You Know You Got To Go Through Hell Before You Get To Heaven

Brewery and Country of Origin: Sam Adams (Boston Beer Company) of 30 Germania Street, Boston, MA, 02130, USA

Date Reviewed: 4-20-12

No, we're not saying that the Greater Boston region is anything like hell, depending on your sports franchise alliances and tolerance for annoying accents, but if you were in the area for the 2012 Boston Marathon, you would have thought hell was breaking loose. This past Monday was the 116th Boston Marathon and with temperatures exceeding 90F degrees in certain parts of the course, it was the fourth hottest Boston Marathon ever (the hottest exceeded 100 degrees in 1905). For many runners, the only thing they want after finishing something as tough as a marathon, is a beer. A cold beer. Unfortunately, beer isn't the body's first choice of beverage after a marathon, and even if you were feeling up for it, you'd probably opt for the light pales offered by multinationals from the midwest rather than a higher strength, heavy craft beer. So Sam Adams, being a sponsor of the Boston Marathon, created a one time, one batch, ligher wheat Gose style beer to satisfy the harrier beer fanatic without forcing them to taste it twice. The idea was to create a ligher, refreshing, crisp and very forgiving beer with a lower alcohol content and a weaker body that would deliver the flavor of a full beer, but wouldn't take away what little life was left in participants to finish a pint. And that is exactly what happened here. Runners don't necessarily want a Double Imperial when they're tired, weak, dehydrated, and on the verge of collapsing. Whether you personally think the concept of this beer was favorable or not, you might reconsider your opinion if you experienced it after running to hell and back in near record breaking temperatures.
Date Sampled: 4-19-20 At: Sam Adams Boston Brewery, Boston, MA, USA
Beer Style: Gose
Alcohol by Volume: 4.50%
Serving Type: Brewery Nitro Keg, 5 oz Plastic Sampler Glass
Rating: 2.58


This appears to be a filtered beer, but the taste and the brewer's description would have you believe otherwise. Almost completely clear with a half inch foam head, some lacing along the sides, and a ligher, golden color.


This beer has a ligher, subtle, fruity aroma. Nothing too overpowering, somewhat similar to a traditional witbier, but with less pronounced smells.


This is a light bodied, crisp, refreshing, and airy/whispy beer with a low viscocity, and a decent level of carbonation. The beer finishes somewhat dry.


Being a wheat, this is a sweet, light, fruity, banana like beer with some clove notes and a dry, short lived aftertaste. Tastes are somewhat reflective of unfiltered wheats, but not as strong. Weaker flavors, and nothing bold.

Our Take

This top fermented post race oriented beverage is perfect for the person who has just finished a marathon. Unfortunately, that's exactly what we think of it. To us, it takes exercise to really enjoy this one. Sam Adams has created a beer that can only really be enjoyed when you're not in the position to appreciate it. It is a great drinking beer, very easy and smooth, but with little substance. As a beer drinker's beer, there is nothing special going on here. And yes, we know that is not the point of this one-off brew, and that is the reason why we think Sam Adams isn't making this a permanent installment to add to their already expansive portfolio. But truth be told, there is some novelty about this beer that adds intangible value to it. This is a beer that celebrates the victories and glories of what has become New England's largest annual sporting event and for that, it is pretty special... regardless of how it really tastes. A little more flavor, a fuller body, and perhaps some more unfiltered elements and this could be a really serious beer. But what sub 2:30:00 runner (or anyone) wants regurgitated beer all over their bib number? Thought so. So what this beer basically is, is a way for Sam Adams to celebrate the Bostom Marathon, without making a mess of it.