Samuel Adams (beer)

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Samuel Adams
Boston Lager
Country of originUnited States
Alcohol by volume5.0%
WebsiteOfficial website

Samuel Adams is the flagship brand of the Boston Beer Company. The brand name (often shortened to Sam Adams) was chosen in honor of Founding Father of the United States Samuel Adams. Adams inherited his father's brewery on King Street (modern day State Street). Some historians say he was a brewer, while others describe him as a maltster.[1] The Samuel Adams brewery is located in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, where visitors can take a tour, and shop beers and merchandise.[2] Samuel Adams beer is brewed by the Boston Beer Company, which was founded by Jim Koch in Cambridge, MA, where he started the micro-brewery out of his home. Koch comes from a long line of Cincinnati brewers, and Samuel Adams beer was started using a recipe now known as the Samuel Adams Boston Lager.[3]

Samuel Adams Boston Lager[edit]

The flagship product of Boston Brewing Company, Boston Lager is brewed according to Koch's great-great grandfather's recipe. The process includes decoction mash (a four vessel process) and krausening (a secondary fermentation). Boston Lager is also dry hopped using the Hallertau Mittelfrueh and Tettnang Tettnanger hops.[4]

Other varieties[edit]

Wicked Hazy[edit]

A New England-style "hazy and juicy" India pale ale, formerly marketed as "New England IPA."

Wicked Easy[edit]

Introduced in 2018 as "Sam '76 Lager," Wicked Easy is a light lager with citrus notes.

Wicked Double[edit]

A double New England-style IPA introduced in 2021.

Just the Haze[edit]

A non-alcoholic hazy IPA introduced in 2021.

New England Pale Ale[edit]

A New England-style pale ale, with peach and mango notes.

Cherry Wheat[edit]

An American-style wheat ale brewed with Michigan cherries and honey.

Boston Ale[edit]

An ale brewed with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops.

Rebel IPA[edit]

First brewed in 2014, Samuel Adams Rebel IPA is a West Coast style India pale ale. The beer is brewed with five American hops: American Cascade, Simcoe, Chinook, Centennial, and Amarillo.[5] In early 2015, Samuel Adams released Rebel Rouser, a double IPA, and Rebel Rider, a session IPA. There are five flavor options in the Rebel Family: Rebel Juiced IPA, Rebel Grapefruit IPA, Rebel Rouser IPA, Rebel Cascade IPA, and Rebel Raw IPA.

Sam Adams Light[edit]

Introduced in 2001, Sam Adams Light is the second light beer produced by Boston Beer Company. The company previously sold Boston Lightship, which was introduced in 1993.[6]

Barrel Room Collection[edit]

These Belgian style beers are left in large wood barrels to age and pick up some of the flavors of the wood.[7] The beers in this collection include American Kriek, New World, Stony Brook Red, Thirteenth Hour and Tetravis.[8]

Nitro Project[edit]

Originally brewed in a nano brewery in 2014, the Nitro Project is a collection of two styles that are infused with nitrogen gas in the carbonation process. The two brews are Nitro Coffee Stout and Nitro White Ale. There was also a third style, Nitro IPA, which is not currently brewed. In a Boston Globe article, Jim Koch describes the process of infusing the nitrogen as "difficult".[9]

A Samuel Adams Utopias beer bottle


In 2002, the company released Utopias. At 24% abv, it was marketed as the strongest commercial beer in the world (a mark that has since been challenged).[citation needed] The company subsequently released new "vintages" of Utopias annually, increasing the alcoholic content to 27% abv by 2007, and increasing further to 28% abv in 2019.[10]

Utopias is made with caramel, Vienna, Moravian and Bavarian smoked malts, and four varieties of noble hops: Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Tettnanger, Spalter, and Saaz hops. The beer is matured in scotch, cognac and port barrels for almost a year. A limited number of bottles are released each year; in 2007, only 12,000 bottles were produced, and in 2009, only 9,000 bottles were released.[11][12] Sold in a ceramic bottle resembling a copper-finished brewing kettle, a single bottle of Utopias cost $100 in 2002, $150 in 2009, $200 in 2017, and $210 in 2019.[13]

Because of legal restrictions, Utopias is not offered in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, or West Virginia.[14]

Seasonal offerings[edit]

In addition to year-round offerings, Samuel Adams also has limited release varieties for each season, available both individually and in seasonal variety packs. The spring seasonal beers are Cold Snap, a Witbier brewed with orange peel and spices, and Alpine Lager, an unfiltered lager, with a third spring seasonal, Golden Ale, available exclusively in the Gameday Beers variety pack. The spring seasonals are sold from January to March. The summer offerings are available from April through July, and include Summer Ale, a wheat ale brewed with grains of paradise, and Porch Rocker, a radler. Two additional summer seasonals are available exclusively in the Sips of Summer variety pack: Beach Session IPA and Lawn Chair Lager. The fall seasonal beers are available August through October and include OctoberFest, a Marzen, and Jack-O, a pumpkin shandy. Festbier, a German-style pale lager, is a third fall beer, available exclusively in the Sweater Weather variety pack. The winter seasonal beers are available November through December and include Winter Lager, a bock, and Holiday White Ale, a spiced white ale. Two additional winter beers are available exclusively in the Winter Classics variety pack: American IPA, an American-style India pale ale, and Holiday Porter, a porter.

Samuel Adams offers additional limited release beers for purchase at its breweries in Boston and Cincinnati. Other limited release beers are made available in the Boston/New England market, such as 26.2 Brew, brewed in honor of the Boston Marathon.

Official beer of the Red Sox[edit]

Beginning with the 2018 season, Samuel Adams became the official beer of the Boston Red Sox replacing Budweiser. The eight-year deal will last through the 2025 season and include signage at Fenway Park. The agreement also allows Boston Beer to use the Red Sox logo for marketing purposes, as well as to conduct Red Sox related contests with tickets to games.[15]

As of 2020, Samuel Adams's Fenway Faithful IPA, a session IPA, is the official beer of the Boston Red Sox.


The Boston Brewery opened in 1989 and it is where every beer was first made, aside from the Boston Lager. There are two other breweries in Cincinnati, Ohio and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Only the Boston Brewery is open for public tours and tastings.[16]


Samuel Adams beer has gained attention in the media for its various beers. In a list of "Best Christmas/Winter Beer in Each State", Samuel Adams' Fezziwig brew won in the state of Massachusetts.[17] Additionally, Samuel Adams brewery itself was named the best brewery in all of Massachusetts according to a Yelp-based Buzzed article.[18]


  1. ^ Most historical evidence suggests that Adams worked as a maltster and not a brewer; Stanley Baron, Brewed in America: The History of Beer and Ale in the United States (Boston: Little, Brown, 1962), pp. 74–75. However, Ira Stoll in Samuel Adams: A Life (New York: Free Press, 2008; ISBN 978-0-7432-9911-4; ISBN 0-7432-9911-6), p. 275n16, notes that James Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company, reports having seen a receipt for hops signed by Adams, which indicates that Adams may have done some brewing.
  2. ^ "Boston Brewery | Brewery Tours". Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  3. ^ "BBC History". The Boston Beer Company. Archived from the original on 10 November 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Samuel Adams Boston Lager". November 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  5. ^ "Samuel Adams Rebel IPA". November 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  6. ^ "Sam Adams Light". November 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  7. ^ "Barrel Room Collection". November 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  8. ^ Nason, Adam (July 20, 2012). "Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection National Rollout Begins". Beer Pulse. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Dzen, Gary. "Nitrogen brings a new element to Sam Adams beer". Boston Globe.
  10. ^ Rice, Briana (October 15, 2019). "Samuel Adams is releasing a beer that's 28% ABV. Here is how you can get a taste". USA Today. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  11. ^ "The 48 proof beer". Beer Break Vol. 2, No. 19. Real Beer Media, Inc. 2002-02-14. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  12. ^ DellaSala, Steve (2007-01-31). "Sam Adams Utopias - Strongest Beer in the World". Audioholics. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  13. ^ "Samuel Adams' new $200 beer that's as strong as liquor is the ultimate gift for beer lovers".
  14. ^ "Samuel Adams – America's World Class Beer". Boston Beer Company. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
  15. ^ Adams, Don (2017-12-12). "So long, Bud — Sam Adams is the new official beer of the Red Sox". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
  16. ^ "The Boston Brewery". Samuel Adams. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  17. ^ Vorel, Jim (13 December 2016). "104 of the Best Christmas/Winter Beers, Blind-Tasted and Ranked". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  18. ^ No, Michelle. "The Best Brewery In Every State, According To Yelp". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 24 January 2017.

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