Beer-ket-ology- Battle of the Seasons

Ok Sam, let’s get it on!

In the spirit of March Madness (and since my Bracket has been bust since the Sweet 16), I decided to make my own Final Four bracket featuring the seasonal stylings of Mr Sam Adams.

Why you ask? Simple, because this is an age long debate and I deserve to throw my hat in the ring. As a beer connoisseur for the past 2 years, I have been able to drink to the seasons 2 full rotations. With every changing season comes a new beer from the man himself, Jim Koch down in Boston. Also, now that the demand for these seasonals are so high, it is as if they actually show up in the package stores and the draft taps a season ahead of its self. Which brings me to my first battle, Sam October vs. Sam Summer.

Let’s kick it off with Summer and lead into fall. Every year, the fan favorite Sam Summer shows up in the stores a little early. I recently read a blog post that claimed only a couple days ago cases had arrived to bestow on the people. Spring has JUST begun and summer is hitting the shelves… not a fan. Is it because Mr Koch isn’t liking the reviews of his newest Spring addition, Noble Pils, that he has to release his Summer seasonal so early (more on that to come). In any event, what I base my review on is purely due to the fact that there are too many other beers to choose from in the summer. My personal go to in the summer is a cold Red Stripe on the decks of Poco’s. I am not the biggest fan of the Sam Summer taste, and I don’t see the hype, but that doesn’t mean I won’t reach for a pint or 2 when the opportunity presents itself. I like Sam Summer, but its a losing battle when it comes out months before the season begins, and there are just too many to chose from in the Summer.

The real winner between the two here is sam Octoberfest. Coming out right around September if not the sliiiightest bit earlier, Sam Oktoberfest is the fall beer for all fall beers. Notably, it doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie like Pumpkinhead, yuck. If I want pumpkin pie I will grab a slice and EAT it, not drink it. Most of my love for Octoberfest comes from my love of darker ales, and this kicks off the season really well. I try to make my way down to the Sam brewery in the fall at least once to grab a sample straight from the taps in the epicenter of the brewing genius. You win this battle Sam October!

Next up, Sam Winter vs Sam Noble Pils

It would’ve been an easy win for Sam Winter if it went up against Sam White, not a fan. This battle is fairly matched but with a true winner.

Let me jump to the point. Pilsners and I don’t get a long. Put me and a Pilsner in the same room and I will find you 10 better beers. Although it is better from the taps than in the bottles, Sam Noble Pils isn’t for me, but its not to say everyone else hates it. It seemed like a good idea to replace the white, and from surveying some of my beer drinking buddies it was a good move. I find myself reaching for a Milk Stout/Oatmeal Stout from the Portsmouth Brewery, or Red Hook ESB to satisfy my palette. As mentioned above, the Summer beer is already coming out, so is Koch trying to push out the Noble Pils because even he isn’t a fan? Or did it arrive too early and people are getting sick of it?

The true victor between the two is Winter Lager.

Wow, talk about a #1 vs #1 battle between Winter and October. After thinking this through the decision is pretty simple to me. I love the season of winter, a lot of beers come out in the winter, dark stouts, nice porters. I love getting the Sam Winter Sampler cases that have all sorts of good brews for me to taste, a true holiday tradition.

But here’s the catch, just because winter is my favorite season for beers doesn’t mean Sam Winter is my seasonal choice. False, while I love Sam Winter on a snowy night, nothing brings across a better feel for the seasons then a cold Sam Adams Octoberfest. It also seems I have that “get it while I still can” feeling when it comes to Octoberfest, whereas Sam Winter seems to kick around months after the xmas tree is cut down/menorah is put away.

And the winner is…

Don’t kid yourself Sam Winter, you’re a great brew and are a staple in my fridge and in my coozy as I watch the 24 hour Christmas Story marathon, but when it comes to taste, feel and true appreciation, I give the credit to Sam October!

Any one’s Sam Bracket busted by the above commentary?

That’s just my view from the mug,
B