Sam Adams Rebrands Sam '76 into Wicked Easy

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by BeerDrinkinGuy, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. BeerDrinkinGuy

    BeerDrinkinGuy Initiate (58) Nov 2, 2018 Minnesota

    Most people were hoping it would just go away, now its around for a little while longer.

    Bitterbill, chiefz1, dcotom and 4 others like this.
  2. IMN0P

    IMN0P Initiate (35) Oct 19, 2019 Massachusetts

  3. semibaked

    semibaked Zealot (585) Mar 27, 2007 Illinois

    I liked Sam 76
    Raime, ChicagoJ, Grounder and 10 others like this.
  4. smalony

    smalony Initiate (56) Apr 19, 2020 Missouri

    Yeah, agreed. Much like their flagship lager, nothing wrong with something simple and reliable sometimes.
  5. jts211

    jts211 Aspirant (278) Aug 5, 2018 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I wish they’d Bring back Boston Ale! :grimacing:
  6. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Defender (651) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    To me it's so Gimmicky and sounds dumb in my opinion. And of course they have to capitalize on the "Hazy" sub text of course. Sam 76 was a fine name with some meaning behind the reasoning for the name now its just another way to appease to the current masses and trends. Like their wicked hazy for example.

    Next time I am at the bar and see this beer I will order the beer like this:

    ME: "Hey man let me get some of that Wicked Hazy bro cuz everyone is drinking dat sh*t right now, and make sure its extra Wicked and hazy dude."

    " Hey man that last beer was truly wicked but nearly rocked me bro, I need something Wicked but easy now, let me get some of that Wicked Easy man! "
  7. dele

    dele Initiate (89) Mar 13, 2019 Massachusetts

    Up until a few years ago, Sam Adams's patriotic branding and simple beer titles were so clean and polished. Boston Ale. Boston Lager. Holiday Porter. Etc. It was branding that communicated confidence in the product they sold.

    This is completely the opposite. If you have to change the name and packaging of a beer without changing the beer, it's a sign that the beer wasn't good enough on its own. And the new name and packaging are very, very far away from the clean, confident brand that attracted me to their products years ago.
  8. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,201) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Too bad John and Samuel didn't have a cousin, Peter Adams - then BBC could also ride a bit of a nostalgia wave with Pete's Wicked Easy Ale... :grin: (if Gambrinus wouldn't object - maybe Boston could throw a bone to Slosberg and hire him for in-person appearances).

    Never left. Well, never left their portfolio but obviously left the shelves of many retailers and the warehouses of many BBC wholesale distributors. (I always thought the short-lived Samuel Adams Pale Ale circa late 1990s was better).
    Junior, ChicagoJ, JimKal and 12 others like this.
  9. jts211

    jts211 Aspirant (278) Aug 5, 2018 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Thanks for the note! The first SA beer I had was Cherry Wheat back in 1997/1998. This, boston lager, and the seasonals where the only SA beers made available to us coal-crackers in NE Pennsylvania!
    Junior and Bitterbill like this.
  10. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Defender (627) Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

    Pete's Wicked would like a word...
    Apellonious, JimKal and steveh like this.
  11. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,201) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Yeah, I wondered about that but checking the US Trademark TESS system, it seems all the "Pete's Wicked" marks are "DEAD - ABANDONED". Spoetzl-owner Gambrinus bought the branding from the (so-called) Pete's Brewing Co. in 1999 and dropped it a few years later. Pete Slosberg himself once claimed:
    * By the end, IIRC, #4 Stroh Brewery was a major owner, as well as being their contract-brewer.
  12. gyorgymarlowe

    gyorgymarlowe Initiate (106) Aug 24, 2019 Colorado

    Based on their information for Wicked easy, is this really just a rebrand of 76? Also, how is this classified as a lager? Can you call any beer a lager?
    mikeinportc likes this.
  13. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,201) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    When first released in 2018, BBC said Sam '76 was "a blend of ale and lager... Brewers began with two active fermentations – a base lager and a base ale – each with their own respective yeast strains. The base beers were brewed, then combined during a final maturation step".
    Yup. Legally in the US, there is no requirement that beers labeled by such terms as "ale", "porter", "stout" or "lager" , etc., be fermented with a specific, top- or bottom-fermenting yeast. The TTB's legal definition of "Lager Beer" for instance:
    In the past, it has been more common in the US for the opposite situation - beers labeled "ale" or "porter" fermented with bottom (lager) fermenting yeast.

    See Top & Bottom Fermenting Yeast for the US brewing industry history on the topic.
    #13 jesskidden, Feb 10, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Bitterbill and ESHBG like this.
  15. joerooster2

    joerooster2 Initiate (18) Aug 18, 2020 District of Columbia

    Says on the package 'Formerly known as Sam '76' so if it's not the exact same beer, probably very similar. Haven't tried the new version yet...not sure I ever will.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  16. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,245) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    I used to play at this venue all the time, and their beer selection was pretty bad. I became fond of Sam '76 because it was hoppy, but light enough for me to loosen up with a couple and still sing. Two IPAs in, and I'm just too bogged down and bloated to sing well, so Sam '76 became a bit of a ritual for me. At around Sam 152 and a pour of Dalwhinnie, I was ready to hit the stage.

    I don't know. I can dig it.
    Bitterbill, BruChef, Jaycase and 6 others like this.
  17. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Defender (627) Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

    I assumed there was a backstory. I remember, at some point, they dropped most of the "wicked" related naming other than from the flagship brown ale because the ladies didn't like it...and I think they were selling quite a bit of the strawberry blonde. I loved the wicked summertime.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  18. peteboiler

    peteboiler Initiate (139) Dec 16, 2010 Florida

    I enjoyed the Sam 76. I wish they would keep it rather than go 'haze' on the recipe.
  19. defunksta

    defunksta Meyvn (1,068) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota

    Does this mean Sam '76 will be discontinued? I hope not. I've still seen it on the shelves recently.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  20. BeerGeekExtraordinaire

    BeerGeekExtraordinaire Initiate (19) Mar 6, 2020 Illinois

    I always thought Sam 76 was overhyped. Never lived up to its billing. If Sam 76 really is Wicked Hazy, I am glad I found it out now
  21. BeerDrinkinGuy

    BeerDrinkinGuy Initiate (58) Nov 2, 2018 Minnesota

    Wicked Hazy and Wicked Easy are two different beers. The wicked hazy is definitely not what the 76 was or is now.
  22. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I don’t bother to buy his beer, just cheap marketing.
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  23. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (453) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

    For the hell of it, I picked up some Wicked Hazy last week because in a pinch, I didn't mind Sam's NEIPA. The nose on that impressive...however I wish the flavor followed through. It's good for what it is, glad I tried it.
  24. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Crusader (737) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    They've made some big branding changes in recent years and I can't say I'm a fan. Boring labels. Used to love the seasonal/patriotic designs. Now blah.
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  25. reowin

    reowin Initiate (41) Nov 24, 2017 Tennessee

    i really liked the new england ipa its funny they rebranded it along with sam 76 i never cared for the sam 76 though and im glad they didn't change the recipe on the new england ipa

    but they didint rebrand the new england pale ale they kept it its own thing

    and it seems the extra wicked version isn't going to be mass distributed like the rest only to like 2 states
  26. defunksta

    defunksta Meyvn (1,068) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota

    I tried the two beers side-by-side today (Granted the Sam '76 was a few months older than the Wicked Easy).
    The '76 had slightly more orange and smooth flavors, probably because of its older age. The Wicked Easy had more lemon citrus and vinous flavors. Also more yeast and a cleaner body, probably because it's a fresher beer. Yet, it was also slightly hazier.
    I am not quite sure what the rebrand entailed, but I assume these a just two of the same beers of different ages. Maybe they did a "haze change" and made this one slightly hazier to appeal to that crowd.
    Overall, they drank quite similar and nearly indistinguishable side-by-side. Both are great beers I think, but I hope they didn't change the recipe for Sam '76 and that it's only a name change.
  27. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,087) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I liked Sam '76 well enough. I didn't like them cramming it into EVERY sample box, regardless of season or theme of the box.
    Squire, Raime, Beer_Baron87 and 6 others like this.
  28. Beer_Baron87

    Beer_Baron87 Initiate (32) Feb 15, 2019 Florida

    Agreed. Put more seasonal beers into your variety packs. I don’t need BL and 76/WH in each one. Give me more of a reason to try something unique to the season and I’ll probably try it.
    Squire likes this.
  29. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,440) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I quit buying variety packs because I dislike being forced to buy same old stuff.
    Tilley4 likes this.
  30. BeerDrinkinGuy

    BeerDrinkinGuy Initiate (58) Nov 2, 2018 Minnesota

    I actually like sample packs because you can try stuff you normally wouldnt buy and if it's terrible its ok to dump two rather than 5 or more.
  31. moodenba

    moodenba Devotee (442) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    Yes you can. I don't think there is a legal definition of lager in the US. By the way, the website now says they use "Sam Adams lager and ale yeast", not "Sam Adams IPA yeast".
    Does that imply that Boston Beer uses the same yeast for both lager and ale? That would be in the great American tradition of "bastard ale".
    Reinheitsgebot anybody?