BOSTON — The brewers at Samuel Adams proudly announce a call for entries for the 2016 LongShot American Homebrew contest, and the release of the LongShot Variety six-pack featuring the winning homebrews from last year. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the national contest, which Sam Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch first started in 1996, when there were barely 1,000 breweries operating in the U.S. Today, there are more than 4,000 American breweries in operation and more than 1.2 million people who brew their own beer at home.
Ever since drinkers got their first taste of Boston Lager in 1985, Jim has made it his mission to give back to the craft beer and homebrewing communities through programs such as Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream and the Craft Brewer Experienceship, Hop Sharing, and the LongShot Homebrew competition. Today, America is the envy of brewers in the rest of the world, where entrepreneurs are taking their inspiration from American craft brewers.
LongShot Homebrew Contest Background:
Jim Koch created the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest to celebrate the innovative spirit of American homebrewers. Jim himself has deep homebrewing roots having brewed the first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen 32 years ago, and recently released a book titled “Quench Your Own Thirst,” which details the lessons he’s learned over the past three decades as a brewer and an entrepreneur. A number of past LongShot winners have followed in Jim’s footsteps and gone on to become professional brewers, turning their homebrewing hobby into a full-time career, including Cesar Marron (2013), Don Oliver (2006), Bob Gordash (1996), and 2015 winner Tim Thomssen, who left his full-time job to join a brewery shortly after he won.
“When I first homebrewed Samuel Adams Boston Lager 32 years ago, craft beer didn’t exist as we know it today, and few American beer drinkers had ever tasted a beer with so much flavor,” said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. “Today the craft brewing community is flourishing, and we want to recognize our nation’s best homebrewers, by making their delicious brews available to drinkers across the country.”
Calling All Homebrewers for the 2016 Competition:
To celebrate the contest’s 20th anniversary and honor craft beer innovation, Samuel Adams is asking homebrewers to submit their best and most innovative beers for this year’s contest. To be considered for the 2016 LongShot contest, homebrewers must submit a beer whose style is part of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guidelines. A full list of applicable styles can be found at http://bjcp.org/stylecenter.php. The 2016 judging panel will consist of notable seasoned brewing experts from across the country, and for the first time, past LongShot winners. Winners will be announced in early October at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in Denver. The ultimate prize: entries from two winning homebrewers and one Samuel Adams employee winner will be featured in the Samuel Adams LongShot variety pack, available nationwide in 2017. Those interested in entering can visit www.samueladams.com/longshot for contest rules, regulations and information on purchasing a homebrewing kit. The homebrew submission window is July 1-July 22, 2016.
While Samuel Adams is accepting entries for the 2016 contest, the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest variety six-pack with winning brews from the 2015 contest will be available nationwide this spring in select retail locations. The variety pack will include two bottles each of Tim’s Raspberry Berliner Weisse, Kevin’s Belgian Golden Ale, and Colin’s Neighborino Flanders Red Ale.
About the 2015 winners:
- Tim Thomssen’s Raspberry Berliner Weisse (Lincoln, Nebraska):
At first look, you notice the big frothy head of this Raspberry Berliner Weisse. The bright notes of raspberries are balanced by refreshing tartness, followed by a wonderful fruity sweetness and clean finish. (4% ABV)
- Kevin Nanzer’s Belgian Golden Ale (Mountain View, California):
This Belgian Golden Ale has notes of fruit, clove and pepper in the aroma, balanced by subtle malt character, with a clean citrus taste and bitterness from the hops. This beer should be sipped slowly to savor the delicious flavors. (9.1 % ABV)
- Colin Foy’s Neighborino Flanders Red Ale (Samuel Adams Employee Winner, Cincinnati, Ohio):
This Flanders Red was brewed the traditional way, with “younger” beer blended with mature beer that has been aged in wood for several months, while Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus labor to produce fruity, tart and acidic flavors. (6.3 % ABV)
How the winners were chosen:
- The beers were judged on the aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel according to the style category under which it was submitted. Eight semi-finalists were selected during the first round of judging conducted at three regional judging locations in New England, California, and Illinois.
- The final winners were ultimately selected by a panel of industry judges including Jim Koch. The winning brews were judged as the best examples of their style. Industry judges include Bob Townsend of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tony Forder of Ale Street News, John Holl of All About Beer Magazine, Jason Alstrom of Beer Advocate, Don Russell (aka “Joe Six Pack”) of Philadelphia Daily News and esteemed beer writers Jay Brooks and Lisa Morrison.
- The Sam Adams employee winner is voted on by visitors to the Boston Brewery.
How to get your hands on these beers:
The Samuel Adams LongShot Variety Six-Pack is available nationwide in select retail stores beginning in April for a suggested retail price of $9.99 -$10.00 (prices vary by market).
Samuel Adams, Sam Adams, Boston Lager, Brewing the American Dream, LongShot, and American Homebrew Contest are registered trademarks of The Boston Beer Company.
ABOUT THE BOSTON BEER COMPANY:
The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father’s attic. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life in his kitchen. Pleased with the results of his work, Jim decided to sample his beer with bars in Boston in the hopes that drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavored beer he brewed fresh in America. That beer was aptly named Samuel Adams Boston Lager, in recognition of one of our nation’s great founding fathers, a man of independent mind and spirit. Little did Jim know at the time, Samuel Adams Boston Lager would soon become a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.
Today, The Boston Beer Company brews more than 60 styles of beer. It relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients. Using the traditional four vessel brewing process, the Company often takes extra steps like dry-hopping, barrel-aging and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. The Company has also pioneered another revolution, the ‘extreme beer’ movement, where it seeks to challenge drinker’s perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company has been committed to elevating the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions around the globe, and is one of world’s most awarded breweries at international beer competitions. As an independent company, brewing quality beer remains its primary focus. Although Samuel Adams beer is America’s leading craft beer, it accounts for only one percent of the U.S. beer market. The Boston Beer Company will continue its independently-minded quest to brew great beer and to advocate for the growth of craft beer across America. For more information, please visit www.samueladams.com.