We know Jim Koch isn’t a huge fan of all these new-fangled craft beer trends, but when you own 1 percent of the beer market, and sales start to slip, something’s gotta give. Timed perfectly after we pondered the implications of the never-ending IPA craze, the Boston Beer Co. announced two new seasonals to spice up its year-round lineup: Samuel Adams Hopscape and Fresh as Helles.
Hopscape, the first new brew for 2017, is brewed with four varieties of West Coast hops that add bold pine and grapefruit notes to the deep golden wheat ale. Chinook, Citra, Centennial and Zeus hops impart citrusy, dank resin and grapefruit rind aromas that lead into a balanced flavor of bright citrus and piney hop character. White wheat and a two-row pale malt blend add a crisp, light sweetness, and the beer finishes with a slightly lingering bitterness.
“With Hopscape, we knew we wanted to brew a hop-forward beer to match the bitterness of the cold,” said Brewer Megan Parisi. “Our Sam Adams Nano Brewery gave us the chance to experiment with a variety of hop trials until we nailed the citrusy and piney flavor profile we were going for. ”
Fresh as Helles profile
Fresh as Helles is a refreshing light amber, medium-bodied helles brewed with Mandarina hops and orange blossom petals. The beer’s lively, citrus flavors pair perfectly with the changing season. Soft citrus notes of orange blossom add a bright accent to the slightly sweet honey malt notes, leading to a round, smooth finish.
“On the flip side, for the more fickle side of this season, we knew we wanted to brew a more delicate beer,” Parisi said. “We found that our helles recipe created the perfect base for balancing the flavor of tangy Mandarina hops and floral orange blossom petals. As brewers, half the fun is brewing multiple trials until we get just the right flavor — or in our case flavors — that we’re looking for.”
Hopscape and Fresh as Helles availability
Samuel Adams Hopscape will be available nationwide from January through February 2017. Samuel Adams Fresh as Helles will be available nationwide from March through April 2017. Both brews will be available in six-packs for a suggested retail price of $7.99-$9.99, 12-packs (bottles and cans) for a suggested retail price of $14.99-$17.99, 16-ounce single serve cans for a suggested retail price of $1.99-$2.49, and on draft.
From January through April, both beers will also be available in the Samuel Adams Spring Variety 12-Pack for a suggested retail price of $14.99-$17.99, and 24-packs for a suggested retail price of $22.99-$24.99. Price for each package varies by market.