Infinium 2011 Pre-Release Party Recap

I love the Sam Adams brewery. It was the first brewery I have ever toured and the first craft beer I ever drank. I could sing their praises all day, sometimes I do. Last night was the Pre Release Party for the 2011 version of Sam Adams Infinium.

For those unfamiliar, Infinium is a collaboration beer with Sam Adams and Germany’s famous Weihenstephan Brewery and is quite literally the champagne beer. Noted for its champagne like carbonation, the 2011 Infinium recipe was changed a little, adding the dry hopping with Hallertau Miffelfrueh hops to the process. Among the differences from this year and last, 2011’s is less champagne tasting, in a sense, and more beer tasting. There is defintitely a more sweeter, citrusy taste to it with a great sweet malt flavor as well. The champagne aspect is shown by little bubbles in the beer. If you were unhappy with last year’s version its worth it to try this years, as the taste is completely different (to me).

On to the rest of the evening. To celebrate the event, Jim Koch was in attendance along with 3 of Boston’s top mix-ologists making signature beer cocktails using Infinium. Here’s the breakdown on those:

Germania’s Toast – Created by Adam Lantheaum, from The Boston Shaker.

  • 1/8 oz of Jo Snow Cardamon rosewater syrup
  • 2-3 Dashes Aphrodite Bitters
  • 5 oz of Infinium

Sowa Market Shandy – Created by Ran Duan, from the Sichuan Garden Restaurant and Bar.

  • 1 oz Cardamon Pomegranate syrup
  • 1 oz Lemon juice
  • 2 Dashes Scrappy’s celery bitters
  • 3 oz of Infinium

Winter Shandy – Created by Bob McCoy, from the Island Creek Oyster Bar.

  • 1 oz Cinnamon syrup
  • 1 oz Fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 Dash Angostura Bitters
  • 2 oz Soda water
  • 4 oz Infinium

My favorite of the coktails was the Sowa Market Shandy, which hit you in the face with pomegranate and had a nice lasting taste. You could only drink one of those as the sweetness was pretty aggressive. The other cocktails in their own right were great. I thought this was a great way to showcase the beer and to possibly reach a new demographic of drinkers.

The highlight of the night was actually seeing Jim for the first time, not on TV commericals with the “who do you love” playing in the background, but in person. After his speech to the crowd he came over to me, Sean (@2beerguys) and Adam (@BrewEngland) and asked us to describe the beers taste and compare it with last years. I was kign of in awe over the whole thing. He was interested in our opinions of the beer regardless of right or wrong, simply because he loves feedback. I think it also had a lot to do with the fact that there is no other beer like it in the world, so he would like to know how other peoples pallates are accepting/rejecting it.

I have met and semi-brewed with Sam Caligione, already a big check mark in the ‘stand up guy’ category for him and an experience I will never forget. This was another great moment, simply being in the presence of a craft beer pioneer. He may be significantly bigger than the local micro-breweries we are all used to drinking and supporting, but Jim Koch and his team produce an excellent product and are so far from the ‘big beer’ attitude that it makes me never hesitate to reach for a Sam Adams beer.

Shoutouts to @2beerguys, @BrewEngland, @MAGirlsPintOut, @Momeredith , @DailyCraic, @HeatherVandy and @rudolpho81 for making it a great experience as well. Always good to see the same people out there showing support!