The American beer scene of a couple decades ago was pretty bleak. Imports were sparse and expensive, no micros to speak of, and the closest anyone got to actually appreciating it was "Bud Bowl." Then Jim Koch changed everything.
Never mind the fruity-looking patriot on the bottle. When Sam Adams Boston Lager first appeared, it was like the gates of heaven had opened. Balanced, dark, delicious, it quickly became a favorite among the trendy set and the beer afficianados. For years, Sam Adams remained a viable choice on any tap set.
Then something went wrong. Horribly wrong. Perhaps it's because they started letting Genesee (now High Falls Brewery) contract brew the stuff. Perhaps it got lost in Marketing's frenzied push to increase the Boston Beer Company's product range. It just slid right of the hill. It's nice that tey use Hallertau hops and all, but what was once a flavorful, complex lager nows seems cloying, a tad syrupy, with a weird finish.
Sam Adams is still held in very high esteem, and granted, I haven't ordered one in about four years, so maybe it's good again. But for now, it goes on the Beercraft list of Overrated Beers.
Special Thanks to the guys from Spaten and the Brooklyn Brewery for this hangover. We enjoyed the event at the Krown last night. That the Spaten was excellent goes without saying. The Brooklyn Blond Bock was a very pleasant surprise. Nice job, Mr. Oliver and crew!