Monday, February 18, 2008

Time to buy some Boston Lager

My new beer hero is Jim Koch. This doesn't directly affect me or most fellow homebrewers, but for the small craft brewers out there it will. Sam Adams is selling off (at cost) their excess hops. During our current hops shortage, that is very good news. See the following:

From: Jim Koch/Hop Sharing []
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 9:22 AM
Subject: Boston Beer Hop Sharing

"For a couple of months now, we've all been facing the unprecedented hops shortage and it's affected all craft brewers in various ways. The impact is even worse on the small craft brewers--openings delayed, recipes changed, astronomical hops prices being paid and brewers who couldn't make beer.

So we looked at our own hops supplies at Boston Beer and decided we could share some of our hops with other craft brewers who are struggling to get hops this year. We're offering 20,000 pounds at our cost to brewers who need them.

Specifically, we are able to spare 10,000 pounds of East Kent Goldings from Tony Redsell, a top English grower featured by Michael Jackson in Michael Jackson's Beer Companion (page 75 has a picture) and 10,000 pounds of the German Noble hop Tettnang Tettnanger from small farms in the Tettnang region in Germany. These are both type 90 pellets from the 2007 crop and are the exact same hops we brew our own beers with. We're not looking to make money on this so we're selling them at our cost of $5.72 a pound plus $.75 a pound to cover shipping and handling for the Goldings and $5.42 per pound plus $.75 a pound to cover shipping and handling for the Tetts.

They're packed in 22# foil bags, boxed four bags to a box in 88 lb. boxes and will be shipped from cold storage.The purpose of doing this is to get some hops to the brewers who really need them. So if you don't really need them, please don't order them. And don't order them just because we're making them available at a price way below market. Order them because you need these hops to make your beer. We're not asking questions, so let your conscience be your guide.A few mechanics--until we know how much need there is, we've put a maximum out there of 6 boxes per brewer, which is 528 pounds. You can order less in 88 pound increments. You pay shipping.

If we get more orders than the 20,000 pounds, we'll have a lottery. We will be putting the basic information to order, some faqs and the actual offer on our website in the next day or so, probably no later than Tuesday. Look for "Hop-Sharing Program" on the front page of the site.We hope this will make brewing a little easier for those hardest hit by the hop shortage."

Jim Koch, Boston Beer Company

This proves to me that the Boston Beer Company is not about dominating the craft brew industry, but assuring its survival and ability to flourish. Check out their website.

I drink a toast of Boston Lager to Jim tonight.

Thanks to my sister-in-law for pointing this out to me, even though she should be busy planning a move instead of reading beer blogs :)


Elderchemgeek said...

You're right she should be planning a move, but there's nothing to do but sit back and watch the movers do their thing! Oh, and drink a Sam!

marcus said...

I eat crow. I use to bash sam adams a bit, but since they show nothing but class to the craft beer scence I have to respect them. Great Job Sam Adams.

Evan said...

I've recently started reading your blog and am really enjoying it. I too am a chemist of the biochem/orgo persuasion (though still in college), and have recently taken up homebrewing. I'm in upstate new york for school and really miss anchor steam, my home town brew. I was wondering how your recipe for the anchor steam clone turned out. I have northern brewers and 2112 on order, and am now in search of a recipe. Like you, I'm sticking with extract and a bit of grain for now.

Chemgeek said...


Thanks for reading.

Anchor Steam is a great beer. My clone was OK, but not perfect. However, the first time I brewed it (which was about a year ago) I thought it to be one of the best beers I had brewed.

The beauty of homebrewing is usually you try to clone a beer, you screw up, and accidentally make great beer.

My Anchor Steam was excellent. I compared it to authentic Steam. Mine was lacking crispness and other things I don't recall, but still, it was superb.

I've done this recipe three times. It has always made great beer. It also goes away quickly.

Since you recently took up brewing, let me give you some advice. Never share your good stuff. Just share the bad stuff and say "well, I'm still learning." Seriously, my last excellent batch of cream ale yielded me about half a case. I shared the rest. I'm an idiot....

Good luck in school.

rangermonk said...

I have always been a fan of Sam Adams. This just reinforces my opinions. I emailed my local microbreweries, in case they didn't already know about the promotion. I plan on entering 3 beers in the 2008 Longshot contest. I don't expect to win, just like the feedback.

milkshake said...

apart from being nice and doing the right thing, they are not giving away that much money by re-selling it at cost. By selling 20 000 pounds with a mark-up, in bulk, they could have reaped like 100k in extra profit - with huge reputation damage should it became known they profited from price gouging and hop market cornering.
Sam Adams has the buy-back program for their own beer that is close the expiration date. It is probably costing them much more than 100k a year - and they still think it worth their good name.