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An intimate dinner with Jim Koch and the best of Samuel Adams

Upon arriving at the East Room in Riverdale, guests were greeted with the full-bodied raison d’etre of The Boston Beer Company, the Boston Lager. Shortly after we were welcomed into the intimate dinner with founder of Samuel Adams after a short patio session cut short by the forthcoming rain.

On first glance, Jim Koch doesn’t read like the billionaire chairman of the second-largest craft brewery in the U.S. Wearing khakis and a simple button-up shirt with an embroidered Samuel Adams logo, he is a jovial man with a perennial smile on his face and a constant stream of fascinating anecdotes to match.

Andrew Oland, president of Moosehead Breweries sat across the table from Koch, both engaging in their mutual adoration of craft brewing. The menu for the night was designed by executive chef Victor Barry. At dinner, each tasting was paired with a culinary feast that best complimented the flavours of the beer such as a sublime crisp duck wing with beemster that was paired with the Boston lager and the Rebel IPA with beef cheek cacciatore.

The figure that loomed large on the evening was not Koch himself, but the ultra-coveted and limited-release Utopias 2015 that was presented as the night wound down with a delectable Charles Roquefort. The flavourful barrel-aged brew features a subtle sweetness mixed in with a malty smoothness. Each batch of Utopias is aged in a unique variety of casks and the 2015 list includes Madiera, Carcavelos, Cognac and Armagnac barrels. The Utopias 2015 is available for purchase across the province from Sept. 28 on the LCBO Vintages site. $112.25

Images courtesy of Craft Public Relations