A Special Brew to Commemorate this Year’s Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon has been a cherished tradition in our hometown for well over a hundred years. It is a unique athletic event, open to athletes from all countries, backgrounds, genders, and beliefs. It is also a celebration of the city of Boston, as hundreds of thousands of spectators line the race route to cheer for the commitment, determination, and stamina of the participants.

This is our third year as a proud sponsor of the Boston Marathon, and for the third year in a row we are brewing a commemorative beer for the race – Boston 26.2 Brew – to toast the runners and spectators.

Last year, following the tragic events that took place on race day, we committed to donating all of the profits from the sale of the beer to The Greg Hill Foundation, which provided immediate support to survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy and their families. This year, we are continuing our commitment and again will donate all profits from the sale of Boston 26.2 Brew to The Greg Hill Foundation for the ongoing needs of the survivors and their families.

This year is especially meaningful to me as we were able to host some of the families that had been impacted by the tragedy, at our brewery, to brew one of the first batches of Boston 26.2 Brew. It was truly an honor for us to all come together to brew this special beer and it was a fun and memorable day for everyone.

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We’re proud to be a part of the Boston community and know this this year will be the biggest and most meaningful marathon the city of Boston has ever seen. I look forward to raising a pint and celebrating the runners, spectators, and all Bostonians on this momentous day.

About The Commemorative Brew:

Boston 26.2 Brew is a Gose style beer, which offers a lighter body with a slightly lower alcohol level (4.5%) than many of our other styles, and is fitting for those either running in the race or cheering on their favorite runners on race day. The brew has light cereal notes from malted and unmalted wheat, rounded out by a spicy, peppery character with a soft mineral quality from a touch of salt.

The brew is available on draft now for a limited time and will be served at select bars and restaurants along the race course and in Boston (see below for a list of bars and restaurants). The special batch from our “Brew Day” will be available only at our Boston Brewery at a fundraising event on Wednesday, 3/26. RSVP here.

Where Boston 26.2 Brew is being poured:

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Everything You Need to Know About the 2013 Release of Utopias

If you haven’t heard of or had Utopias before, it is a brew that challenges the notion of what a beer can be.

It is an extraordinary brew that is the result of complex and carefully timed brewing – it is a blend of batches, some having been aged more than 20 years in a variety of woods in our Barrel Room. (If you’d like to learn more about the history of Utopias, check out this post).

This year’s Utopias was aged in casks from Buffalo Trace Distillery and eight-year-old Port barrels from Portugal. We then blended it with a touch of our Kosmic Mother Funk ® (KMF), a Belgian-style ale barrel-aged for at least nine months (and up to two years) in Hungarian oak tuns.

This is the first time we’ve blended KMF into Utopias. Here’s what Jim had to say about the new addition: “The KMF brings a whole new spectrum of flavors and complexity to the beer, including brighter fruit notes like cherries and plums and just a hint of earthiness.”

Utopias Comp2 (2)Utopias is a strong, rich, uncarbonated dark beer with fruit notes and a rich malty sweetness, reminiscent of a deep, rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry while being surprisingly light on the palate.

Our Find a Sam page will tell you where you can find Utopias, but keep in mind that it is likely that many locations will sell their few bottles quickly. If you are planning to travel a far distance to acquire a bottle, we strongly recommend calling the retailer ahead of time to ensure they have it on hand.

We brewed fewer than 15,000 bottles this year, so it is a truly rare drinking experience.

NOTE: Thirteen states prohibit its sale because its alcohol content exceeds the legal limit for beer: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.

So, how much will it cost you? Retailers are free to set their own pricing, but we have placed a suggested retail price of $199.00 per bottle.

Because this beer is un-carbonated and high in ABV, it can be opened and closed to be enjoyed when you want to enjoy it. Don’t store this beer in the fridge… a cool/dark place is ideal. And don’t be afraid to hold onto the bottle… the liquid will only get better with age!

Our brewers recommend serving Utopias as an ideal after-dinner drink or toasting a special occasion at room temperature (about 70°F) in 2oz pours.

This year we worked with Ted’s Cigars to create a limited-edition, Utopias-seasoned cigar, to be enjoyed on its own or as a pairing with the brew. The Utopias-seasoned cigars are made with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, long leaf Dominican Republic binder, and tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Nicaragua, and of course, seasoned with Samuel Adams Utopias through Ted’s proprietary process of aromatic seasoning, which marries the complex flavors of both the cigar and the Utopias.

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When enjoying Utopias and the seasoned cigar together, the beer brings out a creamy, spicy sweetness from the cigar and enhances the subtle leather and smoky character in the cigar’s finish. You can purchase Ted’s Utopias-seasoned cigars at Ted’s Cigars during November and December.

If you get your hands on a bottle and/or cigar be sure to let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!

351 Sam Adams: A Q&A with Todd Ruggere

MassBeerTour04bOver the past year, Massachusetts resident Todd Ruggere has visited all 351 towns in the state to enjoy a Samuel Adams; all while raising money for the Jimmy Fund. We had the chance to talk to Todd about his favorite memories from the tour, including an interesting day at a nudist colony.

Q: What made you decide to do this?

A: For years, I wanted to come up with a cool way to raise money for children’s cancer research in Boston. When I decided to explore Massachusetts by drinking a beer in every town, I thought this would be the perfect way to raise money. Who wouldn’t want to drink beer for charity?

Q: Why are you raising money for this particular cause?

A: I’ve always been touched by the Jimmy Fund commercials on TV. I have been fortunate not to have anyone close to me have cancer, but at most of the stops throughout the state, I met someone that either has cancer, or has a close family member with cancer. It affects everyone.

Q: Did all 351 towns serve beer?

A: Surprisingly, no! There are approximately 35 dry towns where there is nowhere to drink. In those towns, I depended on the generosity of local people to invite me into their homes. Residents of Colrain, Heath, Florida, Peru, Middlefield, Mt. Washington, and many more had cookouts and supplied Sam Adams for my visit. The town of Alford actually had a concert when I showed up. The most difficult location to coordinate was Gosnold, which is on the Elizabeth Islands. The Town Hall representative called me to invite me over, arranged for a ferry, and had an event where I was able to meet all of the 22 year-round residents. The memories I have will last me a lifetime.

Q: What is the craziest thing you have done or seen on your journey?

A: If I had to pick one, it would have to be town #340, Hancock. Back in May, I received a phone call from the owner of Berkshire Vista nudist resort in Hancock who invited me to come there for the day to have my beer. I knew this is something I had to do. It was quite the experience once you get over the initial shock – the place was gorgeous. If I were a nudist, for more than just one day, this is the place I’d go!

Q: What is your favorite style of Sam Adams?

A: My favorite will always be Samuel Adams Boston Lager, but during this quest I’ve had time to try just about every style of Samuel Adams. I also love Latitude 48, Double Agent IPL, and OctoberFest.

Todd will have his final beer of the tour tonight at the Boston Brewery with our very own Jim Koch. If you’d like to learn more about Todd’s journey, check out his website 351samadams.com.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest Celebration to Raise Funds for Boston Marathon Victims

edited ofest photoWe are excited to announce that we will be partnering with The Greg Hill Foundation to host a Celebrity Stein Hoist at our annual Octoberfest event on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Park Plaza Castle!  Former players from the Boston Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and New England Patriots will go head to head—or stein to stein—to compete in a traditional stein hoisting competition to raise money for Boston Marathon victims.

So, who will these athletes turned hoisters be?

Joe Andruzzi, former New England Patriots offensive lineman
Dana Barros, former Boston Celtics point guard
Lou Merloni, radio personality and former Boston Red Sox second baseman
Bob Sweeney, former Boston Bruins center

We will also be joined by Greg Hill, founder of The Greg Hill Foundation and host of WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show.

Need more reason to join us?  We will also be offering a very unique tasting booth. For a $10 donation to the Greg Hill Foundation, you can sample Utopias, one of the strongest beers in the world (29% ABV).  According to Jim, “ Utopias invokes the flavors of rich vintage port, fine Cognac or aged sherry, while feeling surprisingly light on the palate.” It’s a tasting experience you won’t soon forget.

Tickets for both Friday night and Saturday’s all day Octoberfest Celebration are on sale now.  It’s a release party, and a celebration of all things good about beer, brewing and Octoberfest in Boston.  The event will feature more than 15 specialty beer styles, stein hoisting competitions, food and beer pairings, giveaways and more!

Prost!

Boston Lager’s first flight – and Jim’s first tasting at 35,000 feet

Social1_INSTAGRAMEver since the new Sam Cans hit shelves this spring, we’ve been hearing great feedback and we’ve seen with our own eyes, how excited drinkers are to take the Sam Can with them out into the great outdoors.  Being able to take your beer with you where bottles aren’t allowed is one of the benefits of canning beer.

Now we’re taking Boston Lager to new heights.  Literally.  Be on the lookout for the Sam Can on JetBlue flights!

To celebrate, earlier today Jim and Marty St. George (JetBlue’s SVP of Marketing and Commercial) surprised travelers with an in-air Sam Can tasting (a first for Jim!). On the flight (headed to NYC from Boston), Jim handed out Boston Lager cans (to all the lucky 21+ passengers) and took the group through a sampling of his first and favorite brew … 35,000-feet in the air.

Jim Tasting In Flight

Jim and Marty St. George tastes passengers on JetBlue flight from Boston to JFK Airport in New York City.

Jim in T5

Jim kept the festivities going in the JFK T5 Terminal.

Jim reported back that the July 4th holiday travelers couldn’t have been happier about their choice of ‘in-flight entertainment.’

And for those folks sticking close to home this holiday – don’t worry. Now that Boston Lager is available in cans, it’s the perfect brew to accompany you to the grill, beach on the golf course or even on a boat.

Enjoy your Independence Day and be sure to show us where you’re taking your Boston Lager can this summer.

 

Celebrate National Lager Day on December 10 with Us!

It’s no secret that all of us here at the brewery love lager. And we thought – what better way to celebrate National Lager Day on December 10th than with the brew that gave Jim his start back in 1984, surrounded by friends. So on Monday, we encourage you to raise a pint with us as we salute our favorite family of beer – lager!

For those of you not familiar with this style, lager is a type of beer that encompasses a wide variety of styles ranging from light pilsners to rauchbiers to darker bocks. So what links them together?  Lagers are fermented and conditioned for longer aging times than ales at lower temperatures which yields clean flavors and allows the malt and hops in the beer to shine. Our Samuel Adams Boston Lager is brewed with two-row malted barley to give the beer its body and flavors ranging from slightly sweet to roasted, and Bavarian Noble hops which impart floral, piney and citrus notes. To take our brew a step forward  we age Boston Lager longer to maximize and enhance the complex flavor combinations.

Now back to National Lager day. To help pay homage to this style of beer, we’re hosting The Great Samuel Adams Boston Lager Log Off on Monday night. We want you to close the computer and put the phone away for a few hours and kick back with a delicious craft lager at your favorite watering hole in celebration of good beer and good conversation.

Here’s how to celebrate National Lager Day and participate in the Log Off with us:

  • Step 1: Follow and tweet @SamuelAdamsBeer with the hashtag #BostonLagerLogOff and where you’re celebrating National Lager Day; or post on Facebook and tag Samuel Adams (be sure to snap a photo of you and your lager).
  • Step 2: Then log off, just for a bit. Shut off your phone and/or computer and join us in celebrating National Lager Day with a Boston Lager, free from distractions.

Let’s face it… the best conversations are held in-person and usually with a beer in-hand. Don’t believe us? Here are two great stories from Jim and our Boston Brewery manager:

On December 10th be sure to put down the phone and pick-up a Boston Lager!

“One of my favorite things about being a brewer is coming up with ideas for new beers and experimenting with ingredients. Some of the best ideas we have ever come up with have been when a few of us brewers are together, relaxing and enjoying a pint of Boston Lager. A few years ago we were drinking some Boston Lager and talking about how much we love the Noble hops we use and the flavor these specific hops give to the beer. We thought how great it would be if we could make a beer with Noble hops so fresh that they got from the vine in Germany to our kettle in Boston in under 24 hours.  Well, we made it happen with only 45 minutes to spare. And it’s times like this I’m grateful for good conversations and good beer and the role they both had in making this special beer happen.” – Jennifer Glanville, brewer


“My best experience over a Boston Lager would have to be one time at a restaurant, on a blind date. I disconnected from everything I had going on, and had a great lunch with great conversation. We were married a year later.” – Jim Koch, founder and brewer

 

“Craft beer lovers are a special bunch.  You talk to them about a beer they drank years ago and they remember every detail…the color, the nuanced aroma, how long the hop flavor lingered…They even recollect where they were and who they were with when they had it.  The best beers can be like liquid time machines!

For me, one of my favorite memories of having a Boston Lager is actually the first time I had one.  It was one of my first “beer memories”.  I can tell you the year I had it, the pub I was at, the friends I was with and even the band that was playing.  I specifically remember the beer…how much I loved the aroma, then the flavor…and then I was hooked.” – Grant McCracken, brewer

 

Be sure to join us on Monday as we log-off and enjoy time with friends and family… in-person! Cheers!

A Holiday Chocolate Box for the Craft Beer Lover

Most of us here at the brewery know what a great pairing beer and chocolate can be (as we’ve alluded to before), but we thought it would come as a surprise to others who might think of wine as THE traditional pairing. So to prove our point, we came together with our friends at TCHO (pronounced “choh”) to design the Samuel Adams Beer Lover’s Chocolate Box, a gift box that pairs a premium chocolate style with brews from our Winter Classics Variety Pack. (Who wouldn’t want to find this combo in their stocking?)

Truly the best of both worlds.

TCHO is an artisanal craft chocolate maker in San Francisco. They take their chocolate as seriously as we take our beer, so we jumped at the chance to work with them. TCHO’s Chief Chocolate Maker Brad Kintzer and I sat down to taste, discuss and thoughtfully pair our beers with their wide variety of chocolates.

Comparing both of our respective crafts, Brad and I were amazed by the similarities in the chocolate making process and the brewing process and how complementary the resulting flavors can be.  Many of the flavors found in cocoa and chocolate can also be found in beer, and you can really taste the synergy when they are paired together. For example, my favorite pairing (if I had to pick) was probably our Samuel Adams White Christmas with TCHO’s PureNotes™ Dark “Fruity” – I was surprised by how nicely the berry notes of the chocolate complemented the citrus and wheat characters of the ale.

As many of you know, this is not the first time we’ve brought our crafts together and used the incredible flavors of chocolate and beer to enhance each other. Each holiday season we brew Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, a smooth, rich and dark beer that is part of our Winter Classics Variety Pack, with a blend of cocoa nibs, including Ecuador nibs from TCHO, to impart complex aromas and flavors.

So what makes the pairing of chocolate and beer so good? For us, it’s the malty sweetness and rich flavors of craft beer that enhance and enrich the flavors of rich premium chocolate. The carbonation of the beer also cleanses our palate from the heavy finish of the chocolate. So after each sip our palate is ready for another taste of sweet chocolate.

We think this assortment of specialty chocolates will prove to any foodie that beer and chocolate are the perfect combination. Want to try it for yourself or grab a gift for your favorite craft beer lover? The Samuel Adams Beer Lover’s Chocolate Box is available by visiting TCHO online with limited quantities also available at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery gift shop. Our Winter Classics Variety Pack is available through December and can be found by visiting our Find a Sam page.

The Samuel Adams Beer Lover’s Chocolate Box includes 12 8g chocolates, and the first 150 orders will also include two Samuel Adams Perfect Pint Glasses.

 

Latitude 48’s ‘Hop Belt’ Gets another Notch

Like any true craftsman, brewers never stop working at perfecting their craft. No matter how delicious a particular beer might be, a brewer will take each sip with the thought of “what could I do to make this brew even better?”

This brings us to our latest release of Latitude 48 IPA.

In furthering our experimental brewing process around India Pale Ale style, we’ve been experimenting with different hop styles over the past year and have decided to add Mosaic hops to the hop line-up in our Latitude 48 IPA. This newer style, from the Yakima, WA growing region, provided our brewers a floral and tropical fruit character and a fresh, unique flavor that we felt would be well received from Sam drinkers with a love for hop-forward brews.

Jim first encountered this unique hop style during one of his trips to the west coast back in the mid-2000’s and picked-out thirty pounds of the variety.  He first used Mosaic hops in the creation of our limited-edition beer, SAVOR Flowers, which was brewed in collaboration with Sam Calagione and our friends at Dogfish Head for the SAVOR Festival back in June of 2011. If you were at SAVOR or had a chance to try this one-time brew can attest to the great floral notes that Mosaic hops provides in a beer.

Our 2013 batch of Latitude 48 IPA is driven by the new Mosaic hop variety, which adds a fresh, unique flavor to this already-complex brew. Latitude 48 will stay true to its name, showcasing only hops from 48th latitude along the “hop belt” of the Northern Hemisphere which includes: Bavarian Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops for a citrus and spicy note, UK east Kent Goldings hops for an earthy and woody character, and US Simcoe and Zeus hops for piney, grapefruit flavors. An upfront sweetness will also will be present within Latitude 48 along with notes of honey and caramel from the malt, which nicely complement the complex hop character.

The 2013 release of Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA will roll out in February and will be available in 6-packs and 12-packs nationwide.

Raising a Pint to Beer Bloggers

Before you get the wrong idea, this post is not a fluff piece pandering to bloggers in hopes of securing a few positive pieces for Sam Adams. Variety is the spice of life and we know people have a wide variety of opinions on many of our beers and craft beer in general. The community of beer bloggers helps keep the beer industry healthy and dynamic.  While we’re always happy to read a positive review, we respect the not so nice reviews and the downright negative ones as well. Honest feedback is the only way to get better at one’s craft and brewers are no different. We take feedback and review however we can get it… beer forums, blog posts and even check-in applications such as Pintley and Untappd. Of course the feedback we receive in a face to face conversation is always the best as it gives us a chance to really dive into the positives (or negatives) of a person’s thoughts of a beer we’ve created.

This brings me to the Beer Bloggers Conference I attended in Indianapolis a few weeks ago. Talk about a passionate group of people who love beer! While my visit was short due to family obligations back in Boston, I had a great time chatting with many of the bloggers in attendance. I loved feeding off their energy as we discussed their favorite beer style, the first Sam Adams they’d ever had, and what homebrew might have been aging back home. I was asked the tough questions too, like if we were ever going to can our beer (Jim’s said that day will come someday, I just don’t know when) and when I expected Jim to “retire” (I can’t envision that day, let alone speculate on when it would happen!)

One of my biggest takeaways from chatting with different bloggers was that drinkers today are more engaged than they were ten years ago when I started. As brewers have become more experimental in what they brew, the drinker has embraced the variety that craft brewing can provide. While I won’t pretend to be the second coming of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, I’d guess the rise of social media has helped seed the growth in engagement. And as the U.S. craft beer industry continues to rise, we’ll likely see the engagement and discussion for craft beer rise as well!

I also enjoyed (as I have many times before) listening to Garrett Oliver’s, brewmaster from Brooklyn Brewery, key note address before we headed off to dinner. Garret spoke about the changes he had seen over the years being in the industry and how brewers are like artists – we all listen to the feedback but at the end of the day we create the masterpieces we want to create.  I’ll raise a glass to that! While there is always a time and place to come together and collaborate on a great beer, I agree that at the end of the day you have to brew the styles and use the ingredients you’re passionate about.

Enough blogging… time to get back to the brewery! Thank you to everyone who came up to say hello and introduce yourself. Maybe one day the conference will come to Boston so we can have you stop by the brewery for a beer!

Until then…Cheers!