America’s largest craft brewery is not all it appears to be. The Boston Beer Company’s flagship beer brand, Samuel Adams, is brewed to embody the heritage and spirit of the Bostonian people. What’s not to love about “Bean Town”? The city is home to some of America’s greatest historical figures such as Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, and of course, Samuel Adams. The city also represents true American grit, fighting for what American’s believe in, and gaining our independence. So, you would think that with everything the Boston Beer Company represents, the beer would be brewed in the city the company is named after? Turns out, the answer to this is no. The beer is primarily brewed in Cincinnati, Ohio and Breinigsville, Pennsylvania. The company does maintain a “brewery” and tour center in Boston, however the location is actually leased out. According to the Samuel Adams 2013 Annual Report, the Boston Brewery “spends most of its time ideating, testing, and developing beers.” In fact, the terms, “Boston Brewery” is only mentioned three times in the whole report, whereas “Cincinnati Brewery” is mentioned 14 times. So, why Cincinnati?
Boston Beer Company founder, Jim Koch, grew up just outside the Southwestern Ohio city. Brewing beer ran in Jim’s blood as he was a 6th generation brew-master. It is believed that the Samuel Adams Boston Lager is derived from the original recipe of Jim Koch’s great-grandfather Louis Koch who developed the family recipe in 1860 in Minster, Ohio (then known as the Wooden Shoe Brew). The first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager was brewed in 1984 in Jim’s kitchen while working for the Boston Consulting Group. For the next decade the beer continued to be brewed out of other beer company’s facilities. In March 1996, the Boston Beer Company purchased its first brewery (Hudepohl-Schoenling) in Jim’s hometown of Cincinnati. The Boston Beer Company has brewed beer at the Over-the-Rhine location since it was originally purchased. Many Ohioans are unaware of the immense role that Cincinnati plays in the production of Samuel Adams beer due to the fact that the company wants to maintain its Boston brand identity. The Cincinnati brewery is not open to the public, however one day a year during Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the brewery opens it doors for friends and family to tour the facility. The Cincinnati brewery also produces brands such as Angry Orchard Cider and Twisted Tea.
Samuel Adams Label – Brewed in Cincinnati, Ohio