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!
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.
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.
Kurt and I will be continuing to explore the world of craft beer and cheese over the next few weeks (it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!). So, stay tuned for more flavorful and delicious ideas and recipes in the coming weeks!
DIY Boston Lager soaked-cheese recipes
For each soaked-cheese, boil 32 ounces of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and respective sweetener (honey or maple syrup) to a simmer for five minutes, add the remaining ingredients, and cool the mixture before adding Beecher’s Dutch Hollow Dulcet to soak for three days, stored in a refrigerator.
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.
Boston 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.
OctoberFest: It’s not a tailgate without firing up the grill. The deep malty character of our OctoberFest beer complements the savory taste of bratwurst and brings out the sweet roastiness. To take this pairing one step further, check out our recipe for OctoberFest Beer Broiled Brats.
Harvest Pumpkin Ale: The classic pumpkin pie spices of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg in Harvest Pumpkin Ale balance out the flavors of BBQ pulled pork or BBQ ribs. The charring of the meat works nicely with the malt character of the beer. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you may want to pair this beer with a dessert like apple pie or our recipe for Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale Bread.
Harvest Saison: Our take on a saison has got a lot of layers of flavor, from malty to subtle floral, fruit, and earthy hop notes. The earthy yet light flavors pair well with lighter dishes like roasted chicken. We know what you’re thinking – roasted chicken at a tailgate? We have a great recipe from Chef David Burke for “Sam Can” chicken made with Boston Lager that you can make right on the grill.
Looking for some cooking with beer recipes for the fall? Check out the Food and Beer section of our website.
We’re joining craft beer fans across the country this week and celebrating American Craft Beer Week, but there is another celebration that we’re just as passionate about: National Small Business Week!
In 2008, we launched our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program to help small business owners in food, beverage and craft brewing by providing microloans and the coaching and mentoring they need to jump start and grow their small businesses.
To date the program has:
Lent nearly $3 million to more than 325 small business owners through our partnership with Accion, the leading nonprofit provider of microloans
Helped to create or retain nearly 2,000 jobs
Coached more than 4,000 small business owners from coast to coast
And now, we’re asking for your support!
Throughout the month of May, we’ll donate five cents* for every pint of Samuel Adams Boston Lager draft sold at participating locations to fund micro-loans for passionate, hard-working food and beverage entrepreneurs!
To find participating bars and restaurants near you, click here. You can also share your support of small businesses for a chance to win a Raise a Pint prize pack here.
When you raise a pint of Boston Lager, just know that you’re supporting a Brewing the American Dream small business owner like: Kris Schoenberger, Owner of BBQ’d Productions based out of Chicago, IL.
Q: So how did you become so passionate about BBQ?
A: BBQ means so many things to people. Some people define BBQ as a sauce, as smoking meat, or as anything you cook outside on a grill. For me, BBQ is a combination of experiences – from different regions, cooking styles, and culinary traditions. My passion comes from taking those experiences and seeing how far I can take it by pushing the limits of my own creativity. I’ve barbecued everything from cake to ice cream to spaghetti and meatballs. There’s nothing I won’t try!
Q: What inspired you to start your own business?
A: I was hosting a BBQ at my home and a friend liked the food so much that he asked me to cater his wedding for over 300 people. At the wedding, people came up to me and asked for my business card – the rest is history. I knew I had a talent but I didn’t really know it was marketable. Once I came to understand that this could be a creative outlet for me, and that I could build a profitable business around it, I knew I had found my calling.
Q: How has the loan you received from Brewing the American Dream help you take the next step with BBQ’d Productions?
A: The loan has actually helped me in a bunch of different ways. I used the loan to buy a second trailer which enabled me to take on more than one event or catering job at a time. This second trailer is wrapped with our brand design and the name of the company, so it gives the business more visibility and the great professional look it deserves.
Working through the process with my loan officer at Accion was great. She helped me think through where I wanted to go with my business and helped me develop my business plan. When I applied for the loan, I really had a vision for how it would help me grow BBQ’d Productions in a smart way.
Q: Have you been able to take advantage of any of the coaching offered through the program?
A: Yes and in many ways, that has been as important as the loan. I attended a Speed Coaching event recently and had the chance to sit down and talk to Jim Koch. It is amazing how much we have in common around the way we approach our businesses… the creativity, the importance of being independent, and the emphasis we both put on quality and our shared love for making a product that makes people happy. I’ve also received coaching from the Sam Adams team by phone in marketing and in human resources, and I’ve been able to apply a lot of the suggestions the coaches made.
Q: What’s the best part of going to work at BBQ’d Productions every day?
A: Getting up every day, looking out the window and seeing a trailer in my driveway with my name on it. It is so gratifying to be able to say, “I did that.” After four years of running the business, BBQ’d Productions is an actual brand that people associate with good things – not just great BBQ, but also a hardworking guy who gives back to his community.
Some people mistakenly think of Valentine’s Day as a “wine holiday,” (we’re using our finger quotes on this one) but we know better. Instead, we think you should impress your Valentine with some excellent beer and food pairings! Chef David Burke and Gianni Cavicchi, the Beer and Wine Expert at Tour de France Restaurant Group NYC, compiled a pairing guide for common aphrodisiac foods and a few of the beers in our Spring Brews Variety Pack. You know, to help make this Valentine’s Day one to remember…
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 acts as a palate cleanser and gets you ready for the next bite. Another pairing option would be a beer with a darker roasted character like Irish Red. The roasted malts will add depth to the taste of the meat while the effervescence will keep the taste refreshing.
The American and Australian hop varieties in this beer impart bold grapefruit notes and provide a nice contrast to sweeter salmon dishes, while the beer’s crisp wheat malt and subtle addition of apricots and orange peel provide a refreshing complement.
We know, this one may come as a bit of a surprise. When pairing chocolate and beer, rich malty flavors are your friend. The malt character and subtle bitterness from the Noble Hops, complements the malt sweetness in the chocolate. The carbonation also tends to lighten heavier chocolates and acts as a palate cleanser.
2 12 oz. bottles of Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Chinese Hoison sauce
4 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1/3 cup grape jelly
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger
juice of 1/2 orange
2 tbsp. orange zest
4 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. water
In a saucepan, combine the first 6 ingredients, stir them over medium heat to making sure all sugar and jelly have blended and dissolved well. Add orange juice, orange zest, and cilantro. Let heat two minutes.
Combine the water and cornstarch in a small separate bowl, stir into the sauce, then let cook for five minutes to thicken the sauce.
Fry chicken wingettes separately and toss in the sauce to your liking – this recipe will coat 3 lbs. of wings.
Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing – and of course, pair with a Boston Lager!
Are you a small business owner in the Philadelphia area? Join us on February 24 for our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Speed Coaching event! Learn more and RSVP here.
When temperatures drop and the sun starts setting earlier, there’s an army of brave souls that emerge with a passion for grilling outdoors, and I have to admit that I’m one of them. So when the flakes started falling here in Boston this past weekend, I was grilling outside with a Boston Lager in hand and, of course, beer infused in the recipe.
This winter, we’re teaming up with Chef Vinson Petrillo who is known for his boundary pushing dishes (you may have seen him on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’), to create unexpected winter grilling recipes enhanced by Boston Lager.
We’re hoping these will inspire you to get outside this winter to grill and when you do, we want you to share your photos with us! Join in via Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #GrillingWithSam to share your favorite winter grilling photos, tips, stories and recipes. Those who post using the hashtag will be entered to win prizes, including a Samuel Adams customized Weber® grill (like the one in the photo above) and a Samuel Adams prize pack.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager on its own is the perfect cold weather beer. It’s a full-bodied, robust brew with a rich malty character, balanced by spicy hop and sweet caramel notes. And when you combine Boston Lager with grilling, there’s really nothing better. People tend to be a lot more daring when they are outside grilling than when they have a saucepan in the kitchen, hence a perfect time to incorporate beer! From a flavor perspective, grilling can give food a little bit of caramelized sweetness from the flames. Boston Lager’s maltiness compliments this slight sweetness while the hops in the beer give a little spice to balance everything out.
So don’t be daunted by the cold. There’s no better time to be a winter griller and no better way to grill than with beer. Head outside to fight the winter chill with a grill. Below is one of Chef Vinson’s favorite Samuel Adams Boston Lager winter grilling recipes. We hope you’ll try it out! Don’t forget to share your photos on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #GrillingWithSam!
Samuel Adams Boston Lager Brined and Grilled Pork Rack
1 rack of pork (3-4 pounds, bone on, with 6 bones attached)
2 cups apple cider
2 cups Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Canola oil for coating the pork
For the Samuel Adams Boston Lager Brine:
Heat all the ingredients together, minus the pork and canola oil, in a saucepan. Once the mixture comes to a boil, pour it into a container that can fit in an ice bath. Cool the mixture in an ice bath until the liquid is at 40 degrees F.
For the Grilled Pork Rack:
Place the pork rack in the brine and refrigerate overnight for at least 12 hrs. When the pork is fully brined, remove from the brine and discard the brining liquid.
Place the pork on a cooling rack so it can dry, and let it come to room temperature before grilling.
Light a grill with coals, but be sure to offset the coals slightly, making one side hotter than the other.
Portion the pork rack into six 1-1 ½ inch chops. Generously season with salt and pepper and a light coating of canola oil, so the pork sears but doesn’t stick to the grill.
Place the pork on the hot side of the lighted grill and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side (until it begins to brown). Be sure to move the pork often to prevent flare-ups. After the pork chops cook for 2 minutes on each side, move them to the cooler side of the grill and turn them every 2 minutes. The pork is done when the internal temperature reaches 140-145 degrees F. Once done, take the pork chops off the grill and let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Samuel Adams Apple Butter.
Samuel Adams Apple Butter
2 ½ cups Samuel Adams Boston Lager
6 Honeycrisp apples
3 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pinches Penzy apple pie seasoning
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, kept cold
Salt and pepper to taste
Gather a cast-iron pan or a heavy skillet that can be used on the grill.
Peel and core the apples, cut them in half, then cut each half into four pieces. This should result in a total of eight pieces per apple. Peel and slice the onions evenly.
Add the onions, apples, apple pie seasoning and a pinch of salt to the pan, and sweat them until translucent. Once the onions are translucent, add the Samuel Adams Boston Lager and reduce by half. Once reduced, take the mixture off the heat and slowly start adding the cold butter, stirring with a whisk. Add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time, taking caution not to break the sauce. Once all of the butter is added, you’ll have apple butter for the pork chops.
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:
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.
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
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)
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.
We 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)
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.
Ever since the new Sam Cans hit shelves this spring, we’ve been hearing great feedback and we’ve seen with our own eyes, how excited drinkers are to take the Sam Can with them out into the great outdoors. Being able to take your beer with you where bottles aren’t allowed is one of the benefits of canning beer.
Now we’re taking Boston Lager to new heights. Literally. Be on the lookout for the Sam Can on JetBlue flights!
To celebrate, earlier today Jim and Marty St. George (JetBlue’s SVP of Marketing and Commercial) surprised travelers with an in-air Sam Can tasting (a first for Jim!). On the flight (headed to NYC from Boston), Jim handed out Boston Lager cans (to all the lucky 21+ passengers) and took the group through a sampling of his first and favorite brew … 35,000-feet in the air.
Jim and Marty St. George tastes passengers on JetBlue flight from Boston to JFK Airport in New York City.
Jim kept the festivities going in the JFK T5 Terminal.
Jim reported back that the July 4th holiday travelers couldn’t have been happier about their choice of ‘in-flight entertainment.’
And for those folks sticking close to home this holiday – don’t worry. Now that Boston Lager is available in cans, it’s the perfect brew to accompany you to the grill, beach on the golf course or even on a boat.
Summer is finally here in Boston. To help celebrate sunshine and warmer weather, the team at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream stopped by yesterday’s Open House at the brewery to sample some great beer and ice cream combinations we came up with together.
Beer and ice cream are right up there as two of my absolute favorite things. So, what could be better than a combination of the two? And, whether for a pint of beer or for a pint of ice cream, we are both passionate about using the best ingredients to create a classic combination or a new innovative style, so we had to create a perfect pairing!
At our Open House, beer lovers and ice cream fans alike were excited and intrigued by the idea of pairing ice cream and beer, but, in actuality, they’re a pretty natural couple. The carbonation of beer lightens up the creaminess of ice cream and the with the combination of flavors, between the dozens of beers our Samuel Adams brewers created this year and the ice cream flavors dreamed up by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream gurus , the possibilities for amazing your taste-buds are endless!
If you’d like to try this experiment for yourself this summer, below are our favorite pairings, including a couple of “beer floats.” Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru Eric Fredette and I researched these pairings for hours on end. It was tough work, sipping and eating our way through pint after grueling pint, but we think we’ve come up with some great pairings and floats for you to try.
The floral and citrus notes of the hops in Double Agent IPL compliment the bright fruit character in the Pineapple Passionfruit , making it a great pairing. The smooth finish of the beer is a nice contrast to the creaminess of the yogurt.
Can we offer you some Boston Lager Chocolate Therapy?
Boston Lager and chocolate is a perfect pairing. Chocolate Therapy, a rich, bold ice cream is surprisingly balanced by the complex hop and malt flavors in Boston Lager. The brew’s notes of caramel and toffee compliment the ice cream’s sweetness while the piney, citrus notes from the noble hops in the beer help lift the flavors off your palate.
This float really allows the lemon in the frozen yogurt to shine. The overall citrus flavors are bold yet balanced by the peppery heat from the grains of paradise in the beer and the delicate floral notes from the lavender and fruity blueberry swirl in the ice cream.
This pairing is all about blueberries! In this beer, the slightly sweet flavors of the blueberries are balanced by the lemon citrus character of the brew’s noble hops. Rich and creamy, the vanilla ice cream brings a nice sweetness to the pairing but doesn’t overpower the fruit flavor in a perfect complement to each other.
Try these pairings at home with the Samuel Adams Beers of Summer Variety Pack:
Samuel Adams Beers of Summer Variety Pack Pairings
Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
This was a surprising combination. The citrus and spicy flavors from the beer’s noble hops cut through the richness of the ice cream, and the pairing finishes with a lingering and bright fruity note from the strawberries in the ice cream.
Samuel Adams Summer Ale and Peach Cobbler Ice Cream
This pairing captures the essence of summer. Intense lemon and peach flavors are contrasted by the spice from the Grains of Paradise in the beer and the heat from the cinnamon in the ice cream. The shortbread cookie crumble adds a layer of richness and the crisp finish of the beer makes this a refreshing combination.
The tropical fruit flavor from the passion fruit, the sweetness from the pineapple, and the creaminess of the Greek yogurt combine with the subtle malt character and the bright lemon flavor in the beer to create a very refreshing and fruity pairing.
Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill Lager and Vanilla Ice Cream
Blueberry Hill Lager is perfect with classic vanilla ice cream. This pairing emphasizes the wonderful flavors of blueberries of the beer and the vanilla adds a touch of sweetness.
This ice cream blends bright raspberry flavor with rich dark chocolate making it a great pairing for this beer. Little White Rye blends slight spiciness from the rye with orange peel and citrusy notes from the Tettnang hops, creating an overall complex flavor profile on your palate. The roasted character in the ice cream’s chocolate lingers along with the sweetness and a crispness from the malt in the beer.
There is a ton of great flavor in this pairing. The spicy clove notes in the beer contrast with the sweet caramel notes in the ice cream and the roasted coffee flavor brings out some subtle sweetness from the brew’s honey malt and slight biscuit flavor.
Craft brewers have debated putting beer in bottles vs. cans for years. On one side of the aisle, you have purists who think that cans are meant to carry mass domestic beer. On the other side, brewers who see the benefits – a can is lighter weight, blocks out sunlight and enables you to take beer places where glass bottles aren’t allowed. There’s even a website dedicated to “news and reviews for the canned beer revolution.”
I’m the first one to admit that I’ve been a purist about putting Sam Adams in a can. I wasn’t convinced that the beer would taste as good as it does from a bottle. I had flavor concerns based on my own experiences.
The debate has moved from brewers to our drinkers, and we threw wood on the fire a few weeks ago when word got out that we’ve decided to put Boston Lager in cans. We saw comments posted to beer forums, mainly from craft beer drinkers who welcome the change. The feedback on Facebook was mixed and fans repeatedly asked the same question: why?
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to address some of those concerns and explain why we’re making a change.
My friends, Dale Katechis and Marty Jones at Oskar Blues, pioneered the process of canning craft beers, and I’m grateful for their early ingenuity. They took a chance when many brewers, including myself, stuck to using good ole’ glass bottles. Over the years, as can technologies continued to improve, more and more craft brewers decided to offer their beer in cans.
I knew that when I took this leap of faith, I wanted to do it in a way that would be true to Sam Adams. So two years ago we put together a team including our brewers and an industrial design firm to see if there was any way to improve the standard beverage can for the taste of a full flavored beer like Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
To me, the standard beverage can is sort of like the standard pint glass. It works just fine and is familiar and reliable. But, as the generic option, it may not be the best choice for a more flavorful beer. Eventually, we brought in sensory experts to validate our new can design. The goal: to develop a new can design that would give our drinkers the best tasting Sam Adams in a can. The result of several years of research and testing is a new design, which we’re calling the Sam Can.
What’s the benefit of a can?
Ask any craft brewer that puts their beer in cans and they’ll tell you the same thing. First and foremost, you can take cans to places where bottles can’t go like the beach, hiking, golfing, boating and BBQs. Cans also protect the liquid from sunlight and oxidation which can compromise the flavor of the beer.
What’s different about this can?
The new can design aims to provide a drinking experience that is a little closer to the taste and comfort of drinking beer from a glass. What you’ll notice:
The larger, wider lid helps open your mouth allowing for more air flow during the drinking experience.
The can opening is located slightly farther away from the edge of the lid, placing it closer to the drinker’s nose to help accentuate the hop aromas.
The hourglass ridge creates turbulence (like our patented Perfect Pint glass) which “pushes flavor out of the beer” and the extended lip places the beer at the front of your palate to maximize enjoyment of the sweetness from the malt.
The larger, wider lid helps open your mouth allowing for more air flow during the drinking experience.
All of these aspects of the new can work in concert to allow more airflow – and most importantly aroma – which enhances the flavor of the beer (have you ever tried tasting food when you’re stuffed up and can’t smell it?).
Our new can design required a million dollar investment in special equipment tooling along with time, research and testing. We think that the difference will be a subtle but noticeably better drinking experience than the standard beverage can. The Sam Can Is probably less of an improvement over the standard beverage can then our Perfect Pint glass is over the standard pint glass. It may seem a little crazy to make that kind of investment, but we felt the small improvement in the drinking experience was worth the expense. We make decisions based on the beer, not on the bottom line.
Why are so many people down on cans?
There are a lot of myths out there about putting craft beer in cans. We’re not the only ones that have faced it. Other brewers, like our neighbor down the street, Harpoon Brewery, also took to their blog and ably addressed some of the top myths that drinkers raised when they announced they were installing a canning line.
But at the end of the day, the choice is up to you and your personal preference. And as brewers, we work hard to bring you options. Don’t get me wrong, if I had the choice, I’d always opt for drinking craft beer out of a glass. But sometimes that isn’t an option – like when you’re backpacking, playing golf, or on a boat. For those occasions, the Sam Can is an option.
When will we see the new can?
We’re currently in the process of installing a new canning and hope to conduct a test run within the next couple of weeks. If all goes well, the plan is to release Boston Lager and Summer Ale in cans early this summer. Our fingers are crossed.
Valentine’s Day tends to be a wine-centric holiday, but pairing beer with Valentine’s Day favorites, such as chocolate, is a great way to take your relationship with craft beer to another level. In case you didn’t have a chance to try our holiday chocolate box, we have once again teamed up with our friends at San Francisco-based craft chocolate maker TCHO to offer a surprising combination that’s sure to satisfy the craft beer lover in your life: The “Love of Beer” Chocolate Box and Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
Beer and Wine Sommelier Gianni Cavicchi of the NYC Tour de France Restaurants put it best when he said, “Just as there’s someone for everyone, there’s a beer to perfectly pair with any food or dessert – it’s all about letting the flavor of one enhance the other.
Gianni and our Boston Brewery Manager Jennifer Glanville have a few pairing tricks-of-the-trade to share as you indulge with the Samuel Adams Boston Lager & TCHO 70% Dark Chocolate:
* It’s actually easier to pair chocolate with a balanced beer, like Samuel Adams Boston Lager, than with wine because sometimes the intensity of chocolate takes over the wine and the acidity in wine doesn’t balance.
* The carbonation of the beer cleanses your palate from the heavy finish of the chocolate leaving you ready for the next bite.
* The malt character and subtle Noble Hop bitterness of Samuel Adams Boston Lager bring out the rich, fudgy flavor and malty sweetness of TCHO’s “Chocolatey.”
Because tasting is always better than reading, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, you can order our Boston Lager Love of Beer Chocolate Box here… and don’t forget the six-pack of Boston Lager to share with that special someone on February 14th.
Want to learn more about chocolate and beer? Take a look at this short video featuring Jennifer and Brad Kintzer, chief chocolate maker at TCHO Chocolate:
This is it! After five months of football viewing with countless pints of Boston Lager enjoyed from coast to coast, we’re down to two teams. While we’re bummed not to have our hometown New England team back in the game this year, we’re certain we’ll find ourselves in front of the television watching all the commercials (and maybe some of the game) as we hang out with family and friends and enjoy a few Boston Lagers.
Our brewers have had a great time judging entries from Sam fans all over the country as part of our TOP THIS! Pizza Contest (you can see previous winners here). If you haven’t gotten in on the fun yet, be sure to submit your best pizza recipe here by midnight on February 3 for a chance to win a custom Samuel Adams grill.
And in honor of the big game on February 3, our friend and Pizza Chef Mark Bello of Pizza a Casa Pizza School in New York City has created a special New Orleans inspired pizza to pay tribute to the host city. Check it out below!
1 Tablespoon of your favorite Louisiana style hot sauce!
About 1/2 cup (2.5 oz.) diced yellow bell pepper
The New Orleans Big Game Pizza
About 1/2 cup (2.5 oz.) diced red onion
About 1 cup loosely packed (4 oz.) shredded whole milk mozzarella
2 Tablespoons (1/2 oz.) grated cheese (i.e.: parmesan or Romano cheese)
6 leaves fresh basil sliced into fine strands
Extra virgin olive oil plus more for oiling your cookie sheet, pizza pan or screen plus more for drizzling on finished pizza
Mix pizza sauce and hot sauce. Set aside.
Stretch dough to desired diameter (12” thicker, 14” thinner), and lay on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, pizza pan or screen.
Swirl on sauce mixture to about 1/2” from the border of crust.
In this order: evenly distribute mozzarella, then yellow pepper, then red onion all to about 1/2” from the border of crust.
Evenly sprinkle on the grated cheese to the very border of the crust.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until your toppings are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
Out of the oven, add basil and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Let rest a few minutes, and then cut, serve and enjoy.
NOTE: The concept behind this pizza is based on the classic Italian Margherita pizza: tomato sauce (red) + mozzarella (white) + basil (green) = the colors of the Italian flag
The colors on the New Orleans Big Game pizza: red onion (purple) + basil (green) + yellow pepper (gold) = colors representative of New Orleans and Mardi Gras.
Pairing Notes from Samuel Adams Brewery Manager Jennifer Glanville: Boston Lager is a perfect pairing for this championship pizza. Complex and balanced – the sweetness of the tomato will bring out the brew’s caramel malt character. Slight floral and a sweet citrus notes from the Noble hops are perfectly contrasted by the tangy onion and herbal basil notes. The addition of hot sauce finishes this pairing with a little heat that is balanced by a complex and lingering finish.
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.