Celebrating National Lager Day

Happy National Lager Day! As a brewery that has been loving lager since 1984 (and well before that, channeling the love of Jim’s forefathers), it’s no secret that we look forward to this day each year. Join us today to celebrate and raise a pint of the style that helped give us our start and continues to be our favorite after all these years.

There are only two types of beer in this world… ales and lagers. Everything else is a style that belongs within one of these two types. For those of you not familiar with lager, it’s a type of beer that encompasses a wide variety of styles ranging from light pilsners to rauchbiers to darker bocks. So what links them together? Lagers are fermented and conditioned longer than ales, and at lower temperatures which yields smooth, crisp flavors and allows the malt and hops in the beer to shine.

Our Samuel Adams Boston Lager is brewed with two-row malted barley to give the beer its body and flavors ranging from slightly sweet to roasted, and Bavarian Noble hops which impart floral, piney and citrus notes. We then take an extra step and age Boston Lager longer to maximize and enhance the complex flavor combinations.

CELEBRATE WITH US!

To help you get in the National Lager Day spirit, we’re asking Sam drinkers like you to:

1. Grab your favorite Samuel Adams lager (there’s a few to choose from with Winter Lager, Double Agent IPL, Black Lager, Cherry Chocolate Bock, or our favorite Boston Lager)
2. Snap a photo.
3. Tag your photo on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LagerDay
4. We’ll select a few of our favorites and send you a Boston Lager prize pack!

Need more reasons to celebrate National Lager Day? Take a look at these fun facts around our favorite style…

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Utopias Cigars: A Q&A with Ted Jackson, Founder of Ted’s Cigars

Utopias CigarsThere are few things more rewarding for us at the Boston Brewery than seeing the excitement of our drinkers when their favorite brew is released. This is especially true with Utopias because of all of the passion and history that goes into this brew. And this year, we were happy to partner with Ted’s Cigars on the first-ever craft beer-seasoned cigar. It’s widely accepted that certain spirits pair with cigars. With this year’s release of Utopias, we thought it would be fun for cigar connoisseurs to try pairing with beer instead of the more traditional pairings.

I had the opportunity to talk with Ted’s Cigars founder Ted Jackson about this one-of-a-kind creation and here’s what he had to say:

Q: Ted, I had the opportunity to taste one of the Samuel Adams Utopias cigars and it immediately put a smile on my face. Brewing Utopias is an intense, tedious process, but it’s so rewarding to see this batch come to life not only in bottles, but in this cigar.

A: This was one of our most exciting projects to work on. Utopias has always been a favorite of mine, and I know it’s coveted by beer lovers worldwide. I’ve had a chance to try a few different batches of Utopias over the years, and no single batch tastes the same as the one that came before or after it. Each year’s batch’s flavors are so complex, but the common denominator is that Utopias is unlike any beer I’ve ever tasted.

Q: Utopias seems like a natural choice for a cigar pairing. Why does it work so well?

A: People naturally think of spirits to pair with cigars. Utopias works because of the complex flavors and the qualities that make it almost like a port or cognac. So many of the flavors in the Utopias – from its fruitiness and nuttiness – go together so well with the cigar’s spicy, complex character. It’s a match made in heaven.

Q: Exactly. This is proof that a craft beer be an equally enjoyable cigar ingredient and pairing. What can you tell us about your process for aromatically-seasoning the cigars? It sounds like something out of a mad scientist movie.

A: Our aromatic-seasoning process is proprietary, so I can’t tell you much aside from the fact that there aren’t any white coats or lab assistants locked in the basement. It’s an extremely tedious, time consuming process, but as you can see it’s the best way to meld the true Utopias character into the cigar.

Q: How much does the quality of the cigar itself matter for aromatic seasoning? You certainly won’t find this kind of cigar at the corner drug store.

A: Utopias on its own is otherworldly, but there isn’t a single liquid on the planet that can rescue a bad cigar. We take a lot of pride in the fact that this cigar blend received a rating of ‘88’ (Excellent) by Cigar Aficionado. That’s nothing to scoff at.

Q: Where can you buy the Samuel Adams Utopias Cigar?  I know I’ll be picking up a few for the holidays.

A: This cigar will be sold exclusively on our website, at TedsCigars.com/SamuelAdams. They’re only available through the end of December, though, so get ‘em while you can.

Q&A with Small Business Owner & Brewing the American Dream Loan Recipient Edward Belden of Peddler’s Creamery

The many business challenges that our founder Jim Koch faced when starting Samuel Adams, became the inspiration for creating our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.  Through the program, we partner with microlender Accion to provide access to capital and much-needed nuts and bolts business advice to small business owners just starting out in the food and beverage industry to help give them the support Jim wished he would have had early on.

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We ask you to join us in supporting small businesses this holiday season, especially on Small Business Saturday. Here is a list of business owners in our program and be sure to check out featured products on Pinterest.

Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with small business owner Edward Belden, founder of LA based Peddler’s Creamery. Peddler’s Creamery produces high quality artisan bicycle-churned organic dairy and non-dairy ice cream and frozen desserts that features local ingredients. Edward Belden received a loan from Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream to help fund his start-up equipment for his unique fresh churned ice cream and supplies.  He has participated in numerous speed coaching events and was even featured on the bottom of our Boston Lager 6-packs.

Here’s what Edward had to say about the idea behind his business, the importance of being involved in the community, and some of the best business advice he has received:

Q: Where did the idea for Peddler’s Creamery come from?

A: I loved making ice cream, eating ice cream, and riding bicycles. I was riding my bike past an ice cream place soon after graduating college and the idea to put them all together popped into my head!

Q: What are the benefits of fresh churned ice cream?

A: It allows us to use fresher local ingredients. You can also have more unique flavors that you might not have in a typical ice cream shop experience. It’s also fun to have customers participate in the process by getting their own chance to peddle the bicycle that churns the ice cream.

Q: 5% of profits from Peddler’s Creamery go to social and environmental causes. Which organizations have benefited from this and why do you think it is important for your business to invest in the community in this way?

A: We have worked with Habitat for Humanity, LA County Bicycle Coalition, and Downtown Women’s Center. Where are in an area in LA that is trying to help a lot of people transition out of homelessness and we feel it is really important to invest in the community. On Small Business Saturday we are going to be hosting our first Churning for Charity event and donating the ice cream volunteers make to the Downtown Women’s Center.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?

A: One of the biggest challenges we faced was finding funding. There is a lot you can do on your own – you can create recipes and have an amazing product, but you need to be able to create your own capital. Having the opportunity to work with a company like Samuel Adams was incredibly helpful.

Q: How has Brewing the American Dream helped your business?

A: Knowing that there was capital and additional support coming in through the program was super helpful and the network we have developed is incredibly powerful. Samuel Adams helped us get the word out about our business – we were featured on posters in bars in LA and also on the bottom of Boston Lager six packs. It was cool to be able to go to my local grocery store, pick up a six-pack of Sam Adams, and show it to my friends.

Q: What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry who are just starting out?

A: I think the best advice is something I got from a friend of mine – follow your passion and jump in. Don’t be afraid to take make your own path.

Want to learn more about Peddler’s Creamery? Check out their website.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday with Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream

BTAD logoThe many business challenges that our founder Jim Koch faced when starting Samuel Adams became the inspiration for starting our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.  Through the program, we partner with Accion to provide access to capital and much-needed nuts and bolts business advice to entrepreneurs just starting out in the food and beverage industry to help give them the support Jim wished he would have had early on.

As the holidays draw near, we hope everyone considers supporting our small business partners to round out their shopping list.

We ask you to join us in supporting small businesses this holiday season, especially on Small Business Saturday.

Here’s how you can participate with us:

Touring the Boston Brewery this week? All of the donations from the complimentary tour will go towards the Brewing the American Dream fund. Be sure to check our website for holiday hours.

In Boston but can’t make it to the brewery? Order a Samuel Adams Boston Brick Red on tap at participating locations. We donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Brewing the American Dream fund for every keg sold.

We encourage you to check out our Brewing the American Dream Business Directory to find a small business participating in the program near you.  We’re also featuring products from Brewing the American Dream participants on Pinterest.

Thanksgiving Entree from Colonel De: Chicken Pot Pie in a Sugar Pumpkin

De Stewart Colonel De  Cincinnati OHAt Samuel Adams we believe that passionate, driven people can make their dream of small business ownership a reality.

This is why in 2008 we developed a program in partnership with micro lender Accion called Brewing the American Dream that helps small business owners in the food and beverage industry gain access to capital to start or expand their business and provides nuts and bolts business advice through free seminars and speed coaching events.

This holiday season we are challenging ourselves and others to shop small on Small Business Saturday. We would also like to introduce you to one of our Brewing the American Dream loan recipients, Colonel De, founder and owner of Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices.

Colonel De is an expert on herbs and spices. Not only does he sell more than 500 herbs, spices and blends in his shops, but he also provides consulting and produces custom blends for more than 50 chefs and/or restaurants. We asked him to share a favorite fall recipe with us, and he recommended a Chicken Pot Pie in a Sugar Pumpkin – a dish he likes to prepare often this time of year.

Ingredients:

2 tbs. butter

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks celery

3 carrots, chopped

4 tbs. flour

4 cups chicken stock

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups shredded or chunked chicken

2 tbs. chopped parsley

.5 cup frozen peas, thawed

4 sugar pumpkins

Directions:

To prepare the pumpkins, cut off the top and scoop out the seeds. Clean out the stringy part as you would a melon.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt butter in saucepan and cook chopped onion until tender. Stir in celery and carrots and cook for two minutes. Stir in flour and cook for two minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and simmer until tender. Stir in chicken, parsley, and peas. Pour mixture into prepared sugar pumpkins. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Planning on preparing a traditional turkey at Thanksgiving? Check out Colonel De’s Turkey Rub - it is a great addition to any Thanksgiving turkey.

Everything You Need to Know About the 2013 Release of Utopias

If you haven’t heard of or had Utopias before, it is a brew that challenges the notion of what a beer can be.

It is an extraordinary brew that is the result of complex and carefully timed brewing – it is a blend of batches, some having been aged more than 20 years in a variety of woods in our Barrel Room. (If you’d like to learn more about the history of Utopias, check out this post).

This year’s Utopias was aged in casks from Buffalo Trace Distillery and eight-year-old Port barrels from Portugal. We then blended it with a touch of our Kosmic Mother Funk ® (KMF), a Belgian-style ale barrel-aged for at least nine months (and up to two years) in Hungarian oak tuns.

This is the first time we’ve blended KMF into Utopias. Here’s what Jim had to say about the new addition: “The KMF brings a whole new spectrum of flavors and complexity to the beer, including brighter fruit notes like cherries and plums and just a hint of earthiness.”

Utopias Comp2 (2)Utopias is a strong, rich, uncarbonated dark beer with fruit notes and a rich malty sweetness, reminiscent of a deep, rich vintage Port, fine Cognac, or aged Sherry while being surprisingly light on the palate.

Our Find a Sam page will tell you where you can find Utopias, but keep in mind that it is likely that many locations will sell their few bottles quickly. If you are planning to travel a far distance to acquire a bottle, we strongly recommend calling the retailer ahead of time to ensure they have it on hand.

We brewed fewer than 15,000 bottles this year, so it is a truly rare drinking experience.

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.

So, how much will it cost you? Retailers are free to set their own pricing, but we have placed a suggested retail price of $199.00 per bottle.

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. Don’t store this beer in the fridge… a cool/dark place is ideal. And don’t be afraid to hold onto the bottle… the liquid will only get better with age!

Our brewers recommend serving Utopias as an ideal after-dinner drink or toasting a special occasion at room temperature (about 70°F) in 2oz pours.

This year we worked with Ted’s Cigars to create a limited-edition, Utopias-seasoned cigar, to be enjoyed on its own or as a pairing with the brew. The Utopias-seasoned cigars are made with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, long leaf Dominican Republic binder, and tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Nicaragua, and of course, seasoned with Samuel Adams Utopias through Ted’s proprietary process of aromatic seasoning, which marries the complex flavors of both the cigar and the Utopias.

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When enjoying Utopias and the seasoned cigar together, the beer brings out a creamy, spicy sweetness from the cigar and enhances the subtle leather and smoky character in the cigar’s finish. You can purchase Ted’s Utopias-seasoned cigars at Ted’s Cigars during November and December.

If you get your hands on a bottle and/or cigar be sure to let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!

Cheers to Boston: A Message from Jim Koch

We’re excited to congratulate the Red Sox on their World Series win!

As you may have heard, we had a little something on the line with our friends Schlafly Beer in St. Louis.

Here’s what Jim had to say after the big win:

With the Red Sox clinching the World Series, it’s clear we are home to the most dedicated and passionate players and fans. I toast a Sam Adams Boston Lager to all the players and coaches for their hard work this season.

Now, I can also look forward to sharing a beer and BBQ with my good friend, Dan Kopman of Schlafly Beer since he lost his bet on his beloved Cards. We’ve had a lot of fun during the series, but I know we’re happy to get back to what we know best – brewing beer.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll have a chance to wager again next year!

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Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition

These past few months we’ve been traveling across the country meeting with small business owners in the food and beverage industry. Although this time, we’re not sourcing ingredients for a new beer. Entrepreneurs nationwide have been perfecting their two minute pitch to expert judges as part of our Pitch Room Competition which offers the chance to win a $10,000 grant, extended coaching and mentorship from The Boston Beer Company, and an opportunity to pitch their product to key retailers and buyers.

In partnership with Accion, we’ve hosted four “Pitch Room” competitions this year  in San Francisco, Denver,  Boston, and New York City. We’ve heard from 25 small business owners who had the opportunity to pitch their products in just two minutes to a panel of expert judges ranging from members of the Samuel Adams senior leadership team (including Jim Koch), retailers, buyers, and business experts. Following the pitch, business owners were offered valuable feedback putting them one step closer to perfecting their sales pitch.

Meet the finalists…

Sasm Adams Coaching30Cole Meeker, owner of San Francisco based Sea of Change Trading Company,  impressed the judges with his baked seaweed snacks. They come in a variety of different flavors including Thai BBQ and Maple Sea Bakin’. Cole’s dedication to keeping his ingredients fresh and all natural made him the judge’s pick.

Lindita winnerLindita Torres-Winter was the winner at the Denver “Pitch Room” event. As owner of Lindita’s Salsa, she has developed a salsa mix that gives you fresh salsa – all you need to do is add the tomatoes. Lindita grew up as a farm worker and picked tomatoes as a child. She created her authentic mixes based upon her Hispanic culture and heritage.

SamPitchRoom_437_LowResMichael Fairbrother of Londonderry, NH won the Boston “Pitch Room” event with his pitch of Moonlight Meadery. Michael became passionate about mead way back in 1995 when he tried it for the first time – since then, he has opened his own meadery that offers a variety of different styles of mead. Michael has extensive knowledge about mead and is dedicated to experimenting with his craft.

doves_figsRobin Cohen, owner of Doves and Figs based in Arlington, MA was a finalist at the Boston event and she will also be joining us in the finals. Robin produces delicious jams and all natural fruit spreads made with all locally grown products  made with no preservatives and made in small batches. The Boston judges loved her family story and her passion for her product.

BrewlaBrother and sister duo Daniel and Rebecca Dengrove, owners of New York based Brewla Bars, were the winners of the New York City Pitch Room event. Their all natural frozen bars made with craft brewed ingredients impressed the judges.

Lucca headshot editedCatherine Oddenino and Ruthie Vishlitzky, owners of New York based Luca & Bosco, were finalists at the New York City event. Their commitment to using all natural ingredients for their high quality ice cream.

The winners from our regional events have been invited to compete  in the “Pitch Room” finals at the Boston Brewery on December 9th – stay tuned for more details and may the best pitch win!

Beers, Beards, & Baseball

Lager BaseballThe mayors of Boston and St. Louis might not have a wager going for the championship series, but we definitely do. The gloves are coming off with our fellow craft brewer Schlafly Beer in St. Louis!

The wager: Jim Koch is so confident that our hometown team will win the series that he is betting two cases of his favorite Boston Lager and a lobster dinner against Dan Kopman’s Schlafly Pale Ale and a dinner from Pappy’s BBQ ribs. To sweeten the pot, the losing city will have to send one of their brewers to the winning city to help brew a victory beer.

Here’s what Jim had to say about the bet : “Here in Boston, we are lucky to be home to some of the best sports teams in the country. The Boston Red Sox are the epitome of passion and true American tradition. I look forward to seeing the team bring home the World Series trophy once again – and then toasting with a Boston Lager. May the best team win!”

And here’s what Dan had to say: “St Louis is the home of the best fans in baseball and the best beers in the US.  I look forward to our 12th World Series victory  and then visiting my good friend Jim and toasting with a Schlafly Pale Ale.  May the best team win!”

Cheers to beers, beards, and baseball!

Tailgating Tips from Weber Grill Master Kevin Kolman

kevinkolmanKevin Kolman is Weber’s Grill Master, making him Weber’s go-to guy for all grilling techniques, products, and questions. We were lucky enough to grill out with Kevin at the Boston Brewery in September so we took the opportunity to ask him for some pro tips about something we all love to do – tailgate.

Q: In your opinion, what’s the most common rookie mistake people make when tailgating?

A: 1.  Using the wrong grill.  2. Running out of fuel.   3.Running out of food.  4. Running out of beer.

Q: What is a cooking with beer dish that you could impress your friends with at a tailgate?

A: There are actually a couple of dishes that come of mind.  One is a BBQ cheeseburger with grilled onions.  I use Samuel Adams OctoberFest and mix it into my bbq sauce and warm for 5-7 minutes.  I then use that as a glaze right before the burger comes off the grill.  I also use OctoberFest when grilling onions.  The flavor and color are amazing, which really takes the burger to another place.

Q: Where and when did your most memorable tailgate take place?

A: It was actually October 10th of this year – I held a tailgate at Soldiers Field for more than 100 people. The weather was perfect and so was the food.  It will go down in history as one of my favorite grilling moments ever!

Want more ideas for how to have an awesome tailgate? Check out this video from the Weber blog.

2013 LongShot Winners Announced!

Amidst the excitement of the Great American Beer Festival, earlier today we gathered at Marlowe’s in Denver to announce the three beers that were crowned the 2013 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest winners.

Jim was on hand for the announcement and recognized the winners as a few of the most talented homebrewers in the country. The level of enthusiasm for homebrewing and brewing craft beer is at an all time high in America.  One indicator is that the craft beer landscape has exploded into more than 2,500 craft breweries across the country, compared to the 83 that existed during the 1980s when Jim first got his start. The morning was filled with great discussion around regional homebrew clubs, what beers are  on-tap for future homebrews, and we even heard a few attendees talking about a future collaboration beer in the future!  That kind of creativity and collaboration is what craft beer is all about.

So without further hesitation, the 2013 LongShot winners are:

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A big, malty Stout with notes of chocolate and coffee, Russ Brunner’s American Stout carries a velvety finish with notes of roasted cocoa. The LongShot judges were drawn to the richness of this stout and balanced taste, with hints of citrus and pine from the American hops adding a subtle bitterness. Russ shared that while he had been homebrewing for three years, this Stout was the first recipe he created on his own.

Perhaps the most unique style, Cesar Marron’s Grätzer (Grätzer was added to the 2013 Beer Style Guidelines earlier this year), is a light, Polish smoked wheat beer.  This brew packs a punch of smoky sweet flavor from the heirloom smoked malt, and spicy and herbal notes from Saaz hops.  Cesar says he drew inspiration for this unique recipe from a strong interest in the unusual, yet traditional, style.

Representing the Samuel Adams employees with a winning homebrew is Teresa Bury’s Pineapple India Pale Ale. This IPA is brewed with four different American hops that pack a punch of grapefruit character we’ve come to expect from these types of hops. However Teresa’s version provides mellow and complementary tropical fruit notes from the addition of real pineapples. We were interested to learn that Theresa had made it a personal challenge to brew a beer that carried a strong hop flavor but that was also balanced with her favorite fruit, pineapple. As she said, “I’ve been brewing beers to fit friends and family’s tastes for years, and I decided one day to brew one that fit my style.”

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While we wait for these three brews to hit shelves next spring in the special LongShot variety 6-pack, we’ll be watching to see what these homebrewers brew next. Perhaps one of them could join the ranks of Bob Gordash (winner of the 1996 LongShot Homebrew Contest) and Don Oliver (winner of the 2006 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest) who have gone on to become professional brewers.

Congratulations to our three winners and to the more than 1,000 homebrewers who sent in entries! The passion for craft beer is stronger than ever because of the  community of homebrewers who put so much time and effort into their craft, pushing the boundaries of better tasting beer.

Cheers!

Sam Can Chicken Recipe from Chef David Burke

As a Boston sports fanatic, I can tell you that tailgating is a competitive sport for the true fan – not something to be taken lightly. In the parking lots before the big game, it’s not unusual to encounter people five hours before kickoff, grilling away and setting up their spreads.

You usually see a lot of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, but with the help of Chef David Burke, we’ve created the perfect dish to bolster your tailgating arsenal: “Sam Can” Chicken, made with our very own Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Sam Can Chicken 1

Our new Boston Lager cans offer a more convenient way to enjoy the great taste of Boston Lager whether you’re tailgating at the game or “homegating” in front of the television. It also offers us the opportunity to experiment with even more recipes. Chef Burke’s unique approach calls for a funnel (placed atop the chicken like a hat) to allow steam to circulate, releasing layers of flavor and moisture into the chicken, and keeping the chicken moist. The can serves as a vertical roast rack for the chicken, which can be roasted on the grill, in a smoker or even in your home oven.

Why is craft beer perfect for a beer can chicken recipe, you might ask?  The Boston Lager actually acts as a built-in “spice packet.” As the beer boils, the chicken is infused with delicious, malt-and-hops laden steam, which adds a complex range of flavors, from roasted to slightly sweet. A variety of hops lend floral, piney and citrus notes to the chicken.

With the fall sports season now in full swing, there’s no better time to try out this exciting new recipe. I recommend pairing it with, you guessed it, Boston Lager.

Samuel Adams® Sam Can Chicken Recipe

Recipe by Chef David Burke

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fryer chicken (approximately 3 to 5 pounds) with giblets removed
  • One 12-ounce can of Samuel Adams Boston Lager® (Find it here)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon for fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 stainless steel cooking funnel (will need for cooking)

Directions:

Create the chicken marinade by mixing all the ingredients, except for the chicken, in a mixing bowl. Next, add the chicken to marinade and marinate for 2 hours.

Heat the grill (on high, or until coals are ready for cooking). Open the can of Sam Adams Boston Lager®. Remove 1 tablespoon of beer from the can. Using a grill fork or knife, punch a few holes in the top of the can. Place your chicken right side up on the can. It should sit up straight. (TIP: Be sure to place the beer can as far into the chicken as you can, as if you were balancing the chicken on the can.) Cut a small hole at the top of the chicken to allow steam to go in and out. Then, place a stainless steel funnel over the top of the chicken and cover the funnel hole with foil; this will hold the steam in and allow it to circulate and keep the chicken moist. (TIP: The wide opening of the funnel should fit snuggly over the chicken).

Place the beer can chicken in the middle of the grill and close the grill. Let the chicken cook for about 1 hour or until the meat reaches the temperature of 165 degrees.

For conventional ovens: Set the oven to 375 degrees and cook the chicken on the bottom rack. Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes.

(For more Cooking with Sam recipes, click here)

351 Sam Adams: A Q&A with Todd Ruggere

MassBeerTour04bOver the past year, Massachusetts resident Todd Ruggere has visited all 351 towns in the state to enjoy a Samuel Adams; all while raising money for the Jimmy Fund. We had the chance to talk to Todd about his favorite memories from the tour, including an interesting day at a nudist colony.

Q: What made you decide to do this?

A: For years, I wanted to come up with a cool way to raise money for children’s cancer research in Boston. When I decided to explore Massachusetts by drinking a beer in every town, I thought this would be the perfect way to raise money. Who wouldn’t want to drink beer for charity?

Q: Why are you raising money for this particular cause?

A: I’ve always been touched by the Jimmy Fund commercials on TV. I have been fortunate not to have anyone close to me have cancer, but at most of the stops throughout the state, I met someone that either has cancer, or has a close family member with cancer. It affects everyone.

Q: Did all 351 towns serve beer?

A: Surprisingly, no! There are approximately 35 dry towns where there is nowhere to drink. In those towns, I depended on the generosity of local people to invite me into their homes. Residents of Colrain, Heath, Florida, Peru, Middlefield, Mt. Washington, and many more had cookouts and supplied Sam Adams for my visit. The town of Alford actually had a concert when I showed up. The most difficult location to coordinate was Gosnold, which is on the Elizabeth Islands. The Town Hall representative called me to invite me over, arranged for a ferry, and had an event where I was able to meet all of the 22 year-round residents. The memories I have will last me a lifetime.

Q: What is the craziest thing you have done or seen on your journey?

A: If I had to pick one, it would have to be town #340, Hancock. Back in May, I received a phone call from the owner of Berkshire Vista nudist resort in Hancock who invited me to come there for the day to have my beer. I knew this is something I had to do. It was quite the experience once you get over the initial shock – the place was gorgeous. If I were a nudist, for more than just one day, this is the place I’d go!

Q: What is your favorite style of Sam Adams?

A: My favorite will always be Samuel Adams Boston Lager, but during this quest I’ve had time to try just about every style of Samuel Adams. I also love Latitude 48, Double Agent IPL, and OctoberFest.

Todd will have his final beer of the tour tonight at the Boston Brewery with our very own Jim Koch. If you’d like to learn more about Todd’s journey, check out his website 351samadams.com.

National Cheeseburger Day: Blue Cheese Burger with OctoberFest Caramelized Onions and Boston Lager Ketchup

Burger photo for blogWe wanted to give you a fresh spin on one of America’s favorite foods on National Cheeseburger Day using OctoberFest and Boston Lager. Hope you enjoy my favorite burger!

Here’s what the cheeseburger is comprised of:

Grilled Pretzel Bun (my personal preference- but any grilled bun you prefer will work)
Burger (Maybe even try the Boston Lager cut from Robinson’s Prime Reserve)
Blue Cheese

OctoberFest Caramelized Onions:
Slice onions (2 Vidalia) into half moons
Cook over medium heat with couple tablespoons of butter for about 10 minutes
Add ½ bottle of OctoberFest and a tablespoon of brown sugar and cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly translucent
Reduce heat to simmer and add the rest of the bottle of OctoberFest 10 minutes or until you like the texture/flavor

Boston Lager Ketchup:
6 Ounce can of tomato paste
½ cup of Boston Lager
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon of dry mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch* of garlic powder
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of clove
Salt and Pepper to taste (you can use some smoked pepper if you like to add a depth of savory smoky character)
*pinch is recommended but you can add more or less of each of these for your favorite flavors

Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until you have the consistency you want.  Will last 3-4 weeks refrigerated.

Once you have your ingredients together, you can add them to your burger to your liking!

This cheeseburger recipe pairs best with a Boston Lager. Beef is a great pairing, if not one of the best pairings for 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.