Sam ’76

American Pale Lager Boston Beer Company


Sam ’76, an American Pale Lager by the Boston Beer Company

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Sam ’76 is an American Pale Lager brewed by the Boston Beer Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the lager was served in a mug from a can.

Packaging art for the Sam ’76 by Boston Beer Company

Packaging art for the Sam ’76 by Boston Beer Company

What You Need To Know

The gimmick behind this beer is that it combines top and bottom fermenting yeast strains. And thus the Sam ’76 exists somewhere between lager and ale.


The beer pours a mostly cloudy lemon yellow and is topped by an inch-thick cap of loose, bubbly white foam that persists briefly. An aggressive pour yield the best results. The heads’s reduction leaves behind droplets of lace and a soapy collar. The lager’s clarity improves as the beer settles.


The aromatics are hoppy at first with a scent that’s piney and then take on a scent of musty wheat bread as the beer warms.


The palate begins with a taste of mild citrus and cracker malt that crests toward a slightly stronger note of tangy grapefruit. Honey and pale malt tie the palate together.

Label art for the Sam ’76 by Boston Beer Company

Label art for the Sam ’76 by Boston Beer Company


Its feel is crisp with a light body and less-than-moderate carbonation.


Its aroma is interesting and pleasant. Greater retention would make for a better appearance. Its feel seems a little thin and could use a bit more carbonation. Its flavors clash initially but mesh better as the beer warms. And Sam ’76 does taste better than a typical macro pale lager and perhaps this beer could convert that audience with more flavor. Certainly, credit Samuel Adams for trying something different. Even if the outcome is mixed.

The beer is light and refreshing and on a hot summer day, this beer might be perfect. Odd that it should be released in winter.

Recommended Pairings

Samuel Adams recommends the following food pairings with their Sam ’76: pigs in a blanket, shrimp spring rolls, grilled pork chop, bacon cheeseburger, grilled hot dog or brats; sweets of strawberry shortcake and snickerdoodle cookies.

Have You Tried Sam ’76?

What did you think? Give a rating, share your opinion in the comments below, or add a link to your own offsite review.



Tried Sam 76 very unimpressed if you smell it has the scent of cat piss and a slight aftertaste of cat piss see for yourself. Otherwise maybe a bit of grapefruit or a floral note after-taste


I love this beer. I always come back to it approx. monthly. I taste at least 5 different beers a month since years…


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About the American Pale Lager

The American Pale Lager is meant to be very light, near flavorless, highly carbonated, and served very cold. Originally meant to appeal to diet-conscious consumers, the style originated in the 1940s and began to gain popularity in the 1970s. By the 1990s, this Light Lager became the best-selling beer style in the United States.