BREWERY REVIEW A Beer to Save America
Sam Adams Brewery Tour Is Pleasantly Predictable
Sam Adams Brewery Tour
30 Germania St.
Jamaica Plain, Mass. 02130
Freshly made beer, mechanical contraptions, and hyperbole are three of my favorite things. On a sunny afternoon, you can find all of these things at a tour of the Sam Adam’s factory in Jamaica Plain. First off, logistics: it’s actually really easy to get there. Just take the Orange Line down to Stony Brook and follow the signs that say “beer this way.” Second, they only ask for a $2 donation for the tour, and the money goes to local charities. Yes, you get to be a Good Samaritan and tour a beer factory on the same day. Lastly, don’t go on Saturdays: it’s crowded beyond belief. Oh, and make sure you’re over 21.
As I alluded to before, the tour has a heavy emphasis on beer, mechanical contraptions, and hyperbole. If you watch all the videos and pay attention, you’ll get to hear some great statements of purpose: “We only use the most expensive ingredients,” “Jim Koch had this revolutionary idea of making quality beer full of flavor with quality ingredients” (as opposed to the standard idea of making bad beer with cheap ingredients), and, best of all, “Jim Koch freed the American beer from foreign rule and established America’s beer independence.” Sam Adams (founded 1984) is clearly the beer of revolutionary freedom.
For added fun, I’d suggest taking a bingo card with all of Sam Adams’ buzzwords, such as: best, revolt, finest, expensive, award, independence, and America.
As for the tour itself, there’s just something so predictable about touring a brewery. It’s a very comfortable experience. Everything makes sense and there are no surprises. It’s not that hard to guess which part of the tour is next. You go from the place where they talk about beer to the place where they make the beer to the place where you drink the beer. Along the way, you learn about the history of beer, the making of beer, and the drinking of beer. Sometimes simplicity like that is just warm and wonderful. Or maybe it’s just the beer.
All the people you meet are the exact people you’d expect to find at a brewery. The tour guides look just like Bros five years removed from college who have the sweetest job in the world. The brew master is that manly mountain guy with the big burly beard they show in all the commercials. And that’s just perfect. If you lined up five guys on a street and which one of these guys brews beer for a living, all fingers would point right at him. It’s just so satisfying to watch someone who looks like they were put on this earth to do their job actually doing their job well. That’s right, I’m pointing at you J.D. Drew.
At the end of the tour, they sit you down in this nice wood paneled room and let you have some of the freshest, tastiest beer in the world. Everyone knows that beer on tap is better than bottled beer, but fresh beer on tap is just a world unto its own. Best of all, they let you try some experimental beers or one time beers that are absolutely extraordinary. We drank some sort of beer made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sailing of the second Mayflower replica or something … yeah, whatever it was, it was complicated. The important thing was that the beer was awesome. It’s so sad to think that I’ll never have that beer again, but ’tis better to have tasted and lost than to have never tasted before. That’s right, I’m thinking wistfully of you now, Sam Adam’s Chocolate Bock of 2004.
For tour schedules and directions to the brewery, go to http://www.samueladams.com/contact_tour.aspx. Or better yet, program their number, (617) 522-9080, into your cell phone under the name Beer.