Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sam Adams Winter Variety Pack

I stopped into a local bottle shop the other night and saw stacks of this year's Sam Adams Winter 12 pack. It includes 2 each of Boston Lager, Winter Lager, Cream Stout, Old Fezziwig, Holiday Porter, and Cranberry Lambic. Sam Adams takes a lot of heat on the beer websites but I've never really been able to figure out why. I suspect much of it has to do with the mistaken notion that due to their success they must be "selling out" in some way and marginalizing their beer. In my mind, nothing could be further from the truth, have you tried this year's Imperial Pilsner? How can you argue that they haven't had a huge beneficial impact on the craft beer scene in general with their advertising (aside from quibbles over details) and various promotions like the Longshot homebrew competition? Not to mention they're constantly experimenting with new styles to add to their already large list. I smile everytime I see the billboard on my way to work that shows a pint of each of their styles laid out next to each other in order from lightest to darkest.

Last year, people complained because the 12 pack contained 2 Light lagers and the ubiquitous complaints about the Cranberry Lambic. The complaints about the Light lagers were valid and, apparently, taken to heart by the folks at Sam Adams. Not only was the Light taken out of this year's pack, it was replaced with a black beer, the Cream Stout (a personal favorite, I might add). As for the Cranberry Lambic, I imagine they need to keep this in because there are probably a lot of people that actually like it. I also suspect it wouldn't be so despised by beer geeks if they didn't misleadingly label it a lambic. If it was called Cranberry Wheat, people probably wouldn't hate it so much. Personally, I don't like the beer but the 12 pack is still a good value. How often to you like every beer in a mixed 12 pack?

I'll never understand the hate Sam Adams garners from beer geeks and think much of it is misguided. I look forward to enjoying these beers over the holiday season. Enjoying the first Old Fezziwig of the season is always a comforting event.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Your right about the selection in this years winter variety 10 pack being a great impovement over last year's. But when I purchase dozen beers I want to have 12 that are at least drinkable. I love Sam, but Cranberry Lambic is positively toxic! I can't find anyone who will drink it so it's a 10 pack. I can't bring myself to use it to cook with.