Sam Adams – Nitro beer release

Do you think this has any impact on the craft beer scene?

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The second largest craft brewer in the country, Samuel Adams is unveiling a nitro line of beers. “I want to keep shocking people a little bit,” Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Co., told Fortune.

The Boston Beer Co., maker of Samuel Adams beers, is expanding its focus.

The company, on Monday, will formally announce plans for a series of nitrogen-carbonated beers – arguably the biggest addition to the Samuel Adams lineup in years. The beers – a white ale, an IPA and a coffee stout – will begin distributing nationally in February 2016.

“I want to keep shocking people a little bit – opening them up to explore the brewer’s art and, as a brewer, expand the boundaries of the brewers art,” Jim Koch, founder and chairman of Boston Beer Co., told Fortune at the Great American Beer Festival.

Nitro beers have largely been the domain of stouts and porters for years. (The most popular nitro today is Guinness Extra Stout.) While it’s not uncommon to find a nitro beer at a bar or brewery, very few brewers sell them in cans or bottles. Koch says the Samuel Adams nitro beers will be sold on draft and in cans with a ‘widget’ inside, a plastic, nitrogen-filled sphere that creates the same effect as nitro on draft.

The move is more than just adding another beer to the company’s substantial lineup. It involves the different type of canning system and substantial investment by the company. As a result, Koch says this will be a national, rather than a regional rollout. The nitro beers will be released in 15.2-ounce cans.

The company has been quietly working on the initiative for years, says Koch, testing between 50 and 80 beers before settling on the three it will release.

“Most beers don’t work well on nitro because they’re not designed for it,” he says. “You can’t just take the beer that’s meant to be carbonated and take it over to nitro and say ‘I like this’. You really have to rebrew it in this parallel universe without the carbonic acid, without the tongue sting, without the aroma release, without the ph. You’re changing a bunch of things. So you really have to make a beer that’s optimized.”

The move to nitro by Samuel Adams follows a recent announcement that Guinness plans to release a nitro IPA this month.

“We aimed to make a balanced, smooth beer,” said brewer Luis Ortega in a statement when the beer was unveiled earlier this week. “Guinness perfected nitrogenated beer more than 60 years ago, so we believed we could really add something new to the style. There’s plenty of hoppy flavor, with citrus aroma to the fore, but the nitrogen rounds it all out.”

While Samuel Adams didn’t have its nitro IPA on tap for tasting, it did invite attendees to a brunch on Friday for a taste of the Nitro White Ale. The beer was very smooth on the palate with a hint of orange and subdued spice.

Samuel Adams is the second largest craft beer brewer in the country, though its formal classification as a craft brewer isat risk these days, as Congress contemplates formal definitions for the term.

Koch says he’s not aiming to bring in a new audience with the nitro beer line. Instead, he said, he’s looking to expand the options for nitro fans – and the craft beer drinker who’s always looking for something new.

‘My experience has been make something wonderful and somebody will drink it,” he says. “And if it’s truly wonderful, you’ll surprise yourself in how many people want to participate.”

Bell’s Hopslam to be released in cans this year.

Being a huge fan of both Hopslam and Craft cans this is excellent news in my opinion!

One of our most sought after beers, Hopslam Ale, will be packaged solely in six-packs of 12 oz. cans and kegs when it returns in January for its annual release.

The Double India Pale Ale, brewed with Michigan honey, will not be bottled as it has been in the past.

“With construction here at the brewery on top of an already very busy schedule for our existing Bottling Hall, this was the only way to ensure that this beer got to market as quickly and as fresh as possible,” said Bell’s Vice President Laura Bell.

“Our Canning Line is very well equipped to lend a hand and help get this aromatic beer to our fans and customers so that they can enjoy it as it is intended,” she added.

Our current expansion will almost triple our Comstock Brewery’s footprint once it is completed next year. Part of that construction is a new Bottling Hall that will be able to run at triple the speed of our current bottling line.

Future packaging decisions, beyond 2016, will be decided at a later date and as construction wraps up next year.

Hopslam (10% ABV) will be the sixth Bell’s beer to be packaged in cans. Two Hearted and Bell’s seasonal offerings (Oberon, Best Brown, Winter White and Smitten) are packaged in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans.

Two Hearted (year round) and Oberon (March – August) are also available in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans.”

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Beer Review – Fundamental Observation – Bottle Logic Brewing

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BA VANILLA IMPERIAL STOUT

ABV – 14.3%

APPEARANCE: Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light? No, well neither had I until I started pouring this devilishly black beer from the bottle. I popped the cap and heard a slight hiss like a demon coming from the depths. Slowly pouring the bottle the beer takes control and begins to dictate how fast it wants to be poured. Filling up the glass inch by inch and producing the smallest mocha colored head that just floats lazily atop the beer.

AROMA: As soon as I popped the cap and heard the hiss, it was followed by a massive attack on my nostrils of vanilla. Not just any vanilla, but intense Madagascar vanilla beans. The nose on this stout is absolutely incredible, there is no way to deny that this is a vanilla infused beer. After shaking off the beauteous sent of vanilla you can start to pick up the hints of bourbon, oak from the barrel, cocoa powder. Don’t get me wrong this is 100% a vanilla bomb of aroma here.

TASTE: If my mouth was a steam locomotive and vanilla beans where the fuel source that would be close to the flavor you get from the first sip. Continuing on down the Fundamental tracks you begin to indulge in fresh gooey brownies sprinkled with walnuts and warm toasted marshmallows floating in bittersweet hot chocolate. Next stop is bourbon town with a few of the barrel flavors jumping on board. Ever so slight heat is there, followed by figs, currants, dark chocolate, molasses cookies, and black licorice. Pulling into the station the beer comes around to remind you that this is a Madagascar Vanilla bean beer, that combined with a bit of vanilla picked up from the barrels really interlocks all the flavors and pulls this beer together so nicely.

MOUTHFEEL: If you ever licked the chocolate cake batter off of a beater then you will get the mouthfeel on this. It doesn’t just coat the tongue it envelops the whole mouth. Combine that with the lazy carbination and you have a real deal sipping beer on your hands. The finish is long and creamy with vanilla sliding its way down your throat.

OVERALL: This beer is in my top 5 beers I drank so far this year. Its been called the Vanilla Rye killer, 100% agree it blows VR away in my opinion. I’m a huge fan of vanilla and this hits all the right buttons. I will put it out there that this is my favorite BA or non BA vanilla beer in any style that I have ever had, if you have one that you think could knock this one off the top please tell me!

RATING: As much as I try not to give out perfect ratings I cant find any reasons not to.

5/5 Zombie Heads!

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