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Our own Mike Tanier has been venturing on a noble quest across the U.S. to find a definitive answer to the timeless question: Why do beer and sports go so well together?
After sitting down with the Sun King Brewing guys of Indianapolis, Tanier trekked north to Boston, Mass. to visit one of the most famous independent breweries in the nation: Samuel Adams.
The brand itself needs no introduction: Jim Koch and his crew have been creating their signature lager for 30 years now, along with seasonal beers that you'll find in your local grocery and on tap in basically every sports bar in America.
The actual origins of Sam Adams goes back another hundred years, to the 1870s, when Jim Koch's great-great grandfather tried out a family recipe at a brewery in St. Louis. (You can go here for more on the history and offerings from Sam Adams.)
The attention to detail after all that time and success still amazes -- you can argue that some of the craft beer obsession in recent years has its origin in the widespread appeal of Sam Adams.
Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of when beer made its public debut. Back then, they didn't have so much as an office, but now they're fully staffed with around 1,200 employees. And, yet, the brewery itself remains understated, tucked away in a quiet part of town.
If you go on a tour of the place, they let you taste the fresh hops and barley used in their operation -- and of course, pour you a cold one. So, obviously, our guy was eager to hit the road up I-95 to sample the wares.
Tanier sat down in the tasting room with brewers Jennifer Glanville and Bob Cannon (whom you may recognize from the Sam Adams commercials) to talk about the special ingredient that blends so well with sports fans: passion.