From the HBD Archive
From: Mike Fertsch <hplabs!uiucdcs!adc1.RAY.COM!FERTSCH>
Subject: Sam Adams ALE - made in Boston!
Date: 1989-05-22 19:40:00 GMT

Daryl Richman states:
> I hear that the Boston market is tightening and that SA is getting hurt
> because the opposition is claiming "the only beer brewed in Boston."
> Perhaps the truth will win over ad hype. We can hope...

Sam Adams recently introduced a new ALE, available only on draft in selected
taverns in Boston. It is quite a good ale, and compares favorably with other
microbrewed ales in Boston (Harpoon and Commonwealth Brewing). I find the
story behind this interesting, and makes me dislike Sam Adams' approach to
selling beer even more.

Jim Koch (alleged great-great-great grandson of the real Sam Adams)
introduced his Boston _Style_ Lager four or five years ago. Jim found the
recipe in his grand-father's attic. The beer is made in Pittsburgh, but
Jim sold his beer as Boston's own beer. Later, when it became obvious Sam
Adams is a contract beer, Jim said that Pittsburg was only temporary until
he got his own brewery built in Boston. He later cancelled his plans for a
large brewery, but not until after newspaper and magazine coverage showed
Jim in his Boston brewery.

In the meantime, a small (but REAL) brewery began making Harpoon Ale in
Boston. Beer wars began. Harpoon claimed that theirs is the only "beer
brewed and bottled in Boston" and re-emphasised that Sam Adams is a
Pennsylvania beer. Koch retailiated that Harpoon lacked quality control,
were infected and not worthy of the beer-drinker's business. Sam Adams
followed Harpoon's lead and started selling draft around two years ago.
It seems to me that Sam Adams is pushing Harpoon out of the draft market.
I believe the reason for this is Sam Adams aggressive sales approach,
rather than a better product.

The latest chapter shows Boston Brewing making tiny quanities of Sam Adams
Ale, made in Boston. Apparently his grand-father has a large attic, with
lots of unique recipes. The ale draft only, and is not widely distributed.
I'm sure is made at a loss just to remove Harpoon's claim as the only beer
made in Beantown. Chalk another one up for advertising!

I really like Sam Adam's beers (all of them!), but I can't bring myself to
buying any because of Jim Koch's marketing approach. Until recently I
thought SA was sold only in New England - I've recently found it in
Pennsylvania and California and heard it is in Colorado. Will this become
the first contract-brewed national brand?

Mike Fertsch

PS - apparently the real Sam Adams was a maltster, not a brewer. He didn't
make his own beer.

Back New Search

The posts that comprise the Homebrew Digest Searchable Archive remain the property of their authors.
This search system is copyright © 2008 Scott Alfter; all rights reserved.