Beer Flows Freely at Queen’s Head

The Cambridge Queen’s Head was full last night as 70 Harvard beer connoisseurs—more than ever before—attended the latest installment of the pub’s Beer School series, which featured four new Sam Adams beers.

Normally, the event, which began in the spring of 2007 and invites American beer companies to showcase their newest brews, draws about 50 undergraduate and graduate students, said Tom Southworth, director of ordering and selecting beers for the pub.

Some attendees said that they had previously attended sessions.  Peter C. Mulcahy ’07, a former Crimson editor, who said he had attended the last beer school featuring Sam Adams, attributed the increase in attendance to a heightened appreciation and enthusiasm for Sam Adams beer, one of America’s most popular beer companies.

Mike Piontek, a sales representative of Boston Brewing Company, which brews Sam Adams, said he thinks the state of the economy has contributed to the success his company’s beer has seen recently.

“People are increasingly etching away from expensive wines. They prefer to buy a six or 12 pack of quality beer,” he said.


Harvard has several connections to brewing. C. James Koch ’78, founder of Boston Beer Company, is a graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.

In addition, the building that houses the Center for European Studies at Harvard is named Busch Hall, after the Busch beer brewing family, Mulcahy said. The founders of rival American brewing company Harpoon Brewery were also both graduates of Harvard.

“There’s definitely a tradition of beer at Harvard,” Mulcahy said, “and it’s really neat to see.”

The organizers matched each brew with a unique food item. Sam Adams Boston Lager was paired with fried calamari, while the Coastal Wheat brew was paired with lemon humus and Swiss cheese.

The night ended with a raffle giveaway of pint glasses and Sam Adams fleeces.

Southworth believes that despite the casual and entertaining atmosphere of the event, the Beer School serves a greater purpose.

“It’s a great way to learn about the intricacies of different beers. Even those familiar with beer learn about the minutia behind brewing,” he said.