Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Samuel Adams to be brewed in Latrobe

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (and other papers) are reporting that Boston Beer and City Brewing have agreed to brew an undisclosed amount of Samuel Adams beers at the Latrobe brewery, formerly the home of Rolling Rock. It's a beaut of a modern brewery, and this will be good news for Latrobe and for City Brewing...and for Pennsylvania.

Latrobe plant to brew beer for Boston Beer Co. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

6 comments:

bill mc said...

Ok, sounds good, now here's a question...

I have been to a few brewery tours and I don't recall any having glass-lined tanks...

Does this effect the brewing in any way or it doesn't matter???

With that, will there be a difference in Sam Adams?

Lew Bryson said...

The guys at A-B told me they have glass-lined tanks at their Newark facility, and described them as "state of the art...for 1955." They're a pain to maintain, but otherwise, they're just another inert surface, like steel. No diff from that angle...and probably no diff from any other. They'll do some test brews to dial in the plant and the water, and then let 'er rip.

bill mc said...

Ok, now here is something off topic (sorta), been wanting to ask this for a while and I figure you'd know.

As my memory serves me (hopefully) (I may have some details wrong but you'll see the gist). Years ago, when I was at Penn State (1984), the Rolling Rock brewery went on strike and the Schmidts Brewery in Philly picked up their slack by brewing Rock. Now, I remember there being something in a newspaper or journal that basically said that it would have been impossible (at the time) for Schmidts to have brewed all their beers as well as Rock (with cleaning, down time and fermenting). I vaguelly recall the article saying something like it was all the same batch of beer just with more water or whatever in it.

Do you recall this or know the truth behind it???

Lew Bryson said...

Sorry, Bill, don't know anything about it.
However...this is the kind of thing that gets around and never dies. There was a rumor around for years that Yuengling brewed Budweiser when A-B was on strike. One guy I talked to even claimed to have Budweiser cans that said "Brewed in Pottsville, PA" on them. I asked Dick Yuengling about it: never happened, he said.

Might this have happened? It's possible. But I can't believe that somebody would be able to say that it would have been impossible for Schmidt's to have brewed extra beer. Schmidt's closed in 1987; there's no way they were brewing close to capacity in 1983. Just doesn't seem likely to me.

Now...would it have been impossible to get the beer out the door fast enough to matter? All depends on how far ahead Latrobe saw the strike coming. A couple batches of beer's pretty cheap insurance against a disastrous loss of supply; if they had Schmidt's go ahead and brew some up (which seems likely; they had the special labels ready), it's easy enough to do.

Stan Hieronymus said...

Lew, do you know if Latrobe's basic operating mode is for high gravity brewing?

Sam Adams has avoided that in other facilities (Lehigh Valley comes to mind), so I'm just curious. Perhaps the $3-$7 million investment in upgrades is related.

Lew Bryson said...

Stan,

Yes, Latrobe's Rolling Rock production was all high-grav. That could be some of it, could be grain-handling, could be using brown glass -- okay, that was facetious.