in and the first thing they ask us is “what’s your IPA?”  We have to divert them and say, we don’t do an IPA, but we do some of the best porters in San Diego County and you should really try one. You see the doubt in their face, but then they try it and say “Oh my gosh, it’s so good!” We get multiple people like that in a day. It’s fun to challenge San Diego’s taste buds a bit.

Q: Your brewery specializes in recovering, reviving, and recreating heritage craft brews – what are examples of some of the styles you have brought back?

A (Marta):  This year we did a historical beer project called the Archives Series, which traces the history of porters and stouts from 1804 all the way up to 1933. It’s been really fun – we’ve been working closely with beer historian Ronald Pattinson. Ron helped us by consulting on various beer styles and recipes, making sure our recipes were as accurate as possible. He also joined us in a collaboration project we did with Stone Brewing Co. – an East India Porter called Colonel Sykes.

Q: How has the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream (BTAD) program helped support your brewery?

A (Grant): We didn’t sell our beer outside of the tasting room for the first six months or so. We decided that we wanted to use some of our brewing capacity to get our beer out into the marketplace, and that was about the time we received the loan through BTAD. We used that loan to help purchase our first couple dozen kegs, and to hire a part-time sales representative to go out and land some of our initial accounts. Now we’ve gone from half a dozen draft accounts to more than three dozen draft accounts. We’ve also gotten some great coaching on marketing and media outreach – it has been useful advice for how we want to represent and market our brand.

Q: What are you looking forward to about the Experienceship?

A (Grant/Marta): Coming to Boston of course!  We can’t wait to see the brewery, soak in all of the advice we can get our hands on, and get some good feedback from Jim Koch about the next steps to take. We’re also looking forward to the collaboration beer – we’re hoping to do a Revolution Era Porter or Stout, something that could really dig into the history of Samuel Adams and Boston while showcasing the types of beer styles we are best at.

Want to learn more about ChuckAlek Independent Brewers? Visit their website.

Beers (and Foods) of Fall

It’s our favorite time of the year here in New England. There’s a crispness in the air, the leaves are changing, and football is back! Our Harvest Collection variety pack is the perfect pairing for all of your favorite fall activities, especially: tailgating. We’ve been experimenting with a few recipes and doing our tailgating homework (it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it).  Here’s a guide to fall beer and tailgating food pairings we recommend  you try out this fall.

harvest pack_blog post

cowboy-beef-boston-lager-chili--en--7aecdc3c-2493-40da-a855-5f603ae1c538Boston Lager: No matter what time of year, Boston Lager is our go-to beer. And luckily for us, it pairs with one of our go-to foods for football season – chili. The beer’s malty sweetness matches nicely with the roasted flavors of the beans, meat and tomatoes. The hop spiciness of the Hallertau hops work well too if you like your game day chili with a little heat. Check out our recipe for Cowboy Beef Boston Lager Chili to kick this pairing up a notch.

sams-beer-broiled-brats--en--3a4e79f9-0f1d-4f39-af37-f5d31ed34c4fOctoberFest: It’s not a tailgate without firing up the grill. The deep malty character of our OctoberFest beer complements the savory taste of bratwurst and brings out the sweet roastiness. To take this pairing one step further, check out our recipe for OctoberFest Beer Broiled Brats.

samuel-adams-harvest-pumpkin-ale-bread--en--4b189d68-b002-4e94-a57e-21f681b87f3bHarvest Pumpkin Ale: The classic pumpkin pie spices of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg in Harvest Pumpkin Ale balance out the flavors of BBQ pulled pork or BBQ ribs. The charring of the meat works nicely with the malt character of the beer. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you may want to pair this beer with a dessert like apple pie or our recipe for Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale Bread.

Sam-Can-Chicken-1Harvest Saison: Our take on a saison has got a lot of layers of flavor, from malty to subtle floral, fruit, and earthy hop notes.  The earthy yet light flavors pair well with lighter dishes like roasted chicken. We know what you’re thinking – roasted chicken at a tailgate? We have a great recipe from Chef David Burke for “Sam Can” chicken made with Boston Lager that you can make right on the grill.

Looking for some cooking with beer recipes for the fall? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website.

Congratulations to our 2014 National LongShot American Homebrew Contest Winners

2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Home Brew ContestLast Friday, we gathered in Denver to add to the excitement of craft beer’s most celebrated gathering, The Great American Beer Festival (GABF), by announcing three beers crowned winners of the 2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Homebrew Contest.

Jim toasted three homebrewers who will join the ranks of creative and talented Longshot American Homebrew Contest Winners of the past. The contest began in 1996 as a way for Jim to recognize and honor American homebrewers who continue to push the boundaries of what beer can be, just as he did 30 years ago in his kitchen as he homebrewed the first batches of Boston Lager.

Over the past 30 years, craft beer has been on the rise and we don’t see any signs of slowing down anytime soon. We can attribute this in large part to homebrewers like those who enter our LongShot contest each year and craft brewers who are resilient and always looking to push the boundaries of brewing and introduce new styles of craft beer.

This year’s winning beers are:

Greg Rasmussen’s Robust Porter: A traditional robust porter, California resident Greg Rasmussen’s Robust Porter is sweet and roasted with cocoa, coffee, toffee and slight vanilla notes from the varieties of malt used. Rich with malt flavor, the beer is complemented by slight citrus and earthy notes from US and UK hops.

Matthew Knott’s Classic Rauchbier: Recognized for its traditional smoky, slightly savory malt sweetness and roastiness is Smithtown, New York resident Matthew Knott’s Classic Rauchbier. The smoky flavors are balanced by a light toffee malt character and slight citrus from the hops. The brew finishes with a lingering smokiness, sweetness and subtle hop flavor.

John Marra’s Dunkelweiss: Representing the Samuel Adams employees with a winning homebrew is Brooklyn, New York Brewery Representative John Marra’s Dunkelweiss. This beer is brewed with traditional Bavarian yeast that contributes to the complex aromas and flavors. The aroma is characterized with notes of tropical fruits and clove. Malted wheat contributes to a bright and clean cereal note, which complements the spicy flavors of clove, nutmeg, banana and a slight sweetness.

This year’s winners present three unique and distinct brews that will be made available nationwide next spring as part of the 2015 Samuel Adams LongShot variety six-pack. We can’t wait for you to try their special brews and look forward to sharing more of their homebrewing stories in the upcoming months.

Congratulations to our three winners and thank you to everyone who entered their homebrews! It is because of their innovative spirits that craft beer is growing and more alive than ever.

Celebrate Oktoberfest with Beer and Pretzels Paired with Samuel Adams Smoked OctoberFest German Mustard

Snyders with MustardBeer and pretzels always go well together – but that is particularly true this time of year as we raise our steins to celebrate Oktoberfest!

Kris Schoenberger, owner and grill master at BBQ’d Productions, a small business that participates in our Brewing the American Dream program, put together a really great mustard recipe to enjoy with pretzels made with our OctoberFest beer.

Don’t have time to make your own pretzels?  Don’t worry – we tested out the mustard recipe with Snyder’s of Hanover limited edition Oktoberfest pretzels, which you should of course pair with our OctoberFest beer! A great pairing to Prost with!

Ingredients for Kris’ mustard:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Octoberfest Beer
  • 1 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Malt Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup dry yellow mustard
  • 1 TBSP onion Powder
  • 1 TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TBSP Hickory Smoke Flavoring
  • 1 TBSP Black Pepper

Instructions:

Mix the OctoberFest beer and brown mustard seeds in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. After simmering, turn off heat and allow the seeds to soak in the beer for one hour.

Pour seed and beer mixture into a blender and puree until you reach a smooth consistency, with a little grain still left.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the water and malt vinegar and then add the dry mustard, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, hickory smoke flavoring, and black pepper.

Take the mixture from the mixing bowl and mix well with the OctoberFest and brown mustard seed puree.

Pour into a glass jar or container. The mustard will remain good for up to one month as long as it is stored in the refrigerator.

The (Kosmic Mother) Funk is Coming

KMF Grand Cru_504x504 LogoWe’re not releasing the Kraken, but it feels that way as we unleash one of our latest projects – the 2014 release of Samuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru.

“KMF,” as we fondly refer to this beer, is a unique Belgian ale, brewed and fermented with multiple micro-organisms found in our historic 150-year old Boston Brewery.  The beer is then aged in Hungarian oak tuns in our Barrel Room for over a year.

Now, for the first time, we’re taking KMF on a mini coast-to-coast tour to share with drinkers like you starting this week in our hometown of Boston.

The Tour

The KMF Grand Cru Tasting Tour will visit 12 cities from September through November, with this funky brew available on tap in select locations throughout each stop. The final tour stop will be determined by your vote! so make sure you and your friends cast your votes and tell us where you want KMF Grand Cru to make its final stop.

The Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru Tasting Tour will visit:

Boston

Week of September 8, 2014

New York

Week of September 22, 2014

Denver

Week of September 29, 2014

Cleveland

Week of October 6, 2014

Dallas

Week of October 13, 2014

Philadelphia

Week of October 20, 2014

Washington, D.C.

Week of October 20, 2014

Chicago

Week of November 3, 2014

San Francisco

Week of November 11, 2014

San Diego

Week of November 11, 2014

Seattle

Week of November 17, 2014

TBD – Drinkers Choice! Vote now!

TBD

 

For tour dates and to vote for your city as the final stop, visit www.SamuelAdams.com/kmf.

The Back Story

The inspiration behind Kosmic Mother Funk was Belgian beer, and the varied styles and brewing techniques like blending, aging and conditioning which yield wild and flavorful results. Our brewers began a few years ago by taking a Belgian ale and aging it in Hungarian oak tuns and as time went on the beer continued to evolve and take on a life and character of its own, only to be described as a kosmic collection of flavors. The porous character of the wood allows air to slowly seep into the beer during secondary fermentation, smoothing out any harsh flavors. Wild yeast and bacteria including Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus also interact with the aging brew, imparting unique spicy, fruity and bright tart flavors.  Long contact with the wood imparts its own flavors of oak and vanilla.  This resulting brew was so unique that the brewers started experimenting with blending the beer at varying levels into a series of Belgian brews, which ultimately became the Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection.

For this ‘Grand Cru’ release, we added a touch of Belgian candi sugar to balance the beer’s tart acidity and lend a smoothness and sweetness to the finish.  The result is a wild, funky and complex ale, with a depth of flavors ranging from earthy and spicy to floral and sweet.

For more on the back story of this funky brew, check out this short video from our head brewer and Samuel Adams founder, Jim Koch:

Ales for ALS 2014: Join us for an Open Taps Night!

Ales for ALS_imageWe’re proud to join 69 brewers across 22 states to participate in this year’s edition of Ales for ALS! As part of the program, we brewed a specialty Ales for ALS beer (a hoppy pale ale) brewed with a special blend of hops donated by B.T. Loftus Ranches and Hopunion and designed by Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo, Bell’s Brewery’s John Mallet, and Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman. (Click here to learn more about this specialty hop blend).

To celebrate the launch of this limited brew, we will be hosting four Open Taps Nights at the Brewery during the month of August!

A $20 admission fee gets you entry into one of the four Open Taps Nights and includes: a full pint of the Ales for ALS brew, four beer samples, and a food truck meal pairing. All proceeds are being donated to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI).

We will have a different food truck at each event. Here are the dates and who will be at each one:

August 6th –  Trolley Dogs
August 8th –  Teri-Yummy
August 20th - Lilian’s Smokin’ Rack BBQ
August 22nd - Stock Pot Malden

We hope you can join us for one (or more) of these events! Please RSVP here.

Craft Brewer’s Experienceship: A Q&A with Rick Abitol of Brewery Rickoli

Brewery RickoliAs part of our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, craft brewers who have received a loan through the program can apply for a Brewing and Business Experienceship. Experienceship brewers receive extended coaching and mentoring from a variety of Samuel Adams experts, a trip to Boston to visit our Boston Brewery – where we brew a collaboration beer – and the chance to join us at beer industry events.

This year’s Experienceship winner was Rick Abitbol, brewmaster of Brewery Rickoli, a craft brewery based in Wheat Ridge, CO that focuses on brewing delicious, gluten-reduced beers. We had the chance to sit and chat with Rick about his passion for brewing and how Brewing the American Dream has helped him pursue his dream of opening his own brewery.

Q: What’s the story behind the name of Brewery Rickoli?

A: It comes from a nickname derived from “Jeff Spicoli,” a character in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a nickname I earned years ago. My wife bought me custom pub glasses that said “Rickoli Tavern” on them and it really planted the seed – I thought maybe someday I would own my own brewery.

Q: Brewery Rickoli focuses on reducing the amount of gluten in your beer. Why is this important to you and what are the challenges of this approach?

A: The drive for us to brew gluten-removed beers is about changing the stigma that gluten-free equals bad taste. Removing the gluten doesn’t affect the taste of our beers. We can make great beer to accommodate people’s needs and eating/drinking preferences, and not sacrifice quality.

Q: What is Brewery Rickoli’s flagship beer?

A: Totally Eye-P-A. It’s a West Coast style IPA at 6.8% ABV and 165 IBUs – we utilize a lot of hop bursting techniques.

Q: What is your favorite part of owning your own brewery?

A: Brewing is really satisfying – when I can create a beer that people latch on to and it becomes their favorite beer, it makes me feel needed, like a necessary part of society. We’re providing a place in our community that is every bit as valuable as the post office, the grocery store, or the gas station. The community has really embraced us.

Q: How has the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program helped support your brewery?

A: The support from Sam Adams was crucial for us and enabled us to open our doors. We needed the loan from Brewing the American Dream to finish building our cooler, put in our tap system, and to buy kegs.

Q: What have you taken away from your Brewing and Business Experienceship?

A: A new and more positive direction for growth. Our eyes were opened pretty wide – we learned a few things that really needed to be taken care of right away. We were also reassured that what we’re doing is right, but that we just need to focus a little bit better.

Q: Tell us a bit about the collaboration beer you brewed with our brewers back in May.  What was the best part of that experience?

The best part of brewing our collaboration was the actual collaborating. It was exciting to me as a brewer to work with Grant to develop the recipe and then go to Boston to brew the beer. We also will always remember the individual attention we were given by everyone at Sam Adams. We felt pretty special to be at your amazing facility and to get to talk and work with some of the most dedicated and passionate people in the industry!

More on the collaboration beer: Oats McGoats is our take on a gluten-reduced American stout.  We brewed this beer with flaked rye, oat malt and golden naked oats. The result is a full-bodied beer, accented by earthy and spicy flavors, and a hint of roasty and coffee notes.

Here’s where you can find the beer in the Denver area:

Lucky Pie Pizza and Taphouse

World of Beer Belmar

World of Beer Cherry Creek

The Sink Boulder

West End Tap House

Colorado Plus

Parrys Pizza (All 3 Locations)

Right Coast Pizza

Colorado Keg House

Backcountry Pizza & Tap House

Ultimate DIY Grilling Recipe: Summer Ale Smoked Wood Chips

summer grillingMany people love to grill in the summer, myself included. And in my experience, nothing goes better with grilling than beer – as a pairing with food, infused into the dish or in my hand as I grill. You might remember I love grilling with beer so much, I even ventured outdoors this past winter to grill with beer-infused recipes.

This summer, with the help of Kevin Kolman from Weber Grills, I experimented with smoking on the grill, which imparts flavors and aromas that are hard to replicate. I asked Kevin what he thought might happen if we soak wood-chips with Samuel Adams Summer Ale. He didn’t know, so we gave it a shot and discovered that by soaking wood chips with Summer Ale, smoked foods take on a slightly sweet and citrusy note from the lemon as well as a subtle peppery flavor from the Grains of Paradise.

One of my favorite recipes, especially when grilling at a backyard BBQ on Cape Cod, is Summer Ale Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Avocado Butter. Summer Ale-soaked wood chips add beautiful citrus flavors to the swordfish, which are balanced by the subtle char from cooking on a grill. The chips also impart a nice sweetness and light smoky flavor to the swordfish.

Get ready to impress friends and family next time you grill with the secret ingredient: Summer Ale-soaked wood chips!

Summer Ale Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Avocado Butter

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) Samuel Adams Summer Ale
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 swordfish steaks (each weighing 8- to 10-ounces)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
    • 6 sprigs cilantro

Method

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Samuel Adams Summer Ale, olive oil, 2 tablespoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of pepper, garlic, and lemon zest. Lay the swordfish steaks in a shallow glass, ceramic, or rigid plastic dish and pour the marinade over them. Turn the fish to coat, using your fingers or a brush to make sure all steaks are well covered. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and for no longer than 2 hours.

Peel and pit the avocadoes and put the flesh and butter in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of cumin, the coriander, 2 teaspoons of pepper, and season to taste with salt.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill so that it is medium hot. *Directions for using a gas or charcoal grill as a smoker are below.

Lift the swordfish steaks from the marinade and let any excess drip into the dish. If there is excessive marinade clinging to steaks, scrape it off. Grill the steaks for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until the fish is opaque but not dry.

Serve each steak topped with about 2 tablespoons of avocado butter, which will melt into the fish. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro.

DIY Samuel Adams Summer Ale-Soaked Wood Chips:

  • To maximize the flavors and aromas of Samuel Adams Summer Ale, soak the wood chips for at least an hour but no more than 90 minutes. The wood chips can be soaked by placing them in a bowl and covering them entirely with Samuel Adams Summer Ale.
  • After they’re done soaking, remove the chips and drain them of excess beer. The wood chips should be damp, not dripping wet, when they’re placed in the grill to help prolong their ability to smolder, not burn. (We recommend using Weber’s cherry woods chips for this recipe.)

Tips for Smoking on a Charcoal Grill:

  • Light a pile of charcoal briquettes on one side of the cooking grate, and place a large disposable foil pan on the other side.
  • Carefully add about 2 or 3 cups of water to the pan (this helps maintain a low cooking temperature and adds moisture to the food). Allow 30 minutes to one hour for the coals to burn down to the correct temperature and the water to heat up.
  • Next, drop the damp wood chips directly onto the coals, then place your food on top of the cooking grate over the water pan, and cover your grill.
  • Begin cooking the food, and add coals as necessary to maintain heat.

Tips for Smoking on a Gas Grill:

Some gas grills come with a built-in smoker box, which can be filled with woods chips. If your grill doesn’t have a built-in smoker box, here’s what to do:

  • Place the wood chips in a disposable foil pan, cover with aluminum foil, then poke holes in the foil cover to allow smoke to escape.
  • Place the pan directly on the bars over an unlit burner or two, preferably towards the back of the grill.
    • Put the cooking grates in place, turn on the grill, with all the burners on high, and close the lid. When smoke appears, begin cooking your food, adjusting the temperature of the grill as needed.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale Steamed Halibut (or Chicken) in Foil with Prosciutto, Vegetables and Lemon

foil chicken

Looking to mix up your grilling this summer? Chef David Burke came up with a recipe that can be used for chicken or fish. He suggests grilling this one with aluminum foil, which will keep the meat (or fish) juicy and tender. It also allows for you to prepare it ahead of time and makes for easy clean up, so you can spend more of your time enjoying a beer with friends.

Ingredients:

4 T olive oil

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 fennel bulb, slivered

1 zucchini, cut into ½-inch slices

1 yellow squash, cut into ½ -inch slices

1 large tomato, diced

½ cup blanched green beans, cut into ½-inch lengths

1 bunch fresh basil, finely chopped

¼ pound prosciutto ham, cut into thin strips

4 T bottled white horseradish

6 halibut steaks or fillets (or chicken breasts), about 5-6 ounces each

3 T cracked black peppercorns

Kosher salt to taste

Whole grain mustard

2 cans of Samuel Adams Summer Ale (¼ cup per foil pack)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, or light an outdoor grill.

Prepare 6 sheets of aluminum foil, each about 16 x 10 inches. Coat each sheet with a small amount of olive oil.

In a bowl, combine zest and juice of lemons, all vegetables, prosciutto, and horseradish, and mix until all ingredients are combined.

Place half of vegetable mixture on aluminum-foil sheets. Top with Halibut steaks (or chicken breasts) and Summer Ale. Season fish (or chicken) with cracked black peppercorn and salt. Cover with remaining vegetable mixture and fold foil over, closing all sides. You now have 6 packages of fish (or chicken) with prosciutto and vegetables.

**Packages can be stored cold for up to 10 hours

Cook by placing the foil packages on a baking sheet in the oven or place foil packages directly on grill. Cook 5 minutes on the first side, then turn and cook an additional 5 minutes, depending on thickness of fish (Note: the chicken will need to cook 6-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness). To test, pierce one package with a knife or skewer. If the knife or skewer comes out warm, the fish (or chicken) is done.

Garnish with chopped basil leaves and mustard.

Want more cooking with Sam recipes? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website.

Boston Lager Smoked Gouda Cheeseburgers: A Recipe from BBQ’d Productions

Lager and burgerCraft beer is one of the most important ingredients you need to celebrate Independence Day this weekend.  And we’re not just talking about drinking beer.  We’re cooking with it too.

While you’re firing up the grills and celebrating July 4th, check out a recipe for a burger topped with smoked Gouda and beer caramelized onions from Brewing the American Dream program participant Kris Schoenberger, owner of BBQ’d Productions:

Beer Cheese Topping:

2 Tablespoons of Salted Butter

2 Tablespoons of Flour

½ Bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager

4oz Shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese

½ Teaspoon of Mustard

½ Teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce

Cayenne Pepper to Taste (Depends on how spicy you like)

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat

2. When it bubbles and foams, add the flour and whisk together to form a paste.

3. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture turns from white to light tan.

4. Gradually whisk in the beer and slowly add the cheese, continuing to whisk until you have a thick cheese sauce. Stir in Cayenne.  Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use. You may need to reheat before serving.

Beer Caramelized Onions Topping:

2 Large Onions, Diced

2 Tablespoons Butter

1/2 Bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager

Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onions.

2. Allow them to cook without stirring for 15 minutes, then flip so that the raw onions on the top are now on the bottom.

3. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, then stir in beer, lower the heat and allow to cook slowly for another 15 minutes or until completely soft and deeply caramelized.

Burger Recipe:

2 Pounds of Ground Beef

1 Egg

2 cloves chopped Garlic

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

1.  Dice garlic fine.

2. Add all ingredients, and mix well with ground beef.

3. Form burger patties, and cook on a hot grill to desired cooked preference.

4. Assemble Burger, on a freshly toasted bun, and top with cheese sauce and caramelized onions.

Looking for more cooking with beer recipes? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website.

 

Beers (and Foods) of Summer

It’s summertime (finally!), so that means it’s time to enjoy beers in the sunshine and invite some friends over to grill. Our Beers of Summer variety pack is a versatile collection of beers that’s sure to have a style to please everyone at your backyard BBQ. Here’s a guide to some of our favorite summer beer and food pairings to accompany your next cookout.

Sam Summer_Lobster

Boston Lager: Our original beer is full-flavored with a balance of malty sweetness, contrasted by hop spiciness and a smooth finish.

This is still our number one favorite for a reason. Its flavor makes it an incredibly versatile pairing with a lot of different foods and styles of cooking. In the summer, it really shines as a complement to barbeque beef brisket. The sweetness and caramel notes of the malt complement and add depth to the roasted, savory taste of the meat while the hops cut through the richness and contrast the tang of barbeque sauce.

Summer Ale: Citrusy with a hint of spice from lemon peel and Grains of Paradise.

In New England, we can’t get enough seafood – especially in the summer. For me, one quintessential pairing I look forward to every year is our Summer Ale and lobster. Lobster’s rich, sweet flavors are nicely balanced by the bright complexities of Summer Ale. The crisp wheat character balances out the buttery meat, while the citrus adds a fresh bite.

Porch Rocker: Tart & refreshing, a golden lager with a fresh squeezed lemon taste.

Beer and food pairings shouldn’t be reserved for only the main course! Porch Rocker makes a great pairing for light summer fare from apps, like a sharp cheddar cheese plate, to salad to desserts. It’s tart citrus lemon character accents and tames the sweetness in a blueberry cobbler and cuts through the creaminess of a cheesecake.

White Lantern: The crisp wheat character of a white ale with a citrus sweetness and hint of peppery spice.

Too hot out to fire up the grill? White Lantern is a perfect match to a Caesar salad. The crisp wheat cuts through the creaminess and tang of the dressing while the coriander complements its pepper. The bright citrus notes accent the dish without overpowering it, creating a refreshingly crisp pairing.

Blueberry Hill Lager: A crisp unfiltered lager that is aged on blueberries for a subtle fruity character.

A natural pairing for this brew is with salads or dessert but its combination of subtle fruit sweetness and hint of citrusy hops creates a great complement to light savory fare like grilled fish. The sweetness of the blueberries creates a counterpoint to the flavor from the grill and while the hop character accents the flavor of the fish.

Belgian Session: A refreshing and spicy Belgian ale with notes of fruit, clove, and hop citrus balanced by a honeyed malt sweetness.

Belgian Session’s light character has a range of delicate flavors that are a perfect complement to a variety of summer dishes. The combination of floral and spice notes and touch of citrus hops complements the herbs and lemon of a roasted chicken for a refreshing yet flavorful pairing.

Cheers to summer!

Looking for some cooking with beer recipes for the summer? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website.

Say “I Do” at the Boston Brewery with Brewlywed Ale

Jim BrewlywedJoin us on Wednesday, June 18th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boston Brewery as we host our one day release of Brewlywed Ale!  AND get the chance to have Bob Cannon (yes – the guy with the beard) come to your home to brew.  No really, keep reading.

Brides and grooms to be are invited to come down and get their hands on one (or more) of the 200 cases we brewed this year.  The 2014 batch of Brewlywed Ale, a Belgian-style “bride ale,” is a distinct and complex brew with layers of flavor including tropical, floral aromas of Summer and Ella hops, and subtle hints of spice and clove from Belgian yeast. At 8% ABV, Brewlywed Ale is a medium bodied brew, deep golden in color with a slight unfiltered haze.

Brewlywed Ale makes a great wedding brew or gift for someone else.  The beer is beautifully  packaged in decorated 750mL, cork-finished bottles and available for $14.99 per bottle, or purchased by the case of 12 (maximum of 2 cases per purchase).

The first 50 people in line have the opportunity to purchase a bottle signed by Jim Koch. You can get in line starting at 7 a.m. on the day of. The first 20 people to arrive in bridal attire will be moved to the front of the line (guaranteeing one of those bottles!)

Besides the opportunity to purchase Brewlywed Ale, here’s what we’ll have going on at the Brewery the day of the event:

  • Private Brewery tours.
  • An on-site Justice of the Peace will marry you or help you renew your vows… right in our brewery hop garden!  (Note: you have to bring your  marriage license). If you’re interested in getting married on June 18, e-mail us at brewlywed@samueladams.com.
  • Sampling of beer-infused wedding fare and pairing suggestions from local small business owners who are members of our Brewing the American Dream program.
  • Brides Across America, a Boston-based non-profit organization which provides free wedding dresses to military brides, will be accepting wedding dress donations. To be eligible for donation, dresses must be new or lightly worn, clean and less than five years old.

RSVP for the event here.

Can’t make it to Boston? Samuel Adams brewer Bob Cannon is going on the road to help one beer-loving couple homebrew their perfect wedding beer. Bob has a history of bridal brewing; he brewed what came to be Samuel Adams Irish Red for his own wedding. This experience will be for sale one-day-only on June 20th for $10,000 and all proceeds will go to Brides Across America. Be the first and only to purchase this once-in a lifetime experience!

We’ve also teamed up with Ted’s Cigars to create limited-edition Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale-seasoned cigars. The cigars, which showcase subtle spice notes and a floral sweetness from being seasoned by Brewlywed Ale, are the perfect wedding or groomsman gift. They will be available exclusively at tedscigars.com.

Looking for more beer-related wedding tips? Samuel Adams tapped wedding trend and planning website Lover.ly, who confirms that there’s a spike in interest from brides and grooms in serving specialty beer at weddings. Lover.ly has a ton of beer-related inspiration and expert tips that will no doubt help beer lovers integrate this trend into their own weddings!