Friday, March 30, 2007

Took the day off for my birthday today. I wandered around Boston for most of the day and did something I had never done before, which was to go to the Samuel Adams brewery in the city for their tour.

The brewery is a bit off the beaten path, located in the Jamaica Plain section of the city, nowhere near the tourist areas. It's located in an old brewery built in the 1870s for the Haffenreffer brewing company.

The tour is a lot of fun. It starts out with a bit of history, about Samuel Adams the patriot and the beer, plus a bit about brewing in Boston. There's an introductory video hosted by Jim Koch, the founder of the Boston Beer Company.

Then you are taken into the brewery itself, where the brewing process is explained. Did you know there are only four ingredients in "real" beer? Water, hops, malt and yeast.

Interestingly, the Boston Beer Company brews very little beer in the city. The Boston brewery is mostly an R&D facility, where new beers are developed. They do brew a small quantity of beer for some local bars, but only in kegs. There's no bottling facility on site. 60% of the company's beer is brewed at the facility they own in Cincinnati, with the rest done by contract brewers.

Of course, the highlight of the tour is the beer tasting at the end. They let us try three different types of beer. It was fun, we learned a little about beer, and it was free! How can you beat free beer?

I ended the tour in the inevitable gift shop, picking up a T-shirt and a refrigerator magnet. I highly recommend the tour if you are a beer drinker (especially a Sam Adams drinker). It's worth heading out there for.


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