Today, the brewers at Samuel Adams celebrate the release of the eleventh batch of their highly sought after, barrel-aged extreme beer, Samuel Adams Utopias. The limited release is available in select locations starting today and will be available for the first time on tap in the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Taproom on November 15. Only 77 wooden casks of Utopias were brewed this year, creating the highest naturally fermented beer at 28% ABV which is illegal in 15 states. The ruby black, uncarbonated 2019 Utopias is reminiscent of a rich vintage Port or fine Sherry, challenging drinkers’ expectations of beer while getting better with age: drinkers can enjoy a portion of Utopias now and save the rest for other occasions.
Blended, aged and carefully finished in dedicated barrel rooms at Samuel Adams’ three breweries in Boston, Lehigh Valley, PA and Cincinnati, OH this specialty beer has been in the hearts and hands of many Samuel Adams coworkers. To mark the occasion and celebrate the new addition of Dogfish Head to The Boston Beer Company family earlier this year, the Samuel Adams team was joined by Dogfish Head coworkers for Utopias’ time-intensive hand-bottling and packaging process. Coworkers across breweries and functions came together to complete the final stage of production and recognize the collective efforts of both creating this revolutionary beer and successfully integrating the two companies.
The first bottles of Utopias will be shared with Samuel Adams coworkers as a sign of appreciation, each created and bottled with care by their very own. A tradition that has been carried on since the Utopias’ inception, each bottle of this limited release is numbered, with coworkers receiving the digits that correspond to their hire date. Like the Utopias aging process itself, tenure matters. Each release, coworkers eagerly anticipate the number assigned to their personal Utopias bottle. Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch fittingly receives Utopias bottle number 1 and Brewer Dean Gianocostas, number 2. This year, Dogfish Head will be included in this meaningful distribution.
Samuel Adams pioneered the practice of barrel-aging with its release of Triple Bock in 1994 and continued this practice with subsequent releases preceding the first Utopias release in 2002. Aging beer in used spirits barrels is now a mainstay of American craft brewing. Fittingly, Utopias has served as inspiration for an upcoming release of Dogfish Head’s own extreme beer, World Wide Stout. At this year’s Great American Beer Festival, Sam Calagione announced the 2020 release of this fan favorite off-centered ale would be aged in Utopias barrels.
Founder & Brewer Jim Koch on 2019 Utopias
“Since it was first brewed, Sam Adams Utopias has been nothing short of a labor of love. As brewers we take pride in everything we make, but there’s something special about putting such a unique, extreme beer in the hands of not only the craft beer community but our coworkers. Involving new members of our team from Dogfish Head in the bottling process this year signified collaboration, progress and inspired future innovations that we can’t wait to share.”
Utopias’ Unique Conditioning Process
This sought-after beer requires a time-intensive, multiyear brewing, aging and blending process, using only the world’s finest ingredients. Like its predecessors, 2019 Utopias is a blend of earlier batches of Samuel Adams’ extreme beers, a catalog dating back over 25 years, which have been aging in wooden bourbon casks from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Brewers took portions of this beer and transferred them to Aquavit, Carcavelos and ruby port barrels to impart complex flavors to the beer. This year, brewers also experimented with Cognac and Madeira finishing barrels which enhanced 2019 Utopias with distinct vanilla notes and subtle nutty and elegant dark fruit aromas. As a final step, and to add a slightly tart note, brewers blended a touch of Kosmic Mother Funk, a unique wild ale that is fermented for two years in Hungarian Oak foeders at the Boston Brewery.
How to Enjoy Utopias
Utopias is bottled in a custom, 25.4-ounce ceramic decanter modeled after the iconic copper brew kettles. A brew as unique and complex as Utopias should be enjoyed in a glass that enhances its aroma and flavor, like a small-bowled Cognac or snifter glass at room temperature in one-ounce pours. Several years ago, Samuel Adams collaborated with world-renowned glassmaker Georg Riedel to design the perfect glass to enjoy Utopias. For the full experience, the Samuel Adams Utopias glass can be found on the e-store: www.SamuelAdamsStore.com.
In celebration of the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Taproom’s one-year anniversary, drinkers can exclusively enjoy 2019 Utopias on tap this fall, close to the source. This tasting event will take place on November 15, 2019 in the taproom located just across the street from where 2019 Utopias was barrel-aged at the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Brewery. The Cincinnati Taproom anniversary event is open to the public and will include other specialty beers, but a ticket is required for the first-ever Utopias on tap tasting and includes a commemorative glass to enhance the experience. Tickets are now available.
Samuel Adams Utopias can be found at select specialty beer and liquor stores for a suggested retail price of $210 per bottle. Price varies by market and availability is limited, where laws allow.
Samuel Adams is a leading independent, American craft brewer that helped to launch the craft beer revolution. The brewery began in 1984 when Founder and Brewer Jim Koch used a generations-old family recipe to brew beer in his kitchen. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life with hopes drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavor and started sampling the beer in Boston. He named the flagship brew Samuel Adams Boston Lager in recognition of one of our nation’s founding fathers, a revolutionary man of independent and pioneering spirit. Today, Samuel Adams is one of the world’s most awarded breweries and remains focused on crafting the highest quality beers through innovation and experimentation in the relentless pursuit of better. Samuel Adams remains dedicated to elevating and growing the American craft beer industry overall, including providing education and support for entrepreneurs and fellow brewers through its philanthropic program, Brewing the American Dream, which helps others pursue their American Dream. For more information, visit www.SamuelAdams.com.
Samuel Adams, Sam Adams, and Samuel Adams Utopias are registered trademarks of The Boston Beer Company.
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