Saturday, March 17, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Sam Adams B'Austin Ale | Boston Beer Company | Boston, MA

Say hello to ya mutha fah me, okay?
I take way too much joy in ridiculing the Sam Adams Boston Beer Company for their ridiculously inane television commercials, lame branding, overproduction (Well over 50 styles, best I can count -- suddenly their "170 beers at the House of Beers" commercial with that terrible Eastern-Continental accented woman sounds like a major self-parody), and the fact that Jim Koch wants us oh-so-dearly to hang on to the notion that they are a small micro-craft brewer

But Sam Adams BBC plays the percentages like the slimy drunk you knew in college -- sometimes their very wide cast nets a decent fish.

I only really enjoy a couple of Sam Adams BBC varieties -- and nothing on their permanent list.  Their Noble Pils is an outstanding beer -- and only available for too short of a time.  Their Chocolate Bock is nice at the beginning of the season before you start participating in real craft winter seasonals, and their recent Oak-Aged something-or-other was decent when I had a sip of someone's somewhere.  So remarkable, I can't even remember the style.

Sam Adams BBC simply out-witting themselves by blanketing the market with a bunch of highly mediocre beers and expecting us to be impressed.  They are simply not.  I can't name a single person who prefers a Sam Adams varietal to an equivalent style from another brewer.  Hell, they were handing out free Sam Adams Boston Lagers and Latitude 48 IPAs the other day at the SXSW Paste Magazine party and we couldn't even be enticed to stay for free beer.

All this said, however, there is a really neat program that Sam Adams BBC sponsored for their "fans" and offered to brew a "crowd-sourced" beer that let participants determine the profile of the beer using an interactive system of rating hops, malt, color, and all the other essentials.  When the voting was over, the results were brewed and we were presented with: Sam Adams B'Austin Ale, "a slightly hazy, medium bodied, amber ale with a spicy hop aroma, notes of toffee and a smooth, yet spicy finish", according to their press release.  Then, they launched it at SXSW in Austin, hence the name B'Austin Ale -- a play on their original homegrown roots and the further raping of Austin's SXSW platform.

You're a beer, right? What's that about? I produced Entourage.
I can't deny that I was pretty excited that Austin (and selectively in Boston) would be the only two places you could get this beer -- so I really wanted to try it just to say I did.  Sucker. 

Also, even though it debuted here in Austin, it still would only be available in a limited amount of bars in the city -- and really, so far, I've only heard of one. 

So, despite being overdosed on warm Miller Lites all day, I walked over to my little local to try one of these and catch the end of the ND-Xavier NCAA game.  I'll tell you what, B'Austin Ale goes great with east-coast basketball and hugging up to a small-pub bar stool.  I was very surprised how much I enjoyed this beer -- primarily, I'm guessing, because it was an ale, and not all that malty, bogged down, oily junk that Sam Adams BBC does all the time. 

B'Austin was clean and crisp and tasted excellent at serving temperature -- then got progressively more complex as it rose to room temp.  I was very impressed -- and it was cool to hear others around equally impressed.

I suppose the best thing for Sam Adams BBC to do would be to relinquish brewing rights to their fans -- I guess there are a few out there -- and the majority of them apparently know how to build a recipe.  Something this company could learn a thing or two about.  Either way, on this occasion, I give Sam Adams B'Austin Ale high regards.

ABV: 5.o%
Acquired: At tha bah

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