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.

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LongShot Winners Announced!

Earlier today we gathered at Marlowe’s in Denver for brunch to do some final sampling and vote tallying to determine the three beers that would be crowned the 2012 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest winners. While all of the finalists were hoping to be victorious, there was a common “it’s just great to be here” shared by all the competitors. As one of the finalist said on Thursday night at the Great American Beer Festival, “…to be surrounded by this many talented brewers and have my beer among theirs, well, I didn’t think that’d be happening when I started my first mash a few years ago.”

Jim toasts with our three LongShot Winners

While last year’s winners featured three extremely malt-forward offerings, this year’s winners will bring a very different flavors to drinkers.  Starting with Samuel Adams employee winner, Dave Anderson won with a Strawberry Lager. Prior to announcing Dave as the employee winner Jim jokingly said, “the Cincinnati brewery is hoping that Dave doesn’t win because they’re not sure how they’re going to get 1,800 pounds of strawberry’s into the brew house.” This bright and refreshing wheat beer doesn’t skimp on the strawberry taste as Dave used three pounds of strawberry in every batch.  We loved the lingering, almost creamy, sweetness that this brew leaves on the palate. Sam drinkers who reach for our Cherry Wheat or Blackberry Witbier will enjoy this style.

Our next winner, James Schirmer of California, brewed an American wheat beer that we could envision drinking on a remote West Coast beach. Named Beerflower Wheat, we found this brew to be an awesome balance of smooth, sweet malt flavors with an interesting twist of citrus and herbal notes. While Jim introduced this beer he complimented James on his use of hibiscus which really gave the beer a delicate flavor while offering a slight floral and almost sweet aroma. A slightly darker beer then Dave’s Strawberry Lager, this brew will give you a nice medium body that finishes crisp on the palate.

A true coast to coast competition, our final winner Zach Adams (must be something in the last name) hails from Connecticut where he brewed an Imperial American IPA dubbed Magnificent Seven. For our Sam drinkers who enjoy a nice hoppy offering, this will be your favorite. Poured with a beautiful bronze coloring, we enjoyed the hop bitterness with hints of grapefruit, pine and earthy notes that are traditional in American hops. Depending on who you ask, this medium-bodied brew will also offer a wide variety of aroma ranging from caramel to citrus/lemon to piney. We caught Zach’s buddy Pat who traveled with him to Denver who was sharing the good news with family back home in Conneticut. A humorous ’I wish I had payed more attention while Zach was brewing in the garage’ was shared by Pat.We’re excited to get started on production of these three brews (well, except maybe for Dave’s) with an eye on releasing in February of 2013. We look forward to sharing more of these three talented homebrewers stories in the coming months leading up.

Congratulations to our three winners and to the over 1,000 entries we received! Cheers to the growth of craft beer… one homebrew at a time.

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Looking Back on SAVOR 2012

After a few weeks of catching up on operations here at the brewery, I’ve finally found a couple minutes to jot down some thoughts about the endless food and beer wonders at this year’s SAVOR event. For those not familiar with SAVOR, it’s a beer festival unlike any you may have attended before. As the website describes, SAVOR is a “must-attend for craft beer aficionados and foodies alike” and as an avid fan of both, this event definitely lives up to the description. SAVOR takes place in the beautiful National Building Museum in Washington D.C. (again, this isn’t your everyday beer festival) and 75 breweries are there pouring their brews with appetizers that compliment each style. The food and beer combinations that come together never cease to impress me and they seem to get better each and every year (I’ve been each of its five years of existence). You may recall the collaboration brew we released with Dogfish Head Craft Breweryat last year’s SAVOR event.

Grumpy Monk Belgian IPA paired with Burrata on toast with arugula pesto and lemon zest.

Events like SAVOR exemplify the fusion of these two movements and demonstrate the boundless creativity in the craft beer community. I frequently tell friends who want to jump into cooking with beer, the flavors offered from beer are much more complex than wine and there really is no way to make a dish unpalatable because of the addition of beer. I can honestly say I’ve never created a dish with beer that I didn’t enjoy. Sure recipe tweaks and changes are a part of being a good cook, but removing beer as an ingredient is never an option for this cook. I knew I was onto something when my friends started planning what they were drinking on a Sunday afternoon during football season based on what I was cooking. Trust me, if you knew this crew, you’d understand how proud a moment it was.

This year I wanted to bring an array of  flavors to SAVOR for attendees to try. We brought our Samuel Adams® Grumpy Monk (from our IPA Hop-ology variety pack) because of its unique contrasting flavors between its spicy clove & fruit notes of Belgian yeast and hoppy bitterness of an IPA. Grumpy Monk was paired with Burrata (a fresh Italian cheese) on toast with arugula pesto and lemon zest which helped cleaned a drinker’s palate with every sip. We also brought a beer that is special to me, Samuel Adams® Oyster Stout, which is brewed with actual oyster’s (15 pounds to be exact) from Wellfleet, Massachusetts, a popular vacation destination where I spent my summers since I was old enough to remember. The roasted flavors with a hint of saltiness in this dry stout were paired with prosciutto wrapped in grilled asparagus and shaved manchego to create an excellent balance in flavors.

Among other brewers in attendance, here are a few (of the many great) pairings that stuck out to me:

  • Smoked Vienna Lager from Bell’s Brewery Inc. (Paired with Duck confit taco, queso fresco, pickled cherry)
  • Indra Kunindra from Ballast Point Brewing Company (Paired with Coconut macaroon, whipped crème fraiche and lemon zest)
  • Highway 78 Scotch Ale aged in Scotch Barrels from Stone Brewing Company (Paired with Butterscotch cheesecake)
  • Noble Rot from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Paired with Warm Maryland Blue crab; shaved cauliflower curry; pickled grapes and lavosh cracker)

Our Brewery Ambassador Coordinator Adam and Jim share a laugh at this years SAVOR.

Hopefully, this has helped whet your appetite for all that’s possible with food and beer combinations. I can’t stress enough how easy and fun cooking with beer can be and the amount of variety that beer offers as an ingredient. They key to success (at least for me) is a love of beer and food, a creative imagination, and no fear of failure.

I’ll be sure to check back in with some fun pairings I’m working on… especially during football season!

Cheers!

We’re Celebrating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812

Tall Ships and naval vessels from across the world are embarking on Boston now through July 5 to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the historic role played by the US Navy and the USS Constitution in the conflict, and the composing of our national anthem – The Star Spangled Banner.

A look at the Tall Ships in Boston

We are proud to support this commemoration by offering all sailors private tours at our Boston Brewery. We are also working with the following Boston bars and restaurants to support the troops.  Be sure to stop by and try Boston’s original craft beer- Samuel Adams Boston Lager® and refreshing Samuel Adams® Summer Ale:

Atlantic Beer Garden
Bell in Hand
Black Rose
Blackstone Grill
Cheers
Clarke’s Faneuil Hall
Coogan’s
Durgin Park
Durty Nelly’s
Green Dragon
Hennessy’s
Jose McIntyres
Mr. Dooley’s
Ned Devine’s
Paddy O’s
Porter’s Bar
Purple Shamrock
West End Johnnie’s
Whiskey Priest