Visit the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston
Samuel Adams. Brewer. Patriot.
I'm not thoroughly convinced that would be the order in which ol' Sam would list his achievements if he wrote his own resume, but it's the familiar slogan you'll find on bottles of beer made by the Samuel Adams Brewery. And when you tour this Boston landmark, you might just be convinced that lending his name and face to the beers produced by the Boston Beer Company is this hero of the American Revolution's most glorious legacy. Continued Below
From Kim's New England Kitchen
Tour the Sam Adams Brewery
If you go... As of 2009, tours of the Sam Adams Brewery are offered Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. roughly every 45 minutes. A $2 donation is requested, and all monies collected are donated to local charities. The tour is open to all ages, but you must be 21 with proper ID to sample beer. For more tour information, call 617-368-5256.
Getting there... For recorded directions call 617-368-5080, or consult the Sam Adams Web site. Leave yourself plenty of time--driving in Boston can be tricky, even now that the Big Dig is completed. You may want to get to the Brewery by subway. Take the orange line toward Forest Hills and get off at the Stony Brook stop. From there, you'll need to walk to the Brewery by taking a left onto Boylston Street, your first right onto Armory Street, then your first left onto Porter Street, which will take you to the Brewery's gates.
If you're a craft beer and microbrew lover planning a trip to New England, be sure to visit...
and make plans to attend one of these Beer Festivals in New England.
Bruce and I got hopelessly lost trying to find the Sam Adams Brewery on a Saturday in May of 2000, in spite of the multiple sets of directions and the maps we had with us. Boston was particularly difficult to navigate back in those days due to the constant re-routing resulting from the Big Dig infrastructure project.
As it turned out, though, we arrived (finally) at the Samuel Adams Brewery at a perfect time--the somewhat dated preview video was just concluding, and we didn't miss a minute of the tour, nor, more importantly, of the beer tasting that followed. We caught just enough of the video to learn that it takes Sam Adams all year to brew what Anheuser-Busch brews in an hour!
Our tour guide, Matt Welnicki, took over when the video concluded, providing us with a brief history of beer in Boston. We learned that more beer was produced and consumed in Boston than anywhere else in the U.S. 100 years ago. Welnicki also told us a bit about Sam Adams' founder, Jim Koch, who, with three degrees from Harvard, is the "most educated guy in the beer business." Koch's great-great-grandfather had a brewery in St. Louis, and the recipe for Samuel Adams Boston Lager is derived from an old family formula.
Then, our guide pronounced that he would lead our tour group of about 50 people on the best part of the tour--the brewery itself. "It's like taking you into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, only no guys in orange dancing around," he said.
Welnicki tried to hold our attention by sharing with us the Seven Wonders of Sam--taste, aroma, complexity, body, smoothness, finish, and balance--by allowing us to taste beer ingredients and by telling us about Sam Adams' revolutionary introduction of the idea of labeling beer with a "born on" date. But with the beer hall-style tasting room only a few steps away, he had his work cut out for him.
Once crowded inside the tasting room, we were able to sample four products made in Boston by the Boston Beer Company, which makes Oregon Original and Hard Core Cider products in addition to the Sam Adams line of beers. We got to try the staple, Samuel Adams Boston Lager; the seasonal brew, Sam Adams Summer Ale; the new Samuel Adams IPA (India Pale Ale), which is only available in a limited regional market (this was our favorite); and Hard Core Cider. Our guide and the bartender ascertained who of the group had a recent birthday, and we serenaded a young woman with "Happy Birthday," sampling at the same time the room's fabulous beer hall acoustics.
Of course, it was impossible to depart without passing through the gift shop, where Bruce purchased a Samuel Adams tray featuring a portrait of the famous patriot and brewer, or brewer and patriot if you prefer. If you can't get to Boston, a variety of Sam Adams gifts can be purchased online at the Brewery's E-Store.
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All photos (c) 2000 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com, Inc.