Guide to Valentine’s Day Beer and Food Pairings

Some people mistakenly think of Valentine’s Day as a “wine holiday,” (we’re using our finger quotes on this one) but we know better. Instead, we think you should impress your Valentine with some excellent beer and food pairings! Chef David Burke and Gianni Cavicchi, the Beer and Wine Expert at Tour de France Restaurant Group NYC, compiled a pairing guide for common aphrodisiac foods and a few of the beers in our Spring Brews Variety Pack.  You know, to help make this Valentine’s Day one to remember…

Oysters: Pair with Cold Snap

The saltiness of the oysters is enhanced by the citrus notes in Cold Snap.  The pairing ends with a light, crisp finish, and the wheat and subtle pepper notes in the beer cleanse your palate. Read More

Fight the Chill with the Grill: Congratulations to our Winner!

This winter we challenged you to not let the cold and snow keep you from firing up your grill and enjoying a Boston Lager – and you didn’t let us down. We had quite a few Sam drinkers brave the weather and send us their #GrillingWithSam photos to prove it.

grill with sam 1We’re excited to congratulate our winner Mike D. from Shirley, NY who submitted several photos throughout the winter. Mike is now the proud owner of a Samuel Adams Weber Grill!

Thank you to everyone who participated! We wanted to give you one more #GrillingWithSam recipe from Chef Vinson Petrillo to try out before winter ends:

Grilled Samuel Adams Boston Lager Marinated Hanger Steak
Serves 6

6 portions of cleaned hanger steak, 6 ounces apiece
6 cloves crushed garlic
½ cup Samuel Adams Boston Lager
¼ cup olive oil
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
1 tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Pinch of red pepper flakes

For The Steak:
Marinate the steaks for up to four hours with the garlic, olive oil, rosemary leaves, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Light a grill hot enough for the steaks to sear, but not to burn. Cook the steaks to medium rare or just below. Once done, let them rest over fresh herbs to absorb the flavor and serve with the Samuel Adams Boston Lager glazed early winter roots.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager Glazed Early Winter Roots

1 bunch white asparagus
1 bunch Thumbelina carrots, peeled and quartered
1 bunch baby turnips, washed, peeled and quartered
1 bunch baby radishes, washed and quartered
1ounce honey
¼ cup Samuel Adams Boston Lager
½ cup unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Asparagus
Cut off the bottoms of the asparagus, leaving the tops 4-5 inches. Season heavily with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Grill the asparagus on all sides for a total of 3 minutes and remove from the grill.

Peel the asparagus after it has been grilled. This will allow the asparagus to have a grilled flavor without adding any color to the glazed roots.

Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and reserve.

For The Winter Roots
Fill a large pot with water and salt heavily. Set the pot on the stove and boil.

Remove and reserve the leaves from the turnips and radishes, then gently wash the leafless radishes and turnips in very cold running water. Dry them in a salad spinner.

In the pot of salted water, blanch the turnips, carrots, and radishes until just tender.
Remove the vegetables from the boiling water once blanched, and shock them quickly in an ice water bath until cold.

Transfer the vegetables into a sauce pot over heat along with the white asparagus. Add in the Samuel Adams Boston Lager and the honey.

Let the liquid come to a boil and turn the heat to low. Slowly stir in the butter, making sure not to break the liquid.

Season the glazed vegetables with salt and pepper and reserve warm for the plate.

Brush the radish and turnip leaves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the leaves until just tender and lightly colored.

On a warm plate, place the leaves down first and top with the glazed roots and white asparagus.

Cooking with Beer for the Big Game: Ms. Brandi’s ‘Sweet N Sassy’ Boston Lager Wing Sauce

chicken wingsPlanning on making homemade chicken wings for the big game on Sunday? Brewing the American Dream participant Brandi Watson of Ms. Brandi’s Wing and a Prayer Takeout & Catering in PA gave us a great wing sauce recipe that we think would be a big hit at any football viewing party.


2 12 oz. bottles of Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Chinese Hoison sauce
4 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1/3 cup grape jelly
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger
juice of 1/2 orange
2 tbsp. orange zest
4 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. water


In a saucepan, combine the first 6 ingredients, stir them over medium heat to making sure all sugar and jelly have blended and dissolved well. Add orange juice, orange zest, and cilantro. Let heat two minutes.

Combine the water and cornstarch in a small separate bowl, stir into the sauce, then let cook for five minutes to thicken the sauce.

Fry chicken wingettes separately and toss in the sauce to your liking – this recipe will coat 3 lbs. of wings.

Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing – and of course, pair with a Boston Lager!

Are you a small business owner in the Philadelphia area? Join us on February 24 for our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Speed Coaching event! Learn more and RSVP here.

Cooking with Beer for the Big Game: Cheese Boston Lager Sliders

Looking for a fun dish to snack on during the big game on Sunday? Chef David Burke gave us a recipe for Boston Lager Sliders and Boston Lager ketchup that are quick and easy to put prepare so you can enjoy the game just as much as you will enjoy the food (and beer)!

Boston Lager Sliders_Blog photo

Cheese Boston Lager Sliders (Yields 20 servings)


20 small burger buns or English muffins, halved
40 oz. ground beef
4 bottles Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Sliced pickles
40 slices American cheese, cut in 1 inch x 1 inch pieces
20 cherry tomatoes, skewered


Slice half of the bread. Scoop out ½ of the bread on the bottom portion. Fill with 2 oz. ground beef that has been tossed with Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Place on sheet pan upside down (on meat side) to brown meat for 3 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove from oven and top meat with cheese, thinly sliced pickles and top of English muffin. Heat in oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from heat and skewer with tomato. Serve immediately.

Boston Lager Ketchup (Yields 10 servings)


2 cups ketchup
2 cups mayonnaise
4 tbsp Boston Lager


Mix together all ingredients and serve with sliders.

Cooking with Beer for the Big Game: Samuel Adams Boston Lager Chili

Boston Lager ChiliThere’s just something about chili and football that go really well together. And when you throw Boston Lager into the mix, it can’t get much better! Chef David Burke created a recipe for Boston Lager Chili that will be the perfect pairing for Sunday’s game.


4 lbs ground beef
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 medium yellow pepper, diced
1 Spanish onion, diced
1 bottle Samuel Adams Boston Lager
½ cup tomato paste
1 cup whole peeled canned tomatoes
½ cup canned chili sauce
¾ cup red kidney beans
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp toasted ground coriander
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp Tabasco
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper


1) Brown meat with salt and pepper in a sauté pan. Let drain on the side on paper towels.

2) In same sauté pan, add peppers and onions with the spices and canola oil. Bloom the
spices. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes or until the spices are fragrant and the onions
and peppers begin to soften.

3) Add the lager, tomatoes and their juices, and tomato paste and bring to a simmer.
Return the meat to the pot and add the kidney beans and chili sauce. Stir in the hot
pepper sauce and season to taste with salt. Let the chili simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour
until thoroughly cooked and the flavors come together.

4) Serve in soup bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

This recipe will serve 8 people.

Cooking with Beer for the Big Game: Sausage, Beer, & Cheese Soup with Samuel Adams Cold Snap

Even though our team didn’t make it to the big game this year, we’re still looking forward to watching football with friends and family on Sunday. Karl’s Sausage Kitchen, a Boston based Brewing the American Dream beneficiary, came up with a great recipe that we think will be a crowd pleaser – no matter which team you’re rooting for.

Sausage, Beer & Cheese Soup with Samuel Adams Cold Snap



1/2 cup butter
1 chopped medium sized yellow onion
At least 1/2 cup chopped carrot
At least 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
7 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, shredded
7 ounces processed Swiss cheese, shredded
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound smoked sausage (Karl’s Hungarian Debrciner, Smoked Polish,
1 (12-ounce) Samuel Adams Cold Snap


Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Saute until softened. Add flour. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth and Samuel Adams Cold Snap. Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add cheese while stirring until just boiling and smooth. Add half-and-half, salt, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup has thickened. Cut smoked sausage into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a saucepan. Saute sausage over medium heat until heated through. It will probably take about 5 to 7 minutes. Add sausage to the soup, transfer to a large serving bowl and serve hot.

To find Cold Snap near you, check out our Find a Sam page.

Fight the Chill with the Grill: Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Samuel Adams Boston Lager Infused Crust

Last week was National Pizza Week and we thought we’d combine two of our passions to celebrate: cooking with beer and grilling. To help us with the finer points of making pizza on the grill, we called in some expert advice from our friend Kevin Kolman. Kevin is the Grill Master at Weber Grills, making him the go-to guy for all grilling techniques, products, and questions.

A Sam Fan shared his #GrillingWithSam photo as he fired up his grill and made a pizza on his Weber pizza stone with a Cold Snap.

A Sam Fan shared his #GrillingWithSam photo as he fired up his grill and made a pizza on his Weber pizza stone with a Cold Snap.

In the fall he helped us out with some tailgating tips and he was excited to share his advice on grilling pizzas, and a recipe infusing Samuel Adams, as we find ourselves in the throes of football playoff season.

Q: How does grilling a pizza affect the flavor profile?

A: When grilling a pizza the grates provide carmelization (those beautiful restaurant quality marks) which brings out the flavor of the dough and enhances the taste.  Also, grilling the tomatoes, veggies and other favorite toppings provides extra flavor and takes a basic pizza to a whole new level.

Q: Do you need to do anything special to prepare your grill for a pizza? Are there any special tools you might need?

A: You do not need anything specific for grilling a pizza besides a 400-425 degree grill.  3-4 minutes per side and that’s about it. Now for those who love the traditional pizza crust, a pizza stone provides an awesome experience on a grill.  Besides that,  time, some patience and some good BEER to drink.  Preferably a Sam Adams!

Q: Do some toppings work better than others when grilling a pizza?

A: Actually all your traditional favorite toppings work excellent on the grill. What excites me about doing a pizza is adding something new to it. For instance, adding beer to the sauce or pairing the pizza with a certain type of  beer.  I think what makes grilling more exciting is incorporating new ingredients we might not have thought about before to make the pizza specialized and truly your own creation.

Q: What’s the best advice you have for someone who is grilling a pizza for the first time?

A: Make sure the grill is not too hot! 400-425 degrees is the ideal temperature. You can also check out this video for 10 easy tips for cooking a homemade pizza on a grill.

Ready to grill up a pizza? Here’s a recipe from Kevin for you to try out:

Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Samuel Adams Boston Lager Infused Crust

4 to 6 servings

Pizza Sauce
½ cup of favorite buffalo wing sauce
3 TBSP butter
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

4 boneless chicken breast
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. paprika
2 oz. olive oil

7 oz. pizza dough – use our Boston Lager infused crust pizza recipe!

8 oz. mozzarella cheese

In a saucepan, combine franks red-hot, butter, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.

Stir occasionally till butter is melted. Turn off and let stand.

Take chicken breast in a plastic bag.  Combine salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika.  Stir and add to bag along with the olive oil.  Marinade the chicken breasts for 1 hour is possible or coat evenly if time does not permit.

Place chicken breast on the grill making sure the temperatures of the grill is 425-450.  We are looking for a medium direct heat.  Grill 4-5 minutes per side depending on size and take off at 165 and let rest.

Preparing pizzas for grill:

  • Let dough rise a few hours before use (cold dough will not stretch thin).
  • Stretch from the middle
  • Use parchment paper or tin foil with olive oil to move dough to grill
  • The grill needs to be set up for direct medium heat 425-450
  • Grill the pizza dough 3-4 minutes on one side.
  • Clean, hot grates let dough release from the grates when it’s cooked
  • Remove dough from grill to prepare pizza
  • The grill marks should be facing up at you and begin to cover the dough with the buffalo chicken sauce.  Add diced chicken breast to the pizza and any addition sauce that is left over and cover with cheese
  • Grill pizza 4 minutes per side making sure you keep the lid closed which will help melt the cheese.

And finally, slice pizza and enjoy a Samuel Adams Boston Lager!

Planning on trying out the recipe? Don’t let the cold hold you back! Fight the chill with the grill and grab a Samuel Adams Boston Lager and share your grilling photos on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #GrillingWithSam for a chance to win a Weber Grill and Samuel Adams prize pack! We’ll be accepting entries through the end of January.


Fight the Chill with the Grill (and Boston Lager)!

When temperatures drop and the sun starts setting earlier, there’s an army of brave souls that emerge with a passion for grilling outdoors, and I have to admit that I’m one of them. So when the flakes started falling here in Boston this past weekend, I was grilling outside with a Boston Lager in hand and, of course, beer infused in the recipe.

Winter Grilling 6This winter, we’re teaming up with Chef Vinson Petrillo who is known for his boundary pushing dishes (you may have seen him on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’), to create unexpected winter grilling recipes enhanced by Boston Lager.

We’re hoping these will inspire you to get outside this winter to grill and when you do, we want you to share your photos with us! Join in via Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #GrillingWithSam to share your favorite winter grilling photos, tips, stories and recipes. Those who post using the hashtag will be entered to win prizes, including a Samuel Adams customized Weber® grill (like the one in the photo above) and a Samuel Adams prize pack.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager on its own is the perfect cold weather beer. It’s a full-bodied, robust brew with a rich malty character, balanced by spicy hop and sweet caramel notes. And when you combine Boston Lager with grilling, there’s really nothing better. People tend to be a lot more daring when they are outside grilling than when they have a saucepan in the kitchen, hence a perfect time to incorporate beer! From a flavor perspective, grilling can give food a little bit of caramelized sweetness from the flames. Boston Lager’s maltiness compliments this slight sweetness while the hops in the beer give a little spice to balance everything out.

So don’t be daunted by the cold. There’s no better time to be a winter griller and no better way to grill than with beer. Head outside to fight the winter chill with a grill. Below is one of Chef Vinson’s favorite Samuel Adams Boston Lager winter grilling recipes. We hope you’ll try it out! Don’t forget to share your photos on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #GrillingWithSam!

Samuel Adams Boston Lager Brined and Grilled Pork Rack
Serves 6

1 rack of pork (3-4 pounds, bone on, with 6 bones attached)
2 cups apple cider
2 cups Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Canola oil for coating the pork

For the Samuel Adams Boston Lager Brine:
Heat all the ingredients together, minus the pork and canola oil, in a saucepan. Once the mixture comes to a boil, pour it into a container that can fit in an ice bath. Cool the mixture in an ice bath until the liquid is at 40 degrees F.

For the Grilled Pork Rack:
Place the pork rack in the brine and refrigerate overnight for at least 12 hrs. When the pork is fully brined, remove from the brine and discard the brining liquid.

Place the pork on a cooling rack so it can dry, and let it come to room temperature before grilling.

Light a grill with coals, but be sure to offset the coals slightly, making one side hotter than the other.

Portion the pork rack into six 1-1 ½ inch chops. Generously season with salt and pepper and a light coating of canola oil, so the pork sears but doesn’t stick to the grill.

Place the pork on the hot side of the lighted grill and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side (until it begins to brown). Be sure to move the pork often to prevent flare-ups. After the pork chops cook for 2 minutes on each side, move them to the cooler side of the grill and turn them every 2 minutes. The pork is done when the internal temperature reaches 140-145 degrees F. Once done, take the pork chops off the grill and let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Samuel Adams Apple Butter.

Samuel Adams Apple Butter

2 ½ cups Samuel Adams Boston Lager
6 Honeycrisp apples
3 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pinches Penzy apple pie seasoning
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, kept cold
Salt and pepper to taste

Gather a cast-iron pan or a heavy skillet that can be used on the grill.

Peel and core the apples, cut them in half, then cut each half into four pieces. This should result in a total of eight pieces per apple. Peel and slice the onions evenly.

Add the onions, apples, apple pie seasoning and a pinch of salt to the pan, and sweat them until translucent. Once the onions are translucent, add the Samuel Adams Boston Lager and reduce by half. Once reduced, take the mixture off the heat and slowly start adding the cold butter, stirring with a whisk. Add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time, taking caution not to break the sauce. Once all of the butter is added, you’ll have apple butter for the pork chops.

Tailgating Tips from Weber Grill Master Kevin Kolman

kevinkolmanKevin Kolman is Weber’s Grill Master, making him Weber’s go-to guy for all grilling techniques, products, and questions. We were lucky enough to grill out with Kevin at the Boston Brewery in September so we took the opportunity to ask him for some pro tips about something we all love to do – tailgate.

Q: In your opinion, what’s the most common rookie mistake people make when tailgating?

A: 1.  Using the wrong grill.  2. Running out of fuel.   3.Running out of food.  4. Running out of beer.

Q: What is a cooking with beer dish that you could impress your friends with at a tailgate?

A: There are actually a couple of dishes that come of mind.  One is a BBQ cheeseburger with grilled onions.  I use Samuel Adams OctoberFest and mix it into my bbq sauce and warm for 5-7 minutes.  I then use that as a glaze right before the burger comes off the grill.  I also use OctoberFest when grilling onions.  The flavor and color are amazing, which really takes the burger to another place.

Q: Where and when did your most memorable tailgate take place?

A: It was actually October 10th of this year – I held a tailgate at Soldiers Field for more than 100 people. The weather was perfect and so was the food.  It will go down in history as one of my favorite grilling moments ever!

Want more ideas for how to have an awesome tailgate? Check out this video from the Weber blog.

Sam Can Chicken Recipe from Chef David Burke

As a Boston sports fanatic, I can tell you that tailgating is a competitive sport for the true fan – not something to be taken lightly. In the parking lots before the big game, it’s not unusual to encounter people five hours before kickoff, grilling away and setting up their spreads.

You usually see a lot of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, but with the help of Chef David Burke, we’ve created the perfect dish to bolster your tailgating arsenal: “Sam Can” Chicken, made with our very own Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Sam Can Chicken 1

Our new Boston Lager cans offer a more convenient way to enjoy the great taste of Boston Lager whether you’re tailgating at the game or “homegating” in front of the television. It also offers us the opportunity to experiment with even more recipes. Chef Burke’s unique approach calls for a funnel (placed atop the chicken like a hat) to allow steam to circulate, releasing layers of flavor and moisture into the chicken, and keeping the chicken moist. The can serves as a vertical roast rack for the chicken, which can be roasted on the grill, in a smoker or even in your home oven.

Why is craft beer perfect for a beer can chicken recipe, you might ask?  The Boston Lager actually acts as a built-in “spice packet.” As the beer boils, the chicken is infused with delicious, malt-and-hops laden steam, which adds a complex range of flavors, from roasted to slightly sweet. A variety of hops lend floral, piney and citrus notes to the chicken.

With the fall sports season now in full swing, there’s no better time to try out this exciting new recipe. I recommend pairing it with, you guessed it, Boston Lager.

Samuel Adams® Sam Can Chicken Recipe

Recipe by Chef David Burke

Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 1 whole fryer chicken (approximately 3 to 5 pounds) with giblets removed
  • One 12-ounce can of Samuel Adams Boston Lager® (Find it here)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon for fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 stainless steel cooking funnel (will need for cooking)


Create the chicken marinade by mixing all the ingredients, except for the chicken, in a mixing bowl. Next, add the chicken to marinade and marinate for 2 hours.

Heat the grill (on high, or until coals are ready for cooking). Open the can of Sam Adams Boston Lager®. Remove 1 tablespoon of beer from the can. Using a grill fork or knife, punch a few holes in the top of the can. Place your chicken right side up on the can. It should sit up straight. (TIP: Be sure to place the beer can as far into the chicken as you can, as if you were balancing the chicken on the can.) Cut a small hole at the top of the chicken to allow steam to go in and out. Then, place a stainless steel funnel over the top of the chicken and cover the funnel hole with foil; this will hold the steam in and allow it to circulate and keep the chicken moist. (TIP: The wide opening of the funnel should fit snuggly over the chicken).

Place the beer can chicken in the middle of the grill and close the grill. Let the chicken cook for about 1 hour or until the meat reaches the temperature of 165 degrees.

For conventional ovens: Set the oven to 375 degrees and cook the chicken on the bottom rack. Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes.

(For more Cooking with Sam recipes, click here)

National Cheeseburger Day: Blue Cheese Burger with OctoberFest Caramelized Onions and Boston Lager Ketchup

Burger photo for blogWe wanted to give you a fresh spin on one of America’s favorite foods on National Cheeseburger Day using OctoberFest and Boston Lager. Hope you enjoy my favorite burger!

Here’s what the cheeseburger is comprised of:

Grilled Pretzel Bun (my personal preference- but any grilled bun you prefer will work)
Burger (Maybe even try the Boston Lager cut from Robinson’s Prime Reserve)
Blue Cheese

OctoberFest Caramelized Onions:
Slice onions (2 Vidalia) into half moons
Cook over medium heat with couple tablespoons of butter for about 10 minutes
Add ½ bottle of OctoberFest and a tablespoon of brown sugar and cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly translucent
Reduce heat to simmer and add the rest of the bottle of OctoberFest 10 minutes or until you like the texture/flavor

Boston Lager Ketchup:
6 Ounce can of tomato paste
½ cup of Boston Lager
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon of dry mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch* of garlic powder
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of clove
Salt and Pepper to taste (you can use some smoked pepper if you like to add a depth of savory smoky character)
*pinch is recommended but you can add more or less of each of these for your favorite flavors

Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until you have the consistency you want.  Will last 3-4 weeks refrigerated.

Once you have your ingredients together, you can add them to your burger to your liking!

This cheeseburger recipe pairs best with a Boston Lager. Beef is a great pairing, if not one of the best pairings for Boston Lager; the brew’s upfront malt flavor matches the caramelized flavors of the meat, and its hoppy finish prepares the palate for the next bite.

Cooking with Beer: Q&A with John Holl

We had the opportunity to sit down with  John Holl, author and editor of All About Beer Magazine, who stopped by the Boston Brewery to sign copies of his new book, The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries. Here’s what he had to say about beer and food pairings and the one style of beer he just can’t live without…

Cook Book photo

Q: What inspired you to write your new book The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries?

A: I wanted to be able to tell the story about American beer and food culture right now. The craft beer movement has kept pace with the “eat local” movement – so many people want to eat authentic, and remember the real pleasure of eating. They don’t want microwaveable meals anymore.

There are also limitless options with what brewers are doing around the country, and I wanted to explore those together.

Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest misconceptions about beer and food pairings?

A: Everyone seems to think that if you’re having a nice meal, you should have a bottle of wine on the table. That’s great, but beer brings so much more to food pairings. One of the problems we have with beer is that people use words like “bitter” to describe hops or use technical terms to describe flavors. We need to start describing the flavor of beer in food terms – coffee, citrus, or pine that you get from hops. Once we do that, then people will really start thinking about how beer pairs well with meals.

Q: What advice do you have for people who are just beginning exploring beer and food pairings?

A: Experiment! You can get so many different beers – buy individual beers of one style from different breweries and find beers that work well with a dish. Try different combinations that you think might work – if they work great, if not, then you probably at least discovered a new beer that you like and you can always try again next time.

John Holl enjoying a Boston Lager and Roasted Venison Saddle with Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Mole.

John Holl enjoying a Boston Lager and Roasted Venison Saddle with Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Mole.

Q: What is your favorite recipe for the fall?

A: One of my favorites is the Roasted Venison Saddle with Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Mole. With hunting season coming up, there is going to be plenty of fresh venison and this recipe really highlights the true taste of the meat.

Q: If you could only drink one style of beer for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?

A: Pale Ale – it’s such a versatile style in that there are so many different interpretations of it. You can have a lot of different flavors, and you can have different interpretations form different breweries. Pale Ale is a great year-round drinking style and it’s the style that first introduced me to craft beer and I still have a soft spot for it.

Special thank you to John for including us in his book and for spending time with us at the brewery! You can purchase his book here

Taco Tuesday featuring OctoberFest!

Ofest Taco TuesdayWhile a busy summer has taken us in a variety of different directions, today we reconnected with our friends over at Pennypackers Food Truck, a local Boston-area food truck, to create a taco that is infused with one of our beers.

To help welcome the fall season, we sent a few cases of our popular Samuel Adams® OctoberFest, which is our version of the classic Oktoberfest lager which blends 5 roasted malts for a rich and hearty flavor. Pennypackers decided to match the big, caramel  malty taste of OctoberFest with Korean BBQ flank steak with Bok Choy Slaw and Beery Bird Chili Vinaigrette. The sweet, caramel, and toffee notes in the beer work very well with the spice and soy punch of Korean BBQ. You can taste all of the varied complexity of the fresh chilis, herbs, spices, and pear; all buoyed on a bed of German malty goodness that is Samuel Adams OctoberFest.

Understanding that not all Sam fans can get to Boston to enjoy these awesome tacos upfront and personal, Pennypackers (once again) was kind enough to pass along the recipe and simple cooking instructions.

Cheers and enjoy!


Drunken Korean BBQ Flank Steak Tacos with Bok Choy Slaw and Beery Bird Chili Vinaigrette


For the steak

1) 1 flank steak

2) 3/4 Cup Soy Sauce

3) 1 Can Samuel Adams Octoberfest Beer

4) 3/4 Cup Sugar

5) 1/4 Cup Sesame Oil

6) 5 cloves Garlic

7) 1/2 Yellow Onion

8) 3 Scallions

9) 1 Asian Pear

10) 1 teaspoon grated Ginger

For the slaw

1) 4 Cups chopped Bok Choy

2) 1/2 Cup fresh Thai Basil leaves

3) 1/2 Cup fresh Mint leaves

4) 1/2 Cup fresh Cilantro leaves

5) 1 Cup Bean Sprouts

6) 1 Cup shredded Carrot

7) 1 Cup shredded Daikon

For the vinaigrette

1) 1 Cup Vegetable Oil

2) 1/2 Cup Cup Rice Wine Vinegar

3) 1/3 Cup Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer

4) 3 Bird Chilies, finely diced

5) 2 Tablespoons  toasted Sesame Seeds

6) 1 Tablespoon Sugar

7) 1 teaspoon soy sauce


For the steak

1) In a blender or food processer, combine all ingredients (except the steak) to make the marinade

2) Take half the marinade, put in a plastic ziplock bag. Put the steak in the bag, and marinate for 1-3 hours.

3) After marinating, char the outside of the steak on a hot grill.  Only cook to rare (and don’t let the steak stay on TOO long- the sugar in the marinade will burn).

4) Allow steak to cool, then slice as thinly as possible.

5) In a hot saute pan, warm some of the remaining sauce/marinade).  Put shaved steak in pan, and allow to caramelize a little and cook to desired temperature.

For the vinaigrette and slaw

1) Toss all slaw ingredients together.  Season with a little salt and pepper.

2) Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.

3) Dress slaw with desired amount of vinaigrette.

Grill or warm a taco shell.  Put some of the warm steak on.  Add some slaw.  Garnish with scallion and sesame seeds.

Summer Cooking with Beer

ClambakeSummer is here, and in New England that means it’s time for beer and seafood. We recently teamed up with New England cuisine expert and Food Network Star Chef Michele Ragussis on a Summer Ale-infused clambake – a combination of lobsters, clams, sausage and fresh vegetables boiled in Summer Ale for added layers of flavor, ready to cook at home or beachside.

Chef Michele Ragussis, a New England native, is known for her love of seafood and has long used craft beer, both as a pairing and as an ingredient, to enhance the flavor of the dishes she creates. A few weeks ago, we met at the brewery to chat about how to make the raw components of beer shine in cooking. Michele found that the ingredients of Summer Ale, like lemon peel and Grains of Paradise, a cardamom-like pepper from Africa, were the perfect addition to her favorite clambake recipes.

I really enjoyed working with Michele on these delicious seafood recipes using Summer Ale. But, not only is this brew great to cook with, it is also the perfect pairing to enjoy alongside this traditional seafood feast; the buttery lobster meat, sweet clams and spicy sausage in Michele’s clambake are a great complement to the beer’s crisp wheat character and citrusy aromas. While the fruit and citrus character from the lemon peel, Noble hops and ale yeast in Summer Ale create a lively kick and bright, clean finish to the pairing.

Michele designed the recipe so that it’s easy to make in any kitchen. It all fits in one pot. If you want to try it for yourself, our partner, Robinson’s Prime Reserve (our go-to artisanal meat and seafood resource), is making recreating the dish at home simpler than ever with the Samuel Adams Summer Ale Urban Clambake package.  Check it out here:


Samuel Adams® Summer Ale Urban Clambake:

Recipe by Food Network Star’s Chef Michele Ragussis

Yields 6-8 servings


  • 4 lobsters (1 lb. each)
  • 5 lbs. steamers
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 12 small potatoes
  • 1 lb. Portuguese sausage (or chorizo)
  • 1 lb. hot dogs
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 bottles of Samuel Adams Summer Ale
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Rockweed seaweed (optional)

Urban Clambake 3

  1. Method:
  2. Before beginning, make sure all clams are scrubbed clean.
  3. On the stove top, in a big pot, layer quartered onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, 2 ½ bottles of Samuel Adams Summer Ale and small potatoes.
  4. Cut the Portuguese sausage into 1-inch thick pieces, and cut the hot dogs in half, lengthwise.
  5. Add the meat and the cleaned clams to the pot. Add the lobsters, and cover tightly.  Let cook for 15 to 20 minutes until done.
  6. Layer on a platter, and save the remaining liquid for dipping. Serve with lemon wedges, and pair with a Samuel Adams Summer Ale.


NOTE: Ask your fishmonger for purged steamers as they have been cleaned already. Also, you can get the seaweed from your fishmonger. Just add a layer of seaweed after the potatoes (optional).

See more summer recipes by visiting our Food & Beer section on!

The Celebration of Beer and Ice Cream

Jennifer_Beer_IceCreamSummer is finally here in Boston. To help celebrate sunshine and warmer weather, the team at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream stopped by yesterday’s Open House at the brewery to sample some great beer and ice cream combinations we came up with together.

Beer and ice cream are right up there as two of my absolute favorite things. So, what could be better than a combination of the two? And, whether for a pint of beer or for a pint of ice cream, we are both passionate about using the best ingredients to create a classic combination or a new innovative style, so we had to create a perfect pairing!

At our Open House, beer lovers and ice cream fans alike were excited and intrigued by the idea of pairing ice cream and beer, but, in actuality, they’re a pretty natural couple. The carbonation of beer lightens up the creaminess of ice cream and the with the combination of flavors, between the dozens of beers our Samuel Adams brewers created this year and the ice cream flavors dreamed up by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream gurus , the possibilities for amazing your taste-buds are endless!

If you’d like to try this experiment for yourself this summer, below are our favorite pairings, including a couple of “beer floats.” Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru Eric Fredette and I researched these pairings for hours on end. It was tough work, sipping and eating our way through pint after grueling pint, but we think we’ve come up with some great pairings and floats for you to try.


Beer and Ice Cream Pairings:

Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL and Pineapple Passionfruit Greek Frozen Yogurt

The floral and citrus notes of the hops in Double Agent IPL compliment the bright fruit character in the Pineapple Passionfruit , making it a great pairing. The smooth finish of the beer is a nice contrast to the creaminess of the yogurt.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Chocolate Therapy Ice Cream

Can we offer you some Boston Lager Chocolate Therapy?

Can we offer you some Boston Lager Chocolate Therapy?

Boston Lager and chocolate is a perfect pairing. Chocolate Therapy, a rich, bold ice cream is surprisingly balanced by the complex hop and malt flavors in Boston Lager. The brew’s notes of caramel and toffee compliment the ice cream’s sweetness while the piney, citrus notes from the noble hops in the beer help lift the flavors off your palate.

Beer Floats:

Samuel Adams Summer Ale and Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt

This float really allows the lemon in the frozen yogurt to shine. The overall citrus flavors are bold yet balanced by the peppery heat from the grains of paradise in the beer and the delicate floral notes from the lavender and fruity blueberry swirl in the ice cream.

Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager and Vanilla Ice Cream

This pairing is all about blueberries! In this beer, the slightly sweet flavors of the blueberries are balanced by the lemon citrus character of the brew’s noble hops. Rich and creamy, the vanilla ice cream brings a nice sweetness to the pairing but doesn’t overpower the fruit flavor in a perfect complement to each other.

Try these pairings at home with the Samuel Adams Beers of Summer Variety Pack:

Samuel Adams Beers of Summer Variety Pack Pairings

Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

This was a surprising combination. The citrus and spicy flavors from the beer’s noble hops cut through the richness of the ice cream, and the pairing finishes with a lingering and bright fruity note from the strawberries in the ice cream.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale and Peach Cobbler Ice Cream

This pairing captures the essence of summer. Intense lemon and peach flavors are contrasted by the spice from the Grains of Paradise in the beer and the heat from the cinnamon in the ice cream. The shortbread cookie crumble adds a layer of richness and the crisp finish of the beer makes this a refreshing combination.

Samuel Adams Porch Rocker and Pineapple Passionfruit Greek Frozen Yogurt

The tropical fruit flavor from the passion fruit, the sweetness from the pineapple, and the creaminess of the Greek yogurt combine with the subtle malt character and the bright lemon flavor in the beer to create a very refreshing and fruity pairing.

Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager and Vanilla Ice Cream

Blueberry Hill Lager is perfect with classic vanilla ice cream. This pairing emphasizes the wonderful flavors of blueberries of the beer and the vanilla adds a touch of sweetness.

Samuel Adams Little White Rye and Raspberry Fudge Chunk Greek Frozen Yogurt

This ice cream blends bright raspberry flavor with rich dark chocolate making it a great pairing for this beer. Little White Rye blends slight spiciness from the rye with orange peel and citrusy notes from the Tettnang hops, creating an overall complex flavor profile on your palate. The roasted character in the ice cream’s chocolate lingers along with the sweetness and a crispness from the malt in the beer.

Samuel Adams Belgian Session and Coffee Caramel Buzz Ice Cream

There is a ton of great flavor in this pairing. The spicy clove notes in the beer contrast with the sweet caramel notes in the ice cream and the roasted coffee flavor brings out some subtle sweetness from the brew’s honey malt and slight biscuit flavor.