Posted in Press Releases, Sam Adams

Samuel Adams and Berkshire Mountain Distillers Creating Whiskey From Beer (PR)

BOSTON – Today, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Inc. (BMD) and Samuel Adams officially announce their collaboration in a multi-year project to distill two world-class craft beers into two never-before-tasted spirits, further pushing the boundaries of beverage innovation. The two brews — flagshipSamuel Adams Boston Lager and smoky, complex Samuel Adams Cinder Bock — will both be triple distilled at BMD’s distillery in Great Barrington, Mass., then barrel-aged in wood. The aging of whiskey is a very complex and multi-faceted process making it difficult to pinpoint an exact release date; however, BMD feels that they should be ready for release by 2015.

Both BMD and Samuel Adams share great passion for the art and science of beverage-making, and also the same philosophy — use only the highest quality ingredients to produce award-winning, innovative craft beer and spirits. The brewers at Samuel Adams and BMD founder Chris Weld together tasted several beer styles and their distilled products from trial distillations before deciding to use Samuel Adam Boston Lager and Samuel Adams Cinder Bock, two distinct beers, for this project. The two brews differ greatly in taste profile and will each be distilled — a process using heat to separate liquids according to their volatility — three times to allow for the creation of two very unique spirits.  The distilled Samuel Adams Boston Lager, noted for its upfront malt and earthy hop flavors, will then age for two years in vintage wooden bourbon barrels, generating a smooth whiskey with sweet fruity ester notes and a very slight bitterness.  The distilled Samuel Adams Cinder Bock, a fiery rauchbier/bock combination, will age for two years in wooden, oak barrels, some previously used for extreme beer, Samuel Adams Utopias®, producing a very rich, bold whiskey.

“One of the best things about being a brewer is that the learning never ends.  It’s been fun to share my knowledge of brewing with Chris throughout this process, and he has certainly taught me more than a thing or two about distilling,” says Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch.  “There are many parallels between making spirits and brewing beer.  Marrying the two not only makes sense, but will also produce a drink that beer- and spirits-lovers alike can enjoy.”

Due to the distillation process and barrel aging methods, 12,000 gallons of beer yields about 500 gallons of whiskey, making the final product a unique and rare find.  Though exact pricing and availability of the final products are yet to be determined, the spirits will be available through Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ distribution network. 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.

It has been a privilege to work with Jim and the brewers — their knowledge and infectious enthusiasm has found its way over to us here at BMD,” says Chris Weld, founder and distiller of Berkshire Mountain Distillery. “Jim is a pioneer in the field who has paved the way for many artisans to follow. We are looking forward to working with Samuel Adams to produce two excellent whiskies from two stellar beers. The only difficult part will be waiting for the final product to be released.”


Established in 2007, Berkshire Mountain Distillers (BMD) has created a line of award-winning artisanal spirits including Greylock Gin, Ethereal Gins, Ragged Mountain Rum, Ice Glen Vodka, Berkshire Bourbon and New England Corn Whiskey, currently available in 19 different states. All products are handcrafted in small batches in Great Barrington, Massachusetts at the Berkshire’s first legal distillery since prohibition.  BMD is one of the founding members of the craft distiller movement and is embraced by several of the nation’s leading mixologists. Our products have received numerous high accolades including Gold Medal Awards from the Beverage Tasting Institute and San Francisco Spirits Competition and national praise from publications like GQ, Details, New York Times, Wine Enthusiast and Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible. As supporters of local agriculture and business, BMD uses regional materials in many of our products, creating a truly authentic artisanal brand.  For more information and to find where BMD is available, visit, friend us or follow us on Twitter @BerkshireMtDist.


The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father’s attic. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life in his kitchen.  Pleased with the results of his work, Jim decided to sample his beer with bars in Boston in the hopes that drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavored beer he brewed fresh in America.  That beer was aptly named Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, in recognition of one of our nation’s great founding fathers, a man of independent mind and spirit.  Little did Jim know at the time, Samuel Adams Boston Lager soon became a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.

Today, The Boston Beer Company brews more than 50 styles of beer.  It relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients.  Using the traditional four vessel brewing process, the Company often takes extra steps like dry-hopping, barrel-aging and a secondary fermentation known as krausening.  The Company has also pioneered another revolution, the ‘extreme beer’ movement, where it seeks to challenge drinker’s perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company has been committed to elevating the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions around the globe, and in the past five years has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. As an independent company, brewing quality beer remains its single focus. Although Samuel Adams beer is America’s largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for only one percent of the U.S. beer market.  The Boston Beer Company will continue its independently-minded quest to brew great beer and to advocate for the growth of craft beer across America. For more information, please visit