America’s largest independent brewery, The Boston Beer Co. — the folks behind Samuel Adams — has announced the upcoming release (release dates to be decided) of a new series being called “The Sam Adams Barrel Room Series”. Each beer in the series shares the common characteristic of having first been aged in oak barrels. But that’s where the similarities seem to end.
The first release, the Samuel Adams American Kriek (7% ABV), was aged on “sweet yet tart” Balaton cherries. According to the Michigan State University Department of Horticulture,
“This dark-skinned European morello-type cherry was first introduced into the United States in 1984 by Dr. Amy Iezzoni, Professor of Horticulture at MSU […] The Balaton cherry has a dark burgundy color throughout with a robust sweet-tart taste.”
The second release, Samuel Adams New World Tripel, has a much higher ABV of 10% and is being described as “golden in color with notes of spice and tropical fruit.”
Finally, the third beer in the announcement, the Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (9% ABV),is a Belgian-style ale “with a hint of tart fruit and toasted oak character.”
It’s great to see a big brewery like Boston Beer Co. releasing some “Beer Geek” brews. They certainly wouldn’t have to do anything out of the norm, off the wall or potentially “risky” like these beers; I’m sure the company’s sales would be just fine without the Barrel Room Series. But it’s really good to see the brewers continuing to flex their respective brewing muscles by brewing some new styles.
And, just like the argument which was given in the comments section of the Michelob post I wrote a few days ago, the recognizable Sam Adams logo on these beers might convince drinkers of otherwise rather safe beers to try something they might not otherwise have the balls to try — in this case it’s people who already drink decent beers like Sam Adams Boston Lager instead of swill like Mic Ultra trying slightly riskier styles like Kriek rather than Michelob Porter. But the argument remains the same. Good for you guys, Sam Adams!
[Source: beernews.org, the craft beer news leader]