After a long trip to Boston we were starving and wanted to find a great local place to stop and have a brew and some food – yeah in that order. So where did we go? We went to Outback. Average food. I know. But we were hungry and tired. And thirsty too.
After dinner we found our way to a motel just outside of Boston. Sadly the hotel we stayed at was not one of our best choices of the trip. We will hold back mentioning the name of the hotel, we were so tired that it did not even matter. But what came next made up for the average food and the not so nice hotel from the day before.
At 9 a.m., yeah 9 a.m., we met up with Adam Cupples at Samuel Adams and started our tour by sampling a few beers. While we were enjoying the first beer of the day, we conversed with Dean Gianocostas, one of Samuel Adams elite brew crew. We also saw Bob Cannon (the guy with the big beard), but he looked pretty busy, so we didn’t bother him.
Andy showed us around the brewery and showed us what an average tour looked like. You might be surprised at how small the brewery is, that is if you know how much beer Samuel Adams produces. But you will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of history and importance this brewery is to the Boston Beer Company and the craft beer industry.
Samual Adams is the biggest craft brewer in the United States and produces about 2,500,000 barrels a year.
They are named after the Samuel Adams, who is known for his role in the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party and second cousin to President John Adams.
Jim Koch started the company in 1984. They are best known for their Samuel Adams Boston Lager, a recipe Jim Koch found in his family’s attic. The recipe was his grandfather’s recipe and proof that Jim comes from a family of home brewers who love flavorful beer. They have continued to grow their selection of beer and are always trying out fun new beers through test batches and the Longshot American Homebrew contest. (More on that later.)
While we were waiting for Jennifer Glanville – one of the members of the brew crew team – we hung out in the beer garden, decorated by log vines of hops growing on one side. We sampled at least nine different beers. There is just something about sampling beer right from the source (the brewery) that just makes it taste batter.
Eventually Jennifer came out and joined us, so we decided to pick her brain. She told us about the first Brewlyweed Event, where consumers can come and get married right in the beer garden. Oh, and of course they have created a special beer for that special occasion.
Another story that we wanted to hear more about was the Longshot American Homebrew Contest. You may have seen the six packs of beer with a beer from each of the winners in it. For those who have not heard of it, the competition is a yearly contest to find some of the best homebrew. Applicants submit a beer to be judged. This is a great opportunity for Samuel Adams to showcase the work of brewers out there. The whole contest pays tribute to the way Jim Koch came up with the recipe for Boston Lager.
We also talked about a trending topic that comes up at each brewery we visited – canning beer. Canning beer has become very popular and is great for anyone heading to the beach or the pool. Samuel Adams was very hesitant to enter this market and Jim said that if they did start canning beer, they wanted to do it right.
This obsession with doing things right, also goes for the signature Samuel Adams glass, that features it’s laser etched ring on the bottom to create bubbles and an outward turned lip to ease the beer to the front of your tongue. Well, it took them two years and a lot of tinkering, but they came out with the perfect can, called the Sam Can. You can now enjoy Boston lager and Summer Ale in cans.
By the time we left the brewery other thirsty drinkers anxiously started lining up in the lobby to start their tour.
After each tour, a trolley takes you to Doyle’s Cafe – the very first place to carry Samuel Adams beer on tap. So to get the full experience we headed to the cafe and enjoyed a burger and a few more beers (it really is a tough life). One thing is for sure, it was way better than Outback.
Well this wraps up our tour of Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston, but make sure to look in your local stores for Samuel Adam’s Octoberfest beer; it is one of our favorites.
Tune in next time for our trip to Harpoon Brewery in Boston.
(Video by Thomas Conner)
Erik Hoffman is a web designer and computer consultant. He has run a computer consulting company for the past four years where he enhanced businesses by designing and developing user-friendly websites that have helped companies reach targeted revenues.