Jim Koch, co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, producers of Samuel Adams beer, is going to challenge import beers with a new brew called Sam '76. The beer is a mix of lager and ale, two types of beer, which are produced by using two completely different strains of yeast. While lager is produced with a bottom fermenting yeast at low temperatures, ale is made by using a top fermenting yeast at higher temperatures. After the first fermentation both brews are brought together before the beer is dry hopped with American Cascade, Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops and both yeasts are working to finish fermentation.
The process, dubbed co-fermentation, creates a profile, which is “not possible in a typical brewing process,” according to Koch. This makes the flavor lighter and the beer more “drinkable”, meaning that people can drink more of it as opposed to India pale ales, which tend to be full bodied, bitter and contain more alcohol.
"It takes craft beer into occasions where craft hasn't fit as well," Koch said. "We wanted a lot of flavor but we didn't want a lot of bitterness and fullness."
The beer, which is for the beginning only available in cans, is targeted against the lighter and easier to drink imported beers like Stella Artois or Corona.
Koch needs to achieve a turnaround in sales. Since 2014, when Boston Beer Co. hit a peak with an estimated beer production of 2.55 million barrels (3 million hl), beer volume sales declined. Last year speculations arose about a possible sale of the company, which did not materialize. (inside.beer, 27.9.2017).