Monday, July 19, 2010

Samuel Adams to the Rescue!

Once again Mrs Velkyal and I are in Florida, spending a week with her parents at Daytona Beach, lounging around by the pool with my head in a book. At the moment it is "Godless" by Dan Barker, which describes how an evangelical preacher became an atheist, and very interesting it is too. After that I guess I will move on to Bernard Cornwell's "Agincourt", or a collection of Anton Chekov's short stories. Whenever we come down here, beer kind of takes a back seat.

Given that almost every Floridian beer I have had so far has been on the dire side of fairly poor, I am not expecting any revelations on that front. Filling the fridge at the moment, and I am sure to finish the case today, is Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I know some people over here, for whatever reason, view Sam Adams as no longer being craft beer because their beers are available nationwide. In my world though, when the choice is as hilariously poor as the local Wal-Mart's beer "selection" then Boston Lager becomes a go to beer because it is actually a nice lager, one of the few American lagers I enjoy. Just to highlight how bad the selection was, it came down to a choice between Boston Lager or Michelob AmberBock!

I realise that being in a tourist area of the state means you really get the lowest common denominator when it comes to beer in the shops and restaurants, but even in the store nearest our resort where they have a decent selection of craft beer, they have beer from just one Florida brewery - the piss poor Ybor Gold which I lamented last summer. Thankfully the pub I like to go to in St Augustine on the way back north apparently has a wider selection of Floridian beer to try.

Say what you like about Samuel Adams, and yes I have slagged off some of their beers in the past, but with Boston Lager you have a dream of a beer, flavourful enough to be interesting and easy drinking to boot, and of course when surrounded by people drinking Butt Wiper or Miller Shite then an opportunity to ease people toward beers that actually have something about them.


  1. When people say that Sam Adams is no longer craft beer what they mean is that The Boston Beer Co. is no longer a micro-brewery, which is true, as the definition of micro-brewery is defined, and Sam Adams is WAY beyond that threshold. But whether or not a beer is "craft" is more subjective and depends on how the beer is made. In my mind, I'm not sure if you can call Sam Adams a craft brewery simply because they brew on the scale they do, however, for that scale they come damn close. They serve an important niche for the craft drinker as well, in that they introduce new beer drinkers to the movement and as you're experiencing now, they guarantee that no matter where you go in the US, there will always be something quality available to drink.

    As for the area you're in... check out Abbey in Deland... lots of taps and recently they've had Cigar City on, so they may have more of them now or other Florida breweries.

    I love the new(ish) background, BTW. And I'm almost done with my Fuggled backlog. Hooray!

  2. I am unashamedly a big fan of boston lager, as well as Brooklyn Lager. These are my go to beers and always try to have a few in the fridge.

  3. Al, you and Dan make some good points regarding Sam Adams. One of the best beer and food pairings I've experienced is a Boston Lager with pizza. Simple, but delicious, as a Vienna-style lager has so much character to match all that cheesy goodness.

    At any rate, keep an eye out for Cigar City and also Saint Somewhere Brewing out of Tarpon Springs. Good luck!

  4. Sam Adams Boston Lager was delicious in Boston airport on Sunday, especially when it came in the special glass that really showed off the hop character on the nose. And this was after four days of sampling the best of Vermont beers (Rock Art, McNeils, Zero Gravity etc etc)


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