Celebrate National Pizza Week and Football Playoffs with New England Clam Pizza

What could be better than football playoff season? The answer is simple: football playoffs, a cold Boston Lager, AND National Pizza Week.

We worked with pizza expert Mark Bello from www.pizzaschool.com to develop a pizza recipe that is perfect for rooting for our home team: New England Clam Pizza, made with Boston Lager infused pizza dough!


This pizza not only ties to our roots here in New England, but it pairs perfectly with Boston Lager. Boston Lager’s doughy notes from the malt complement the rich and creamy sweet notes from the mozzarella and the ricotta cheese and slightly sweet character from the clams. The pie’s slightly savory oregano flavor will emphasize the citrus characters of the beer’s Noble hops while the chili flakes finish this pairing with a little heat that is balanced by a complex and lingering finish.

Is your mouth watering yet? Check out the recipe below and feel free to try it while rooting for your favorite team…

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Ancient Cousins: Beer and Cheese

This holiday season we have been enjoying one of our favorite pairings: craft beer and cheese.  We’ve always appreciated the wide range of complex and distinct flavors craft beer and cheese offer on their own , but it turns out the similarities don’t end there.  Brewing and cheesemaking share an intertwined history spanning thousands of years. They have evolved together for so long that they are a natural (and tasty) pairing. We wanted to explore this delicious relationship so we met with our friend Kurt Beecher Dammeier of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese to tell us all about the history of cheese.

Boston Lager & Cranberry DIY Cheese

Brewing and cheesemaking are both ancient arts and Kurt thinks of them as “cousins of the culinary world.” They are both derived from our earliest attempts to preserve food and drink, and they require high levels of skill, precision and the best ingredients possible to create a quality product. We both realized that while today’s brewers and cheesemakers are aided by advanced machinery, at the heart of our craft we are both still utilizing the same techniques that have been practiced for thousands of years. Brewers and cheesemakers alike are passionate and eager to experiment with ingredients and flavor profiles to create the best craft beer or cheese possible.

Kurt and I spent a day tasting a variety of our Winter Favorites brews and his handmade cheese to find the perfect pairings. There are thousands of flavor compounds from the hops, malt and yeast used in craft beers like Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and we discovered that these flavor compounds provide a variety of flavors when combined with different types of cheese. Boston Lager creates a wonderful marriage of flavor when featured in recipes or infused into cheese, enhancing the richness of the cheese with its subtle Noble hop character and beautiful piney, citrus and herbal notes. After a long day of tasting Kurt’s cheeses and our brews, we finally decided on the pairings we liked best. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!

We wrote down our tasting notes so anyone can sound like a cheese and beer expert while entertaining over the holidays. But remember, half the fun is trying different craft beers and cheese varieties until you find your favorite.

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National Lager Day 2014 – Lager Pairings for the Holidays

It’s the holiday season, which means many of us are enjoying the company of friends and family at holiday gatherings. In honor of National Lager Day (clearly the best day of the year), we put together a lager pairing guide with some of our favorite foods that we enjoy during the holiday season. Cheers!

National Lager Day 2014 Graphic FINAL

Looking for more beer and food pairings? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website.

2014 Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition: Meet the Finalists

Entrepreneurs nationwide in the food, beverage, and craft brewing industries have been perfecting their two minute business pitches as part of our Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition. This national contest offers small business owners the chance to win a $10,000 grant, extended coaching and mentorship from members of our team, and an opportunity to pitch their product to key retailers and buyers.

We’ve hosted four regional “Pitch Room” competitions this year in Chicago, Denver, Boston, and New York City. We’ve heard from a total of 23 small business owners who had just two minutes to pitch their products to a panel of expert judges ranging from members of the Sam Adams team (including Jim Koch), retailers, buyers, and business experts. Following the pitch, the small business owners were offered valuable feedback putting them one step closer to perfecting their sales pitch. When a small business is starting out, sometimes all they have is their pitch or their story, so improving this pitch goes a long way to enhance one’s selling abilities at the offset.

As a new element of the competition, we partnered with Entrepreneur magazine to host a “Wild Card” Competition, giving small business owners across the country that couldn’t attend a regional competition the chance to submit their best pitch by uploading a two minute pitch video online. Once we narrowed that pool down to X finalists, our drinkers helped us choose who would be moving on to the Pitch Room Finals (more on that below).

This year we have nine finalists who will be participating in the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Finals in New York City on December 4th!

Meet the finalists:

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Holiday Dinner Beer and Food Pairing Guide

It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time to enjoy the company of our friends and family around the table to break bread and raise some pints. Many of us are quick to grab a bottle of wine to pair with our holiday dinners, but beer truly makes for a versatile pairing that’s sure to please even the pickiest of palates (we know we all have someone like that at our table)!

There’s really no science behind it – it’s all about what you enjoy. But the one rule I follow is to keep the “Three C’s” in mind: complement, cut, and contrast. If you want to highlight certain spices or flavors in a food, pair it with a beer that has some of the same elements to complement. If you want to offset (cut) the heat of a spicy dish, go for a classic American lager. If you want to showcase different notes, use contrasting flavors to do that.

With that in mind, here’s a guide to beer and food pairings for the holiday season with our Winter Favorites Variety Pack.

Boston Lager & Blueberry DIY CheeseBoston Lager: This flavorful beer is great any time of year, but especially when shared with friends and family around the holidays.  Boston Lager’s balance of complex flavors make it a great pairing for a wide variety of foods, but during the holidays we love how the roasted malts add depth to roasted meats like turkey, duck, and lamb. This year we tried something fun and new:  DIY Boston Lager soaked cheese.  It’s a great way to kick off any holiday celebration and surprise your friends with something unique. Want to try it at home? Check out our (fun and easy) recipes.

winter lager brussel sproutsWinter Lager: We’ve been enjoying Winter Lager this time of year since 1989, as it was one of our first seasonal beers.  Bold and rich with a touch of holiday spice, we couldn’t imagine the cold winter without it! The deep maltiness and warming spices of Winter Lager enrich the flavors of a hearty beef stew or mellow the sweetness of desserts like pecan pie. For a tasty side dish, try Brussel sprouts with Winter Lager and bacon.

white ale walnut breadWhite Christmas: For a change of pace from the darker holiday brews, this wheat ale is crisp and light, yet with the familiar warmth of holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel.  It’s a great pairing with lighter dishes like salad with cranberries and goat cheese, and also compliments desserts like fruit tart or cheesecake.  Its wheat and spice also make it a perfect ingredient in beer bread – like in this recipe for White Ale walnut bread. It’s also an amazing addition to apple pie!

old-fezziwig-ale-bread-pudding--en--cc42fa29-a2a2-4846-84c9-6f74c00343a3Old Fezziwig Ale: We often like to refer to Old Fezziwig as the Christmas cookie of beers, and it’s certainly one of our favorites during the holidays. The combination of rich maltiness with notes of toffee and dark caramel and holiday spice make this beer a great pair with desserts like carrot cake or apple pie or classic side dishes like sweet potatoes and squash.  Check out our recipe for Old Fezziwig Ale bread pudding.

Looking for more cooking with beer recipes for the holidays? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website. From all of us here at Samuel Adams, Happy Holidays!

GOT CULTURE? Boston Lager & Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Team Up #FTW

Here at the brewery, we know that beer and cheese is a delicious and easy pairing – for holiday parties at the brewery or as an easy appetizer– and while we know a lot about beer, we wanted to learn more about cheese. So, we invited Kurt Beecher Dammeier from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese to the brewery to talk about (and taste) beers and cheese. What’s better than that?

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is an award-winning cheesemaker based in New York City and Seattle and after spending time together, we learned we actually have a lot in common. Their passion for quality, full-flavored ingredients. coupled with their originality. made us jump at the chance to learn more about their artisanal cheese and to create interesting recipes for craft beer and cheese lovers alike.

Jennifer & Kurt Tasting Cheese

One of the creations we are really excited to share is Beecher’s Samuel Adams Boston Lager-soaked cheese. Kurt came to the brewery armed with his Beecher’s Dutch Hollow Dulcet cheese which had been immersed in Samuel Adams Boston Lager and other ingredients for three days.  As soon as we took the first bite we knew we had something special.  We were delighted by how Boston Lager’s Noble hops with their piney, citrus and herbal notes added complexity to a rich cheese like Dulcet, a double-cream cheese with clean, lightly tangy and creamy character. This easy to do recipe is perfect for holiday entertaining,  and is a great way to impress your craft beer and cheese-loving friend or family member. We also created a few other recipes below that we are excited to share.

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Learning to Homebrew: A Q&A with John Marra, 2014 Employee LongShot Winner

2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Home Brew ContestIn early November, homebrewers across the country celebrated National Learn to Homebrew Day. We thought this was a great excuse to catch up with our colleague John Marra, a member of the Samuel Adams team in Brooklyn, NY, who was recently named the employee winner of our LongShot American Homebrew Competition!

The contest began in 1996 as a way for us to recognize and honor American homebrewers who continue to push the boundaries of what beer can be, just as Jim Koch did 30 years ago in his kitchen as he homebrewed the first batches of Boston Lager. We recently announced this year’s winners at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO.

Here’s what John had to say about being named the employee winner and the challenges he’s faced as someone who is fairly new to homebrewing:

Q: How long have you been a homebrewer? How did you get into it?

A: I have only just begun to homebrew.  In fact, it wasn’t until April of last year that I got started when I began my career at Samuel Adams.   The Longshot Competition was definitely an eye opening experience as to how intricate and detail-oriented you need to be during the brewing and bottling process.

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Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Brewing & Business Experienceship: A Q&A with ChuckAlek Independent Brewers

As part of the Brewing the American Dream program, craft brewers nationwide have the opportunity to apply for the Samuel Adams Brewing & Business Experienceship. Through the Experienceship, each year one craft brewer is selected and provided the opportunity to experience extended coaching and mentoring from the Samuel Adams team, access to beer industry events, and the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer with us at the Boston Brewery.

2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Home Brew Contest

This year’s Experienceship winner is founder and head brewer Grant Fraley and co-founder and CEO Marta Jankowska of ChuckAlek Independent Brewers. ChuckAlek Independent Brewers opened its doors in January of 2013 in Ramona, CA. Named after their grandfathers, Chuck and Alek, the brewery pulls some of the past into the present by creating “Old School Beers for New School Palates,” with a particular focus on porters and stouts. We had a chance to chat with them about how they got into the craft beer industry, what they’re currently brewing, and how Brewing the American Dream has had an impact on their brewery.

Q: How did you get into brewing?

A (Grant): I got started brewing at home several years ago when I first moved to San Diego.  I got interested in doing more European and classic styles while pursuing my master’s degree in Geographic Information Science over in Germany and Austria.

Q: When did you make the jump into starting your own brewery?

A (Grant):  Marta and I were really interested in exploring different styles of beer that weren’t readily available in San Diego. You can get triple IPAs, double IPAs, black IPAs – they’re all so prevalent. We were brewing a lot of British and German styles at home and we were like hey – this isn’t really being done, so there was a good opportunity to bring underrepresented styles to San Diego craft beer drinkers. We opened ChuckAlek Independent Brewers with help from friends and family, but most of it we built out on our own, including the brew house.

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Beers (and Foods) of Fall

It’s our favorite time of the year here in New England. There’s a crispness in the air, the leaves are changing, and football is back! Our Harvest Collection variety pack is the perfect pairing for all of your favorite fall activities, especially: tailgating. We’ve been experimenting with a few recipes and doing our tailgating homework (it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it).  Here’s a guide to fall beer and tailgating food pairings we recommend  you try out this fall.

harvest pack_blog post

cowboy-beef-boston-lager-chili--en--7aecdc3c-2493-40da-a855-5f603ae1c538Boston Lager: No matter what time of year, Boston Lager is our go-to beer. And luckily for us, it pairs with one of our go-to foods for football season – chili. The beer’s malty sweetness matches nicely with the roasted flavors of the beans, meat and tomatoes. The hop spiciness of the Hallertau hops work well too if you like your game day chili with a little heat. Check out our recipe for Cowboy Beef Boston Lager Chili to kick this pairing up a notch.

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Congratulations to our 2014 National LongShot American Homebrew Contest Winners

2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Home Brew ContestLast Friday, we gathered in Denver to add to the excitement of craft beer’s most celebrated gathering, The Great American Beer Festival (GABF), by announcing three beers crowned winners of the 2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Homebrew Contest.

Jim toasted three homebrewers who will join the ranks of creative and talented Longshot American Homebrew Contest Winners of the past. The contest began in 1996 as a way for Jim to recognize and honor American homebrewers who continue to push the boundaries of what beer can be, just as he did 30 years ago in his kitchen as he homebrewed the first batches of Boston Lager.

Over the past 30 years, craft beer has been on the rise and we don’t see any signs of slowing down anytime soon. We can attribute this in large part to homebrewers like those who enter our LongShot contest each year and craft brewers who are resilient and always looking to push the boundaries of brewing and introduce new styles of craft beer.

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Celebrate Oktoberfest with Beer and Pretzels Paired with Samuel Adams Smoked OctoberFest German Mustard

Snyders with MustardBeer and pretzels always go well together – but that is particularly true this time of year as we raise our steins to celebrate Oktoberfest!

Kris Schoenberger, owner and grill master at BBQ’d Productions, a small business that participates in our Brewing the American Dream program, put together a really great mustard recipe to enjoy with pretzels made with our OctoberFest beer.

Don’t have time to make your own pretzels?  Don’t worry – we tested out the mustard recipe with Snyder’s of Hanover limited edition Oktoberfest pretzels, which you should of course pair with our OctoberFest beer! A great pairing to Prost with!

Ingredients for Kris’ mustard:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Octoberfest Beer
  • 1 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Malt Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup dry yellow mustard
  • 1 TBSP onion Powder
  • 1 TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TBSP Hickory Smoke Flavoring
  • 1 TBSP Black Pepper


Mix the OctoberFest beer and brown mustard seeds in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. After simmering, turn off heat and allow the seeds to soak in the beer for one hour.

Pour seed and beer mixture into a blender and puree until you reach a smooth consistency, with a little grain still left.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the water and malt vinegar and then add the dry mustard, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, hickory smoke flavoring, and black pepper.

Take the mixture from the mixing bowl and mix well with the OctoberFest and brown mustard seed puree.

Pour into a glass jar or container. The mustard will remain good for up to one month as long as it is stored in the refrigerator.

The (Kosmic Mother) Funk is Coming

KMF Grand Cru_504x504 LogoWe’re not releasing the Kraken, but it feels that way as we unleash one of our latest projects – the 2014 release of Samuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru.

“KMF,” as we fondly refer to this beer, is a unique Belgian ale, brewed and fermented with multiple micro-organisms found in our historic 150-year old Boston Brewery.  The beer is then aged in Hungarian oak tuns in our Barrel Room for over a year.

Now, for the first time, we’re taking KMF on a mini coast-to-coast tour to share with drinkers like you starting this week in our hometown of Boston. Read More

Ales for ALS 2014: Join us for an Open Taps Night!

Ales for ALS_imageWe’re proud to join 69 brewers across 22 states to participate in this year’s edition of Ales for ALS! As part of the program, we brewed a specialty Ales for ALS beer (a hoppy pale ale) brewed with a special blend of hops donated by B.T. Loftus Ranches and Hopunion and designed by Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo, Bell’s Brewery’s John Mallet, and Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman. (Click here to learn more about this specialty hop blend).

To celebrate the launch of this limited brew, we will be hosting four Open Taps Nights at the Brewery during the month of August!

A $20 admission fee gets you entry into one of the four Open Taps Nights and includes: a full pint of the Ales for ALS brew, four beer samples, and a food truck meal pairing. All proceeds are being donated to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI).

We will have a different food truck at each event. Here are the dates and who will be at each one:

August 6th –  Trolley Dogs
August 8th –  Teri-Yummy
August 20th – Lilian’s Smokin’ Rack BBQ
August 22nd – Stock Pot Malden

We hope you can join us for one (or more) of these events! Please RSVP here.

Craft Brewer’s Experienceship: A Q&A with Rick Abitol of Brewery Rickoli

Brewery RickoliAs part of our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, craft brewers who have received a loan through the program can apply for a Brewing and Business Experienceship. Experienceship brewers receive extended coaching and mentoring from a variety of Samuel Adams experts, a trip to Boston to visit our Boston Brewery – where we brew a collaboration beer – and the chance to join us at beer industry events.

This year’s Experienceship winner was Rick Abitbol, brewmaster of Brewery Rickoli, a craft brewery based in Wheat Ridge, CO that focuses on brewing delicious, gluten-reduced beers. We had the chance to sit and chat with Rick about his passion for brewing and how Brewing the American Dream has helped him pursue his dream of opening his own brewery.

Q: What’s the story behind the name of Brewery Rickoli?

A: It comes from a nickname derived from “Jeff Spicoli,” a character in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a nickname I earned years ago. My wife bought me custom pub glasses that said “Rickoli Tavern” on them and it really planted the seed – I thought maybe someday I would own my own brewery.

Q: Brewery Rickoli focuses on reducing the amount of gluten in your beer. Why is this important to you and what are the challenges of this approach?

A: The drive for us to brew gluten-removed beers is about changing the stigma that gluten-free equals bad taste. Removing the gluten doesn’t affect the taste of our beers. We can make great beer to accommodate people’s needs and eating/drinking preferences, and not sacrifice quality.

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Ultimate DIY Grilling Recipe: Summer Ale Smoked Wood Chips

summer grillingMany people love to grill in the summer, myself included. And in my experience, nothing goes better with grilling than beer – as a pairing with food, infused into the dish or in my hand as I grill. You might remember I love grilling with beer so much, I even ventured outdoors this past winter to grill with beer-infused recipes.

This summer, with the help of Kevin Kolman from Weber Grills, I experimented with smoking on the grill, which imparts flavors and aromas that are hard to replicate. I asked Kevin what he thought might happen if we soak wood-chips with Samuel Adams Summer Ale. He didn’t know, so we gave it a shot and discovered that by soaking wood chips with Summer Ale, smoked foods take on a slightly sweet and citrusy note from the lemon as well as a subtle peppery flavor from the Grains of Paradise.

One of my favorite recipes, especially when grilling at a backyard BBQ on Cape Cod, is Summer Ale Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Avocado Butter. Summer Ale-soaked wood chips add beautiful citrus flavors to the swordfish, which are balanced by the subtle char from cooking on a grill. The chips also impart a nice sweetness and light smoky flavor to the swordfish.

Get ready to impress friends and family next time you grill with the secret ingredient: Summer Ale-soaked wood chips!

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