New from the Nano-Brewery: Roggen Wolf

We’re excited for you self-proclaimed “hop-heads” and IPA lovers out there to check out our newest IPA Hopology pack, which features a wide range of IPAs. Each beer in this pack brings something different to the table, and we are trying something new with our most recent addition: Roggen Wolf, a Rye IPA.

A beer is  a “rye” beer when rye is substituted for some portion of the malted barley. It was common to use rye in beers in Germany until the 15th Century when a series of bad crops caused a big shortage of rye. When this happened, rye was only allowed to be used for baking bread. The practice of using rye in beers has since made a resurgence in Germany and in American craft brewing.

We caught up with one of our brewers who works in our nano-brewery, Eryn Bottens, to talk about his first commercially available brew and to find out what it’s like to work in the Samuel Adams nano-brewery.


Q: What is your role as a nano-brewer at Sam Adams?

A: I’m a brewer, and one of my jobs is to help create new beer recipes in the nano-brewery, which is located within our Boston brewery. We do all of our beer development and trial brews here.

The nano-brewery is essentially a mini brewery where we can be creative and innovative. Working on a small scale, we can do a lot of experimentation.

Sometimes we want to try brewing with a unique or special ingredient or try a new process. Recently we did some test brewing with several new varieties of hops. We brewed a series of single hopped beers to see how the different hops change the profile of the beer, what is the sensory effect, and if we might want to use them in an upcoming brew.

Q: What is Roggen Wolf, and what is it like compared to other IPAs we have brewed in the past?

A: Roggen Wolf is the first Rye IPA that we’ve released. The use of rye helped us brew a mellow IPA with a robust spice character. Roggen Wolf is brewed with Galaxy and Ahtanum hops – which are two pretty unique hop varieties. Galaxy hops are from Australia and add really nice citrus, peach and passionfruit notes while the American Ahtanum hops add floral, earthy, citrus and grapefruit notes to the brew. The hop notes are really complemented by the subtle peppery note from the rye in the finish.

Q: What was the process like for developing Roggen Wolf?

A: It took around three months to get from the initial idea to transition into production. The challenging part was figuring out how much rye to include in the malt bill – if you add too much, it can lead to a stuck mash.

I enjoyed working with rye because it imparts a spicy quality that malted barley doesn’t. It is an ingredient that we don’t use in our beers that often – it makes for a unique flavor contribution.

Q: What would you pair Roggen Wolf with?

This beer pairs really nicely with smoked Gouda or charcuterie because the hoppiness off the brew cuts through the richness of the cheese. The combination of hops and the spiciness of the rye also accentuates the flavor of dishes like jerk chicken or pulled pork.

Q: Roggen Wolf was a big project for you – how did it feel the first time you saw the final bottle in the IPA Hopology Pack?

A: I was really excited! The beer came out great and the label is really awesome. I’m looking forward to hearing what people have to say about it outside the brewery. It’s really rewarding to see something I worked hard on come to fruition and be made available to drinkers.

Q: What is your favorite Samuel Adams beer?

A: Black Lager – it’s delicious. It’s a dark lager with a good hop profile that is light, and not super boozy.

Want to try Roggen Wolf? It is available for a limited time in our newly released IPA Hopology Variety Pack.

(Photo provided by Hannah O’Leary, Oregon State University Photographer)

  • Deborah savage

    Sam adams id my favorite I have had them all

  • PaulF

    I tried Roggen Wolf from the hopology case I just bought, and I liked it a lot.
    Great flavor and body.

    • Sam Adams Editorial Team


  • Barbara King

    Where is Alpine Spring? I just went out and order the Sam Seasonal and it was the Summer Ale, I am in Florida for the season but it’s still too early for summer, I was so looking forward to the Alpine Spring, it was my favorite and only out a short time. Is it still available when I go back to Boston?

    • Sam Adams Editorial Team

      Hey Barbara – we actually didn’t brew Alpine Spring this year. Cold Snap replaced it as our spring seasonal.

  • keith bryant

    What happened? no more black lager,readfield maine had some black lager,it sold out
    in one day! sam adams bier order! black lager,blackberry witbier,winter lager,summer.
    send maine more black lager and forget the rest!

  • Steve Thomas

    I just received a Samuel Adams Ale Aged in Oak Barrels 1 pt. 9.4 oz Stony Brook Red for my birthday. I have been to the brewery in Boston and one of my favorites is Brick Red. So I was looking forward to enjoying a good brew. I opened the bottle and pour slowly into a pint glass at just the right angle and produced the perfect head. I then took a nice long draw and tasted the worst beer I have ever tasted. Now that hard to do!! The taste is closest to cat piss (although I have never tasted cat piss before, but I have smelled it, and I don’t like it) The Taste was sour, like an unripe berry mixed with a fart. I like beer. So I tried to drink it, because I will down any foul brew rather than pour it out just in case there is some redeeming quality. Alas, after drinking 10,000 beers, yours is only the second commercial beer poured down the drain. I am sure it was not your intent to gag your customers, therefore this one, or batch, slipped pass the quality inspection. If I was not already a great fan of Samuel Adams, this could have been my last sip of your brew. Please check your control: my bottle is Part #10180, The number on the bar code is 0 8769213400 8.


    • Sam Adams Editorial Team

      Hey Steve – Stony Brook Red is a sour beer. There’s a good chance that maybe this style just isn’t for you! However, if you do think there was something wrong with the beer, you can report that to us here:

  • Tom

    I am not able to find the hopology pack anywhere in central NY.

    • Sam Adams Editorial Team

      Hey Tom – have you tried Sam’s Club or Costco? They should have it.