Our First Taste of Samuel Adam’s New Ale and Lager Hybrid, Sam ’76

sam 76
Which do you prefer: ales or lagers?

This is a question many beer drinkers have heard over the years. It’s kind of a silly question, as the terms strictly refer to drink’s fermentation method and not necessarily the beer’s aroma, appearance, or flavor, although there are certain expectations. In a nutshell, lagers utilize bottom-fermenting yeast and ales use top-fermenting strains; lager yeast works best in cooler temperatures while ale yeasts like it comparatively warm.

A brewer’s creativity often pushes a beer beyond its basic, expected properties into something surprising and new. However, there are some aspects to a beer’s profile that are usually determined by the fermentation method. Lagers are routinely described as clean and crisp, where as ales tend to be more varied and flavorful. But in the expanding world of craft beer, you may be hard-pressed to truly tell the difference on taste alone.

Samuel Adams has entered the ale versus lager debate with a novel suggestion: Why not have both? The new Sam ’76 offering is being dubbed a hybrid of sorts, thanks to its unique recipe. After a year of trial and error, the brewery landed on the technique of combining two batches of wort (unfermented beer) — one an ale and the other a lager — early in the fermentation process. That super-wort continues fermenting as a single batch. The yeasts then work together to finish the alcohol conversion and make beer. A late addition of extra hops adds to the product’s final punch.

But the most important question isn’t ale or lager — it’s “how does it taste?” The answer: surprisingly delicious. Sam ’76 pours a bright, clear gold from the can and has a fresh aroma of biscuit, floral, and citrus notes. The hops, including Citra and Mosaic, carry that aroma straight through into a refreshing, quenching beer that pairs perfectly with everything from tailgate hot dogs to lobster tail at your favorite hot spot.

Sam ’76 is available now across the United States in canned six-packs and retails for $9-$10, depending on the market. Find a retailer near you.

Podcast

Zane Lamprey on What it’s Like to Get Paid to Travel the World and Drink

Host of Four Sheets (among other shows) Zane Lamprey sits down with the BBB crew to talk about hosting a show about drinking and more.
Food & Drink

Flip Your Flavor Profiles and Enjoy Some of the Best Infused Beers Out Now

Need a craft beer that's just a little different? Check out this list of some of the best infused beers that are currently available.
Food & Drink

Lucky Lager Comes Back to Bay Area as Pabst’s Latest American Classic

Pabst Brewing brings back Lucky Lager in California as the brand's latest American classic regional lager.
Travel

North Carolina Road Trip Itinerary: What to Eat, Drink, and Do in the Tar Heel State

It all starts by landing in Asheville, the state’s most progressive and welcoming community, where you can pick up your car rental and head to town.