Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sam Adams Harvest Collection

I ventured over to Tipsy's last night during the height of the rainstorm (that lasted 10 minutes). I was trying to fool myself into thinking it was fall so I could feel good about my beer selection. I'm done with summer and its beers. After perusing all the vast selection at Tipsy's I found my pick, the Sam Adams Harvest Collection. The Harvest Collection included 2 beers I was excited to drink, Octoberfest which is one of my favorite Sam Adams beers, and Harvest Pumpkin Ale which is new. Also included in the variety pack were a Dunkelweizen, Black Lager and the Irish Red and Boston Lager which Sam Adams pushes down everyone's throat.

I'm not much of a fan of Sam Adams brews. Boston Lager is a good beer, but I never buy it. As mentioned above, I really like the Octoberfest and I'm a fan of the Summer Ale as well. I've had other good Sam Adams beers but for the most part I can always find something I want more. Sam Adams also makes the worst beer ever, Cherry Wheat, which knocks them down a few pegs in my book.

The first beer I cracked open was the Harvest Pumpkin Ale to pair with watching Big Brother. I decided a couple of years ago I don't really like pumpkin beers because they're either too pumpkiny or have too much clove. The Harvest Pumpkin Ale had neither, it had a nice faint pumpkin taste that was a nice complementary flavor to the malt sweetness of the brew. I could drink a six pack of it easily, unfortunately it is only available in the variety pack, 2 at a time. Harvest Pumpkin Ale was definitely better than watching the 2 biggest idiots, Brendan and Rachel, whine about being on the block and losing the veto competition on Big Brother. Watching them is like watching 2 kinda stupid 7th graders in love.

After the Harvest Pumpkin Ale I cracked open an Octoberfest. It's a really solid marzen that hits me in a good spot. Bob's 47, which should be hitting shelves next week, is better, but Sam Adams Octoberfest fills the void of marzens nicely. It was definitely better to drink than it was to watch Adam Richman eat that monstrosity of a sandwich on Man V. Food. Really Bonner Springs, is there a market for smoked hamburgers? And then put them on top of real smoked meats? It's no wonder Adam couldn't eat it all, he didn't like it.

I wasn't looking forward to drinking the Dunkelweizen because, of course, I don't like most German styles. I was pleasantly surprised. It was definitely my favorite beer of the night. It was quite sweet with the malt and I could taste the slight banana taste of a hefeweizen but also had another fruity flavor and some maple. I really enjoyed every sip. It was nice and thick mouthfeel and really made you feel like you were drinking something substantial. I really liked it, so much so that I will seek out other dunkelweizens. If you know a good one let me know.

The rest of the Harvest Collection is just going to sit in my fridge until I get a hankering for a red or a lager. I'm sure I'll drink them as the 4th or 5th beer on a weekend. But the rest of the pack is surprisingly good. This may have been my favorite Sam Adams purchase in years. Plus it really helped me block out the summer heat and imagine raking leaves in the slightly chilly autumn air.


  1. While considered a "wheat doppelbock" the Schneider Weisse Aventinus is something you might like if you haven't tried it already.

  2. You may be finished with summer, but summer isn't finished with you. 99 degrees right now! And why doesn't Sam Adams put their Scotch Ale in that 12 pack?

  3. If you've got a Trader Joe's around, they sell a pretty decent Dunkelweizen that's contract brewed by Gordon Biersch.

    It's probably not going to blow you away, but I'd be willing to be it's just as good as the Sam Adams', and for only a buck a bottle.

  4. Yes, I thought it was painfully obvious Adam didn't care for the Destroyer, especially the smoked hamburgers. I think I remember at one point him actually mentioning how dry the sandwich was. When a restaurant offers a "challenge" such as this, it's generally done with the confidence that although this massive/obscenely spicy food will be difficult to finish, it won't be because you don't enjoy the food. That certainly didn't seem to be the case at Papa Bob's.

    I'd been waiting for this episode for years, since the first time I saw the show. Sure, Oklahoma Joe's was kind of an obvious choice. I mean, when friends come from out of town what does any respectable KC do-gooder make it a point to show them? Why, great BBQ of course. Then, of course, is Strouds, which I also thought appropriate. What better restaurant to explore for a guy who routinely stretches his stomach to (and beyond) capacity than the proprietor of what is arguably some of the best fried food in town? And finally we come to the challenge portion of the show, and I don't know if I can accurately express my disappointment. Throughout the Papa Bob's segment I found myself wondering how, in a metro area the size of greater Kansas City, a shitty-looking over sized BBQ sandwich with (frozen?) crinkle-cut fries was really the best and most interesting food challenge they could find to showcase. I honestly believe he could have tackled the Blazin' wings challenge at BWW instead and I'd have been just as entertained.

  5. Sam Adams variety packs are always a struggle for me. They always include 4-5 beers I really like (some that are only available in the variety packs), but every single one contains something that is completely undrinkable - the Cranberry beer in the winter and there is a fruit wheat beer in the summer that is just awful.

    Does this one have an awful fruit beer that is undrinkable?

  6. Now that I've had each beer in the pack, I can safely say there isn't a stinker in the bunch. But, most of the brews are average.

    I kind of like the Blackberry Wit in the summer pack. Not enough to buy it on its own, but I liked it just fine.

  7. I need to pick up this pack when I see it next to support the brewery, and because I really do love some of those brews. But as stated...some of them are truly just freaking awful. Well at least for me they are. I'm not a big fan of their fruit laden beers.

    I still want my beer to some what resemble beer. ;)