Serious Eats: Talk
Sam Cans: Good Or Evil?
The Boston Beer Co. (aka, the company that brews Samuel Adams beer) has always been like a big brother to the smaller craft breweries. In 2008 during a worldwide hops shortage, they sold some of their hops to smaller breweries without a markup. They also have the Brewing the American Dream program, which helps entrepreneurs with low cost loans. However, their latest move has surprised us.
Samuel Adams said way back when that they would NEVER put their beer in a can. The company must have had a drastic change of heart, because they invested a million dollars into designing an aluminum beer can in an attempt to improve the beer drinking experience. The "Sam Can" will have...
A wider lid to allow more air flow while drinking
A can opening slightly farther away from the edge of the lid, placing it closer to your nose and helping to accentuate the hop aromas
An hourglass ridge to create turbulence and push the flavor out of the beer, while the extended lip puts the beer at the front of your palate to maximize the malt's sweetness
You'd think Samuel Adams would be psyched with themselves and that they'd be focused on how much money they're going to make... but, no. They are sharing the design with other craft beer brewers. Boston Beer Co. is going to make it available to other Brewers Association members without a royalty or licensing fee as early as this fall. (After rolling it out with their own beer this Spring.)
All's fair in love and beer, right? Samuel Adams seems to think that their company benefits when the overall craft beer industry is healthy, but we're not totally sure about that. Samuel Adams is getting to be a pretty big brand and it's almost to the point where they considered a craft brewery anymore. What do you think... should Sam be sharing the can design? Do you even want to drink a beer in a can?