Samuel Adams to Launch Boston Lager in 'Sam Can'

Scheduled to hit shelves in time for summer 2013

Published in CSP Daily News

BOSTON-- Samuel Adams said that for the first time it plans to offer Samuel Adams Boston Lager in a can. The new can design--the result of two years of ergonomic and sensory research and testing--aims to provide a drinking experience that is closer to the taste and comfort of drinking beer from a glass.

The "Sam Can," as the brewers call it, will hit shelves in early summer 2013, just in time for drinking occasions that call for the convenience of a can such as sporting events, boating or the beach.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager in cans will be available in 12-packs nationwide for a suggested retail price of $14.99 to $17.99 (price varies by market).

"The debate over bottles versus cans has been a sticking point for brewers in the craft beer community for years," said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. "In the past, I had my doubts about putting Sam Adams in a can because I wasn't convinced that Boston Lager would taste as good as it does from a bottle. But cans have changed. And I believe we've designed a can that provides a slight but noticeably better drinking experience than the standard beer can."

Koch and the other brewers at Samuel Adams first worked with can manufacturer Ball Corp. to understand can design, technology and how to package premium beer in cans. The brewers then worked with a design team at IDEO, a global design firm and finally enlisted the help of sensory expert Roy Desrochers of GEI Consultants, a beer flavor expert for the Master Brewer's Association of the Americas (MBAA) who has provided counsel to the brewing industry for almost three decades.

With Desrochers' help, Koch studied every aspect of the new can, from how it could affect the flavor of Samuel Adam's flagship Boston Lager to the ergonomics of how the beer flows from the can and hits the taste receptors on a drinker's tongue.

"I worked with Jim and the other brewers at Sam Adams on an ergonomic and flavor study to understand the benefits of the new can," said Desrochers. "The flared lip and wider top of the new Sam Can work in concert to deliver the beer in a way that makes the flavor closer to drinking out of a glass. Although subtle, this can delivers a more pronounced, more balanced flavor experience--something that was very important to the brewers. The extended lip of the can also creates a smoother, more comfortable overall drinking experience."

The difference in drinking out of the new can as compared to a standard can will be modest, but drinkers should notice enhanced flavors and a more comfortable experience, the company said. The position of the can opening and wider lid, naturally opens up the mouth allowing for more air flow and positions the drinker's nose closer to the hop aromas of the beer. Drinkers also noticed that the extended, curved lip of the can delivered the beer to the front of the palate to maximize the early enjoyment of the malt sweetness.

"The new Sam Can required a million-dollar investment in special equipment tooling along with time, research and testing. This new can will also cost more than the standard can to produce," Koch said. "We've done tastings here at the brewery, with Sam Adams drinkers and our experts, and now, we're proud to launch Samuel Adams Boston Lager in cans. We have a vessel that gives our drinkers the best tasting Samuel Adams in a can."

Among the many advantages of cans is that drinkers prefer cans in certain circumstances where bottles are often not allowed or convenient, such as beaches, parks, pools, sporting events, boats and airplanes.

The Boston Beer Co. brews more than 50 styles of beer.