Tag Archives: Sam Adams

My Neighbor, Sam Adams

Some of you might know that I am blessed to live in spitting distance of the Samuel Adams Brewery Complex in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.  This comes in handy any time a friend, family member or random guy off the street visits and wants to see the sights of my ‘hood.  Lucky for us, tours are free (and the leaders are always fantastic, avid beer-enthusiasts, like myself) and each includes three small glasses of Sam Adams finest.  While I haven’t made it to a tour since the beginning of the summer, I have continued to support the local brand at bars and liquor stores all over the greater Northeast.

Of course, I’ve already had my fair share of the Octoberfest that has been out for about a month now (and is officially my favorite of Sam’s seasonal beers), but today, I decided to try something new: Sam Adams’ Brewmaster’s Collection Coastal Wheat.  It is the newest addition to this series of Sam (first announced back in July).  Similar to other wheat beers (Harpoon UFO, Blue Moon, etc.), this tangy concoction boasts lots of lemony flavor (possibly too much)…really – no need to add extra fruit.  It’s a solid, classic wheat beer…less sweet than Blue Moon, perhaps a little smoother than the UFO (which I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not).   Try it for yourself, and let me know what you think.  It’s great to be back!  Cheers!

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Baby, it’s cold outside…

So somehow, winter has descended on Boston. As usual, it came without warning and is showing zero remorse for those of us who tend to enjoy the mild autumn months. People keep warm in numerous ways: heated seats in cars, those fancy glove warmers that skiers typically need, excessive intake of Starbucks’ hot chocolates and mocha-something-or-others, burying oneself in electric blankets, parkas, wool everything, etc. The list goes on and on. As you may have thought, I enjoy a good beer when it gets cold out. “What?” you say, “Aren’t beers cold themselves?!” Maybe so, but when sipping the right ones next to a particular fireplace or in front of a big game (or, let’s face it, anywhere with heat) it warms you up easily.

Anyone who has read earlier posts of mine knows that I am a huge Guinness Fan and will say that it is best sipped pretty much in any situation. While this is true, and other Guinness-ites will concur, I think Guinness has the perfect thickness and depth to make you frozen fingers alive again and bring feeling back into your too-exposed ears. Stouts have that way about them. Knowing that Guinness is the King of Stouts, I thought I might give another a try, just to see if it had the same warming affect.

Last night at Brendan Behan’s, one of my favorite JP spots, I ordered a Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout as I shivered in from the cold. Honestly, it did not stand up anywhere near to my love for the “King.” It was very thick and not terribly cold (I am strange, maybe, because I love all kinds of beer ice cold, the colder the better, even if people tell me thats not how its supposed to be). There was a chocolatey essence to it, but nothing overwhelming or helpful to the overall dark, even smoky, beverage. The Web site says that this beer was once exclusively brewed for Catherine the Great…kind of cool that my name is Catherine too, but I’m not sure what my namesake was thinking. Maybe she has something against the Irish, because she was missing out.

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Serves me right, straying from old faithful. I must say though, the seasonal Winter Lager from Sam Adams has kept me warm and happy this past week. It’s not a stout, but it has a dark richness with even a berry taste to it that appropriately combats the brisk winds that seem to follow me around. Try it, it will not disappoint. Cheers!

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Beer Festival on my birthday? Coincidence, I think not.

So a week from Saturday, June 21 (the first official day of summer), I turn 22. Also on this glorious day is day two of the American Craft Beer Festival (ACBF) which just happens to be in Boston. It’s as if the Gods knew that I would be looking for a way to celebrate my birthday and they made it happen. I still haven’t decided if I will attend yet – it’s $40 a session (yikes!) and my mother will be in town. Though the thought of introducing mom to the wonders of the Craft Beer World is quite appealing. Tickets are on sale now and you have three sessions to choose from: Friday night at 6, Saturday afternoon at 1, or Saturday night at 6. With the ticket you are authorized to test EVERY beer there. I think they are actually just posing a challenge, one I might attempt. You also get a souvenir glass, granted attendance at that session’s lectures and the respect of all your friends (and me!).

American Craft Beer Fest

As far as who is going to be there, it looks like many brewers are from the good old North East. Lots of Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. OF course, as it is an American beer festival, brewers from the majestic purple mountains using their amber waves of grain to produce some of the best stouts, weizens, and IPAs we’ve ever known. Some of my favorites – Smuttynose, Harpoon, Sam Adams, and Dogfish Head – will be presenting. If you share my love for beer and happen to be in Boston next weekend, I really recommend that you go.  It’s right at the Seaport World Trade Center.

So if you go, let me know.  If you have any other suggestions for my birthday, also let me know!  Cheers!

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Boston Beer Recall

Breaking News on the Boston beer front! Boston Beer Company is voluntarily recalling select 12 ounce glass bottles of Sam Adams. As the press release describes, “The affected products are embossed on the base of the bottles with the following marking: The letter ‘N’ followed by the number ’35’ followed by the letters ‘OI’.” They think less than 1% of the bottles being recalled actually have the glass in them, but are doing the right thing in recalling them all. Thankfully, no one has been hurt so far by these bottles, and hopefully no one will be. This is the first recall ever for Sam Adams. Though this is an unfortunate situation, I think that Sam Adams and the Boston Beer Company are doing the right thing. Tell your friends and make sure to check your own bottles!

However, on a very happy note, I saw Sam Adams Summer Ale on tap for the first time this past Saturday. The Pour House, my favorite Saturday Night dinner place, proudly displayed the highlight of summer seasonal beers. It’s refreshing, slightly tangy and perfect for the hot summer days I am so looking forward to. Cheers and keep up the good work, BBC!

Samuel Adams Summer Ale Label

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The Art of Homebrewing

Standing around at a party a few weekends back, I was mingling with a few friends. The super-sized bottle of Harpoon UFO that I was nursing sparked a serious conversation. I began promoting, er, telling them about my blog (I have no shame). Then Jim, one of my friends, asked if I had ever had homebrewed beer. Nope, I said, but it got me thinking. I had recently read a post on Beer4Chicks about how ladies in California are having homebrewing parties – like Tupperware parties but more fun. According to Jim, whose friends homebrew, the cost of homebrewing is in getting all of the right equipment, but once all of that is paid for, a bottle of your own concocting would cost about 20 cents. Sounds like a good deal to me!

If you do homebrew, or are toying with the idea of it, here’s a little incentive: Homebrewing Contests. The American Homebrewer’s Association hosts a contest every year, looking for the best tasting beers from your kitchen. They are looking for amateur brewers from around the world to submit their best beers, meads and ciders (new this year!). After numerous rounds of judging the finals take place at the National Homebrewers Conference in Cincinnati in June. Medals are awarded in 29 different categories, not to mention the respect of other homebrewers and 15 minutes of homebrewer fame.

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Sam Adams has a competition too, and they go a giant step further. The winners of the Sam Adams Longshot American Homebrew Contest get their beers mass-produced and sold under the Sam Adams banner. Last year a double IPA and a weizenbock won. Another favorite was a grapefruit ale. Anything goes, I guess.

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If you want to submit to either contest the deadlines are fast approaching. The National Homebrew Competition will take entries through April 11. Sam Adams will collect entries through May 1 at 5 p.m. Check the websites for all of the particulars, but if you homebrew, like he does, or are thinking about it, I’d love to know more. Cheers!

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