History

'The Patriarch of Liberty'

Restoring Sam Adams to his rightful place among the founders

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When John Adams traveled to France in 1779 to confer with America's Revolutionary War allies, Parisians lamented that they would not be playing host to "the famous Adams." That title was reserved for the future president's cousin, the muckraking journalist turned zealous revolutionary, Samuel Adams.

So it is odd, then, that this Zelig of independence, present at virtually every revolutionary convulsion of early America, is now remembered mostly for lending his name to a popular brand of beer. As Ira Stoll observes in Samuel Adams: A Life, his engaging and hagiographic biography of this forgotten founding father, a name once synonymous with the American independence movement was "lost in the attic of history."

This is unfortunate, says Stoll, the former managing editor of The New York Sun, because it was Adams who acted as the "moral conscience of the American Revolution." Indeed, it was Adams who helped precipitate the revolutionary unrest, skillfully whipping up public sentiment against British attempts to tax his fellow colonists without allowing them parliamentary representation and, through his pseudonymous newspaper column, inflaming public passions following the Boston Massacre.

Adams was an early and unwavering supporter of separation from Britain, and totally uninterested in compromise or reconciliation with America's imperial masters. When King George III asked Thomas Hutchinson, the former colonial governor of Massachusetts, to provide intelligence on the situation in America, he singled out Adams as "the first that publically asserted the independency of the colonies." As a measure of Adams influence, Stoll points out that when England proffered a pardon for all citizens engaged in revolutionary activity in exchange for a cessation of violence, the only two Bostonians exempted from the deal were Adams and his friend John Hancock.

But Adams was not merely an agitator of mobs. The Massachusetts constitution (1779), which Adams "patiently navigated .ñ.ñ. through revision after revision, and then to ratification," enumerated the "natural, essential and unalienable rights" of "all men." And as Stoll notes, it not only provided the foundation upon which the federal constitution was built, but was later cited when state courts abolished slavery and legalized same-sex marriage.

Stoll argues that, for a man of his times, Adams possessed enlightened, if imperfect, views of slavery and religious liberty (excepting his fanatical anti-Catholicism), and understood that the foundation of a free society was the constitutional guarantee of private property rights. "Property rights, after all," Stoll writes, "were one of Adams's main arguments against taxation by the British." It was the one issue he stressed "almost as much as religious rights in arguing against Britain's treatment of the colonies."

But Christianity was the dominant theme of his writing. He argued strenuously that liberty and religion were inextricably linked, commenting that "whether America shall long preserve her freedom or not, will depend on her virtue" because once Americans "lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."

But he could also be a moral scold; at times sounding like a proto-social conservative. Adams stridently campaigned against "theatrical entertainments," inveighing against the supposedly deleterious effects of horse racing, theater-going, dancing, card playing and salty language. The curbing of such "idle amusements" was necessary, he believed, to restore virtue and to preserve revolutionary gains.

Stoll offers not only a compelling portrait of an overlooked figure, but a crisp intellectual history of the American Revolution and its main players. And he reminds readers that it was John Adams who remarked upon his cousin's death that "Without the character of Samuel Adams, the true history of the American Revolution can never be written." With Samuel Adams: A Life, Stoll has succeeded in returning the man Thomas Jefferson called "the patriarch of liberty" to his proper place in the pantheon of great revolutionaries.

Michael C. Moynihan is an associate editor at reason. This article originally appeared at The New York Post.

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  1. “Without the character of Samuel Adams, the true history of the American Revolution can never be written.”

    Add Thomas Paine to that list. Has any Founder received more shabby treatment?

  2. Add Thomas Paine to that list. Has any Founder received more shabby treatment?

    I dunno. I have a nice hardback copy of Common Sense and the Rights of Man sitting on the bookshelf. Can you buy the writings of too many other founders?

    And I’m sorry Sam Adams got such a crappy beer named after him. He really deserves better.

  3. ‘But Christianity was the dominant theme of [Sam Adams’] writing. He argued strenuously that liberty and religion were inextricably linked, commenting that “whether America shall long preserve her freedom or not, will depend on her virtue” because once Americans “lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”‘

    Ha ha, how paranoid! Wait . . .

  4. And I’m sorry Sam Adams got such a crappy beer named after him. He really deserves better.

    It was good for the time it came out. Now, not so much.

    Ha ha, how paranoid! Wait . . .

    So what virtues are you talking about, Max? Religious ones? Or the “virtues” of not letting homos get married?

  5. Mad Max,

    It sounds like Adams is saying that religion serves a utilitarian purpose: it provides virtue, and virtue is a bulwark against tyranny.

    There is nothing wrong with getting rid of religion in favor of better moralities that provide virtue. If people can find a better virtue-provider, which reinforces against tyranny, all the better.

  6. ‘There is nothing wrong with getting rid of religion in favor of better moralities that provide virtue. If people can find a better virtue-provider, which reinforces against tyranny, all the better.’

    I suppose the key term here is ‘if.’

    There have been no shortage of efforts to discover a ‘virtue-provider’ which twice the stain-removing, evil-fighting action of traditional religion.

  7. And I’m sorry Sam Adams got such a crappy beer named after him. He really deserves better.

    Stop it. Sam Adams is perfectly good beer. What do you drink? Some over-hopped tongue numbing brew no doubt. Explains your bitterness.

    And don’t under estimate the importance of beer brewing to the advancement of liberty.

  8. You guys are off your rockers, Sam Adams is good beer, especially considering it’s now the largest American brewer.

  9. If you define morality as adherence to religious tenets, that’s circular.

    You have to divorce the ideas of virtue from those of religion. If religion is a tool to get to virtue, great. If it isn’t, then get rid of it.

    Regardless, you (yes, you, Mad Max) have to recognize that people live virtuous-yet-atheistic lives.

  10. There have been no shortage of efforts to discover a ‘virtue-provider’ which twice the stain-removing, evil-fighting action of traditional religion.

    Religion doesn’t provide “virtue”, Max. Browbeating people to act a certain way is not virtuous. The only way to have “virtue” is for it to come from the self.

    You guys are off your rockers, Sam Adams is good beer, especially considering it’s now the largest American brewer.

    It’s an acceptable beer, but really only middle of the road. However, have you ever had the extremely rare Sam Adams Triple Bock? It’s a beer that tastes like a port. Fucking cool.

  11. Every time Samuel Adams beer comes up, I wait for you anti-trend haters to open your mouths. Sam Adams is not my favorite beer—I’m a huge fan of really hoppy stuff (like Stone Arrogant Bastard, Great Divide Titan IPA, etc.) and Belgian ales—but it’s an *excellent* lager; probably the best lager I’ve ever had, actually. Part of the reason I like it so much is that it has more of the character and flavor notes of an ale, and of course we all know ales are (in general) superior to lagers.

    The bottom line is that Sam Adams is so hated by supposed beer connoisseurs, not because it’s good, but because it’s popular. I *hate* that attitude. Stop hating things just because they’re popular. Yes, in fact most popular stuff sucks… but not all of it. And the inability to distinguish what sucks by how much it sucks rather than by how popular it is serves primarily to negatively color popular opinion of the rest of your ideology… like, say, libertarianism.

    Stop being anti-establishment for the purpose of being anti-establishment. Be anti-establishment when the established order actually sucks.

  12. I dig it, squarooticus. The fashionable non-conformists.

  13. Sam Adams sucks.

  14. The bottom line is that Sam Adams is so hated by supposed beer connoisseurs, not because it’s good, but because it’s popular

    Wow, dickhead*, I guess I’m not allowed to not be a big fan of the Sam because you say so? Oh noes, I actually find Sam to be only OK. I must be anti-establishment!

    * just kidding

  15. Let’s face it, Epi: most people want to set themselves apart and appear be faux-sophisticated by going against anything popular.

  16. Wow, dickhead*, I guess I’m not allowed to not be a big fan of the Sam because you say so? Oh noes, I actually find Sam to be only OK. I must be anti-establishment!

    I think you got me wrong. I’m not saying that people can’t have a negative opinion of Sam Adams; I’m saying that people can’t honestly think it *sucks*. It’s a quality beer. If you don’t like that style, or the flavor, or the color, or whatever… fine. But people really need to stop getting on the anti-trend bandwagon and shouting “Sam Adams sucks!” just to prove how cool they are to the other non-conformists.

  17. How dare someone get rich mass marketing a beer with flavor. Don’t they know you must buy local to find good tasting beer. I think some of the libertarians are wearing sandals around here.

  18. As an atheist, I agree that certain irrational religious tenets (having a soul, the afterlife, subjecting yourself to the judgment of a creator god) do a lot more to keep people behaving virtuously than their secular countertenets, which just help people rationalize away their vices.

  19. and Sam Adams is fine

  20. Let’s face it, Epi: most people want to set themselves apart and appear be faux-sophisticated by going against anything popular.

    It happens all the time, but you can usually tells these types from those that are honest.

    But people really need to stop getting on the anti-trend bandwagon and shouting “Sam Adams sucks!” just to prove how cool they are to the other non-conformists

    So what you’re saying is that NutraSweet is a poser. You gonna take that, NutraSweet?

    And has anyone had the Triple Bock besides me or not?

  21. I’m a REAL non-conformist — I like Sam Adams.
    (But, hell. I’ll cop to liking Neil Diamond. So I obviously don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks.)

  22. I honestly think Sam Adams sucks. I wouldn’t let my dog drink it.

    And the reason it sucks is because it’s popular. They let all brewing standards lapse in order to expand production to meet demand. Some beers to do not do this–Linenkugel and Shiner have kept their standards very high–but Sam Adams sacrificed quality for market share.

    I’d trade every drop of beer Sam Adams has produced in the last ten years for a single bottle of Ayinger Ur-Weisse.

  23. secular countertenets, which just help people rationalize away their vices.

    D’oh. How are they vices, then?

  24. I’ve had the Triple Bock, Epi. I won’t judge it on the single bottle I had, but it was bad enough for me to never try it again. But, granted, I’m pretty sure it had gone bad. There’s no way even Sam Adams would put out a beer that tasted like sour maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce.

  25. He argued strenuously that liberty and religion were inextricably linked, commenting that “whether America shall long preserve her freedom or not, will depend on her virtue” because once Americans “lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”

    A deep libertarian, as they say. I think he’s right that the only long-term bulwark against a Total State is a vibrant civil society that sets and “enforces” (as civil societies do, without using force or the threat of force) ethical and, yes, moral norms for the citizenry. When civil society fails, the Total State fills the vacuum.

    Religion is certainly one source of virtue, although like all human institutions it is prone to misuse and abuse.

  26. Full disclosure, I buy Abita beer. Not because it is local but because it has less flavor than Sam Adams while not branding me a Budweiser drinking redneck.

  27. TAO – we’d have to pick a specific one to work that one out. But any vice can be rationalized to seem good and any virtue can be rationalized to seem bad – if you’re only working with reason you can’t make fundamental determinations of things being Good and Bad. Those are subrational values. Even if you say “x is good because it leads to y and z, which are good,” you have to say “y and z are good because they don’t lead to a or b, which are bad.” And it’s turtles all the way down until you decide that there is an axiomatic Good or Bad. And reason won’t give you those. Religion provides them for a society. It can lead to wacky stupid stuff (and so can Secularism, which has it’s own subreasonable axioms), but people seem to function better (a subrational thing for me to feel) when they are working from the same Good/Bad page. IMHO.

  28. But, granted, I’m pretty sure it had gone bad

    I had it right after it was made. I don’t think it’s supposed to be aged, and it seems like a lot of people let it sit around. It’s not a Cabernet, for fuck’s sake. Drink it or lose it.

  29. If you want to be a real nonconformist, you drink PBR, High Life, and Colt 45. And I think you grow a moustache, too.

  30. Please, God, don’t let this thread be another rehashing of virtuous athiesm. Which, of course, is possible.

  31. Fuck Beer

    Mead is the nectar of the gods

  32. “Please, God, don’t let this thread be another rehashing of virtuous athiesm”

    Much better that it be a beer-snob free-for-all!

  33. Mead is the nectar of the gods

    Mead is good, but the sweetness gets to you after a glass. It should be drunk from a wooden cup like a Viking anyway, and after you get hammered on it you should find your enemies and give them blood eagles.

    You know what sucks? Drambuie. Cloying shit.

  34. Mead is good, but the sweetness gets to you after a glass.

    Depends on who makes it. Can be bone dry if you want it that way.

  35. Drambuie tastes like Skittles and grass.

  36. “Please, God, don’t let this thread be another rehashing of virtuous athiesm”

    Much better that it be a beer-snob free-for-all!

    Why can’t it be both? I can see some fine parallels that can be drawn between anti-snob snobs claiming that an opinion of taste is really just a feeble rebellious gesture and catholo-trolls who believe atheiss secretly believe in a Magic Sky Daddy but just won’t admit it to themselves. Both, for example, base arguments around the fanciful notion that they have superior knowledge of what I believe than I do.

  37. Drambuie tastes like drinking cheap cologne smuggled into prison. Although, I personally think B?n?dictine tastes worse.

  38. Typical H&R devolution from concepts to beer arguments.

    “You suck!”
    “No, you suck!”

  39. Which you solve by proving you suck. Congratulations.

  40. Both, for example, base arguments around the fanciful notion that they have superior knowledge of what I believe than I do

    Of course they do, NutraSweet. They just know.

  41. We can agree that certain beers are overrated.

    Right, guys?

  42. Fuck you, TAO! I love Guiness. It tastes like poverty, alcoholism, and beating your wife. Yummy.

  43. I know I like Samuel Adams beer, thats about it.

    jess
    http://www.privacy.de.tc

  44. Privacy troll for the win!

  45. “Drambuie tastes like drinking cheap cologne smuggled into prison.”
    You don’t really believe that, SF.

    And TAO, you’re walking a fine line, bud. There are few things in this world that will switch me into ass-kicking mode (being the Zen sorta guy I am), but ragging on Guinness is one. And I’m not even Irish (although some of my kids are).

  46. woah, I’m not ragging on Guiness folks. But I do not believe you can argue with a straight face that it is not overrated.

    The surest sign that you are dealing with a faux-snob is his endless paeans to Guiness.

  47. Guinness is over-rated, but I like the occasional draught glass of it. Especially in Irish pubs that have some idea of how to properly serve it. Of course my last name is more Irish that a whiskey-drowned potato, so I might be genetically biased.

  48. You underestimate the historic romance of Guinness, TAO. And the poetry. And the beauty of bubbles that, for the love of God, man!, float UP!
    Stop by Ringside Tavern downtown some Thursday afternoon, TAO and I’ll buy you one. (We’ll probably end up singing Irish-American odes to the IRA.)

  49. NutraSweet, I don’t recall speculating about the secret religious beliefs of atheists. If I did so, I’m very sorry.

    And I acknowledge that there are virtuous atheists, just as there are vicious Christians.

    Atheists have access to the natural law, the principles of virtue inscribed in the hearts of all human beings by the hand of God Himself – even if atheists aren’t aware of the origin of their sense of right and wrong.

    Another factor to consider is that I’ve known of virtuous atheists who retain elements of an upbringing in traditional Christianity or Judaism. I’m not saying that anyone here fits that description.

  50. Kinda like how I know I’m dealing with a faux-liquor-snob when he goes on about absinthe.

    Over. Rated.

  51. Specifically, they reject the “supernatural elements” of their old faith, while finding the ethical teachings good.

  52. “Guinness is over-rated”

    Jesus and Mary! What’s wrong with you people?

  53. “Kinda like how I know I’m dealing with a faux-liquor-snob when he goes on about absinthe.”

    I met some folks in an absinthe bar in New Orleans who really take that shit seriously. But I got drunk on the chartreuse (and I didn’t even know that was possible).

  54. Atheists have access to the natural law, the principles of virtue inscribed in the hearts of all human beings by the hand of God Himself – even if atheists aren’t aware of the origin of their sense of right and wrong.

    Yes. Good thing you are so committed to being non-condescending.

  55. Max, you know what Lemmy said about voices in the sky, right?

  56. For we love the craic
    and the porter black
    and the Dubs’ who never let us down!
    (Up the Dubs!)
    For there’s no place
    In the whole wide world,
    Like dear old Dublin town.

  57. the principles of virtue inscribed in the hearts of all human beings by the hand of God Himself

    Why do people put up with this unprovable nonsense? If God wanted to give me a better sense of right and wrong, maybe he should not have made me so obstinate in the first place.

    Stop by Ringside Tavern downtown some Thursday afternoon, TAO and I’ll buy you one.

    It’s on! And then I shall imbibe in the spirit that God Himself wrote onto humanity to show us all that is good in this world: gin.

  58. “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
    If Ben Franklin had actually said that, it would be a great way to bring a thread on religion, hoppy beverages, and Founding Fathers full circle. Alas.

    Lately my go-to cheap libation has been Gennessee Cream Ale. It’s almost as cheap as Pabst, tastier, and has way less obnoxious hipster connotations.

  59. Drambuie tastes like Skittles and grass.

    My own personal Skittlebra? was a Bud with skittles in it. Tasted even worse than the standalone Bud, if you can believe.

  60. Again, I’m amazed that Pabst, once the preferred thirst-quencher throughout northwestern Appalachia, has become a hipster drink. Props to the marketing genuises who pulled that off.

  61. To say nothing of being the preferred beer of psychopathic, nitrous-oxide inhaling, ear-slicing, Isabella Rossalini-banging villains.

  62. CN, hipsters are none too bright. Convince them that something is ironic and you just pulled off your marketing coup.

    And stop ripping off my Frank Booth jokes. I already equated Warty to him the other day.

  63. My own personal Skittlebra? was a Bud with skittles in it. Tasted even worse than the standalone Bud, if you can believe.

    Someone else actually did this? Sweet. I think we did it with Guiness, though.

  64. Someone else actually did this? Sweet.

    Funny you should say that, because that was precisely the problem: too sweet. Ugh. Of course, I wasn’t *expecting* it to be good; it was all in fun, anyway. 🙂

  65. CN,

    There was no marketing department when that happened with Pabst Blue Ribbon. For years they were terrified if they tried to capitalize on it the hipsters would drop it.I think they sponsor some indie music now though.

    FWIW I’ve been drinking Pabst w/o irony since I was 14(30+ yrs ago).If there is no Pabst I drink Bud or Michelob(I used to drink Strohs w/ a tinge of irony but it isn’t the same now and is hard to find).I like Tecate and Modelo Especial but only if they are relatively cheap. I don’t like any beer I can’t see through easily though.I don’t like cans unless I’m fishing.

  66. we had the idea for Skittles-beer, and we put them in a 40-oz of King Cobra.

    It did not go well; for some reason, the reaction was akin to baking soda and vinegar.

  67. “I already equated Warty to him the other day.”

    I suspect Warty drinks Heineken.

  68. Why the fuck would anyone think of putting Skittles in beer? Please explain this to me. A raw egg, or some Percocets, that I understand. But Skittles?

  69. I suspect Warty drinks Heineken.

    That’s really uncalled for, dude. Seriously, some insults are really beyond the pale.

  70. Epi, it was a Simpsons gag.

  71. Schlitz and a raw egg!

  72. Salmonella-brau

  73. Beer? I drink this:

    http://www.bumwine.com/

    You should try Tenafly Viper.

  74. Warty enjoyed Magic Hat variety packs back before he was too poor to buy beer. Now he has little reason to live.

  75. Drambuie tastes like Skittles and grass.

    Fixed.

    Guiness is a good beer for the end of the night when I realize I’ve had too much to drink. The sips that it requires to be able to keep it down serve as an admirable brake.

  76. See, Warty. If you had put your extra bucks into stocks instead of fancy-nancy beer, well, you’d still be poor. But at least you’d be sober.

  77. A raw egg, or some Percocets, that I understand.

    Epi’s the drugged-up version of Rocky. Now with extra slurred speech and incoherence!

  78. Warty enjoyed Magic Hat variety packs back before he was too poor to buy beer.

    Warty refers to himself in the third person. Warty likes spicy chicken. Warty needs some box wine.

  79. CN, if I were smart, I would have used my extra money to stock up on cases of GCA to use as currency when the dollar collapses. But alas and alack, all I have to barter now is ammunition.

  80. Where Guiness acts as a “brake” on consumption, my dumbass always decides that after I’ve had too much to drink I’m “thirsty” and I start putting down Strongbow.

  81. Epi’s the drugged-up version of Rocky. Now with extra slurred speech and incoherence!

    Yo, Adriaaaannnnnnn!

  82. You might have hit on something, Epi. What if the next “stimulus” payment were sent to each household in the form of box wine instead of cash?

  83. “Yo, Adriaaaannnnnnn!”
    (Not incoherent enough, Epi.)

  84. Mead is good, but the sweetness gets to you after a glass.

    Depends on who makes it. Can be bone dry if you want it that way.

    I brewed up a couple of batches of sparkling mead using a champagne yeast. Pretty dry, kind of minerally, a hit at the holidays.

    Although the fave holiday beverage was the sparkling cranberry mead. Very nice color, and the cranberry added to the dryness.

    Recipe is dead easy – one gallon of honey, boiled water to five gallons, a packet of champagne yeast. I forget how much cranberry I added, but it was a lot. I made it in the winter and let it sit for at least six months after bottling. Mead ages well.

  85. What if the next “stimulus” payment were sent to each household in the form of box wine instead of cash?

    White Zinfandel for everyone! If you’re going to drink swill, you go all the way.

  86. I had a really bad experience with boxed wine once. I threw up things i did not eat.

  87. squarooticus,

    Sam Adams is a fine Vienna Lager. Not the best of the style, but fine. It is no where near the best lager I have ever had.

    Just off the top of my head, clearly better lagers:
    Kostritzer
    Weeping Radish Black Radish
    Virtually all the -ators
    Ditto the Ofests

  88. Epi, are you offering me box wine and chicken? That sounds like a bitchin’ party. We can do boxstands and puke on fat girls.

  89. SugarFree,

    Shiner is crap compared to Sam Adams.

    Also, Chimay 25th anniversary (of importing to the US) celebration tonight at RichO’s Public House. Free glassware!!!

  90. No beer-snob am I (OK, I slam my Miller Lite drinking pals), but I do enjoy the Blue Moon seasonals. And, ther’s nothing wrong with Sam. It’s nice to have an option in a place that serves: Bud, Bud Lite, Michelob, Heineken and Sam Adams. I would drink Mad Dog before those other options.

    I do love me some Dogfish on occasion too.

  91. Epi, are you offering me box wine and chicken? That sounds like a bitchin’ party. We can do boxstands and puke on fat girls.

    Yup. Throw in some ether and I’m totally there. We’ll need a frat house, though.

  92. What if the next “stimulus” payment were sent to each household in the form of box wine instead of cash?

    We’d all turn into Danielle Steel-reading, overly tanned, aging trophy wives. Even the dudes. You are what you drink.

  93. we had the idea for Skittles-beer, and we put them in a 40-oz of King Cobra

    For us it was Jolly Ranchers and St. Ides. Where do you think St. Ides Special Brew came from?

    PS Guinness is not all that.

  94. Epi, there is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. And I know we’ll get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

    Tell me, just what is Sparks if not Skittlebrau?

  95. Ether: the chemical equivalent of locking your self control and common sense in a safe and throwing away the key.

  96. Samuel Adams…the often-overlooked founder

    Maybe he’s overlooked because he has to compete with compelling beer arguments on a blog full of bored pseudo-intellectuals?

  97. Bud,

    Im neither bored nor pseudo anything.

    And shouldnt your name be InBev now?

  98. I’ll have you know that I’m an overstimulated pseudo-intellectual, sir.

  99. Speaking of the good Doctor (ether binge/HST), did anyone else note in an above post that Gillespie has a PhD in literature?
    That rules, for so many reasons.

  100. Whoa! Bud may be onto something. Cuz . . . Sam Adams rocks! Epi you suck. Middle of the road? Faux Paux on you sir! Also, white zinfadel? What the hell am I supposed to do with it? Water my lawn? Fill my dogs water bowl with it?

  101. You can’t not like Sam Adams Boston Lager! Or the Octoberfest Ale? Are we speaking the same language?

  102. Arrogant Bastard Ale:
    “Remember, you’re not worthy”

  103. Jesus Christ dudes I said Sam was OK. Naga, you can serve the white zinfandel to those cougars you pick up at the bar at closing time, after you take them back to your place and throw your hot dog down a hallway.

    Bud is just upset because the three croaking frogs commercial is no longer on to amuse him and make him clap his hands.

  104. Man, go and get some work done and the beer snob comments start flying.

    I repeat: Sam Adams (the beer) sucks. Every single Sam Adams I’ve ever had tasted to me like someone washed a glass poorly, left soap in it, and then served me a beer in it. Soapy beer? Bleagh.

    But then, I drink Bass and Shiner Black by the case, so I’m sure someone will step up to tell me why they suck.

  105. Bud–Shudthefugup already, or Epi will fist your shaggy-ass horses into unconsciousness. Right, Epi?

  106. JW, I will fist them while holding a frog and humping a Bud Girl.

  107. You can have your horses. Give me that annoying redhead from the Bud Light ad who blathers on about something something drinkability. Yeah. I got something drinkable for you, baby.

  108. Or the other way?

    Other way. I don’t want our colleague to hurt himself or anything. It should be all about having fun!

  109. I got something drinkable for you, baby.

    I don’t get it.

  110. I mean I’m going to offer her a Genessee Cream Ale. Spluh.

  111. T–That’s just the residual soap on your tongue, put there to wash away the shame over that one careless night in a bar and that fine looking she-male.

  112. Burp!*

    *The third-most-intelligent thing offered on this thread.

  113. Sam Adams is fine. I do really like the Oktoberfest. I usually drink something else though. My general choice is a beer I can’t see through. Living in the south that usually means Highland Oatmeal Porter. There are a couple places around here I can get it draft. If not that then I like Newcastle.

    Guiness tastes like someone took black bread and liquified it.

  114. robc | November 25, 2008, 11:40am | #
    SugarFree,

    Shiner is crap compared to Sam Adams.

    I was wondering when you’d finally come out and admit that your tongue is retarded.

  115. That’s just the residual soap on your tongue, put there to wash away the shame over that one careless night in a bar and that fine looking she-male

    Lt. Einhorn…is a MAN!

  116. That’s just the residual soap on your tongue, put there to wash away the shame over that one careless night in a bar and that fine looking she-male.

    Careless? I had to reserve what I thought was a her two weeks in advance! There was nothing careless about it! Talk about buyer’s remorse, though…

  117. SugarFree,

    Shiner is a mediocre bock.
    Sam Adams is a fine, but not great, Vienna lager.

    While not all styles are created equal, those are close enough.

    Therefore, SA >> Shiner.

    Neither is good enough to enter my normal drinking rotation.

  118. My desert island 6-pack – If I could only drink 6 beers (in unlimited amounts) for the rest of my life, these would be this list, in no particular order.

    Bell’s 2 hearted
    Fuller’s ESB
    Samuel Smith Nut Brown
    Chimay Grande Reserve
    Weinhenstephaner Hefeweiss
    Hackr-Pschorr Oktoberfest

  119. 2-hearted ale is great stuff.

    I think mine would be:

    Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout
    Allagash Tripel
    Brewery Ommegang Hennepin
    Stone IPA, Avery IPA, or Great Divide Titan IPA (whichever is cheapest)
    Cambridge Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale
    Gambrinus (Czech pilsner)

    but you can probably substitute each beer here with a dozen others I like equally.

    I prefer hoppy to malty, but I like both. The Gambrinus is there because, on a desert island, you really want something lighter occasionally. 🙂

    Kyle

  120. If you want to bring out the expertise of H&R members, start a thread on (in order of expertise)

    (a) Guns
    (b) Beverage alcohol
    (c) Marijuana

  121. I don’t recall the thread grading dope. But I’m pretty sure most libertarians are snobs about herb too.

  122. Epi,

    I resent the cougar remark. I’ve been good the past month. Judging me on things I barely remember a month ago is just plain wrong. Also, most Bud girls that I know look like the old beat up strippers at dives. Good luck to you on that one.

  123. Mad Max,

    I know nothing about C.

    squarooticus,

    The Hefe is for the hot days on the beach. 🙂

  124. Sam Adams was an highly effective rabble-rouser, and a favorite of the Boston working class.

    Just like Coors Light.

  125. sam adams isn’t bad beer. nor is it good beer. it’s… mediocre beer.

    now, hebrew (‘the chosen beer’), that’s the stuff! been drinking a lot of quarry (montana’s finest) recently. surprisingly non-sucky.

    my desert island six pack would be six bottles of het anker “gouden karolus.”

    and those of us “of a certain age” will remember bear whiz. “it’s in the water, son. that’s why it’s yellow.”

  126. Gotta drink Guinness or Mead. Anything else might as well be water.

  127. “Adams stridently campaigned against ‘theatrical entertainments,’ inveighing against the supposedly deleterious effects of horse racing, theater-going, dancing, card playing and salty language.”

    After reading this, I’m pretty surprised he allowed a beer to be named after him… usually Christian conservatives of his ilk refuse to be associated with alcohol in any way, putting it in the same boat as the aforementioned horse racing, card playing and even dancing.

  128. Just so there are two whole comments pertinent to the subject of the article, before you cheer hagiographies of Sam Adams, check out the wikipedia entry on Shay’s Rebellion, especially the passage, credited to Zinn, that: “Sam Adams disingenuously claimed that foreigners (“British emissaries”) were instigating treason among the presumably childlike commoners, and he helped draw up a Riot Act, and a resolution suspending habeas corpus. Adams proposed a new legal distinction: that rebellion in a republic, unlike in a monarchy, should be punished by execution.”

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