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Sam Adams & Berkshire Mountain Distillers concoct a joint venture

on 19/06/12 at 12:09 pm

Booze News

Coming soon: Sam Adams, on the rocks.

Boston Beer Co., maker of Sam Adams beers, is launching its first entry in the emerging craft spirits industry, producing two whiskeys in partnership with Berkshire Mountain Distillers in Great Barrington.

It will take at least two years for the whiskeys, which will be made from Sam Adams Boston Lager and a limited-edition brew called Cinder Bock, to be available to consumers; although the spirits are currently being distilled, they must still be aged in wooden barrels. The initial batch of 1,000 cases, or 12,000 bottles, will be Berkshire Mountain products, with the Sam Adams name indicated on the label.

Whiskey is a spirit distilled from beer, although distillers usually use a bland brew that is not intended for drinking.

“When you distill, you’re taking little slices of the essential flavors in beer,” said Jim Koch, Boston Beer founder. “To me, it’s just a continuation of learning and understanding beer.”

Retail prices have not been set, but the companies expect to position the whiskeys as premium products, selling for more than $40 a bottle. Berkshire Mountain will keep any profits.

A number of craft beer makers nationwide have distilled spirits in small batches, said Harry Schumacher, editor and publisher of the Texas-based trade publication Beer Business Daily.