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Countdown to the Boston Marathon – Sam Adams Rocks!



Picture courtesy of Michael Casey

In a brilliant stroke of genius, Sam Adams has partnered with the Boston Marathon this year to create the official beer of the Boston Marathon, the Boston 26.2 Brew

To me, this is a perfect fit and excellent marketing by the Boston brewery!  I loved this beer before it even crossed my lips, because it was designed specifically to celebrate the one race I’m most passionate about.  For anyone who’s been in town during the weekend of the Boston Marathon, you know how the town embraces this race.  If you are wearing “Boston Marathon” apparel, you are constantly asked about your goal? “What’s your bib number so I can track you on the race?” “How many have your run?” The town goes out of it’s way to welcome you and honor you for your achievement.  They understand the history and notoriety it’s added to their very historic town.  There is truly no other city that does a better job at this! 

Sam Adams, another famous tradition and pride of Boston, was smart enough to see this as a way to unite their brand to this historical source of pride.

Sam Adams was also kind enough to forward a few sample bottles for me to try!

The key things I noticed when tasting this beer were its light, slightly fruity taste, and its refreshing flavor.  As one might expect, most runners after a marathon are exhibiting at least mild dehydration, so drinking an alcoholic beverage can often worsen that condition.  Since this past weekend was my final hard workout weekend (as I will start to taper my workouts towards the marathon to let my body recover!), I thought no better way to test how much I will enjoy this drink as a celebratory spirit!

I ran my last 20 miles on Saturday afternoon, I got home, got a shower did a long stretch and downed a few glasses of electrolyte drinks, some chocolate milk and some water.  Dinner was going to be pizza (and I’m not sure there is any better meal to enjoy a beer with!)  My Dad was joining me for this test (not the run, just the drinking!), so I’m glad there was enough to go around.  And the results are in! With a lower alcohol content (4.5%, appropriate for my dehydration level after a long workout or let’s say.. a Marathon) and the crisp fruity flavor, this thing was perfect! No bitter aftertaste, just light and delicious!

After speaking with representatives from the company, I’m told the kegs have been shipped to all the local pubs carrying it, and it will be made available at all Boston Marathon sponsored events.  Unfortunately, it will not be available worldwide, but I guess they figure they know who their audience will be!

I’m slightly disappointed that it won’t be available in bottles, because I know most runners would want to have that bottle as a keepsake.  My Dad still has a can of unopened “World Fair Beer” from 1982 on his shelf!  I do hope that they jump on the marketing and provide at least pilsners, pint glasses, or “church keys” with the “26.2 Brew” logo, as I know they would sell like hot cakes!

I’m heading up in a week and a half, and my first stop will be at the Sam Adams Brewery for a free tour (although donations are accepted for charity). I can’t wait to see the amazing brewery, and share my appreciation for their honoring the race that I love!

Here’s the company line info on the beer itself, and I can honestly say I agree with every bullet point:

  • Much like the elite group of remarkable athletes that take on the 26.2 miles of a marathon race, the Gose style is rare and exceptional, making it the perfect beer to celebrate the Boston Marathon.  With a history dating back to the year 700, Gose style ales have become scarcely available over the last century. 
  • This unique brew is fitting for both runners and spectators on race day, with a lighter body and slightly lower alcohol level (4.5%) than many of the beers in the Samuel Adams roster. 
  • Drinkers will enjoy light cereal notes from malted and unmalted wheat, rounded out by a spicy, pepper character and soft mineral quality from a touch of salt. The result is an unusual and delicate brew that’s full of flavors to discover and worth crossing the finish line for.
  • American and Australian hop varieties pack a piney, citrusy punch, while the subtle addition of apricots provides a slight sweetness to balance the bitterness of the hops.

Cheers to Sam Adams for creating such a win-win situation!

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