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! Read More

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.

Read More

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. Read More

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!) Read More