Eat, Drink Beer, and Be Married

Brewlywed_JIMThe beer has been brewed. The justice of the peace has been booked. And Jim is working on his best man toast. It’s time for Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale.

Last summer we celebrated the tradition of brewing for weddings with Brewlywed Ale, a Belgian-style “bride ale” available one-day only at our Boston Brewery. And on June 26th, we’re inviting everyone back once again for the chance to get their hands on this year’s batch, available for purchase exclusively on this day at the brewery. We’ve brewed just 300 cases of this 750mL cork-caged specialty beer so if last year is any indication, people will be lining up early for their chance to purchase a bottle or a couple of cases. Read More

Samuel Adams in a Can

Sam Can_SketchCraft 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.  Read More

New Albion Ale Has Arrived!

January marks the beginning of another exciting year of brewing for Samuel Adams with many new releases scheduled, but perhaps none more exciting than the return of New Albion Ale! First brewed almost 40 years ago by Jack McAuliffe, a Navy veteran, this American Pale Ale was the product of Jack’s desire to replicate the quality, great tasting beers he had enjoyed while serving in Scotland and other parts of Europe.New Albion 6Pack & Pint

Brewed solely with American Cascade hops (why? Because that was all that was available to Jack at the time), New Albion Ale is a golden American Pale Ale that holds a distinct citrus hop note and subtle piney character. A delicious brew, it’s no wonder New Albion Ale inspired so many of the Pale Ales we drink today. In case you missed it, checkout the video from our brewing day with Jack back in July. Read More

Raising a Pint to Beer Bloggers

Before you get the wrong idea, this post is not a fluff piece pandering to bloggers in hopes of securing a few positive pieces for Sam Adams. Variety is the spice of life and we know people have a wide variety of opinions on many of our beers and craft beer in general. The community of beer bloggers helps keep the beer industry healthy and dynamic.  While we’re always happy to read a positive review, we respect the not so nice reviews and the downright negative ones as well. Honest feedback is the only way to get better at one’s craft and brewers are no different. We take feedback and review however we can get it… beer forums, blog posts and even check-in applications such as Pintley and Untappd. Of course the feedback we receive in a face to face conversation is always the best as it gives us a chance to really dive into the positives (or negatives) of a person’s thoughts of a beer we’ve created.

This brings me to the Beer Bloggers Conference I attended in Indianapolis a few weeks ago. Talk about a passionate group of people who love beer! While my visit was short due to family obligations back in Boston, I had a great time chatting with many of the bloggers in attendance. I loved feeding off their energy as we discussed their favorite beer style, the first Sam Adams they’d ever had, and what homebrew might have been aging back home. I was asked the tough questions too, like if we were ever going to can our beer (Jim’s said that day will come someday, I just don’t know when) and when I expected Jim to “retire” (I can’t envision that day, let alone speculate on when it would happen!) Read More

Looking Back on SAVOR 2012

After a few weeks of catching up on operations here at the brewery, I’ve finally found a couple minutes to jot down some thoughts about the endless food and beer wonders at this year’s SAVOR event. For those not familiar with SAVOR, it’s a beer festival unlike any you may have attended before. As the website describes, SAVOR is a “must-attend for craft beer aficionados and foodies alike” and as an avid fan of both, this event definitely lives up to the description. SAVOR takes place in the beautiful National Building Museum in Washington D.C. (again, this isn’t your everyday beer festival) and 75 breweries are there pouring their brews with appetizers that compliment each style. The food and beer combinations that come together never cease to impress me and they seem to get better each and every year (I’ve been each of its five years of existence). You may recall the collaboration brew we released with Dogfish Head Craft Breweryat last year’s SAVOR event.

Grumpy Monk Belgian IPA paired with Burrata on toast with arugula pesto and lemon zest.

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A Science we Enjoy: Hop-ology

You may know that each year, Jim and our brewing team make a pilgrimage to Bavaria to hand select the hops that will be used in Boston Lager. However, our curiosity and obsession with hops doesn’t end there as we’ve been experimenting with many newer varieties of late which led us to explore new and different combinations of beer styles and regional hop varieties.

In 2011, we rolled out a limited-edition Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed pack.

Last year, we brewed a limited-edition Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed pack, which featured two beers each featuring one of the five varieties of hops (Hallertau Mittelfrueh from Germany; East Kent Goldings from England; and Ahtanum, Simcoe, and Zeus from Washington state’s Yakima Valley).  Tasting these 5 beers side by side was a great way to experience just how much impact different varieties of hops can have on the taste of a beer.

This year, we’ve taken that exploration in different direction. Our IPA Hop-ology variety pack is a hop lovers dream. Read More

The Paradox of Popularity…

Unless you’re a brewer you probably missed the “Beer Advocate” thread last week bashing several craft breweries for being over-rated. Seemed to me the criticism was really about popularity not quality. Today’s craft beer lovers are on a hunt to discover the next new thing and, as brewers, most of us are trying to create interesting new beers.  That’s great – we all love making new beers – but that doesn’t mean that an established and successful beer is any less great because it’s been around for a while and has attracted a big following.

My friend Sam Calagione was one of the targets. I’ve known Sam a long time, and I’ve brewed beside him, so I know how innovative he is, and how committed he is to quality brewing. Dogfish Head beers are terrific. Period.  The sales of Dogfish Head have grown because the beer is crazy good.  Period.  No true lover of craft beer should have a problem with his success, in my honest opinion.Someone else dissed him because he had a TV show about his brewing adventures and his brewery.   Hey, Sam happens to be a very interesting and engaging guy.  And he works his ass off.  Because he has the energy and drive to get himself and DFH on the Discovery Channel, he has done all craft brewers a service. He was also promoting all craft beer through his efforts.  I thank him for doing that.  And if that means he was taking craft beer to the masses, more power to him.  Read More