RSS

Tag Archives: Boston Beer Company

Utopias a rare find worth the search

utopiasJim Koch is an iconic figure in the American craft beer scene and this fall his Boston Beer Company, better known as Samuel Adams, is releasing the 10th iteration of its iconic brew Utopias. Created only once every other year, this extremely limited edition beer is one of the world’s most sought-after brews.

Koch, a sixth-generation brewer, almost did not follow in his predecessor’s footsteps. He went to college at Harvard where he earned three degrees before beginning a career in management consulting. But, the siren song of beer kept pulling at him. And, with his great-great grandfather Louis Koch’s recipe for a spicy Vienna-style lager in hand, he brewed the first of what would become Boston Beer’s flagship brand – Samuel Adams Boston Lager — in his kitchen.

Not long after that, Koch invested $100,000 of his own money and additional funds raised from investors that included friends, family and former classmates to found the Boston Beer Company in 1984. With the specter of his family’s 13 brewery failures looming over him, Koch was determined to make Samuel Adams a success.

Over the next 13 years, Koch grew his business by leveraging other brewery’s excess capacity in a process known as contract brewing. Then, in 1997, he purchased the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewery in his home town of Cincinnati, Ohio. This helped the flourishing company free itself from contract brewing and accelerated its growth.

Utopias got its start in 1994 with the first release of a new beer style brewed by Samuel Adams called Triple Bock. The opaque, black brew was the strongest beer ever brewed at the time a whopping 17.5% ABV. Described as similar in taste to a port wine, Triple Bock was brewed with maple syrup, aged in spirits barrels and presented in distinctive cobalt-blue bottles. Only three vintages of the brew were created in 1994, 1995 and 1997.

Not content with creating the world’s first triple bock, Koch began thinking about what he could fashion to commemorate the coming new millennia. The result with an American Strong Ale he appropriately named Millennium. Koch again pushed the envelope on alcohol content with this brew settling in at 20% ABV. Millennium was only brewed once.

With two big beers under his belt, Koch wanted to create a beer that would be produced every other year. The beer, which he decided to call Utopias, would be bigger than its predecessors and would be blended with the base beer that has matured in scotch, cognac and port barrels. The first release, in 2002, weighed at 24% ABV with subsequent releases reaching 29% ABV.

Brewed to be a complex beer, Utopias consists of three different varieties each of hops and malt. Spalt Spalter, Hallertau Mittelfrueh, and Tettnang Tettnanger hops provide a slight amount of bitterness to the brew while Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Caramel 60, and Munich malts provide sweetness along with maple syrup.

So, what should you expect Utopias to taste like if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle of this illusive beer? Many compare it to a fine cognac or sherry. It contains no carbonation and pours inky black. A new bottle will be hot with alcohol, but also flavors of leather, cherry, molasses and toffee. Upon aging a few years, the alcohol hotness should drop off and the other flavors will intensify.

With only 13,000 bottles available this year, expect Utopias to be a hard bottle to find. But, if you find it and the $199 price tag doesn’t scare you away, you will be rewarded with a truly remarkable beer worthy of savoring only on the most special of occasions.

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 18, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

Tags: , , , ,

Sam Adams announces mentoring experience winner

Image credit: Beerstreetjournal.com

Image credit: Beerstreetjournal.com

Jim Koch of Samuel Adams has long been a proponent of passing along his business knowledge to up-and-coming businesses both within the brewing industry and outside of it. Yesterday his company announced the winner of the 2015 “Brewing and Business Experinceship,” award.

Read the full press release below for more details:

BOSTON, Oct. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Samuel Adams today announced that San Diego County-based craft brewery ChuckAlek Independent Brewers has been selected as the winner of the 2015 “Brewing and Business Experienceship,” a unique mentoring opportunity awarded to one craft brewer annually as part of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.

Similar to an extended internship, the Experienceship provides hands-on educational and enrichment experiences tailored to the winning brewery’s needs. As part of the program, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers will receive a trip to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery for coaching and mentoring from a variety of Samuel Adams experts and brewers, including those involved in ingredients sourcing, sales and distribution, package design and more. Additionally, winners have the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer with Samuel Adams, and receive funding to attend industry events such as The Great American Beer Festival.

Founder and head brewer Grant Fraley, and co-founder and CEO Marta Jankowska were selected from craft brewer applicants that are part of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a micro-lending and coaching program for small business owners working in food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality. The brewery was chosen by a panel of professionals from Samuel Adams and the program’s non-profit microlending partner Accion, based on their passion for brewing quality craft beer, current success, and strong growth potential.

“Our Brewing and Business Experienceship provides fellow craft brewers with important ongoing support and advice – something that I wish I had when starting Samuel Adams 30 years ago,” said Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. “We understand how difficult it is to manage the many moving pieces of an up-and-coming brewery, and look forward to working and collaborating with Grant and Marta as they continue to provide innovative craft beers to the San Diego region.”

In 2013, Grant Fraley and Marta Jankowska opened ChuckAlek Independent Brewers in Ramona, CA of easternSan Diego County to turn their passion for reviving old, hard-to-find beer styles into a business. Last fall, Fraley and Jankowska looked to expand but faced difficulty securing traditional financing. They then turned to Brewing the American Dream, and were able to secure a $10,000 loan through Accion to help them develop draft beer sales in San Diego. What resulted was their ability to grow distribution to 30 accounts, and become one of the most widely distributed nano breweries in San Diego County.

“We’re very excited to be selected for the Samuel Adams Brewing and Business Experienceship Program,” said Fraley. “Our revivals of old-school beers are a unique contribution to the San Diego beer scene, and this invaluable opportunity will give us the support we need to help grow the brewery and get our uniquely hopped sessionable lagers and original-era porters in front of a wider audience. We look forward to working with the brewers and employees at Samuel Adams and can’t wait to visit the Boston Brewery.”

Samuel Adams Continues to Support the Craft Beer Movement
ChuckAlek Independent Brewers is the fourth craft brewery to receive the Brewing and Business Experienceship. Past winners include San Francisco, CA-based MateVeza, Rochester, NY-based Roc Brewing Co. and Denver, CO-based Brewery Rickoli. Each brewery released a limited-edition collaboration beer with Samuel Adams, and has received a loan through the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.  To date, the program has provided loans to more than a dozen craft brewers across the country in an effort to continue to support fellow craft brewers.

Created by Samuel Adams brewer and founder Jim Koch in partnership with Accion, the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program provides two important components that Jim didn’t have access to when starting Samuel Adams 30 years ago: access to financing and nuts-and-bolts business advice. Since its creation in 2008, the program has provided more than $3 million in microloans to nearly 375 businesses nationwide, coached 4,000+ small business owners, and helped create or retain more than 2,000 jobs. To learn more, visithttp://btad.samueladams.com/.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Craft Beer Brewery

 

Tags: , , ,