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Massachusetts Beverage Business

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Call it a meeting of the minds. Berkshire Mountain Distillers (BMD) and Samuel Adams, two of the finest in their respective fields, will be collaborating in a multi-year project to distill two craft beers into two never-before-tasted spirits. The brews – the flagship Samuel Adams Boston Lager and the smoky, complex Cinder Bock – will both be triple distilled at BMD’s distillery in Great Barrington and then barrel-aged in wood. BMD anticipates they should be ready for release by 2O15. Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch and BMD founder Chris Weld together tasted several beer styles and their distilled products from trial distillations before deciding to use the Boston Lager and Cinder Bock for this project. Once distilled, the Lager, noted for its upfront malt and earthy hop flavors, will then age for two years in vintage wooden bourbon barrels, generating a whiskey with sweet fruity ester notes and a very slight bitterness. The distilled Cinder Bock, a fiery rauchbier/bock combination, will age for two years in oak barrels, some previously used for the Samuel Adams Utopias, producing a rich, bold whiskey. Due to the distillation process and barrel aging methods, 12,OOO gallons of beer yields about 5OO gallons of whiskey. The barrels, once emptied, will make the trip back to the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston, where they will be used for a yet-to-be-named barrel-aged beer. When ready, the spirits will be available through Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ distribution network.

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