Sam Adams buys back old beer

More than 2 million bottles recycled

June 4, 2000 - A unique Beer Amnesty Program instituted by The Boston Beer Co. adds new meaning to the phrase "put a little Sam Adams in your tank."


The company informed 450 distributors that it would buy back all out-of-code Samuel Adams for the month of March -- that is beer beyond the "freshness date" on the label. Such cost is usually absorbed by the distributor. The brewery expects to spend up to $2 million in the buyback. It says no other brewery has ever done this.

So far, more than two million bottles of Samuel Adams have been recycled -- the glass, the packaging and even the beer, which was superheated into ethanol, an additive for gasoline.

"Everybody wins," said Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch. "Nothing ends up in landfill or sewers, old beer turns into cleaner air, and beer lovers get fresh Sam Adams."

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