Sam Adams Rebel IPA, Sam Adams Boston Brewing Co
Added: Monday, June 1st 2015
Sam Adams Rebel IPA (6.5%)
An ale from the Boston Beer Company that celebrates two rebels: Samuel Adams, a key figure in the American Revolution, and Jim Koch, founder of the brewery and one of the key figures in the craft beer movement in the United States.
Samuel Adams was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and led opposition to British rule. He helped organise the Boston Tea Party in 1733 and then in Philadelphia helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He became a senator and then governor of Massachusetts. In between all this political activity he was a brewer or, some records suggest, a maltster.
Jim Koch – pronounced “Cook” – is descended from a family of German immigrants that ran several breweries. His forebears include Louis Koch whose brewery in St Louis, Missouri, fell victim to Anheuser-Busch while his father’s brewery went out of business in the 1950s during an outbreak of merger mania.
Jim Koch, a graduate of Harvard University, became a successful management consultant but in 1985 he decided to launch Samuel Adams Boston Lager, produced under contract. In 1988 he was sufficiently successful to move into the former Haffenreffer Brewery in Boston.
The brewery is now one of the biggest in the U.S. and Koch enjoys national sales for his beers by having them contract brewed all around the country and opening bars in such key venues as airports: he has a large bar at St Louis Airport, under the nose of Anheuser-Busch.
Rebel IPA is a departure for Koch, his first attempt at a “West Coast IPA”. It’s brewed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Simcoe hops, which create 45 units of bitterness. But it avoids the extreme hop attack of some members of the style, being beautifully balanced by the malts used: no coloured malts are mentioned but the copper colour of the beer suggests a dash of caramalt or crystal has been used.
There are sherbet lemons, peaches and grassy and perfumy hops on the nose with fresh biscuit malt. Juicy malt and bitter hops dominate the palate with a strong undercurrent of tart fruit. The finish is dry and bitter with biscuit malt, hop resins and lemon and peach fruit.
The beer is available in Majestic Wine branches and other independent retailers. Price TBC. The beer is distributed in the UK by Shepherd Neame.