What You Need To Know
The gimmick behind this beer is that it combines top and bottom fermenting yeast strains. And thus the Sam ’76 exists somewhere between lager and ale. According to the Samuel Adams website, the final product for the Sam ’76 came from “More Than 13,000 Hours and 60 Trials for One Awesome Beer.”
The beer pours a mostly cloudy lemon yellow and is topped by an inch-thick cap of loose, bubbly white foam that persists briefly. An aggressive pour yield the best results. The head’s reduction leaves behind droplets of lace and a soapy collar. The lager’s clarity improves as the beer settles.
The aromatics are hoppy at first with a scent that’s piney and then take on a scent of musty wheat bread as the beer warms.
The palate begins with a taste of mild citrus and cracker malt that crests toward a slightly stronger note of tangy grapefruit. Honey and pale malt tie the palate together.
Its feel is crisp with a light body and less-than-moderate carbonation.
Its aroma is interesting and pleasant. Greater retention would make for a better appearance. Its feel seems a little thin and could use a bit more carbonation. Its flavors clash initially but mesh better as the beer warms. And Sam ’76 does taste better than a typical macro pale lager and perhaps this beer could convert that audience with more flavor. Certainly, credit Samuel Adams for trying something different. Even if the outcome is mixed.
The beer is light and refreshing and on a hot summer day, this beer might be perfect. Odd that it should be released in winter.
The Boston Beer Company recommends the following food pairings with their Samuel Adams beer Sam ’76: pigs in a blanket, shrimp spring rolls, grilled pork chop, bacon cheeseburger, grilled hot dog or brats; sweets of strawberry shortcake and snickerdoodle cookies.