In the northeast, it’s as ubiquitous in liquor stores as The North Face Jacket is on college campuses. And much like the Denali Fleece, Sam Adams wants people to think its the best option for consumers, however it just falls short. I really hate to knock Sam, but it’s the safe bet for people who usually don’t drink craft beer.
If somebody is a consistent Busch/Bud/Miller/Coors drinker, but is heading to an event where there will be a few beer snobs, in order not to show up to the gathering with their tail between their legs, they have to bring something a little bit better. What do people like that often elect to get? Sam Adams. In chain bars that typically cater to the average Joe, what’s always the premium on tap? Sam Adams. Whenever I go to a family party and big brother and I are to attend, what is the best beer in the cooler? You guessed it, Sam Adams.
People who don’t drink craft buy Sam. I mean that in the most unpretentious way possible; I think we were all guilty of this at one point in our beer drinking lives. We finally muster the courage to expand our beer palate and knowledge, but going to a well stocked package store is like filling out a W4 for the first time. You have no idea what to start, nor do you have any idea what to look for. Then our savior… the ads on the TV featuring the blue collar bearded brewers in Carhartt overalls listening to George Thorogood telling us about the meticulous nature and painstakingly careful process that goes into every Samuel Adams. You now have the attention of every middle class worker in the United States… and for shit sake, the beer is named after a freaking patriot. How is Joe the plumber going to turn a blind eye to this beer? It’s down right un-Amerrrican. So what does Joe do? Veer past his typical choice of Bud, ignoring the Stones, Dogfishes, Rogues, and Sierra Nevadas to go strait to what he thinks he knows… Sam Adams.
And here we have the plight of the beginning beer drinker. They buy Sam, they find it to be a whole new world of taste and flavor, so they stick with it as their special beer, never going beyond their boundaries. Once being in these proverbial shoes, I now realize that Sam Adams isn’t a great craft beer. There is always a seasonal I like better than what they offer, and their Boston Lager just doesn’t do it for me. And did you ever try their Imperial Series? I’d rather amputate my leg with a nail clipper than have another Double Bock.Rather than stick with what the T.V. tells you, try something new… really new. This, in summary, is the mission of Beer Chatter. Get out and try something different, because even if the grass isn’t greener, how will you ever know? And when it is, it’s a very fulfilling experience.
To avoid bringing Sam to your holiday gathering, I suggest these fine brews:
– Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter
– Magic Hat Howl
– Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
– Ipswich Oatmeal Stout
– A few bottles of Berkshire Brewing’s Coffeehouse Porter
– Samuel Smith Taddy Porter
– Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale