Beer: Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Brewery: The Boston Beer Company
Style: American Wheat Ale
Suggested Glassware: New Samuel Adams Pint Glass
One of many Samuel Adams Seasonal Beers, the Summer Ale, has two unique twists. The first is grains of paradise. Katie Powell of The Boston Beer Company tells me, Jim [Koch] visits the spice markets all over the world to find the highest quality and best tasting ingredients for our beers – Grains of Paradise being one of them.” This seed is grown in Western Africa and imparts a mild pepper-like flavor with hints of ginger, cardamom and coriander. Originally used as a cheaper substitute for black pepper the spice has long been used to flavor alcoholic beverages. The name is derived from a tale that the grains were only available in Eden and had to be collected from a river flowing out of this mythical garden. The second is the addition of lemon zest to the brewing process. Americans feel the need to add lemon to wheat beers, though my thought is if the brewer wanted to add lemon he would have brewed it that way. The Boston Beer Company does just that with its Summer Ale by brewing with the zest of the lemon, which contains more essential oils and gives it the zing without having to add anything at all.