I ran into a Sam Adams (Boston Beer Company) representative at the liquor store yesterday. Apparently, the local radio station was doing its afternoon show from Yankee Spirits in Swansea (they were striking the audio equipment when I walked through the door) as a promotional event.
I usually avoid the free sample people at the liquor store because I feel strange tasting free liquor samples in public. My taste buds don't work right standing awkwardly in a store aisle with a company rep and other customers watching me. So I didn't notice that he was from Sam Adams, or that he had Chocolate Bock. But I overheard him talking about one of their seasonal offerings, and came around the corner to see a bottle of my beloved bock.
A couple was pondering which of the winter beers they'd like to taste, and he was chatting them up. At the first break in the conversation, as they were staring at the bottles, I broke in.
"When is the Chocolate Bock available?" I asked.
"Right now," he said. "I've got all ten bottles in the store right here. Fifteen dollars each."
"Oh, good. I'm prepared to take all ten." The couple looked put out that I was interrupting their tasting. See? It's awkward.
The rep recovered from a momentary surprise and told me that they were only selling one to a customer. I explained to him my predicament, being down to only a handful of bottles, and asked him how I could get a case.
"I work for the company, and even I don't have a case," he explained. I assure you, this isn't going to stop me. "I guess you could go from store to store."
"I'll take the one, then," I replied, and he handed me a bottle-opener ornament along with my bottle of Bock.
I allowed the couple to return to their beer-tasting dilemma, and recommended to them the Old Fezziwig, if they had hearty taste buds. Otherwise, the Winter Lager is tasty. The woman mentioned Oktoberfest, and I told her she needed to try the Doppelbock (Sam Adams Double Bock) which the rep called a "secret seasonal." He was dubious of my recommending the double bock to the lady, and I explained that it's because she liked apparently malty beers. He referred to it as "boozy." I told him that I saw that as a good thing. then I wandered off, having made enough of a nuisance of myself.
Doppelbock may become a year-round offering
Chocolate Bock may become a semi-annual biennial offering, alternating every-other-year with Utopias. I never tried Utopias because, well check out the prices on eBay. I think the prices started at $100 and kept going up.