Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Light

Tonight's Sunday Night beer review looks at Samuel Adams Light, a lighter version of their traditional Boston Lager.

People who judge their beers based solely on the TV advertisements for light beers might be surprised when they taste a Samuel Adams Light. It seems like the most competitive market on TV (in terms of alcohol) is the "lite" beer market with an over saturation of ads from Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light (a.k.a. the "Silver Bullet"), Michelob Light ("anything else is just a light") and more recently Michelob Ultra, Amstel Light and Heineken Light. These beers "promise" great taste and low calories or carbohydrates, but tend to deliver little taste and an extremely low alcohol content.

What are the characteristics of light lagers? The sages at Beer Advocate explain:

The Light Lager is generally a lighter version of a breweries premium lager, some are lower in alcohol but all are lower in calories and carbohydrates compared to other beers. Typically a high amount of cereal adjuncts like rice or corn are used to help lighten the beer as much as possible. Very low in malt flavor with a light and dry body. The hop character is low and should only balance with no signs of flavor or aroma. European versions are about half the alcohol (2.5-3.5% abv) as their regular beer yet show more flavor (some use 100% malt) then the American counterparts. For the most part this style has the least amount of flavor than any other style of beer.

With this background in mind, I decided to review the Samuel Adams Light for this week's Sunday Night Suds. Why? Well, my aishes chayil Sarah suggested that people might be a little full from the holiday weekend eating, so why not review a light beer. I decided to follow her advice (yes, I know I am bound to follow Sarah's advice as noted in Vayera - kol asher tomar eilecha sarah, shma b'kola).

As far as light beers go, Samuel Adams is one of those which are closer to the original then a watered down version. The beer itself has a decent semblance of the regular lager and also retains most of the alcohol. A traditional regular beer will have about a 5% abv (the SA Boston Lager has a 4.9% abv), while the SA Light has 4% abv.

I enjoyed my Sam Adams Light by itself this evening, but this smooth drinking light beer will not conflict with most dishes. All in all, a good light beer, just keep in mind that unlike most light beers, the SA Light's alcohol content is close to regular beer.

Samuel Adams Light is under the kashruth supervision of the Star-K.For the experts take on Samuel Adams Light, please click here

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

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