Play Boston Bingo to Support Small Businesses

As you may have noticed, we’ve gotten A LOT of snow here in Boston over the past month. While the snow is a big pain for us as we shovel out our sidewalks and driveways and navigate narrow, snow-filled streets, one community that has been really negatively impacted by this weather is a community we are very passionate about: small business owners.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and his Office of Economic Development share our love for our hometown and have developed a fun game for all of us in the Boston area to support local businesses: Boston Bingo!

Photo via Mike Bednarsky, West Roxbury Patch

Mayor Martin Walsh, Carlene O’Garro of Delectable Desires, and Jim Koch Photo via Mike Bednarsky, West Roxbury Patch

All you need to do to participate is download this official Bingo card, visit your favorite corresponding local businesses between now and March 15th, and enter electronically or in person (instructions for how to enter here). People who participate have the chance to win great prizes such as coffee with the Mayor, Bruins tickets, and more! Most importantly, you’ll get to support some really great small businesses in the area.

Looking for ideas of great small businesses to check out in the Boston area? We got you covered! Through our Brewing the American Dream program, we work with a lot of awesome small businesses in the food and beverage industries all throughout Boston by providing them with access to small business loans, and small business coaching and mentoring.

Here are some suggestions of places where you can check off squares on your Boston Bingo card:

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Q&A with Carlene O’Garro, Owner of Delectable Desires

The Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program began in 2008.  Our very first loan recipient was Carlene O’Garro, owner of Delectable Desires Pastries. Specializing in custom cakes and French pastries, Carlene has had a lifelong love of creating delicious (and beautiful) pastries. Up until this point, Carlene has been running her business out of her home and baking in the Crop Circle Kitchen Incubator in Jamaica Plain – coincidentally across from the Samuel Adams Brewery.   To celebrate the grand opening of her brick and mortar shop in West Roxbury, MA today, we caught up with her about the challenges and joys of being a small business owner in the food and beverage industry and how the Brewing the American Dream Program has been with her every step of the way.

Delectable Desires

Q: How did your passion for pastries begin?

A: It began when I was a little kid; I baked in the kitchen with my mom on Sundays. When I was about four, my parents bought me an Easy Bake oven so I could bake on my own instead of using the real oven. From that moment, I was hooked! I find baking to be so relaxing, it just comes naturally to me. Cakes are my main passion – I love creating desserts that look fake! When people take a step back and say “is that really a cake?” that is my favorite reaction.

Q: What ultimately made you decide to turn your passion into a business?

A: I didn’t want to go through life working in a 9-5 job, waiting on a promotion, and waiting on someone else to say I was good enough to get the corner office. I wanted to do my own thing and I knew that I could work hard doing something that I love and make it happen.

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Say “I Do” at the Boston Brewery with Brewlywed Ale

Jim BrewlywedJoin us on Wednesday, June 18th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boston Brewery as we host our one day release of Brewlywed Ale!  AND get the chance to have Bob Cannon (yes – the guy with the beard) come to your home to brew.  No really, keep reading.

Brides and grooms to be are invited to come down and get their hands on one (or more) of the 200 cases we brewed this year.  The 2014 batch of Brewlywed Ale, a Belgian-style “bride ale,” is a distinct and complex brew with layers of flavor including tropical, floral aromas of Summer and Ella hops, and subtle hints of spice and clove from Belgian yeast. At 8% ABV, Brewlywed Ale is a medium bodied brew, deep golden in color with a slight unfiltered haze.

Brewlywed Ale makes a great wedding brew or gift for someone else.  The beer is beautifully  packaged in decorated 750mL, cork-finished bottles and available for $14.99 per bottle, or purchased by the case of 12 (maximum of 2 cases per purchase).

The first 50 people in line have the opportunity to purchase a bottle signed by Jim Koch. You can get in line starting at 7 a.m. on the day of. The first 20 people to arrive in bridal attire will be moved to the front of the line (guaranteeing one of those bottles!)

Besides the opportunity to purchase Brewlywed Ale, here’s what we’ll have going on at the Brewery the day of the event:

  • Private Brewery tours.
  • An on-site Justice of the Peace will marry you or help you renew your vows… right in our brewery hop garden!  (Note: you have to bring your  marriage license). If you’re interested in getting married on June 18, e-mail us at brewlywed@samueladams.com.
  • Sampling of beer-infused wedding fare and pairing suggestions from local small business owners who are members of our Brewing the American Dream program.
  • Brides Across America, a Boston-based non-profit organization which provides free wedding dresses to military brides, will be accepting wedding dress donations. To be eligible for donation, dresses must be new or lightly worn, clean and less than five years old.

RSVP for the event here.

Can’t make it to Boston? Samuel Adams brewer Bob Cannon is going on the road to help one beer-loving couple homebrew their perfect wedding beer. Bob has a history of bridal brewing; he brewed what came to be Samuel Adams Irish Red for his own wedding. This experience will be for sale one-day-only on June 20th for $10,000 and all proceeds will go to Brides Across America. Be the first and only to purchase this once-in a lifetime experience!

We’ve also teamed up with Ted’s Cigars to create limited-edition Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale-seasoned cigars. The cigars, which showcase subtle spice notes and a floral sweetness from being seasoned by Brewlywed Ale, are the perfect wedding or groomsman gift. They will be available exclusively at tedscigars.com.

Looking for more beer-related wedding tips? Samuel Adams tapped wedding trend and planning website Lover.ly, who confirms that there’s a spike in interest from brides and grooms in serving specialty beer at weddings. Lover.ly has a ton of beer-related inspiration and expert tips that will no doubt help beer lovers integrate this trend into their own weddings!

A Special Brew to Commemorate this Year’s Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon has been a cherished tradition in our hometown for well over a hundred years. It is a unique athletic event, open to athletes from all countries, backgrounds, genders, and beliefs. It is also a celebration of the city of Boston, as hundreds of thousands of spectators line the race route to cheer for the commitment, determination, and stamina of the participants.

This is our third year as a proud sponsor of the Boston Marathon, and for the third year in a row we are brewing a commemorative beer for the race – Boston 26.2 Brew – to toast the runners and spectators.

Last year, following the tragic events that took place on race day, we committed to donating all of the profits from the sale of the beer to The Greg Hill Foundation, which provided immediate support to survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy and their families. This year, we are continuing our commitment and again will donate all profits from the sale of Boston 26.2 Brew to The Greg Hill Foundation for the ongoing needs of the survivors and their families.

This year is especially meaningful to me as we were able to host some of the families that had been impacted by the tragedy, at our brewery, to brew one of the first batches of Boston 26.2 Brew. It was truly an honor for us to all come together to brew this special beer and it was a fun and memorable day for everyone.

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We’re proud to be a part of the Boston community and know this this year will be the biggest and most meaningful marathon the city of Boston has ever seen. I look forward to raising a pint and celebrating the runners, spectators, and all Bostonians on this momentous day.

About The Commemorative Brew:

Boston 26.2 Brew is a Gose style beer, which offers a lighter body with a slightly lower alcohol level (4.5%) than many of our other styles, and is fitting for those either running in the race or cheering on their favorite runners on race day. The brew has light cereal notes from malted and unmalted wheat, rounded out by a spicy, peppery character with a soft mineral quality from a touch of salt.

The brew is available on draft now for a limited time and will be served at select bars and restaurants along the race course and in Boston (see below for a list of bars and restaurants). The special batch from our “Brew Day” will be available only at our Boston Brewery at a fundraising event on Wednesday, 3/26. RSVP here.

Where Boston 26.2 Brew is being poured:

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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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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!

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.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest Celebration to Raise Funds for Boston Marathon Victims

edited ofest photoWe are excited to announce that we will be partnering with The Greg Hill Foundation to host a Celebrity Stein Hoist at our annual Octoberfest event on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Park Plaza Castle!  Former players from the Boston Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and New England Patriots will go head to head—or stein to stein—to compete in a traditional stein hoisting competition to raise money for Boston Marathon victims.

So, who will these athletes turned hoisters be?

Joe Andruzzi, former New England Patriots offensive lineman
Dana Barros, former Boston Celtics point guard
Lou Merloni, radio personality and former Boston Red Sox second baseman
Bob Sweeney, former Boston Bruins center

We will also be joined by Greg Hill, founder of The Greg Hill Foundation and host of WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show.

Need more reason to join us?  We will also be offering a very unique tasting booth. For a $10 donation to the Greg Hill Foundation, you can sample Utopias, one of the strongest beers in the world (29% ABV).  According to Jim, ” Utopias invokes the flavors of rich vintage port, fine Cognac or aged sherry, while feeling surprisingly light on the palate.” It’s a tasting experience you won’t soon forget.

Tickets for both Friday night and Saturday’s all day Octoberfest Celebration are on sale now.  It’s a release party, and a celebration of all things good about beer, brewing and Octoberfest in Boston.  The event will feature more than 15 specialty beer styles, stein hoisting competitions, food and beer pairings, giveaways and more!

Prost!