Category Archives: Oskar Blues Brewing Co.

Boston Beer Co. Designs New Can for Its Samuel Adams Brew

Boston Beer Co. Samuel Adams prototype beer can

Traditional beer can and prototype Samuel Adams can (right)

Craft-beer watchers have seen numerous respectable breweries can their beers during the past few years, after Oskar Blues Brewing Co. proved that cans do not necessarily negatively affect the taste of beer. (Last month, I wrote about Ballast Point Brewing Co.’s decision to can one of my favorite IPAs, Sculpin.)

The Boston Beer Co. and its founder Jim Koch have strongly resisted the whole craft-beer-in-a-can movement, but the company has apparently come up with a brand new can design, and it will release Samuel Adams beer in cans “in time for beach cooler weather,” according to


“The two-year effort cost more than $1 million, including the hiring of a renowned design firm and professional beer consultants, as well as the purchase of expensive canning equipment…

“The hourglass curve [or the can] and wider lid deposits the beer further in the mouth so a drinker doesn’t have to tilt his head back…

“The bigger lid forces people to open their mouths wider, allowing more air to pass through and go up into the nasal passages. This increased exposure to the smells brings out the flavors of the beer — the hops, the grains, the fruitiness — earlier in the drinking experience, which is what consumers associate with a fresher beverage…the outward-turned lip pours the beer directly on the palate, maximizing the sweetness from the malt.”

Personally, I don’t really care if my beer comes in a bottle or a can because I don’t think cans affect taste. I also almost always pour my beer into a glass. But cans clearly have a number of advantages over bottles; they’re lighter; they don’t shatter or break; they’re easier to carry in bulk for recycling; and they take up less space and are stackable. These reasons and more are why so many brewers today are canning their beer instead of bottling. And its nice to see another craft-beer pioneer embrace aluminum cans because it means Sam Adams will be served in more places, in venues that may not welcome glass bottle, such as sporting arenas.



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Help Oskar Blues Name Its New Vienna Lager, Win Beer and Merch

Oskar Blues Brewing Co. Logo

Oskar Blues Brewing Co., the Colorado-based brewery that started the whole craft-beer-in-a-can movement, is looking for help naming its new beer, and it’s using Facebook and Twitter to solicit ideas.

From the brewery’s Facebook page:

“Ever wanted to name a beer? Well, we wanna hear your ideas for a name for our new small batch brew. Throw your ideas into “The Fermentation Tank” for the chance to win a $25 Oskar Blues online store merchandise spend, plus a hand-canned 6-pack of the beer!”

“The style? A Vienna Lager.

“Details? This lager is made for the cooler months. Light amber color, and an ABV closing in on 6%. As always, this is an Oskar Blues-spin on the Vienna Lager, taking the traditional to the contemporary, and mutating the beer into our own species.

Description? Loads of Vienna malt and a touch of Dark Crystal malt give a nice caramel biscuit maltiness. A blend of Hersbucker, Saaz, and Hallertauer in the kettle, and a big helping of Hallertauer in the whirlpool give it a nice spicy and earthy Noble Hop whammy!”

You can submit your idea via Twitter by using the hashtag #nlfermentationtank or visit Oskar Blues’s Facebook page. The contest ends on December 15, so act fast if you’re interested.

My suggestion: Arnold Schwarzenlager, or just Schwarzenlager, because I can’t think of anything Austrian without thinking about The Governator.


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Ballast Point Sculpin IPA in a Can

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA in a can

San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing Co. is now canning its first beer, the popular Sculpin IPA, based on an image it posted on Facebook.

Sculpin has previously been available only in 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles and on draft. Oskar Blues Brewing Co. started a craft-beer-can revolution when it decided to can all of its beer, proving that “good beer” can come in aluminum cans. And now that consumers are a bit more accustomed to seeing craft beer in cans, more and more brewers are doing the can thing.

Lots of beer nerds still prefer bottles over cans. (I’m one of them.) But cans do have their advantages. They’re smaller and stackable, so they take up less space and can be more portable. They don’t shatter. They’re lighter when they’re empty, making them easier to carry back to beer retailers for recycling. And they block out light, which can age beer quickly and decrease freshness.


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Six Hurricane Sandy Preparedness Tips for Beer Nerds

Beer Emergency in Effect

With Hurricane Sandy set to wreak havoc on the American east coast during the next couple of days, I thought I’d share some beer nerd emergency preparedness tips to help ensure that you always have a frosty beer when you need one, even if the shit hits the fan.

  1. Stock up on beer, preferably in cans.  And buy your beer warm, so you don’t have to put it all in your refrigerator. If the power goes out, it could stay out for a couple of days, which means your local liquor stores will probably remain closed until power is restored. Make sure you have plenty of suds on hand before the storm hits. You can pack more cans into a smaller space than bottles, and tightly packed, chilled cans will stay cool for a longer period of time than bottles. Also, avoid cans of yellow lager made by the likes of Anheuser-Busch or MillerCoors, not because these beers aren’t well suited for emergency situations, but because they taste like shit. Lots of high-quality beer is available in cans today—thanks, Oskar Blues—so you won’t have to comprise.
  2. After you’ve stocked up on beer, you’ll want to buy some ice packs and/or a bunch of bags of ice. Then empty out your freezer of food and pack it with the ice and ice packs. (Fuck the food, beer nerds need to have their priorities in order; beer first, food second.)
  3. Buy a couple of coolers, so you can pack them with ice and beer if you lose power. Styrofoam coolers work well, they’re cheaper than plastic coolers and you can find them at many liquor stores. If you have a spare bathroom or don’t care about personal hygiene, you can also pack your bathroom sink or bathtub with ice and beer in an emergency to make sure your brews are cold when you need them.
  4. Next, you’ll want to pack as many cans into your refrigerator as possible, so they’re already cold when your lose electricity. Pack the cans in as tightly as possible and on top of each other, and they’ll work to cool themselves after they’re initially chilled.
  5. As soon as you lose power, fill your cooler or coolers (or sink or tub) with beer and ice. You’ll want to limit the number of times you open your fridge or freezer so the beer stays cold for as long as possible. It also makes sense to grab brews from the same cooler until it’s empty so your other coolers stay cold.
  6. Above all, do not panic. A calm, focused beer nerd who follows the steps listed above is a happy beer nerd.

(Drinker’s note: It should be obvious that this post is a joke. I’m not making light of Hurricane Sandy; I’m trying to add some levity to what will surely be a shitty situation for lots of folks. In reality, it’s a good idea to stay sober and sharp during emergencies, so if you do drink, be responsible and do so in moderation.)


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