Years ago I had a conversation with Jim Koch that has always stuck with me. Jim told me “When I release a beer I ask myself what will this add to the market that is already not out there.” I notice this dedication as I sample and see new Sam Adams’ releases. Today when sampling Sam Adams’ new Sam ’76 that quote hit home.
Sam ’76 is an exciting mash-up of ale and a larger. Any beer drinker knows these two styles of beers have their unique characteristics. Now we know how these characteristic play off of each other in this unique craft beer.
The beer has a hazy body the color of golden straw. A creamy white head appeared but started to fade as I sipped on the beer. The citrus of the hops seems to be the first thing that rises from the glass as you bring your nose to the glass. As you inhale more, you will find touches of pine, grass and grain esters in the aroma.
The mouthfeel of this beer is very light with lively carbonation. The initial tastes have a light wash of citrus while there is a very slight hop wash over your tongue in the finish. I find it interesting the brewers used Cascade, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops in this craft beer yet it only boasts 12 IBUs. The brewers of Sam Adams showed great restraint in striving for balance in creating this beer.
As you work your way through this beer, the hop flavor builds. However, it never gets bitter. The citrus flavors seem to soar across your palate as you work your way to the bottom of the can.
This beer was the perfect companion for the hot dog I just finished. I could see Sam ’76 becoming a tailgate favorite. My other suggestions would be to pair this beer with seafood or use a bit of it when cooking your steamers. My next experiment with this beer will be to pair it with a lovely Asian dish, preferably Thai.
You should start seeing Sam ’76 on the shelves very soon retailing for $8.99 – $9.99 per six-pack. I would suggest opting for the $15.99, 12-pack seeing at 4.7% ABV this makes for a fantastic session craft beer.