Most of us here at the brewery know what a great pairing beer and chocolate can be (as we’ve alluded to before), but we thought it would come as a surprise to others who might think of wine as THE traditional pairing. So to prove our point, we came together with our friends at TCHO (pronounced “choh”) to design the Samuel Adams Beer Lover’s Chocolate Box, a gift box that pairs a premium chocolate style with brews from our Winter Classics Variety Pack. (Who wouldn’t want to find this combo in their stocking?)
Truly the best of both worlds.
TCHO is an artisanal craft chocolate maker in San Francisco. They take their chocolate as seriously as we take our beer, so we jumped at the chance to work with them. TCHO’s Chief Chocolate Maker Brad Kintzer and I sat down to taste, discuss and thoughtfully pair our beers with their wide variety of chocolates. ► Read More
While the temperature continues to drop here in New England, this month we gave the guys our Wee Heavy, a big beer inspired by both traditional Scotch ales and Scotch whiskies. Pennypackers decided to match the distinct deep roasted flavor and earthy smoke character with braised short ribs to create a delicious contrast.
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy is a complex beer with huge maltiness and peaty smoke from specially smoked Scottish malt. Using the Wee Heavy as a base for a sauce based on a traditional Mole was a bold move but one that paid off. The peat smoke and malt sweetness were a great canvas for all of the complex spice and chile flavors used in braising the short rib; with an earthy finish from the chocolate that perfectly matched the beef. Cooked all day until fork tender, these short ribs showed off all of these complexities while keeping their big beefy flavor. Wrapped in a warm tortilla with earthy Cojita cheese and the snap of fresh cilantro and pickled onions; these were perfect for today’s cold and rainy weather.
Given that not all Sam fans can get to Boston to enjoy these in person, Pennypackers once again was kind enough to pass along the recipe and simple cooking instructions for you to experiment and create your own.
Cheers and enjoy!
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy Chocolate and Chili Braised Short Rib Tacos
To create our own unique style of Wee Heavy, we added peat smoked malt to bring the unique flavor of Scotland to this complex and satisfying brew.
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 large yellow onions
1 quart red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
For the short ribs
1) Start by stemming and seeding the guajillos. Then soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes.
2) Clean any excess fat off of the short ribs, and season with salt and pepper. In a hot sauté pan, sear each side of the short ribs. After they’re seared, transfer them to a deep casserole dish with the sprigs of thyme.
3) After 30 minutes, put the guajillos in a blender with the habanero (whole, with seeds), cumin, chili powder and cider vinegar. Add two cups of the water the chilis were soaking in, and purée. Put this in a pot and warm on the stove. Add the chocolate and allow melting. Whisk together and pour this mixture over the short ribs.
4) Cover the short ribs with Samuel Adams Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, until fully submerged. Cover with aluminum foil, and cook in a 300 degree oven for 3-4 hours, until very tender.
5) When they’re done, pull the short ribs out of the liquid, and shred. Strain the cooking liquid into a pot, skim the fat off the top, and reduce by half (or more). Mix back in with the short ribs, and re-season with salt and pepper. Hold warm until ready to serve.
For the pickled onions
1) In a pot, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil on the stove.
2) Julienne the yellow onion, and put in the boiling vinegar. After adding the onions, allow the liquid to come back up to a boil, and immediately turn off and cool.
Grill or warm tortillas, add some short rib, crumble a little cotija over it, put on some if the pickled onions, and garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro.
More and more, drinkers are appreciating craft beer in the same way they would a fine wine (i.e. smelling, tasting and proper pouring). They’re expanding their palates to include full-flavored beers as an alternative to red wine – in cooking, food pairings and gifting. Craft beers, like red wine, are brewed with the finest quality ingredients, yet can be more accessible and approachable, making them a great pairing for many foods.
Below we have outlined two different suggestions for a craft beer versus red wine tasting experience you can try at home. With Thanksgiving coming up in a little over a week, we feel it’s a perfect time to see why craft beer deserves a seat at the dinner table. We’re not the only ones either… take a look at what Black Book magazine has to say about craft beer pairing with “fancy foods.”
For comparing how craft beer and red wine complement beef, check out our suggestions to get you started:
You may notice the upfront malt flavor in our Boston Lager matches the caramelized flavors of the meat, and its hoppy finish cuts through the richness to prepare the palate for the next bite. We enjoy Boston Lager’s lighter and less viscous appeal on the palate in comparison to the Cabernet, which creates a more delicate pairing and allows the flavors to echo the long finishes of both the meat and the beer.
Now move away from a savory piece of beef and try a sweeter dish like chocolate. To get you started with your comparison:
RED WINE: Select a dry, medium-bodied Zinfandel. NYC Beer & Wine Sommelier, Gianni Cavicchi, suggests Bonterra Zinfandel from Mendocino County, California, 2009.
CRAFT BEER: Stick with our Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
When pairing chocolate and beer, rich sweet malt flavors are your friend. It’s this flavor, along with a subtle bitterness from the Noble Hops, that makes Boston Lager a great pairing for chocolate. Beers carbonation can also lighten heavier chocolates and cleanses the palate between bites. Dark chocolate’s intense flavor can actually overpower wine, creating a lack of balance with wine’s acidity.
Where do you stand on craft beer vs. wine for special food pairings like beef and chocolate?
Like any true craftsman, brewers never stop working at perfecting their craft. No matter how delicious a particular beer might be, a brewer will take each sip with the thought of “what could I do to make this brew even better?”
In furthering our experimental brewing process around India Pale Ale style, we’ve been experimenting with different hop styles over the past year and have decided to add Mosaic hops to the hop line-up in our Latitude 48 IPA. This newer style, from the Yakima, WA growing region, provided our brewers a floral and tropical fruit character and a fresh, unique flavor that we felt would be well received from Sam drinkers with a love for hop-forward brews.
Jim first encountered this unique hop style during one of his trips to the west coast back in the mid-2000’s and picked-out thirty pounds of the variety. He first used Mosaic hops in the creation of our limited-edition beer, SAVOR Flowers, which was brewed in collaboration with Sam Calagione and our friends at Dogfish Head for the SAVOR Festival back in June of 2011. If you were at SAVOR or had a chance to try this one-time brew can attest to the great floral notes that Mosaic hops provides in a beer.
Our 2013 batch of Latitude 48 IPA is driven by the new Mosaic hop variety, which adds a fresh, unique flavor to this already-complex brew. Latitude 48 will stay true to its name, showcasing only hops from 48th latitude along the “hop belt” of the Northern Hemisphere which includes: Bavarian Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops for a citrus and spicy note, UK east Kent Goldings hops for an earthy and woody character, and US Simcoe and Zeus hops for piney, grapefruit flavors. An upfront sweetness will also will be present within Latitude 48 along with notes of honey and caramel from the malt, which nicely complement the complex hop character.
The 2013 release of Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA will roll out in February and will be available in 6-packs and 12-packs nationwide.
In chemistry there’s something called the “collision theory” that is often summarized by the idiom: “You can’t react, unless you collide.”
Fate has a way of ensuring the right collisions happen to occasionally create something remarkable. The story of New Albion is proof that random events can collide in such a sequence to spark something incredible.
In 1976, Jack McAuliffe created New Albion brewing, the first craft brewery to be started from scratch in decades. Jack, a true do-it-yourself guy, did everything from building the brewery, to brewing the beer, to delivering it to the bars himself. Unfortunately, he was a man before his time and in 1983, New Albion closed its doors for good.
The next year, Jim founded the Boston Beer Company and began a revolution in brewing with the introduction of Samuel Adams Boston Lager. A few years later, the trademark for New Albion lapsed and fell into public domain. Not wanting it to fall into the hands of mega brewers, Jim applied for and was granted the New Albion trademark. Jim considered himself a custodian of brewing history, as if preserving a historical brewing treasure.
Fast forward to 2011 in San Antonio, TX. Meagen Anderson, a local sales representative is preparing her homebrew for the company homebrew competition, when she meets an older gentleman in her local homebrew club who seems to know a fair bit about brewing. Meagen, a true beer lover recognized the name right away when he introduced himself as Jack McAuliffe. Really? What are the odds?
Meagen arranged to have Jack come to the Great American Beer Festival to witness for himself what had blossomed from the early seeds he’d sown. While in Denver Meagen introduced Jack to Jim, as the two had never met, and an idea was born.
On July 3, 2012, Jack visited the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery…
For those who have not heard, this year marks the 10th anniversary of one of our greatest brewing accomplishments: Samuel Adams Utopias®. As with every release of this special brew, Jim and the other brewers get excited about sharing this beer because of the passion and innovation that went into brewing. The extreme ingredients and techniques used to make this beer are unlike any other style we brew. Look for this years release to hit stores in November.
It all began with Triple Bock …
Cheers to 10 years!
Over 20 years ago, Jim started thinking about the far reaches of the beer universe. As big brewers were making their beers lighter and lighter, Jim was curious about the other end of the beer spectrum and wanted to continue exploring the uncharted territory of extreme brewing. After several years of trial and error, we released Samuel Adams® Triple Bock in 1994 and set the record for the strongest beer ever (17.5% ABV) but Triple Bock wasn’t just about breaking the historical ABV ceiling. Jim found that aging the beer in whiskey barrels helped mellow the harsh ethanol attack on the palette, while adding some wonderful complexity to the beer. This was also the first time that any brewer in the U.S. had aged a beer in barrels previously used for spirits, a practice that is now fairly common among American craft brewers.
Triple Bock, the backbone of all of our Extreme Beers, served as the archetype for Samuel Adams Millennium®, a rare (only 3,000 bottles produced) style we brewed to commemorate the year 2000. In 2002, we introduced Samuel Adams Utopias which shocked the beer world with an incredible 24% ABV. With each new batch of Utopias, we pushed for more complexity and strength, producing brews with alcohol levels reaching 27% ABV over the last 10 years of Utopias’ existence. With that said, this year’s batch is coming in around 29% ABV though some of our barrels have reached over 33% ABV. With taste as our primary goal, we refined the liquid back to optimize the flavor best.
Popular questions around Utopias…
Where can I get a bottle of Utopias?!
The most important thing to remember is that Utopias is a very (and we mean very) limited brew, with fewer than 15,000 bottles released each season due to the long aging process. While our Find a Sam pagewill outline where Utopias bottles are sold (Utopias will be added to the list once the beer starts shipping), it is likely that many locations will sell their few bottles quickly. If you are traveling a far distance to acquire a bottle, we strongly recommend calling the retailer ahead of time to ensure they still have one to be purchased.
NOTE: Thirteen states prohibit its sale because its alcohol content exceeds the legal limit for beer: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.
How much does a bottle cost?
Retailers are free to set their own price, but we have placed a suggested retail price of $190.00 per bottle.
What does Utopias taste like?
The 2012 batch of Samuel Adams Utopias has its entire lineage in it, some of the beer has been aged in a variety of wood barrels for 19 years. This long aging process and variety of spirit barrels enhances the beer’s distinct vanilla and maple notes, and its high alcohol content creates a heated aroma of ginger and cinnamon. As a result, this big brew invokes the flavors of a rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry while feeling surprisingly light on the palate. The brew has sweet flavors of honey, toffee, caramel, cocoa and vanilla, balanced by distinct notes of molasses, raisins, plums and berries.
I’ve got a bottle of Utopias, now what?
Congratulations! Our brewers recommend serving this strong, rich, un-carbonated dark beer as an ideal after-dinner drink or toasting a special occasion at room temperature (about 70°F) in 2oz pours. Because this beer is un-carbonated and high in ABV, it can be opened and closed to be enjoyed when you want to enjoy it. No need to keep this beer in the fridge… a cool/dark place (basement, closet, etc.) will do the trick. Don’t be afraid to hold onto the bottle… the liquid will only get better with age!
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.
Happy Friday (and National Drink Beer Day)! As we head into the weekend (looks to be a rainy one here in Boston) we wanted to pass along a baking recipe that may hit the spot for the cooling temperature. From the kitchen of Sam Adams drinker Steve C. of Gahanna, Ohio, here is a great pumpkin spice beer bread that features our Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale, which is currently available in the Harvest Collection variety pack and standalone 6-pack.
Have a recipe to share with fellow Sam Adams drinkers? Send us a note or leave your recipe in the comment section below!
PUMPKIN SPICE BEER BREAD
Harvest Pumpkin Ale is available in the Harvest Collection variety pack and stand alone 6-pack.
1 (12 0z) Bottle of Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale (find it here)
3-1/2 C Self Rising Flour
3 T Sugar
1 T Brown Sugar
1/2 t All Spice
1/2 t Nutmeg
1/2 C Pumpkin Puree
2 T Butter, melted
Sift dry ingredients together, make a well in the flour, add the pumpkin and Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Stir until well mixed. Turn into a well greased loaf pan and bake at 375F for 40-45 min*. Remove from oven, brush with butter and return to oven for 10-15 min or til properly browned. Turn from pan to wire rack to cool.
* Feel free to enjoy a Harvest Pumpkin Ale while waiting!
Grilling is undoubtedly one of the greatest culinary triumphs of summer, so why let the BBQ fade away when the cooler weather rolls in? As we’re easing into fall (and FOOTBALL!), consider the other great grilling season, fall tailgating, with the Boston Lager Cut packages that our friends from Robinson’s Prime Reserve have put together.
Beer and meat… does it get any better?
Developed by artisanal meat purveyor Jake Dickson of Dickson’s Farmstand Meatsin NYC, the Boston Lager cut is designed to be the ideal beef counterpart to our flagship 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. The beef and beer intersect with great caramel notes and sweetness, while the elegant hoppiness of our Boston Lager finishes the rich, meaty flavor of the cut.
Through a partnership with Robinson’s Prime Reserve, the Boston Lager Cut is available nationwide in two packages. Pair with a few Boston Lagers, and you have the ultimate tailgate pairing.
The Samuel Adams Boston Lager Cut Package includes: (6) 8 oz Samuel Adams Boston Lager® Cuts and 2 Boston Lager Pint Glasses for $89.95
The Samuel Adams Boston Lager Mixed Grill Package includes: (4) 8 oz Samuel Adams Boston Lager® Cuts, (6) 8oz Steak Burgers, crafted from the same high-quality beef, and 4 Samuel Adams Boston Lager Pint Glasses for $99.95
Grill Boston Lager Cuts for 3-4 minutes on each side and slice. Place into taco shell garnish with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and guacamole, plus Chimi-Chorizo sauce (recipe below).
1 cup chopped chorizo
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup diced onion
1 cup red pepper chopped
1 bottle Samuel Adams Boston Lager
12oz chicken stock
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
Sweat out chorizo with olive oil in medium sauce pan. Add peppers, onions and spices and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat until tender. Add Boston Lager, reduce by half. Add chicken stock, and reduce to a sauce-like consistency. Serve with tacos.
Boston Lager Grilled Peaches
6 peaches, halved and pitted
1 bottle Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Combine peaches, salt, sugar and Boston Lager in a bowl. Marinate for 6 hours. Grill peaches for one minute per side and serve alongside tacos.
To honor the changing of the seasons here in New England, this month we gave the guys our Harvest Pumpkin Ale, a fall favorite that is brewed with over 17 pounds of real pumpkin per barrel and traditional pumpkin pie spices, adding a full body and spicy sweetness to this dark reddish amber brew. Pennypackers decided to match the distinct roast and spice character with beef short ribs to create a contrasting experience for fall.
Beef short rib tacos with tomato-cranberry salsa and cilantro cooked with our Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Given that not all Sam fans can get to Boston to enjoy these in person, Pennypackers once again was kind enough to pass along the recipe and simple cooking instructions for you to experiment and create your own. Imagine substituting Harvest Pumpkin Ale with our new Double Pumpkin, Fat Jack!
Cheers and enjoy!
Beef short rib tacos with tomato-cranberry salsa and cilantro
6 pack Samuel Adams® Pumpkin Harvest Ale
2-3 lbs beef short rib
1 cinnamon stick
8 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1.) Lightly salt and pepper the short ribs. In a really hot pan, sear all sides of the beef.
2.) Place short ribs in a deep pan, with the cinnamon stick, and cover with Samuel Adams® Pumpkin Harvest Ale. Don’t be afraid to drink the remaining beer.
3.) Cover pan and braise slowly in a 275 degree oven for 4 hours.
4.) Take out of oven and pour juices out into a pot. Skim the fat, and reduce the liquid by at least half. Return liquids to the pan with the beef
5.) To make the salsa: in a pot combine cranberries, sugar and cider vinegar, and cook on medium high, until thick- about 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
6.) Finely dice the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeños. Add in the juice from the lime, the red wine vinegar, the oil, the cumin and paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add the cranberry mixture and let stand for 2 hours or more.
7.) Heat up a tortilla; add some short rib, a little salsa, and some sprigs of cilantro. Enjoy with a cold beer!
Each week we receive a wide variety of awesome recipes from Sam fans that incorporate beer. As Jennifer has discussed before, cooking with beer can offer so many more complex flavors that can really make your dish standout (especially if you’re a beer lover). We recently came across a few side dishes featuring our flagship Boston Lager and Tasman Red from Sam Adams fan Dan Manca that we wanted to share for a variety reasons: they are quick and easy to prepare and they sound AWESOME! Take a look at the recipes below!
Got a recipe to share? Drop it on us in the comment section below!
BOSTON LAGER ONION RINGS
12oz Boston Lager
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 large white onion
Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven (or use a deep fryer if you have one). Slice onion into rings of desired thickness. Thoroughly mix dry ingredients in a large flat bottomed bowl. Add Boston Lager and stir to incorporate. Coat onion slices in batter and carefully place into hot oil. Cook on each side until desired brownness. Dry on a paper towel and enjoy!
TASMAN RED POTATOES AU GRATIN
12 oz. Samuel Adams Tasman Red*
2 large Idaho potatoes, sliced thin (for a “redder” experience use red potatoes)
1 cup whole milk
½ pound American cheese, sliced thin
½ pound cheddar cheese, shredded
Pre-heat oven to 400°. In a medium saucepan start heating the beer. Add American cheese slowly and allow it to melt. Sprinkle in cheddar cheese and allow to melt. Add milk until you get a creamy consistency. Salt and Pepper to taste. Line glass baking dish with overlapping potatoes, be sure to spread evenly to cover entire dish. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes. Bake at 400° for 1 hour (you may need to put a cookie sheet under your dish in case of cheese boiling over the edge). If desired, cover with breadcrumbs during the final 10 minutes of cooking.
This recipe is also great for fondue.
* Tasman Red can be replaced with Samuel Adams Irish Red for a different taste profile.
This month we gave the guys Verloren, our gose (pronounced “goes-uh”) style beer which is brewed with over 50 percent malted wheat and spiced with coriander and salt. While we understand some may not be able to make it to Boston to enjoy today, Pennypackers was kind enough to pass along the recipe and simple cooking instructions for you to experiment and create your own.
Cheers and enjoy!
Gose-Lemongrass Chicken Tacos (with Scallion-Red Pepper Relish and cilantro)
1.) Peel the ginger and garlic. Trim and remove the fibrous outer leaves of the lemongrass and rough chop the tender white parts. Put the garlic, ginger and lemongrass in a food processor and mince. Rough chop the chilies.
2.) Clean the chicken thighs and breasts, and cut into 1″ cubes. Put in a bowl and mix with the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, bird chilies, fish sauce, soy sauce, 1 cup of the sugar, and season with a little bit of salt and pepper.
3.) Put a large heavy pot on the stovetop on medium low. Add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups veg oil. Add the remaining sugar (1 cup) and cook until the sugar begins to caramelize and you have a thick brown paste in the pot. Be careful not to burn.
4.) Turn the heat to medium high, add the chicken mixture and cook for ten minutes, turning frequently.
5.) After 10 minutes, pour the Verloren over the chicken and turn heat to high. Allow to cook down until liquid becomes thicker and more intense, 20-30 minutes.
For the Scallion Relish:
1.) rough chop scallions, and julienne the red pepper very finely.
2.) put the rice wine vinegar and sugar in a pot on the stove and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and add sambal.
3.) pour the rice wine vin/sugar/sambal mixture over the scallion and red peppers and allow to cool.
To make the tacos:
Griddle a tortilla and put some of the chicken in. Add some of the scallion relish, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.
On July 26, 2012, for the first time in our Boston Brewery’s history, Jim Koch was a bridesmaid, a best man and the brewer of Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale, all in one day!
At Samuel Adams, we shared with drinkers what we know to be the centerpiece of a great wedding… beer. We brewed Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale, a limited-release Belgian style pale gold ale, and sold it for one day only. Hundreds of drinkers lined up (some at 5am in the morning!) to get their hands on our specialty brew to say “I do.” Jim toasted to everyone in line noting that Brewlywed Ale is “kind of like marriage – a bit spicy, a bit complex, a little bit unexpected and full of surprises.”
James and Karen tie the knot at the Boston Brewery as Jim looks on as the official witness!
Not only were we surprised by the crowd that lined up for Brewlywed Ale, but we were enlivened by the three couples who exchanged vows with a Justice of the Peace, Henri Gough, in our hop garden surrounded by fellow beer lovers. The first couple ever married at our Boston brewery, James Lanctot of Martha’s Vineyard and Karen Smith of Woonsocket, RI, heard of the event from our last newsletter and decided they would take the plunge! James thought what many men might, “What guy wouldn’t want to get married at brewery?” The other couples, Marcus Rozbitzy and Courtney Ayers, along with Jeremiah Atwood and Liz Neiderman, also exchanged vows with Jim by their side.
Over the years we have seen some pretty cool images from Sam fans that demonstrates their love of beer in a variety of ways.
Who Loves OctoberFest? This guy.
Trick or Treat... or just plain awesome?
How many of these styles have you had?
On Wednesday we clicked over to our Facebook page to find this utterly AMAZING piece of artwork done by Sam fan Sean Carney:
Look closely. You'll see this portrait was created with different Sam Adams labels!
Sean included a few “in the works” pictures which you can find further down. Sean says he soaked the bottles to help peel the labels off, divided them into different color piles and began constructing. He even points out that the cardboard used for the barrels were from our 6-pack carriers! Talk about being thorough in your craft!
Needless to say, Jim was blown away by the final product and surprised to see that so many beer bottle labels could make him look so good. To show his thanks, Jim shot this short video:
Before you get the wrong idea, this post is not a fluff piece pandering to bloggers in hopes of securing a few positive pieces for Sam Adams. Variety is the spice of life and we know people have a wide variety of opinions on many of our beers and craft beer in general. The community of beer bloggers helps keep the beer industry healthy and dynamic. While we’re always happy to read a positive review, we respect the not so nice reviews and the downright negative ones as well. Honest feedback is the only way to get better at one’s craft and brewers are no different. We take feedback and review however we can get it… beer forums, blog posts and even check-in applications such as Pintley and Untappd. Of course the feedback we receive in a face to face conversation is always the best as it gives us a chance to really dive into the positives (or negatives) of a person’s thoughts of a beer we’ve created.
This brings me to the Beer Bloggers Conference I attended in Indianapolis a few weeks ago. Talk about a passionate group of people who love beer! While my visit was short due to family obligations back in Boston, I had a great time chatting with many of the bloggers in attendance. I loved feeding off their energy as we discussed their favorite beer style, the first Sam Adams they’d ever had, and what homebrew might have been aging back home. I was asked the tough questions too, like if we were ever going to can our beer (Jim’s said that day will come someday, I just don’t know when) and when I expected Jim to “retire” (I can’t envision that day, let alone speculate on when it would happen!)
One of my biggest takeaways from chatting with different bloggers was that drinkers today are more engaged than they were ten years ago when I started. As brewers have become more experimental in what they brew, the drinker has embraced the variety that craft brewing can provide. While I won’t pretend to be the second coming of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, I’d guess the rise of social media has helped seed the growth in engagement. And as the U.S. craft beer industry continues to rise, we’ll likely see the engagement and discussion for craft beer rise as well!
I also enjoyed (as I have many times before) listening to Garrett Oliver’s, brewmaster from Brooklyn Brewery, key note address before we headed off to dinner. Garret spoke about the changes he had seen over the years being in the industry and how brewers are like artists – we all listen to the feedback but at the end of the day we create the masterpieces we want to create. I’ll raise a glass to that! While there is always a time and place to come together and collaborate on a great beer, I agree that at the end of the day you have to brew the styles and use the ingredients you’re passionate about.
Enough blogging… time to get back to the brewery! Thank you to everyone who came up to say hello and introduce yourself. Maybe one day the conference will come to Boston so we can have you stop by the brewery for a beer!
The Boston Beer Company is America’s leading brewer of handcrafted, full-flavored craft beers. Founder and Brewer, Jim Koch, brews Samuel Adams® craft beers using the time honored traditional four-vessel brewing process, and the world’s finest all-natural ingredients. With over 30 distinctive, award-winning styles of craft beer, Samuel Adams offers discerning beer drinkers a variety of brews. The brewery has won more awards in international beer tasting competitions in the last five years than any other craft beer brewery in the world.
The Boston Beer Company is America's leading brewer of handcrafted, full-flavored craft beers. Founder and Brewer, Jim Koch, brews Samuel Adams® craft beers using the time-honored, traditional four-vessel brewing process, and the world's finest all-natural ingredients. With over 30 distinctive, award-winning styles of craft beer, Samuel Adams offers discerning beer drinkers a variety of brews. The brewery has won more awards in international beer tasting competitions in the last five years than any other craft beer brewery in the world.