A Letter from Jim: It’s LongShot Season!

LongShot 2015I’m pleased to announce that the 2015 LongShot American Homebrew Contest, celebrating its 19th year, is now open! For those not familiar with our LongShot contest, this is a special competition we like to host here at Samuel Adams that looks to find and recognize some of the best homebrewers in the country. Each year we choose two amateur homebrewers and one Samuel Adams employee winner to have their beer brewed and distributed nationally. This year we’re introducing a new twist to the competition – we will select one winner from east of the Mississippi River and one from the west, to join the Samuel Adams employee winner in the final 6-pack.

Homebrewing is a big piece of the DNA that makes up our Samuel Adams team. Over 30 years ago I was just another homebrewer in my kitchen, constantly sanitizing equipment and tinkering with ingredients as I worked on my craft. After several batches made their way to the sink drain (happens to the best of us homebrewers), the first batch of our Samuel Adams Boston Lager was born in my kitchen and the rest is history. To this day much of our research and development for new brews are first created on brew systems that are not much different from what you’ll see in an avid homebrewer’s garage or basement.  And I still look forward to each issue of Zymurgy. Read More

Supporting Our BostonStrong Community

SAM_BAA_Marathon_Banner_skyline[2]The Boston Marathon has been a cherished tradition in our hometown for more than 100 years. It is a unique athletic event. There is no winning or losing team. It is open to athletes from all countries, backgrounds genders and beliefs. Hundreds of thousands of greater Bostonians line the race route to cheer for the commitment and stamina of all the runners. It is also a celebration of the city of Boston, personal achievement and communal philanthropy.

Samuel Adams is a proud sponsor of the Boston Marathon.  The race is a part of what it means to be a Bostonian and the holiday, Patriot’s Day, is a uniquely Massachusetts holiday which holds special meaning for us as Americans, Massachusetts residents, brewers of Samuel Adams and me personally.  Patriot’s Day commemorates the beginning of the American Revolution led by Samuel Adams our namesake, a defender of liberty and revolutionary leader.  It was also on this holiday in 1985 that I first delivered Samuel Adams to bars throughout Boston from my station wagon.  I have always thought of Patriots Day as our holiday here at The Boston Beer Company. Read More

Samuel Adams in a Can

Sam Can_SketchCraft brewers have debated putting beer in bottles vs. cans for years.  On one side of the aisle, you have purists who think that cans are meant to carry mass domestic beer. On the other side, brewers who see the benefits – a can is lighter weight, blocks out sunlight and enables you to take beer places where glass bottles aren’t allowed.  There’s even a website dedicated to “news and reviews for the canned beer revolution.”

I’m the first one to admit that I’ve been a purist about putting Sam Adams in a can.  I wasn’t convinced that the beer would taste as good as it does from a bottle.  I had flavor concerns based on my own experiences.  Read More

The Paradox of Popularity…

Unless you’re a brewer you probably missed the “Beer Advocate” thread last week bashing several craft breweries for being over-rated. Seemed to me the criticism was really about popularity not quality. Today’s craft beer lovers are on a hunt to discover the next new thing and, as brewers, most of us are trying to create interesting new beers.  That’s great – we all love making new beers – but that doesn’t mean that an established and successful beer is any less great because it’s been around for a while and has attracted a big following.

My friend Sam Calagione was one of the targets. I’ve known Sam a long time, and I’ve brewed beside him, so I know how innovative he is, and how committed he is to quality brewing. Dogfish Head beers are terrific. Period.  The sales of Dogfish Head have grown because the beer is crazy good.  Period.  No true lover of craft beer should have a problem with his success, in my honest opinion.Someone else dissed him because he had a TV show about his brewing adventures and his brewery.   Hey, Sam happens to be a very interesting and engaging guy.  And he works his ass off.  Because he has the energy and drive to get himself and DFH on the Discovery Channel, he has done all craft brewers a service. He was also promoting all craft beer through his efforts.  I thank him for doing that.  And if that means he was taking craft beer to the masses, more power to him.  Read More