Boston – Samuel Adams is proud to announce that New Hampshire resident Michael Robinson's Old Ben Ale and New Mexico resident Ben Miller's Mile High Barley Wine are hitting the shelves nationwide after besting more than 1,300 entries and being chosen as the winning homebrews in the 2009 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest.
Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch homebrewed the first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen in 1984 and 25 years later, Koch encourages homebrewers across the United States to test the boundaries of brewing, recognizing the most talented homebrewers for their innovative and creative brews year after year through the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest.
The 2010 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest is offering a new challenge for homebrewers across the country this year. Through the new Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest Category 23, homebrewers are being asked to submit their most creative homebrews yet, using unique or wacky ingredients in the brewing process and sending in a Category 23 beer as defined by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). Two winning brews will be chosen amongst all of the entries and the lucky homebrewers will have their unique brews made available nationwide in 2011, just as Ben and Mike are experiencing now with their win in the 2009 contest.
"When I first started homebrewing 25 years ago, it took me almost an entire year to find the right ingredients and to perfect my homebrewing techniques to recreate my great-great grandfather's recipe for Samuel Adams Boston Lager, so I know how much time and dedication it takes to create a beer you're truly proud of – and are comfortable admitting to others that it's yours!" said Jim Koch founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. "Over the years, I've become more comfortable experimenting and willing to throw some weird ingredients into the kettle, just to see what happens and what flavors we can create. We've noticed the same thing since launching the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest; as the years go on, the number of entries with unique ingredients that don't fit into the first 22 traditional categories have multiplied. So why not channel all of the creativity that we know is out there in the homebrewing community and see what they can come up with? My taste-buds are ready!"
In addition to Mike and Ben's winning brews, Samuel Adams also honors Employee Homebrew Winner Jeremy White for his Lemon Pepper Saison. All three winning homebrewers had the opportunity to brew alongside the Samuel Adams brewers in Boston. Their bragging rights also include having their recipes bottled and available nationally in the 2010 LongShot variety package, hitting shelves this month.
Samuel Adams employees compete in their own homebrew competition, a tradition the company started in 1996, encouraging employees to channel their passion and knowledge for craft beer while experimenting in their own kitchens as Jim did 25 years ago with his great-great grandfather's recipe. Jim and the other brewers at Samuel Adams spend a day tasting the homebrews submitted by novice and more experienced homebrewers in the company, and choose three finalists that stand out from all of the employee entries. These three employee homebrewers attend the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and ask festival goers to taste and vote on their favorite. Last September, GABF attendees chose Jeremy's brew as their favorite.
"It's my hope that through the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest, I'm able to give homebrewers who really love the hobby and are passionate and committed to brewing better beer the opportunity to achieve the ultimate homebrewer's dream, making their beer available to beer lovers across the country; one that I have come to realize with Samuel Adams Boston Lager." Jim continued. "Mike's Old Ben Ale, Ben's Mile High Barley Wine, and Jeremy's Lemon Pepper Saison are exceptional brews that are truly a testament to homebrewers' ability to produce unique and flavorful beers that continue to push the limits of brewing."
A panel of industry judges including Jason Alstrom and Todd Alstrom of Beer Advocate, Jay Brooks from Celebrator Beer News, Julie Johnson of All About Beer, Bob Townsend from Southern Brew News, and Tony Forder of Ale Street News joined Jim Koch in selecting the 2009 consumer winners. Together, they selected the winning brews based on the American Homebrewers Association BJCP guidelines. Each beer was carefully evaluated by style category and judged on how well the style characteristics and flavors were achieved.
The 2010 LongShot variety six-pack is available nationwide in select retail stores beginning this month for a suggested retail price of $9.99 per six-pack. The variety pack will include two bottles each of Michael Robinson's Old Ben Ale, Ben Miller's Mile High Barley Wine and Jeremy White's Lemon Pepper Saison.
Michael Robinson's Old Ben Ale is a malty English-style brew boasting notes of dried fruit, nut, and caramel. A slight bitterness balances the combination of five malts in this full bodied beer. Light brown with reddish highlights and good clarity, the ingredients of this English-style brew are all American with the exception of the yeast which is distinctively English. Created to enjoy on cold nights or as an after dinner treat, Mike's Old Ale is 9% alcohol by volume, about twice that of the average beer. An experienced homebrewer, Mike was recognized as a finalist in the 2008 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest, as well as in the 2007 Samuel Adams Patriot Homebrew Contest.
Ben Miller's Mile High Barley Wine is a dark red, flavorful brew with rich plum undertones to complement its caramel malt flavor. A self-proclaimed 'hop head,' Ben used several varieties of citrusy American hops in this beer, creating its resiny aroma followed by clean bitterness. Ben's Barleywine is his 100th homebrew, brewed to commemorate two years of enjoying the hobby.
Jeremy White, who works in the IT department at Samuel Adams, channeled his love of Belgian beers to create his Lemon Pepper Saison, a classic Belgian-style brew. Jeremy's flavorful, refreshing and lighter-bodied beer is brewed with Grains of Paradise, an exotic tropical spice also found in Samuel Adams Summer Ale. The peppery flavor is complemented by a slightly sweet aroma with hints of vanilla and citrus, making this beer the perfect cool down to a hot summer day.