When Samuel Adams Brewer and Founder Jim Koch started making sales calls to bars in 1984, he encountered a disconnect between “American” and “high quality beer,” it was as if it were impossible to brew great beer in the U.S. But, when he’d pour a bottle of the “sample brew” eyes widened at the appearance and the taste.
That beer, which he first homebrewed in his kitchen, Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, came from Jim’s great-great grandfather’s mid-19th century recipe. Its beauty lies in its balance: the spiciness and subtle bitterness of Noble hops balanced by the body and sweetness of the decoction mash and two-row malt.
Nearly 30 years later, it’s as hard to remember a world without American craft beers as it is to remember a world without the Internet. American thirst for Samuel Adams and other craft beer has grown dramatically, yet today, Sam Adams has less than 1% of the beer business.
Since 1984, international competitions have proliferated. We enter our beers because we feel it’s important to have our beers judged next to the world’s best. We are proud that our Samuel Adams® beers have won more international medals and competitions than any brewery. American beer has begun to reclaim its dignity in the beer world.
Over the years we have brewed more than 100 different styles, and we bring out new ones every year. Our “Extreme Beers” stretch the very definition of beer. At the lunatic fringe of the brewer’s art is Samuel Adams Utopias®. It weighs in at a hefty 27% ABV. It’s not carbonated and is served at room temperature. It has bested some of the world’s finest Cognacs and Ports in blind tastings.
Utopias is aged in the Barrel Room at our Boston brewery where we also develop and perfect all of our recipes. We own three breweries that brew nearly all of our beer. Each features a traditional Brewhouse and a historic four-vessel brewing process. To this day, Jim Koch tastes a sample from every batch of beer we brew.
In 2010, Samuel Adams accepted the challenge to create a brand new beer with the help of Weihenstephan, the World’s oldest continually operating brewery, in Bavaria. Their goal was to brew a beer following the Reinheitsgebot; the German Beer Purity Law which dates back to 1560 which allows the use of only water, malt, hops and yeast.
After two years of research and work, Infinium, a Champagne-style beer, was released in 2010. Below, Boston Beer Brewer and Founder, Jim Koch discusses the 2011 release of this one of a kind beer.
Jim Koch Discusses the 2011 Release of Infinium
The Samuel Adams Community
As one of the first craft brewers, we are happy to have been joined by hundreds of others. As part of our commitment to the community of brewers, we host an American Homebrew Contest that introduces three homebrews nationwide through our Longshot® six-pack. Our philanthropic program, Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream, helps low income entrepreneurs and has already saved or created over 700 jobs.