So it’s New Year’s Eve and I need a beer to help bring in the new year. Traditionally people celebrate with champagne or sparkling wine, but what about the beer drinkers out there who don’t want to give up their malt beverage preference? Well Samuel Adams (Boston, MA) and Weihenstephan Brewing (Freising, Bavaria) have collaborated on a global level to produce a beer perfect for welcoming in the New Year called Infinium.
History Behind Infinium
I am sure everyone has heard of Samuel Adams and his famous Boston Lager, but did you know this brewery also produces unique high-end specialty beers? Well I am going to talk about the latest creation, Infinium, which is a champagne-like beer style created by the beer scientists from Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan Brewing. When I say beer scientists, I really mean scientists. The Weihenstephan Science Center, part of the Technical University of Munich, is a world renowned brewing school and played an important role in the development and creation of Infinium.
Another remarkable element of the creation of this beer is how it was made and the ingredients used. Only four ingredients were used in the making of this beer; malt, hops, water and yeast. This beer was created following the old German beer purity laws known as Reinheitsgebot, which states only those four materials may be used. This is the first beer in over 100 years to follow this rigorous standard.
So I was lucky enough to find a bottle of Infinium in my area. I knew I wanted to save it for New Years, so I put it right into the refrigerator. This is one of the beers that is better served colder, due to the champagne-like presentation and body. I thought about pouring it into a fluted glass, but instead decided to use my 22 oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass (wanted to really enjoy those bubbles). The beer opens just like a champagne bottle, cork and all. It had a nice pop when I removed the cork. It poured a pale-to-light golden color with lots of bubbles. The clarity was mostly clear on the first glass, but the second glass was a little hazy from some sediment getting stirred up (this is a bottle conditioned beer).
I took a strong sniff and the aroma was fairly mellow. I could smell slight hints of fruit or citrus aromas that must of been from the dry hopping. The aroma really did remind me of a sparkling wine, but with malt and yeast aromas replacing the heavy wine overtones. The initial taste was very light on the palette and had no bitterness at all. I could taste the malts, but there was also a slight tartness that made this beer feel like I was drinking a semi-dry champagne. It may have been my imagination, but I think I could taste a little fruitiness in the finish (apples?). What I did not taste was any hint of the 10.3% ABV or bitterness of the hops used to get it to that level. This is truly a remarkable feat. I believe this is a beer for both the beer enthusiast and for the non-beer drinker because it does not have any of the detractors most non-beer drinkers complain about.
So did I like it? Yes, I did enjoy it. I liked the uniqueness, a style of beer I had never experienced and that actually didn’t taste bad. Is it a beer I will be purchasing every year? No, I do not think I will continue to spend that kind of bank on this specialty beer. The value only warrants this as a one-time purchase. The $20 price point is far too high. This beer is at most a $10 brew, but I will only purchase again if below $7.
- Style: Unique, champagne-style beer
- ABV: 10.3%
- IBU: 10
- Coloring: Light Golden
- Container: 750mL bottle
- Value: Fair, only because it is very limited release, $20 a bottle is too much