Why does Samuel Adams Boston Lager taste so much better than many other Lagers?

Discussion in 'The Connoisseur' started by robrinay, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    I’m sitting in the U.K. watching University Challenge - a quiz show pitting teams from UK Unis against each other and I’m enjoying a Sam Adams. It’s got lots of flavour and in my experience many other more common US lagers don’t have much. Why is this, don’t Americans favour flavour in their beers?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  2. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

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    In a nutshell . . .

    Prior to the mid-nineteenth century wave of immigration from the German speaking world, English ale was the most common type of beer in the U.S. However, from the 1870s on, English style beers were supplanted by German styles and, to a lesser degree, the uniquely American style of "steam beer." Before prohibition, pretty much every U.S. city or town of a certain size had a brewery that produce a unique regional brand of beer, with German or Bohemian Pilseners and lagers being the most common varieties. However, many of these independent breweries did not survive prohibition; thus, with repeal, decades of industry consolidation followed.

    By the 1960s, faced with intense competition and low profit margins, top U.S. brewers like Schlitz, Anheuser-Busch, Ballantine, Pabst, Schaefer, Falstaff, Miller, and others all began exploring ways to cut costs. This was achieved by rapid chilling processes, forced fermentation processes, ingredients substitutions, and yielded ever-more bland products. However, having only known these "mass produced" so-called lagers for the last 50 or 60 years, Americans are accustomed to yellow, flavorless fizzy water.
     
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  3. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Vendor

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Oh yes we love plenty of flavor! It's all about the micro breweries here. The I.P.A has been becoming a huge deal here in Oregon over the past 2 -3 years. My favorite is made by 10 Barrel Brewing Co and is called "Joe" IPA
    it has Simcoe, Amarillo, & Mosaic Hops which provide a complex taste indeed. It tastes like grapefruit followed by nice floral notes.
    You can get these beers at the supermarket here in the USA. They usually have a Micro Brew section and a domestic section in the stores. The domestic beers in the US that are not Micros pretty much suck. Bud, Coors, Miller, are all pilsners that taste terrible IMO. I can't finish one of those.
    Sam Adams Boston Lager is good. I used to drink it before moving over to 100% micro brews. It is kind of like a creamy porter.
    My Top 5 US Micro Breweries:
    10 Barrel
    Ninkasi
    Deschutes
    Laganitas
    Sierra Navada

    Regards,
    Jay
     
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  4. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    America still suffers from the perception that her beers are bland and tasteless. While that may have been true at one time, it no longer is.

    While the points above about quality and ingredients are true, I think Prohibition had a lot to do with it, as well. Coming out of that, there were fewer breweries and consolidation changed the business end. And for some reason, the tastes of America changed - or possibly adapted.

    However, over the last 25-30 years, the craft beer revolution has changed the landscape. We have so many, and so many varied brands and styles of beer you can't keep up. Judging by Coors, Bud, Miller, et al yeah, there's something to be desired. But the more tasty beers are available and very popular.


    Sent directly from my mind to yours.
     
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  5. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

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    People always tout the emergence of crafts breweries in the U.S. as proof that our beer isn't s**t, but the numbers don't lie. Craft beers only account for 10 - 12% of beer sales in the U.S. Statistically speaking, we like yellow fizzy water.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  6. SA Boston Lager is my USA beer of choice with SA Winter lager close behind. DE dark is a Mexican brew that I quite enjoy with some meals as well. Of course with most any beer discussions..some beer snobs will jump on board with the finer details of taste, reasoning and brewing..which I think is usually quite humorous. I don't consider myself a snob or a beer expert..but most American standard beers taste like beer sewers to me. Bud, Keystone, Lone Star and many other American classics are just bottom of the barrel swill IMO. Thanks but no thanks.
    HD
     
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  7. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    Prohibition etc. - yes that all makes sense. Some good suggestions for ‘proper worth drinking US beers’ for me to try above, so thank you lads. If you like IPA and you ever see a UK beer called Jaipur by the Thornbridge Brewery bottled or draught/draft, give it a go - IMO it’s the best IPA in the World.
     
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  8. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

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    If you're used to English pale ale or IPA, popular American IPAs might come as a shock because their hop content is typically off the charts. I don't know if they are sold in the UK, but Anchor Steam, a California common ale (aka, "steam beer"), and Yuengling Traditional Lager are both good examples of once common regional American style beers. I assure you, neither is yellow fizzy water!
     
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  9. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    As much as I prefer a good robust stout or porter, or even a hefe in the summer, don't mess with my yellow fizzy water. I grew up on this and still pick up a six from time to time.

    [​IMG]


    Sent directly from my mind to yours.
     
  10. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

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    I cut my teeth on yellow fizzy water too, which probably explains my indifference to fancy-schmancy IPAs. During my salad days, Hams, Miller "High Life," Meister Brau, Pabst, Olympia or Blatz were always the go-to beers. But, Stroh's Bohemian is definitely a proper beer; their lager on the other hand is a classic yellow fizzy water!
     
  11. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    Absolutely! What a treat a visit to The Chatanooga Brewing company was. The cloudy lager with a slice of lemon floating on the top got a WTF from me and a giggle from my missus. But the porter ales were to die for. They were absolutely superb.
    Foreign beers sold here are often hit and miss because some are imported whilst others are brewed under licence. As with any alcohol where water is the main ingredient, the taste of the beer reflects on the water used. The softer the water, the stronger and more palatable the beer. One of the reasons that you never see a frothy head on beer in London is because the water is so hard.
    Oh, and by the way, it's a fallacy that Brits like warm beer, they just don't like it so cold that the tongue sears to the glass.
     
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  12. Personally, Sam Adams is one of the worst, bland, tasteless, mass-produced swills being sold in the American beer market. Funny (to me) how it’s thrown up as an example of a decent American beer.
     
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  13. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    @HudsonHawk To me it tastes better than Bud and the usual culprits and there’s not a lot of choice in the U.K, when it comes to US beers - what beers do you prefer to drink?
     
  14. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    Which? The Boston Lager? Honey Porter? Cream Stout? Winter warmer? Octoberfest? Pils? Kriek?


    Sent directly from my mind to yours.
     
  15. Personally I don't care for Sam Adam's lemony tasting summer ales but their darker ales have very good flavor for my tastes. Don't care for many of the craft breweries with their somehow fashionable at the moment overly done hoppy, wheaty, grainy, mealy, honey tasting or fancy flavored brews that I'll leave for the snobs to lap up, analyze, dissect with hints of fancy words, aftertaste inspections and lectures for peons who know no better and even drink from paper cups...:D
     
  16. I guess it's better than Budweiser, if that's your other choice. I would have thought there were a lot more beer choices in the UK. Local brews are typically best. Here in Houston, there is Karbach (their Love Street is my favorite at the moment), Southern Star, 8th Wonder, St. Arnold's...to name a few. If you want larger distribution American beers, Fat Tire is ok, anything by Anchor is pretty good.
     
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  17. I've never had a Sam Adams I liked, but the Boston Lager is the most overrated.
     
  18. I agree about the over hoppy beers that are all the rage. It seems to be a contest of who make the most bitter beer. Personally, if there's a German beer to be had, I'll take that everyday and twice and Sundays.
     
  19. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    There's no excuse for drinking crappy beer these day. The advent of craft brewing has rebirthed the local beer, which was much more common in America pre-prohibition.

    Shen Sam Adams first came out with the lager, I drank it quite a bit. Like @HoosierDaddy, I gravitate to darker, maltier beers, so I drifted away from that fairly quickly.

    I still have two bottles of Sam Adams Triple bock, produced in 1994. I've promised a friend we're going to dig into at least one of those soon.


    Sent directly from my mind to yours.
     
  20. Billy Beer

    Billy Beer New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    Has anyone picked up a Schaefer lately?
     

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