Page 1 of 25 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 364

Thread: Sam Adams

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    545

    Sam Adams

    I wanted to respond to some of the derision I've read from people concerning Samuel Adams beer. As one who has enjoyed their Boston Lager for over a decade, I cannot see how anyone with even a decent palate can call this a lousy brew. Yes, Boston Beer Company is a macro brewery now, but in the mid eighties Jim Koch literally went door to door in the Boston area to convince tavern owners to carry his beer. The Boston Beer Company was instrumental in leading the microbrew revolution that has given us the wealth of choices we enjoy today. What I mean by this is that they were one of the first and most successful micros to hit the big time in the US, and make quality brewed beer acceptable in the mainstream. When you go to your local pub and have 15 beers on tap to choose from, you can thank Jim Koch, among others, for this.

    I drink a lot of different styles of beer, and I make an effort to refine my palate and understand what I'm tasting. And what I taste when I drink Boston Lager is a unique, spicy, medium bodied, smooth session beer that tastes good no matter the season. Yes, it does have a sort of, shall we say, *mainstream* drinkability, but there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Add to this the fact that, according to their website, Samuel Adams is all natural with no adjuncts or preservatives.

    I agree that we as beer lovers should support local breweries, and I do (there's lots to choose from here in Colorado). But bear in mind that the most important thing is to support QUALITY brewers; both Sierra Nevada and Anchor both enjoy a wide distribution, and I think most beer lovers agree that their beer is still excellent. So what if you can find Sams in the airport? Their airport pubs are always clean, well run, and the beer is fresh; when I was in Belgium I drank in pubs in the train station. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, but I maintain that we should save our ire for the chemical fizz out there (and if you think Sam is in that category, let me also suggest that you work on your tasting skills!). An everyday beer should be judged primarily its taste, ingredients, and overall drinkability, regardless of the number of barrels produced. You can't call yourself a true beer aficionado if you're judging on anything other than what's in the beer.

    I'm not trying to flame anyone - I just wanted to give a perspective.
    Also, I don't work for Boston Beer Co or anything, but I am from Boston and I still consider it my hometown brew.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    379
    I have to agree. If SAm is the worst thing you have to choose from, life is not bad.

    Tom C

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    515
    I really like the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. It is unlike many fruit beers in that it is not sweet. I would like to find a good clone of that one.
    I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer.--Homer Simpson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    628

    Re: Sam Adams

    Originally posted by ratman03
    * So what if you can find Sams in the airport?
    I agree Sam is always the fall-back beer that you can depend on.

    In DC Dulles airport has Old Dominion beer (Hop pocket etc). I was always the first to volunteer to meet people off their flights!

    Since 9/11 you can't go back there without a ticket though

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,838

    Thanks, Sam!

    Nothing wrong with Sam Adams. I'd never pass one up but I rarely seek out BBC beers anymore - aside from the Double Bock and any new styles they create (like the Vienna Lager). Their Boston Ale is their best beer IMO but rarely is seen on tap because the Boston Lager gets all the pub. I'm disappointed in their decision to drop styles like Scotch, Honey Porter, etc. and their introduction of Sam Light - but it's a business and I'm not a shareholder so I'll just take my money elsewhere. Their success has had some influence in other brewery's acceptance in the mainstream.

    Harpoon pared their lineup down as well - dropping gems like Spring Maibock in the past. But it was a great decision on their part to introduce the 100 Barrel Series (Oatmeal Stout, Wit, Dubbel, Barleywine). I wish Sam would do something similar to showcase their brewing talent and make rare(er) styles more accessible (sorry, Utopias is not accessible for most people).

    Sorry, I can't call Sam Adams a "hometown" beer as they do very little commercial brewing in their Jamaica Plain facility. And Tremont is just a name now. Harpoon is the closest "hometown" beer Boston has and they brew lots of stuff at their VT facility.

    Cheers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    914
    I loved Samuel Adams "back in the day", and still find they have a usually fine product. THe only issue I have with them is the direction they've decided to take with their growth and marketing. It seems to me (and I'm no expert) that they have jumped on the marketing schema of the mega-brewers. Loud, rowdy, young people partying and the name of the product itself has gone from "Samuel", to "Sam" and now "Sammy". Seems like they are dumbing down to me, or stooping to the megabrewers level, as it were.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    515
    Where does this idea come from that you cannot be loud and rowdy and party with good beer? Is it written somewhere that to enjoy good beer it has to be done from my rocking chair? I love good beer. I love to get rowdy and party. I have drank good beer since college, when we partied like rock stars. Hell I discovered good beer on the Grateful Dead tour!!! There is no bigger party than that. I say party your ass off and do it with good beer. If I am gonna get piss drunk, I would just as soon enjoy the process. Being a beer snob doesn't mean you have to be dull.
    I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer.--Homer Simpson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    2,268
    I agree with BrownBeard here...beer is fun and I still like to party down myself.

    Also, I wouldn't care if Samuel Adams started using circus freaks to advertise their beer as long as they don't change the recipe.

    The worst that could happen is their new advertising style is successful and they increase their market share and eventually replace AB as the dominant macro(wishful thinking, I know) - I can certainly imagine far worse eventuallities.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."

    --Ernest Hemmingway

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,059
    I've always thought Sam Adams was unfairly butchered in this forum by some, and believe that the quality of their beers, while uneven at times, is still better than most. I totally agree that the Boston Lager is STILL a quality brew, and I can STILL detect a pleasant, buttery spiciness in the beer. As for the "regular" beers, the Boston Ale is also very good, and the Cream Stout is tasty. I also like a handful of their seasonals, like the Cranberry Lambic, Double Bock, and even their Summer Ale on a sweltering July afternoon. I also miss the Scotch Ale - one of the best in the country, when it was available.

    There are plenty of Sam beers I don't care for, either: I think the Pale misses the mark, the Light is a mistake, and the Spring Ale is bland. Furthermore, the Oktoberfest and Winter Lager have become very inconsistent in recent years. But, the family of Sam Adams beers, rated as a whole, are slightly above average IMO.

    Like Brownbeard, I too am disappointed with the advertising backlash against Sam. Look, I'm 33, married with 3 kids, and I might make it out for a night of "partying" once or twice a year with some old college buddies. That doesn't mean that I look down on those who do have fun more often, or that I think a brewery "sells out" just because they run some fun commercials. And I think it's asinine to believe that good beer should only be enjoyed in the solititude of your basement, or your friend's garage.

    We all seem to poke around the subject of getting the good beer message out, and I believe we all are doing our fair share of missionary work spreading the word. The more craft beer advertising that makes it into the mainstream, the better. Let's do what we can, without sacrificing quality, to get craft beers under the fingernails of the big three; mainstream bars, sports stadiums, concert venues, airports, etc. Why the hell do we bash a craft brewer for selling their beer(s) in a public place? So, we don't want craft brewers to succeed?

    OK, local craft brewer, eliminate your advertising budget for the year - yep, pull the tv, radio, and newspaper spots touting your quality products! Why? Because the moment you start succeeding as a BUSINESS, you've sold out! Eh, I'm aimlessly ranting now, but I hope I've made sense. It all just irritates the heck out of me...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    545
    Well put, hops99. I think some people tend to forget that, while brewing is a craft, outside of homebrew it is a BUSINESS, and when you're running a publicly traded company, profits are not a luxury. Like it or not, most of the time you have to advertise to succeed. I don't dislike A-B and Miller because they are big, I dislike them because their beer sucks.

    I agree with davesarman's point about Sam's marketing direction, though. Personally I miss the days of radio ads with Jim Koch entreating, very plainly, to "Try my Samuel Adams Lager". But Sam's is the 5th largest US brewer now, and I think there's some kind of rule in the brewing industry that says the bigger your market share, the more insipid your marketing has to be.
    Sam Light is a mistake though, and they take a credibility hit in my book for that one (I think it tastes like watery Boston Lager with a nasty aftertaste).

    An interesting comment on marketing can be found on the Rogue website. Basically, they maintain that craft brewers are not actually competing directly with A-B, Miller, etc..., because essentially the makers of chemical fizz are targeting a lot of people who don't even like beer, whereas brewers like Rogue target people who do like beer and know what they want to drink. Sam Adams bridges the gap -- they're big and they market to the masses, but they still make a quality product that a beer snob can still enjoy (and get rowdy with).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    17,536
    I view Sam Adams as a stepping stone beer that leads to better beers. I always recommend it to novice beer drinkers or swill drinkers as a starting point for them to discover the world of fine beer. And you all are right, it is often the best beer an establishment may have available. (Including some of the bigger casinos in Vegas.) I have to say, it is about as low as I would go when having beer. I consider it far better than the macros but only one step up from them. I simply refuse to drink any macro beer for any reason even if it is all that is available. I have never faulted SA for making business decisions except I too regret that they feel it necessary to make a lite. (And I dont like their cherry).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    8
    I'm with hopp99 on the Summer Ale in July, especially after coming in from cutting the grass in the Sandhills of NC. I live in an area where there isn't a Micro within 45 minute drive. So besides making your own you are limited to what you can buy in the grocery store, and if you can find it in the grocery store around here it isn't from a micro. So you have to make beer decisions.... For the price Sam Adams compares well with the megamacros and has a lot more taste than those. Now I can get the medicino's, sierra's, saranac's and all that and can even get some of the english and irish beers, but sometimes they are just not practical when you are having friends over who don't always understand that there miller lite is mildly flavored water in a can. As for the sam adam's light, If I had to drink light beer I would pick it over the others, but what else are you going to do in a beer market shaped by the latest diet craze. Light beer is the beer market now, A-B sells more BudLight than any other beer, Miller sells more MLite. Those commericials with the twins pushing horse piss is the light . When you have stock holders you have to make profits, and right now you have to have a light beer to get there. But the most important thing to remember about all of this, is that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what anybody tells you, it is just there opinion, tongues are like fingerprints, none of them taste alike. What taste good and refreshing to me may taste like mud to the next guy or so-so to the next. It really doesn't matter who makes it as long as YOU enjoy it!
    Most people hate the taste of beer - to begin with. It is, however, a predjudice that many people have been able to overcome. - Winston Churchill-

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    2,025
    Whereas I have never really cared for the SA line of beers, I am not one to put it down either. That was why, as I stated in another thread here, that I was really surprised when I tried their Summer Ale this year. I have subsequently bought several 12 packs.

    Its all a matter of taste.
    Scott

    Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    4
    As a fellow micro lover i find it hard to believe that there is a single brewery out there that is trying to remain a small home town brewery! samuel adams obviously became mainstream and so large for a reason. Enjoy good beer no matter where it is served!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    2,838

    Not always true

    Originally posted by rrfc
    As a fellow micro lover i find it hard to believe that there is a single brewery out there that is trying to remain a small home town brewery!

    Check out New Glarus' decision to pull back their distribution from surrounding states (including a big market in Chicago) to focus on their core market of Wisconsin. They faced a decision to either expand the brewery to meet demand and possibly sacrifice quality or scale things back and take care of the "hometown" customers. They chose the latter and I think that's great. Not the norm, but nice to see.

    Cheers!

Page 1 of 25 12311 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •