Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Beer For Breakfast

A couple Saturday's ago Girls’ Pint Out and Beeriety teamed up to offer a private early morning tour of the Sam Adams Brewery. I had always wanted to check out the brewery located in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. A tour put together by local beer advocate groups compliments of the folks at Sam Adams seemed like the perfect excuse to make the trek out to Stony Brook on the Orange Line. It's actually not a trek at all with the orange line running smoothly and the brewery only a short walk from the T stop, I was there in under a half an hour. It was a crisp winter morning, filled with blue skies and slushy streets. Once inside the brewery I snapped some photos of the banners and wall art on display. Soon enough, we embarked on the tour. Down a dimly lit tunnel guided by strands of tiny white lights and our friendly tour guide Katie, we made our way first to the ingredient deck. Here we were introduced to malts, hops, yeast and water, learning about how each contributes to a delicious tasting pint of Sam Adams beer. We were encouraged to get to know these ingredients as Katie passed around plastic cup fulls to smell, touch and even taste. Next Katie lead us into the Barrel Room, a VIP space created to house beers awaiting release and to hold special events and parties. Then onto the brew house, where we learned all about the process of making their beer! From the machinery used, to the fermentation period, to dry hopping, barrel aging, filtrations and everything in between. Founder Jim Koch prides the company on using traditional brewing methods following sound brewing practices to ensure beers of the highest quality. The company also believes in using innovative recipes and ingredients to create exciting new styles of beer. Styles that we were able to sample on the final portion of our tour, which lead us to the tasting room. First and foremost we sampled Boston Lager, the original full flavored quality lager that debuted in April 1985 in 25 Boston bars/restaurants. In other words, the beer that began the company.
With this beer Katie lead us through the tasting and evaluation steps.
1) Appearance: visual appraisal, color, clarity, foam
2) Aroma: gently swirl and inhale
3) Taste: flavor profile, layers, balance
4) Body: overall mouth feel, density, effervescence
5) Finish: lingers or fades, bitter or sweet, final impressions
Next on tap we enjoyed the Winter Lager. The seasonal brew proved robust and spicy with notes of ground cinnamon, orange and ginger. Up third was Brick Red, a beer served only on tap in local Boston establishments. It has a rich caramel flavor, the sweetness from the malts balanced by the earthy characters of the hops.
The fourth pour was an ale exclusive to the tasting room! The Farmhouse Ale was bright and hoppy, a real treat rounding out this breakfast of beer in fine form.
Katie was a knowledgeable and spirited tour guide with a passion for this company overflowing from every word she spoke. I imagine all the employees exude the same enthusiasm for Sam Adams, which makes this Craft Brewery experience a highly enjoyable one. I'll take any excuse to drink Beer for Breakfast; thanks to all the folks involved with GPO and Beeriety for making it happen!

18 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday morning! I have never heard of Brick Red, but I'm going to keep an eye out for it now.

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  2. Fun way to spend the day....actually you are giving me an idea for a date with my hubby. He would love this.

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  3. I love the Brick Red! I tasted it on the tour and have had it a couple of times since. I am sorry I missed the event.

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  4. i'm alive, but barely. can't look at the beer b/c stomach is not in the healthy zone, but someday i shall return.

    thx for the well wishes.

    xo,
    c

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  5. That looks like a fun way to spend a Saturday! I've never been to the brewery, but always mean to during the summer every year. Hopefully this year I'll actually make it happen!

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  6. I couldnt get my extremely witty comment to post last night- so you get a boring one this morning! :-) AWESOME way to spend a Saturday morning! I keep meaning to head over to the Sam Adams brewery you and the GPO ladies are inspiring a trip!

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  7. I've been wanting to tour Sam Adams and haven't gotten around to it - I should move it up on my To Do list.

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  8. Very cool! It's on my list to go to both Sam Adams and Harpoon. As always, great pics!

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  9. I am embarrassed to admit I have never made it over to the Sam Adams Brewery. This looks like it was a fun time!

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  10. I'm first time on your blog. It is very intersting. I like beer but I've never try Samuel Adams.

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  11. mmm Sam Adams spring beer, nobil pils is my FAV! I just bought a sixer :)

    I have never heard of this vip brick red but I want to try. Did they tell you the secret of where we can find this on tap in boston?

    What a fun trek!

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  12. I love the Sam Adams Brewery. I went in college for Senior Week and had a fabulous time. My favorite part though is stopping into Ula Cafe after.

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  13. Great post, looks like such a great time!

    I have never been to the Sam Adam brewery!

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  14. i have never been to Sam Adams brewery (or Harpoon for that matter which is like 1 mile from my apt!). I really must soon!

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  15. GAH! So jealous! I have been adoring SA's Winter Ale all season long. Delish.

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  16. I love Sam Adams' Brewery tour. I've been twice! It's a great tour and a lot of fun...there was a little picnic area we sat in out back when I went in the nicer weather. You'll have to go back in the spring. ;)

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  17. I have to do this again soon! I love going to the Sam Adams Brewery!

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  18. In all my time living in Boston I never went to Sam Adams!

    Yesterday, however, Rafe and I went on a tour of the local Hooker brewery....it was a lot of fun!!

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