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.
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: December 2nd, 2014
Entrepreneurs nationwide in the food, beverage, and craft brewing industries have been perfecting their two minute business pitches as part of our Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition. This national contest offers small business owners the chance to win a $10,000 grant, extended coaching and mentorship from members of our team, and an opportunity to pitch their product to key retailers and buyers.
We’ve hosted four regional “Pitch Room” competitions this year in Chicago, Denver, Boston, and New York City. We’ve heard from a total of 23 small business owners who had just two minutes to pitch their products to a panel of expert judges ranging from members of the Sam Adams team (including Jim Koch), retailers, buyers, and business experts. Following the pitch, the small business owners were offered valuable feedback putting them one step closer to perfecting their sales pitch. When a small business is starting out, sometimes all they have is their pitch or their story, so improving this pitch goes a long way to enhance one’s selling abilities at the offset.
As a new element of the competition, we partnered with Entrepreneur magazine to host a “Wild Card” Competition, giving small business owners across the country that couldn’t attend a regional competition the chance to submit their best pitch by uploading a two minute pitch video online. Once we narrowed that pool down to X finalists, our drinkers helped us choose who would be moving on to the Pitch Room Finals (more on that below).
This year we have nine finalists who will be participating in the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Finals in New York City on December 4th!
Meet the finalists:
Winner: Christine Welch, CoffeeCake Connection – West Chicago IL. CoffeeCake Connection bakes gourmet and gluten free coffee cakes.
Runner-Up: Fernando Gutierrez, Torti Products – Highland, IN. Torti Products offers ready to bake authentic flour tortillas, available in white and whole wheat.
Winner: David and Jennifer Bacon, Flapjacked – Broomfield, CO. Flapjacked offers protein pancake mixes that are healthy and easy to prepare (just add water).
Runner-Up: Douglas Michaels, Noble Savage - Wheat Ridge, CO. Noble Savage creates frozen paleo meals to offer people a delicious, nutritious alternative to the rest of the convenient food choices currently available.
Winner: Laurie Meizler, Joos – Newton, MA. Joos makes 100% organic, fresh, non-pasteurized fruit and vegetable juices, and also offers a Joos Cleanse program which includes access to a certified health counselor and/or registered dietician.
Winner: Margaret and Frank Lunn, HotPot Coffee – Chatham, NH. HotPot Coffee develops gourmet hot and spicy coffee beans that are custom blended and expertly roasted for unique flavors such as Chipotle Chocolate and Cayenne Bourbon.
Winner: Matt Bachman and Ben Gordon, Wandering Bear Coffee – New York, NY. Wandering Bear Coffee brews cold brew coffee and offers them in an eco-friendly box (that is often delivered to offices in NYC) that contains 12 servings.
Runner-Up: Rynn Caputo, Caputo Brothers Creamery – Spring Grove, PA. Caput Brothers Creamery makes frozen fermented cheese curd. They are one of the only creameries to offer cultured Cagliata.
Wild Card Competition
Winner: Shelly Fasulko and John Pippin, Brewnuts – Cleveland, OH. Brewnuts uses craft beer as a key ingredient in their delicious donut recipes and glazes, offering seasonal styles to reflect the craft beer scene throughout the year.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition this year! We’ll be announcing the overall winner after the Pitch Room Finals take place on December 4th in New York City.
If you’re in the New York City area, join us for the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Finals! RSVP here.
By: Jennifer Glanville
| Published: November 24th, 2014
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: 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: 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 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: 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!
By: Jennifer Glanville
| Published: November 19th, 2014
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.
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.
- 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
By: Sam Adams Editorial Team
| Published: November 12th, 2014
In 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.