Sam Adams calls out with a Rebel yell

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First Posted: 2/18/2015

Sam Adams is a brewery that is no stranger to the most unfamiliar of craft beer drinkers. The brewery has established itself as a great, all around, brewery with a reputation that has expanded far outside of the craft beer sphere.

Their beers have set the standard for high quality and great drinkability. These high standards have made them one of the most successful breweries today and have put them in direct competition with the largest macro beers while still maintaining their independence.

Every year, Sam Adams continues to expand on their large beer portfolio with wonderful results. Last year the brewery unveiled their great Rebel IPA, a West Coast styled IPA. The results were immediate and many craft beer lovers were quick to try this new IPA. Many fell in love.

While some craft beer snobs have complained that Sam Adams is “too big” to be a craft brewery, this argument seems ridiculous especially in light of the recent AB-InBev buyouts. Sam Adams has proven itself time and again as not only a great craft beer brewery, but as a great brewery overall with textbook examples of nearly every beer style available.

This year, the brewery has expanded on the success of its Rebel IPA and has created a wonderful rebel family within the brewery. Recently the release of Rebel Rouser Double IPA and Rebel Rider session IPA proves the brewery can brew great beers big and small.

The Rebel IPA was released last year and falls well inside the American IPA category with a moderate 6.5 percent ABV. The beer has a wonderful hop aroma that leans heavily toward grapefruit and pine and has a perfect dry finish. This is a beer that despite being brewed on the East Coast is a direct competitor for many world class West Coast styled IPAs.

Rebel Rouser builds itself upon the recipe with a few tweaks to the hops and a bigger malt bill. The result is an astounding 8.4 percent ABV double IPA that is full of citrus, pine, floral and grapefruit hop notes, all nestled perfectly in a smooth and sweet malt bill. The beer also features a wonderful dry finish that ensures you will not want to put this beer down.

Rebel Rider takes a step back from the big boys and instead is brewed to fall into the session beer category at 4.5 percent ABV this little guy still packs a wonderful hop punch. The mouthfeel is most certainly lighter when a side by side comparison is done, but the hops are still front and the center. The key with a beer such as Rebel Rider is balance. Session IPAs when not brewed with balance can taste more like hop water than an IPA. Thankfully Rebel Rider is brewed just right with a wonderful balance that make it a great beer to enjoy on a night out with friends.

Sam Adams has certainly built its reputation by brewing great beers such as Boston Lager, Winter Lager, Noble Pils, and many other beers that fall in the lager category, along with innumerable ales as well. The brewery has still proven that even a semi-old dog can learn new tricks and even surpass some of the new kids on the block.

The IPA category is growing ever more saturated by the month with new breweries taking a swing at the style. However, there is still room for growth in the style and a good IPA is good regardless if it is a brewery in your neighbor’s basement or by a large successful brewery.

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