By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: August 6th, 2015
To celebrate IPA Day today, our brewers enlisted the help of the Culinary Institute of America to prove once and for all what the connection between the hop bitterness in India Pale Ale’s and the heat found in spicy foods.
The scientific experiment involved two key ingredients – a flight of Samuel Adams Rebel IPA beers and Buffalo style chicken wings.
Checkout our findings below and read about Director of Brewery Program Jennifer Glanville’s trip to the CIA here.
By: Jennifer Glanville
| Published: August 4th, 2015
As a brewer and self-proclaimed foodie, one of my favorite things to do is pair our beers with food and I know I’m not alone. In fact, many brewers have a theory about pairing IPAs with food: the bitterness in hops affects the heat in spicy food.
To celebrate IPA Day (Thursday, August 6), we put this theory to the test and I joined the awesome culinary professionals at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, N.Y. to “study” this theory. My excitement level was off the charts to conduct an official sensory experiment with food experts. If tests at school had been this fun, I’d be back in a heartbeat!
How We Did It: The Taste Panel & Sample Ballot
At the CIA, we tested this theory using an easy method and delicious materials. We tasted the three West Coast-style IPAs in our Rebel family – Rebel IPA, Rebel Rider Session IPA, and Rebel Rouser Double IPA – alongside a single recipe of Buffalo wings. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.
Our IPA and wing tasting panel included talented chefs and culinary experts including Douglass Miller, Professor of Hospitality and Service Management; Chef Dave McCue, Associate Professor of Culinary Arts and a homebrewer; Chef Thomas Vaccaro, Dean of Baking and Pastry Arts; and Chef Jonathan Zearfoss, Professor of Culinary Science. Chef David Kamen led the panel discussion, helping us stay focused on the task at hand.
We used a ballot instructing panelists to taste each sample, rate the spiciness, and include
comments (see my chicken scratch ballot). Beers were tasted in ascending order by
International Bitterness Units (IBUs) and alcohol content (ABV) starting with Rebel Rider, then Rebel IPA, and finally Rebel Rouser. For each sample, we rated the intensity of the spiciness of the chicken wings on a scale of 0-9 where 0 is not at all spicy and 9 is extremely spicy (like Ghost Pepper crazy spicy) and included our comments.
The Results of our Delicious Study:
It was incredible to see how three beers that are similar in style produced such diverse flavor and heat interactions with the Buffalo wings. As Chef McCue so eloquently described it, “It’s the same meat, but different heat!”
The panelists concluded that together – we brewers are onto something… The greater IBUs and higher ABV does increase how taste buds perceive spiciness. However, our palate’s perception of “heat” depends on other characteristics in a beer, like the hops, malt and alcohol content. Here’s what we found:
- Rebel Rouser Double IPA (8.4% ABV/85 IBUs) produced far and away the highest spice rating and dramatically increased the heat intensity of the pairing. The panelists summarized that this pairing was very complex and may be overwhelming the casual beer drinker and wing eater but perfect for hop heads and spicy food enthusiasts.
- Rebel Rider Session IPA (4.5% ABV/45 IBUs), with its lighter body and lower alcohol content, allowed the beer and wings to complement each other. Panelists also noted an increase in heat or a longer lasting heat from this pairing compared to the other brews as well as a refreshing interplay between the piney, citrus hop notes in the beer and spiciness of the wings.
- Rebel IPA (6.5% ABV/45 IBUs), which showcases a balance of malt and hop flavor rather than aggressive bitterness, managed to subtly decrease the spiciness of the wings while accentuating the sweet, meaty taste of the chicken. This pairing was considered the most well-rounded and perfect for all craft beer lovers and buffalo wing eaters.
There are days where I can’t believe how awesome my job is, and the day I spent “working” with everyone at the CIA was one of them. Thanks to the CIA for joining in on the fun and cheers to celebrating IPA Day!
To conduct your own taste test, we used a Buffalo Chicken Wing Recipe courtesy of Cooking District and check out our Find a Sam page to find Rebel IPA, Rebel Rider Session IPA and Rebel Rouser Double IPA near you.
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: June 17th, 2015
Here at the Boston Brewery, we’re getting ready to toast dads all across the country on Father’s Day. Of course, we’ll have a Boston Lager in hand, but this year our brewers teamed up with the meat experts at Duke’s Small Batch Smoked Meats to raise the bar for the ultimate Father’s Day DIY: Samuel Adams Boston Lager-infused beef jerky.
Perfect for creating and enjoying with dad on his special day, Boston Lager-infused jerky is both easy to make and delicious, and while you’re marinating the thinly sliced beef in beer and spices, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up with dad over a Boston Lager.
For the recipe below, Boston Lager Fresh Ginger & Citrus jerky, the citrus flavors in the marinade and meat rub are enhanced by the citrus character from the Noble hops in Boston Lager. The malt character from the Boston Lager also imparts an underlying flavor that perfectly complements the flavors of the meat. The end result is a deliciously complex jerky with lingering spiciness.
Check out DukesMeats.com to learn more about their small batch, smoked creations, and use #CookingWithSamAdams to show us how you’re making Samuel Adams part of your Father’s Day celebration.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager Fresh Ginger & Citrus Beef Jerky
Recipe by Duke’s Small Batch Smoked Meats
For the Jerky:
- 3 lbs. beef eye-of-rounds, thinly sliced
For the Marinade:
- 2 bottles Samuel Adams Boston Lager
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. cane or brown sugar
- ¾ tbsp. sea salt
- ½ tbsp. mustard powder
- ¾ tbsp. fresh garlic, diced
- ¾ tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
For the Rub:
- 1 tbsp. sea salt
- ½ tbsp. fresh orange zest
- ½ tbsp. fresh lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- ½ tbsp. fresh garlic, diced
- ½ tsp. cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Fresh squeezed orange juice
For the Marinade:
In a saucepan over medium heat, reduce 2 bottles of Samuel Adams Boston Lager by half, to about 12oz. Thoroughly mix all marinade ingredients into the reduced beer, and cool the mixture before using. Once the marinade is cooled, pour it over the sliced meat in a large mixing bowl, cover, and allow the meat to marinate 12-24 hours in a refrigerator – 24 hours for best results. A tumble marinator can be used if available.
For the Jerky:
Remove the thinly sliced eye-of-rounds from the marinade and pat dry on both sides. Mix all of the rub ingredients well, ensuring thorough distribution. In a large mixing bowl or tumbler, add the sliced meat and rub mixture, and mix until the meat is coated evenly.
Allow the meat to come to room temperature, and set the oven to 175° F – it is extremely important to ensure that the oven temperature remains steady. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire/stainless cooling rack on the baking sheet, on top of the foil. Arrange the jerky strips along the cooling racks, covering as much space as possible. The cooling racks allow air to flow under the jerky strips, ensuring even drying.
*If using a dehydrator instead of an oven – lay the slices of meat in a single layer along screens and dry for at least 4 hours at the dehydrator’s highest setting, at least 165-170° F.
**If using an oven, you can spray water into the oven using a bottle sprayer every 30 minutes to create steam and ensure that the jerky stays tender and doesn’t over dry.
Depending on the thickness of the slices, the drying can take anywhere from 2-4 hours in the oven. A properly maintained 175° F oven will dry a slim strip in approximately 3.5 hours. The jerky is ready to be removed from the oven when it is darker in color and dry enough to snap when bent. Remove the jerky from the oven once done – it can be enjoyed warm, cooled, or stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2-3 months.
Tasting Notes from Samuel Adams Brewer Jennifer Glanville:
The citrus flavors from the marinade and rub are enhanced by the citrus character from the Noble hops in the Boston Lager. The malt character from the Boston Lager imparts an underlying flavor that complements the flavors from the meat. The overall flavor is complex, and finishes with a lingering spice character from the ginger and the beer’s Hallertau Mittelfruh hops.
By: Jennifer Glanville
| Published: May 19th, 2015
What’s better than combining two of America’s favorite summer traditions – grilling and craft beer?
As a brewer and self-proclaimed foodie, I’m always trying new ways to incorporate beer in my recipes. With a summer of grilling and enjoying refreshing Summer Ale ahead of us, we worked with grillmaster Kevin Kolman from Weber Grills® to develop a fun DIY activity for craft beer-loving and backyard BBQ pit masters alike: Samuel Adams Summer ale-soaked wood chips and beer infused recipes.
Soaking wood chips in Samuel Adams beer adds a new element to smoking on the grill. When placed on the hot coals of a charcoal grill or in a smoker tray on a gas grill, Weber Applewood Chips soaked in Samuel Adams Summer Ale infuse flavors into grilled food. The unique flavors imparted by this method include a slightly sweet and citrusy note imparted by the lemon peel in Summer Ale along with a subtle peppery flavor from Grains of Paradise used as a spice in the brew.
If you’re firing your grill this this summer, wow friends and family with our easy method for wood chips soaked in Summer Ale and check out this flavorful recipe for Summer Ale salmon filets.
More recipes to come throughout the summer and don’t forget to pair your final grilled masterpiece with a Summer Ale! Enjoy!
Show us (@SamuelAdamsBeer) your grilling skills on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #CookingWithSamAdams
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 30 minutes. The wood chips can be soaked by placing them in a bucket and covering them fully with Samuel Adams Summer Ale.
- After soaking, remove the chips and drain excess beer. The wood chips should be damp, not dripping wet when placed in the grill to help prolong their ability to smolder, rather than burn, and add more beer flavor to the food. We recommend using Weber’s Apple Wood Chips.
Tips for Smoking on a Charcoal Grill:
- Light a pile of charcoal briquettes on the grill grate, or for best results use a chimney starter to light your coals.
- Sprinkle a handful of damp wood chips directly onto the coals once they are covered in white ash and place the lid on the grill. As smoke begins to pour out of the grill, place your food on top of the grill grate and re-cover. Be sure to position the vent on the opposite side of the charcoal to draw heat and smoke over the food as it leaves the grill.
- Begin grilling 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 simply be filled with the wood chips soaked in Summer Ale. If your grill doesn’t have a built-in smoker box, follow these simple steps:
- Use the Weber Firespice Apple Smoker Tray which is pre-filled with the Apple Wood Chips.
- The wood chips can be soaked by placing the entire pre-made tin in a bucket and covering it fully with Samuel Adams Summer Ale. Soak for at least thirty minutes to maximize flavor and allow the wood to fully absorb the beer.
- When ready to grill, take the Weber Firespice Apple Smoker Tray out of the liquid using tongs and place directly on the heated grill grates (not under the grates).
Samuel Adams Summer Ale Salmon Fillets
Recipe by Kevin Kolman, Weber Grills®
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp. granulated onion
- 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. cumin
- 4 salmon fillets (with skin), each 6 to 8 ounces and about 1 inch thick, pin bones removed
- 1 cup BBQ sauce (preferably Weber® Original BBQ sauce)
- 2 bottles Samuel Adams Summer Ale (marinade)
For the soaked wood chips:
- 2 large handfuls of Weber Firespice Apple Wood Chips (for charcoal grill) or Weber Apple Smoker Tray
- 1 bottle Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Method: Marinate the salmon with 2 bottles Samuel Adams Summer Ale for 30 minutes.
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450° F).
In a medium-sized bowl combine and mix all ingredients except for the salmon and BBQ sauce. This will serve as a rub. Lightly coat each piece of salmon with the rub, making sure to coat the top and sides of the fish.
Brush the cooking grates clean on your grill. Add two handfuls of the soaked, drained wood chips to the smoker box, or directly over the ashed-over charcoal. Close the lid of the grill. When smoke appears, grill the salmon, flesh side down first, over direct high heat with the lid closed, until you can lift the fillets off of the cooking grate with tongs without sticking, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the fillets over and continue cooking to your desired doneness, 2 to 3 minutes for medium rare.
During the last minute of grilling, glaze each piece of salmon with the barbecue sauce and close the lid. Insert a spatula between the skin and flesh. The salmon should raise right off the grate leaving the skin on the cooking grate. Discard the skin.
Let the salmon rest for 3-4 minutes and serve with Sam Adams Summer Ale.
Where to find Samuel Adams & Weber Wood Chips:
- To find where Samuel Adams brews are sold near you, visit: http://www.samueladams.com/find-a-sam
- A DIY Kit is available on the Samuel Adams e-store: http://www.samueladamsstore.com/. The kit includes a Samuel Adams metal bucket for soaking chips, Weber Apple Wood chips, two Samuel Adams Summer Ale glasses and a special Samuel Adams spatula for $30.00 plus shipping. Or, Weber Wood Chips and the Weber Firespice Apple Smoker Tray are available at home improvement and hardware stores nationwide, or at www.weber.com.
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: April 7th, 2015
We’re proud of an important benchmark we recently hit at Samuel Adams. This milestone isn’t directly tied to brewing, but it’s certainly beer related. We’re excited to share that 16 members of our Samuel Adams team were recently named Certified Cicerones® after passing a rigorous day-long exam. That puts us at over 100 employees that have passed, with 115 in total!
If you aren’t familiar with the Cicerone Certification Program, it is a program that seeks to ensure that beer drinkers receive the best quality beer possible by designating experts in the field who are well versed in five focus areas:
- Beer Storage, Sales and Service
- Beer Styles and Culture
- Beer Tasting and Flavors
- Brewing Ingredients and Processes
- Pairing Beer with Food
Much like a sommelier is an expert in wine, Certified Cicerones® and Master Cicerones® are experts in beer who have to pass written and sampling exams to be labeled with this distinction.
Studying isn’t anything new for us though… training has been engrained in our culture from the earliest days of the brewery. Jim believes that the more you know and understand about beer, the more you’ll appreciate craft beer. This passion for beer is why we have robust beer and brewing training programs for our employees (yes – even for the folks in finance and IT) including specific Cicerone Certification Program trainings.
All new employees at Boston Beer, no matter what their role is, start their careers off with a week-long intensive orientation program focused on everything from beer ingredients, the brewing process, beer styles, identifying “off favors” in beer and the reasons why, and even pairing foods with different Samuel Adams beer styles. Need help setting up your home kegerator? Chances are our Account Payable manager in Finance can help you.
Congratulations to our newest batch of Certified Cicerones® and cheers to being passionate (and knowledgeable) about beer! More than 600 of our employees have passed the Cicerone Level 1 Beer Server Exam, so we look forward to adding more Certified Cicerones® in the coming years.
Interested in learning more about the Certified Cicerone® program? Click here to learn more and get started.
By: Jim Koch
| Published: March 11th, 2015
I’m pleased to announce that the 2015 LongShot American Homebrew Contest, celebrating its 19th year, is now open! For those not familiar with our LongShot contest, this is a special competition we like to host here at Samuel Adams that looks to find and recognize some of the best homebrewers in the country. Each year we choose two amateur homebrewers and one Samuel Adams employee winner to have their beer brewed and distributed nationally. This year we’re introducing a new twist to the competition – we will select one winner from east of the Mississippi River and one from the west, to join the Samuel Adams employee winner in the final 6-pack.
Homebrewing is a big piece of the DNA that makes up our Samuel Adams team. Over 30 years ago I was just another homebrewer in my kitchen, constantly sanitizing equipment and tinkering with ingredients as I worked on my craft. After several batches made their way to the sink drain (happens to the best of us homebrewers), the first batch of our Samuel Adams Boston Lager was born in my kitchen and the rest is history. To this day much of our research and development for new brews are first created on brew systems that are not much different from what you’ll see in an avid homebrewer’s garage or basement. And I still look forward to each issue of Zymurgy.
There’s no denying that the revolution in Craft beer over the last 30 years is due in large part to homebrewers and craft brewers (many who started as homebrewers). A few short years after homebrewing was made legal here in the United States (February of 1979), my good friend Charlie Papazian founded the Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association. In 1984, Charlie published The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, which today remains the “bible of home brewing”. Many avid homebrewers from the 1980s and 1990s have gone on to be successful craft brewers and are a driving force to the 3,000+ active craft breweries we see today.
Whether you consider yourself a homebrewing “weekend warrior” or you have aspirations to make beer brewing a career, I encourage you to participate in the LongShot American Homebrew Contest. While we’ve had winners go on to become professional brewers (as was the case with Cesar Marron, winner of the 2013 LongShot American Homebrew Contest, who opened Sketchbook Brewing Company in Evanston, IL following his win), we’ve seen plenty of casual homebrewers take the crown. And the competition between our employees? Let’s just say the bar gets raised higher and higher each year.
I look forward to seeing the brews start rolling in and I wish you the best of luck. To learn more about the contest and get started, head over to www.SamuelAdams.com/LongShot.
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: March 9th, 2015
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, it is the perfect time to celebrate with a traditional Irish dish! You don’t have to be Irish to appreciate a great corned beef. And to make the ultimate corned beef, using Samuel Adams Boston Lager or Irish Red as a base for this classic brine will only make everything better.
Try our recipe for Samuel Adams Brined Corned Beef and Samuel Adams Beer-Braised Red Cabbage:
Samuel Adams Brined Corned Beef
- 6 bottles Samuel Adam Boston Lager or Irish Red
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 cup kosher salt
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 tsp. mustard seed
- 8 allspice berries
- 8 juniper berries
- 4 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. pink salt* (optional)
- 2 trays ice, about 2 quarts
- 1 beef brisket, approx. 5 lbs.
Pour the Samuel Adams beer into a stockpot, and add all ingredients except for the ice, beef brisket, and half of the carrots and onions. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from the heat and add the ice.
Place brisket in a sealable container large enough to hold both the meat and liquid, and pour the liquid over the meat. If possible, place an inverted plate on top of the meat to keep it fully submerged in liquid, and seal the container. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, and up to 7 days, flipping the meat daily to ensure even brining.
Remove the brisket from the brine, and strain, reserving spices. Place the brisket in a large braising pan or pot, add the reserved spices, along with the remaining carrots and onion. Cover with water (or better yet, more Sam Adams!), bring to a simmer, and cook until tender.
*Pink Salt #1 is typically available at specialty stores, and is a combination of table salt and a small amount of sodium nitrite. This will help in the curing process and also give the meat its distinct pink hue most people associate with corned beef. If you choose not to use the pink salt, your corned beef will have a greyer, boiled look to it, but don’t worry, it’ll still taste delicious!
Samuel Adams Beer-Braised Red Cabbage
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 medium-sized head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Samuel Adams Boston Lager or Irish Red
- 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and when hot, cook the garlic for about 1 minute or until softened. Take care the garlic does not burn. Add the cabbage to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, or until it begins to wilt. Add the beer and cook for about 5 minutes to give the beer time to reduce. Add the chicken stock and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the cabbage is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside to keep warm.
By: Jim Koch
| Published: March 6th, 2015
We’ve been experiencing (nearly) record snowfall here in Boston this winter, and we’re all ready for signs of spring. One of the momentous occasions that lets us know spring has finally arrived is the Boston Marathon, which has been celebrated on Patriot’s Day for more than 100 years.
This is especially meaningful for me because I had the official release of my first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager to the public on Patriots Day in 1985. About half of our first 25 bars were within three blocks of the finish line. So, the Marathon’s finish line was my starting line.
This is our fourth year as a proud sponsor of the Boston Marathon, and for the fourth year in a row we are brewing a commemorative beer for the race – Boston 26.2 Brew – to toast the runners and spectators.
Yesterday, we tapped the very first keg of Boston 26.2 Brew at Back Bay Social Club, a bar that shares an address with the race course. I was joined by Christopher Laudani, the bartender who inspired the city (and a lot of folks on the Internet) when he shoveled the Boston Marathon finish line during a blizzard on January 27th. We were also joined by Tom Grilk, Executive Director of The Boston Athletic Association. After seeing Chris’ dedication and passion, we knew we wanted him to help us celebrate the return of this very special beer.
Much like the elite group of remarkable athletes that takes on a 26.2 miles of a marathon race, this brew is a rare find. Boston 26.2 Brew is an unfiltered wheat ale with a light body and lower ABV, that is airy and refreshing but also full of character and flavor, like light cereal notes, a hint of salt and peppery coriander. We can’t wait to share this beer with the runners and spectators that are in town to celebrate the 119th Boston Marathon, and we hope that everyone enjoys it as much as we do.
Following the events that took place at the 2013 Boston Marathon, we committed to donating the profits from the sale of the beer to The Greg Hill Foundation, which provided support to survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy and their families. This year, we are continuing that commitment and will donate profits from the sale of Boston 26.2 Brew sold along the marathon route to The Greg Hill Foundation, who is helping to meet some of the long-term needs of survivors.
Boston 26.2 Brew will be available on draft only at race-related events, at pubs and restaurants along the marathon route, and for the first time, a limited number of pubs and restaurants throughout New England.
Click here to see where you can find Boston 26.2 Brew – and cheers!
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: February 27th, 2015
As you may have noticed, we’ve gotten A LOT of snow here in Boston over the past month. While the snow is a big pain for us as we shovel out our sidewalks and driveways and navigate narrow, snow-filled streets, one community that has been really negatively impacted by this weather is a community we are very passionate about: small business owners.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and his Office of Economic Development share our love for our hometown and have developed a fun game for all of us in the Boston area to support local businesses: Boston Bingo!
Mayor Martin Walsh, Carlene O’Garro of Delectable Desires, and Jim Koch Photo via Mike Bednarsky, West Roxbury Patch
All you need to do to participate is download this official Bingo card, visit your favorite corresponding local businesses between now and March 15th, and enter electronically or in person (instructions for how to enter here). People who participate have the chance to win great prizes such as coffee with the Mayor, Bruins tickets, and more! Most importantly, you’ll get to support some really great small businesses in the area.
Looking for ideas of great small businesses to check out in the Boston area? We got you covered! Through our Brewing the American Dream program, we work with a lot of awesome small businesses in the food and beverage industries all throughout Boston by providing them with access to small business loans, and small business coaching and mentoring.
Here are some suggestions of places where you can check off squares on your Boston Bingo card:
- Grab a Burger OR Date Night: Enjoy one of the best burgers in town and enjoy live music every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at The Fairmount Grille, located in Hyde Park.
- Indulge in Breakfast, Brunch, or Lunch Out Today: Grab a delicious gourmet sandwich, coffee, or pastry from City Feed and Supply, located in Jamaica Plain.
- Purchase Something Small: Enjoy a fresh baked pretzel as you stroll through Faneuil Hall from Boston Pretzel, located in Faneuil Hall’s Quincy Market.
- Snag Something Spicy: We recommend ordering the spicy jerk chicken at Only One Jamaican Restaurant, located in Dorchester.
- Croissant or Cookie Time: Choose from a variety of delicious baked goods at Delectable Desires Pastries, located in West Roxbury.
- Have a Pizza Delivered OR Date Night: Stay in with takeout or have a fun night out with great food and drinks at Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge, located in Jamaica Plain.
- Purchase Something Large: Treat yourself to a nice big steak from Chop Chop Meat Market, located in Hyde Park.
- Buy Something Sweet: Who doesn’t love cupcakes? Satisfy your sweet tooth at Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe, located in Boston’s North End.
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: January 30th, 2015
The Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program began in 2008. Our very first loan recipient was Carlene O’Garro, owner of Delectable Desires Pastries. Specializing in custom cakes and French pastries, Carlene has had a lifelong love of creating delicious (and beautiful) pastries. Up until this point, Carlene has been running her business out of her home and baking in the Crop Circle Kitchen Incubator in Jamaica Plain – coincidentally across from the Samuel Adams Brewery. To celebrate the grand opening of her brick and mortar shop in West Roxbury, MA today, we caught up with her about the challenges and joys of being a small business owner in the food and beverage industry and how the Brewing the American Dream Program has been with her every step of the way.
Q: How did your passion for pastries begin?
A: It began when I was a little kid; I baked in the kitchen with my mom on Sundays. When I was about four, my parents bought me an Easy Bake oven so I could bake on my own instead of using the real oven. From that moment, I was hooked! I find baking to be so relaxing, it just comes naturally to me. Cakes are my main passion – I love creating desserts that look fake! When people take a step back and say “is that really a cake?” that is my favorite reaction.
Q: What ultimately made you decide to turn your passion into a business?
A: I didn’t want to go through life working in a 9-5 job, waiting on a promotion, and waiting on someone else to say I was good enough to get the corner office. I wanted to do my own thing and I knew that I could work hard doing something that I love and make it happen.
Q: How do you think having a brick and mortar location will impact your business?
A: For a long time I dabbled in wholesale because I just didn’t think my cakes were good enough, and I wasn’t ready to be at the forefront. But over the last several years I gained the confidence to say, ‘the cake tastes great, they look great, and people want to buy them.’ I actually can’t keep up with demand!
Opening up the shop was both stressful and fun. When it came time to open, I was almost sad! I really enjoyed spending the time with my family hanging the sheetrock together, putting in the floor, basically doing everything ourselves. I couldn’t have done it without my parents, my electrician Colin, my mentor Cathy Reuben, my uncle Phillip, and my brother Gerald. It was a lot of work, but having the storefront allows me to charge what I believe my product is worth, which is something I couldn’t do when I was working in wholesale. It also gives people the opportunity to come into a real store to be able to see the product and meet the people behind it – certainly helps with creating a buzz around the brand.
Q: You were the first loan recipient through the Brewing the American Dream program – how did that initial loan impact your small business?
A: With the loan, I was able to pay off a couple of vendors, purchase muffin pans, and some other equipment. These things really helped me continue on with my business. Even though it has been more than five years since that first loan, Brewing the American Dream remains my go-to resource. The team is not only amazingly supportive, but they helped me access a series of loans and at the same time, strengthen my credit – I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get the loan money I needed from the bank.
I also have had the opportunity to get personalized coaching from Jim Koch through the program – he has given me real, honest advice that pertained to the reality of my situation.
Q: Do you have any advice for other aspiring small business owners in the food and beverage industry?
A: If you have a dream, if you have a passion – it is a lot of blood, sweat and tears and it is a long process – but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just know that with every success, there will be a new challenge, and that’s ok! I’ve dealt with a lot of critical feedback since I have been in business. I wanted everything to be perfect, to be done right. Remember that employees can walk away, but you cannot – your business is attached to you as a person, so protect your product and protect your brand.
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: January 29th, 2015
We’re sad to see another season of football come to an end, but we’re really excited to enjoy the big game. While it is a big weekend for our hometown team, it’s also a big weekend for Carlene O’Garro, our very first Brewing the American Dream loan recipient and owner of local bakery and cafe Delectable Desires.
Please join us at 1PM on Friday, January 30th for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of her brick and mortar shop located at 1755 Centre Street West Roxbury, MA with some very special guests – our founder and brewer Jim Koch, and Mayor Marty Walsh. Be one of the first 100 people to arrive and you’ll receive a Samuel Adams Boston Lager Cupcake on the house!
Can’t make it to the event? Here’s how you can make them at home:
- 8oz Butter
- 1.5 Cups of Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs (room temperature)
- 4 Large egg yolks
- 2.5 cups of All-Purpose Flour (sifted)
- 1 Tbs Baking Powder
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/3 cup Samuel Adams Boston Lager
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a standard mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.
- Add eggs and yolks and continue to mix until fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
- Using a measuring cup, combine 1 cup milk and 1/3 cup Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
- Start by adding 1/3 of the sifted dry ingredients, once that incorporates, add half of the SamuelAdams Boston Lager and milk mixture. Alternate until all ingredients are combined. (delete bullet, this goes with the above bullet)
- Scoop the mixture into prepared cupcake tins (standard size) filling each tin 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, and then add frosting of your choice.
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: January 20th, 2015
While on their honeymoon, David and Rynn Caputo made a big decision; they would quit their Fortune 500-company jobs and enroll in culinary school in Calabria, Italy – they haven’t looked back since! Based in Spring Grove, PA, Caputo Brothers Creamery (named for their two young sons) makes the country’s only fermented cheese curds that can be stretched into fresh mozzarella cheeses, providing a high quality cheese product for cheese lovers and restaurants around the country.
The Caputos competed in (and won) our 2014 Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition, which earned them a $10,000 business grant and extended business coaching and mentoring from our team. We had a chance to chat with Rynn about their cheese and how Brewing the American Dream is helping their growing business.
Q: How did you and your husband get into cheese making?
A: Cheese making really found us. We had gone to culinary school in Italy and as part of our program, we spent time making cheese. At that point we weren’t like, “oh yeah this is what we’re going to do” – but basically, when we came back to the states, we couldn’t find the type of mozzarella that we had in Italy. We started out of pure necessity – to have it at home for ourselves. We got a great response from our friends, so we started researching artisan cheese making and worked with master cheese makers in Italy to bring it to the states.
Q: What makes your product special?
A: We make the country’s only fermented cheese curds, that we know of, that can be stretched into fresh mozzarella. Every other mozzarella cheese curd for sale is made by taking milk, and adding vinegar and citric acid to it – it never goes through fermentation. It would be likened to taking grape juice, adding citric acid to it, and putting it in a wine bottle. When people try our cheese for the first time they often say, “wow this tastes like cheese,” which sounds silly, but that’s what it is! It’s made with higher quality milk, and real culture, but the key difference is the process of fermentation.
Q: Where is your cheese available and how do most people use it?
A: Most of our product is sold wholesale to restaurants. Celebrity chefs have picked it up and ran with it, but we also have a chef at a biker bar down the street from us who stretches it out to use on pizzas -it really depends on the chef and what they’re into.
We also do sell directly to consumers – it really just takes hot water and salt to stretch it out. Caprese salad is the number one way people use it at home, but we’re going through the process of showing people how to make caprese with things that are in season throughout the year – like with strawberries in the summertime or beets in the wintertime with walnuts and balsamic vinegar.
Q: How will the $10K grant you received from Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream have an impact on your business?
A: We are in the process of building out what will now be our third plant. We started small, and then we grew into a plant that we’ve now outgrown. We’re about to go much larger – and there is significant capital that goes into that, so these funds will immediately go towards supporting that project. In general, I find it really exciting that Jim Koch and his team took the time to invest their energy into something that has a direct impact on the small business world – it’s very encouraging.
Q: What is your advice for delivering a great business pitch?
A: Figure out what the most important point about your product is, and make sure there is a hook to get their attention so they’ll want to keep talking to you. And practice! We actually had the grand opening of our brick and mortar the day before the Pitch Room Finals, so that helped me hone my pitch for the national competition.
Do you have a food, beverage, or craft brewed product that you’re passionate about? Our Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition will be back for 2015! Check out the website for more details.
By: Jennifer Glanville
| Published: January 14th, 2015
What could be better than football playoff season? The answer is simple: football playoffs, a cold Boston Lager, AND National Pizza Week.
We worked with pizza expert Mark Bello from www.pizzaschool.com to develop a pizza recipe that is perfect for rooting for our home team: New England Clam Pizza, made with Boston Lager infused pizza dough!
This pizza not only ties to our roots here in New England, but it pairs perfectly with Boston Lager. Boston Lager’s doughy notes from the malt complement the rich and creamy sweet notes from the mozzarella and the ricotta cheese and slightly sweet character from the clams. The pie’s slightly savory oregano flavor will emphasize the citrus characters of the beer’s Noble hops while the chili flakes finish this pairing with a little heat that is balanced by a complex and lingering finish.
Is your mouth watering yet? Check out the recipe below and feel free to try it while rooting for your favorite team…
1 risen ball of Samuel Adams Boston Lager Infused Dough (approx. 16 oz. – get the recipe here)
About ½ cup (3 oz.) chopped clams from one 6.5 oz. can; drain and reserve juice
About ½ cup (4 oz.) whole milk ricotta
About ½ cup loosely packed (2 oz.) whole milk mozzarella
1 teaspoon dried oregano plus more to shake on out of the oven
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more to shake on out of the oven
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus more for oiling your cookie sheet, pizza pan, or screen
2 tablespoons clam juice (leftover from your can of clams)
2 tablespoons (1/2 oz.) grated cheese (i.e.: parmesan or Romano cheese)
1) Mix clams, ricotta, mozzarella, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, olive oil, and clam juice. Set aside.
2) Stretch dough to desired diameter (12” thicker, 14” thinner), and lay on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, pizza pan, or screen.
3) Apply an even layer of clam/cheese/spice mixture to about ½” from the border of the crust.
4) Evenly sprinkle on the grated cheese to the very border of the crust.
5) Bake for 10-15 minutes at 500 degrees F or until your toppings are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
6) Out of the oven, drizzle on lemon juice and/or add more oregano and/or red pepper flakes to taste. Let rest a few minutes, and then cut, serve, and enjoy.
Looking for more cooking with Sam recipes? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website.
By: Jennifer Glanville
| Published: December 12th, 2014
This holiday season we have been enjoying one of our favorite pairings: craft beer and cheese. We’ve always appreciated the wide range of complex and distinct flavors craft beer and cheese offer on their own , but it turns out the similarities don’t end there. Brewing and cheesemaking share an intertwined history spanning thousands of years. They have evolved together for so long that they are a natural (and tasty) pairing. We wanted to explore this delicious relationship so we met with our friend Kurt Beecher Dammeier of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese to tell us all about the history of cheese.
Brewing and cheesemaking are both ancient arts and Kurt thinks of them as “cousins of the culinary world.” They are both derived from our earliest attempts to preserve food and drink, and they require high levels of skill, precision and the best ingredients possible to create a quality product. We both realized that while today’s brewers and cheesemakers are aided by advanced machinery, at the heart of our craft we are both still utilizing the same techniques that have been practiced for thousands of years. Brewers and cheesemakers alike are passionate and eager to experiment with ingredients and flavor profiles to create the best craft beer or cheese possible.
Kurt and I spent a day tasting a variety of our Winter Favorites brews and his handmade cheese to find the perfect pairings. There are thousands of flavor compounds from the hops, malt and yeast used in craft beers like Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and we discovered that these flavor compounds provide a variety of flavors when combined with different types of cheese. Boston Lager creates a wonderful marriage of flavor when featured in recipes or infused into cheese, enhancing the richness of the cheese with its subtle Noble hop character and beautiful piney, citrus and herbal notes. After a long day of tasting Kurt’s cheeses and our brews, we finally decided on the pairings we liked best. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!
We wrote down our tasting notes so anyone can sound like a cheese and beer expert while entertaining over the holidays. But remember, half the fun is trying different craft beers and cheese varieties until you find your favorite.
Winter Favorites Variety Pack & Beecher Handmade Cheese Perfect Pairings:
To find where the Winter Favorites variety pack is sold by you, check out our Find a Sam page.
To purchase Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, visit their website.
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: December 10th, 2014
It’s the holiday season, which means many of us are enjoying the company of friends and family at holiday gatherings. In honor of National Lager Day (clearly the best day of the year), we put together a lager pairing guide with some of our favorite foods that we enjoy during the holiday season. Cheers!
Looking for more beer and food pairings? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website.