Drink Now: Samuel Adams Rebel Raw

Sam Adams Rebel Raw: Obey the 35-day shelf life request and drink this beer now.

Sam Adams Double Raw IPA
Sam Adams Double Raw IPA

PHILADELPHIA, June 3, 2016 – Next up in the Drink Now series is a new beer from an old reliable in the craft brewing world.

Name: Rebel Raw
Brewery: Samuel Adams
Location: Headquartered in Boston with breweries in Ohio and Pennsylvania
Website: bostonbeer.com
Twitter: @SamuelAdamsBeer

Availability: May-June; 14 primary markets in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Islanld, and Texas.
Serving size: 16 oz. can
Price: approx. $13-$16/four-pack

Style: Double IPA
Alcohol (ABV): 10 percent

What makes this beer stand out on the shelves: A 10 percent beer in a 16 oz. can with the statement “Keep Cold. Drink Now.” and a name like Rebel Raw makes this stand out like no other beer from the 30+ year old Boston-based brewery. Plus, the added statement “Hazy From Hoppiness” grabs attention and plays into one of the more hotly debated IPA topics of the day — is clear IPA better than hazy IPA? In this beer guy’s book, a bit of haze is fine, chunky soup is not. This beer has some haze with no impact to mouthfeel and is no worse for it.

Why you drink this beer now: Playing smartly off the line of thinking that fresh beer is better beer that other breweries have capitalized on, Sam Adams gives Rebel Raw an optimal drinking window of 35 days. Being such hop-centric beer, this is wise advice. This beer packs a wallop of citrus and pine aromas from the dry-hopping trifecta of Cascade, Centennial, and Simcoe hops and is chased by a sweet orange/tangerine Amarillo hop flavor profile and a rich malt backbone. As balanced as you could ask for in a Double IPA clocking in at 10 percent ABV.

What else you should know about this beer and brewery: Beers from Sam Adams such as this one go through trial brewing at the brewery’s nanobrewery, which is akin to a homebrew system, within the brewery’s home location in Boston. The brewery has two much larger facilities, one in Cincinnati and one in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania outside of Allentown. Rebel Raw was produced and packaged on a much larger scale for distribution at the Pennsylvania brewery.

Quotable from the brewery: from Seth Adams, brewer at Boston Beer: “We had a lot of fun experimenting with recipes and hop varieties in our nano brewery in Boston to come up with this wicked hop-forward DIPA. I’m excited that we can now share Rebel Raw with Philly beer lovers. Because this beer has a 35-day shelf life, anyone who finds it should drink it as soon as they get their hands on it to really get that blast of hop aroma and flavor.”

Quotable from the barstool: from Matt Geibel of Delaware County, Pennsylvania: “Intimidated by the name and packaging (should I be watching wrestling while drinking this?) I dove in tonight while burgers were on the grill. Poured a hazy apricot orange with an abundance of head on it that stuck around till the meal was over. Nose was full of tropical fruit and pine. First sip hit me with boozy ripe tropical fruit and pine/resin with a bit of bitterness to finish. Reminds me of many other dry hopped DIPAs I’ve had but not quite as subtle.”

If you have tasted this beer, please weigh in with your own comments below. If you know of a beer that should be profiled here, likewise let me know.

About the writer: Bryan Kolesar has been on the trail of great beer for over 20 years and writing about it for more than 10. In 2015, his “Beer Lover’s Mid-Atlantic” book was released and in a mere 416 pages covered the diverse beer scene of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Find his book online and in bookstores and follow on Twitter @BrewLounge.

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Bryan Kolesar
Bryan Kolesar has been tracking down great beer for over twenty years. In 2005, Bryan co-founded The Brew Lounge blog/website as a canvas to illustrate the best of the craft brewing industry and to document his own travels within it. Though he has lived in Philadelphia and is currently headquartered in the city's western suburbs, Kolesar shares a wealth of information and images that he collects from his travels around the world and some of the best beers that he has tasted along the way. While the beer - its tastes, aromas, and incredible pairing opportunities with food - is often the beginning of a story, he often finds it more interesting to dive into the stories behind the people, places, and events associated with the final product. In 2015, Kolesar's first published work hit the streets, the 416-page Beer Lover's Mid-Atlantic documenting the best of Del., Md., NJ, and Pa.