How to Brew B’Austin Ale

We unveiled our final Crowd Craft Project brew – B’Austin Ale – at Guy Kawasaki’s Girl + Guy party in Austin, Texas on March 10th. Thanks to everyone who helped create this crowd sourced beer.  The final beer is an amber ale with a slightly hazy appearance, medium body and mouth feel. The beer is rounded out with a spicy hop aroma, notes of toffee and a smooth, yet spicy finish.

Guy and Bert enjoy a B'Austin Ale at SxSW

As this beer was truly created by the people, it should also be for the people so we’re making the recipe available to everyone here.

Samuel Adams B’Austin Ale Homebrew Recipe

Batch Size: 5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.052 (This is the initial amount of sugar in the wort)
Final Gravity: 1.0137 (This is the amount of sugar left over after fermentation, and is a good indicator of what the body of the brew will be like—B’Austin Ale has a medium body). Read More

A Collective Brew with Inspiration BY You

As brewers, we each have different things that inspire us, but I think the process is the same for most.  Jim even touched on it in a recent interview with NECN.  We think about different aspects of a great beer, we envision what it would taste like, and then we make it happen.

There are a few other things I know to be true.

First, drinking beer is social and brewing beer is social.  Whether I’m at work or out with friends, I’m always talking about the qualities of beer I like best (and the ones I don’t) no matter where I am, what I’m tasting or who I’m with.

Second, everyone’s tastes and beer preferences are different. I like the intense hop flavor in Noble Pils, Jim’s favorite is a perfectly-balanced Boston Lager, others like our strong, smoky scotch ale, Wee Heavy. It’s OK to have a favorite style.  We’ll agree to disagree.

Third, inspiration can come from anywhere.  The notion of crowd sourcing ideas is inherently social and a very cool aspect of the vibrant tech community.

While we’ve collaborated with homebrewers as part of the Longshot program and asked our drinkers to help decide between two brews as part of our Beer Lover’s Choice program, we’d never given the chance for everyone to weigh in on a brew from the outset.  So we got to thinking.  Why not partner with a great innovator in social media and develop a great beer for an awesome event?  And that’s how we came up with the first ever Samuel Adams Crowd Craft Project, to create a beer crafted by you, for you… and it’s pretty cool.

Drawing off some Kosmic Mother Funk®

We recruited our friend and social media enthusiast, Guy Kawasaki, to help us gather fans’ ideas. Guy introduced me to the idea of “crowd-sourcing” or gathering ideas from a global community through an open call for collective cooperation.  I quickly realized that Guy has the same passion, expertise and creativity for social media that we have for beer.

With Guy’s help, we created an app on our Facebook page that lets beer lovers weigh in on the color, clarity, body and flavor of the crowd-sourced beer.   We want to know whether you want a light amber ale or a heavy black ale? Should it be heavily hopped with an intense citrusy hop variety or have a smooth finish with a chocolate and caramel flavor spectrum? The options are endless and I’m curious to know what our fans will want us to brew for them.

Stay tuned, because both Guy and I will be tweeting real-time updates on our innovative community project. Then on February 5, we will tally everyone’s feedback and develop a final recipe so we can start brewing. Our crowd-sourced beer will debut on March 10th in Austin, TX at the Guy+Girl party as well as at our Boston Brewery.

I love the fact that we get to experiment here at work and want you to be a part of that same fun. When we brew a new batch of beer, I feel an overwhelming excitement that I am a part of an amazing, creative process. I’m hoping that even though we don’t have coveralls for everyone, you feel the same excitement knowing that you helped craft a Samuel Adams beer.