Name: Boston Beer Company
Location: Seriously? You’ve got to ask? For the geographically challenged, the Boston Beer Company is located in Boston, MA.
Type: Production Brewery
Available in DC Market?: Yes
What you need to know: What do you need to know that you don’t know already about the Boston Beer Company? Well, their Boston Lager is one of the most successful and widely available craft beers available nationwide. The Boston Beer Co. is the largest craft brewer in the United States with over 2 million barrels produced annually. They produce a huge variety of beers (well over 30 at current count on their website) in a number of different families (they produce seasonal variety packs, the Imperial series, etc.) One of their most famous beers is the Utopia series, which is a massively high-gravity beer that is not made via the eising process. This is a brewery that knows how to do both quantity and quality well, and has been doing both for a long time.
Beer #1: Samuel Adams Oyster Stout
Notes: I’m just going to come out and say it – Oyster stouts are a weird idea. Out of all of the things brewers can put in beer…oysters? It just so happens that Oyster Stouts are just one of those weird things that work, like Philip Seymour Hoffman or Sleigh Bells, but with a higher probability of bivalves. Oyster Stouts tend to begin with a standard dry stout, to which oysters (bodies and liquor and all) are added. The critters add a noticeable hit of salinity that adds surprising balance to the roasty flavors of the stout. Don’t look for a thick sweet imperial stout style beer here – these beers are highly quaffable, despite their stout nomenclature. Given the Boston Beer Company’s ability to stretch across many styles with typically high degrees of success, I’d say that if you’ve been hearing an oyster outside your window, holding a stereo above his head and blasting Peter Gabriel…this may be the time to let him/her (?) in.
BeerAdvocate Grade: N/A
Ratebeer Grade: N/A
Beer #2: Samuel Adams Belgian IPA
Notes: Belgian IPAs have been getting around more than The Bachelor these days. Unlike that televised abomination, though, the proliferation of these spicy, unique brews is certainly a good thing. Incorporating the distinct fruity notes of Belgian yeast with the bright hop character of an IPA, Belgian IPAs give brewers the opportunity to let the microbes go toe to toe (pseudohyphae to hope cone?) with some of the best IBUs in the business and let you judge who comes out on top. Given Sam Adams’ general even-handedness with both yeast flavors and hops, I’d say this will most likely be a balanced, highly drinkable beer. Expect a firm malt backbone to hold up the bright flavors of the yeast and hops, making this one a well-balanced brew.
BeerAdvocate Grade: N/A
Ratebeer Grade: 85 overall; 58 style
Summary: There’s no doubt that the craft beer community owes a lot to the Boston Beer Company and its Samuel Adams brand. This is a company that produces, by far, more volume than the next highest producer (Sierra Nevada), but is still pushing to create new beers (American Kriek, anyone?) The commitment to craft beer is still going strong up in Boston, despite the gargantuan volume level. Stop by and see one of the pioneers of craft beer – if last year was any indication he’ll be happy to shake your hand, pour you a beer, and drop a signature commercial-ish line that will undoubtedly make you giggle like a little kid and say, “Holy shit, that’s the guy from the commercials!”
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.