Samuel Adams Announces 2011 Longshot Winners

Longshot Winners

BOSTON, – Samuel Adams is proud to announce that the annual quest for exceptional homebrews has yet again yielded complex and flavorful beers that continue to impress.

Texas resident Corey Martin’s A Dark Night in Munich (Munich Dunkel style) and Illinois resident Joe Formanek’s Five Crown Imperial Stout triumphed over nearly1,000 competing homebrews to become the 2012 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest winners. In addition to Joe and Corey’s winning brews, Samuel Adams also honors Employee Homebrew Winner Fred Hessler for his Derf’s Secret Alt.

All three winning homebrewers will have the opportunity to brew alongside the Samuel Adams Brewers in Boston. Their recipes will be bottled and available nationally in the 2012 LongShot Variety Six-Pack.

Jim Koch, Boston Beer Co.Each year, Jim Koch and the brewers at Samuel Adams recognize the most talented homebrewers for their world class brews through the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. When Samuel Adams began offering its homebrew contest 15 years ago, it was Jim’s dream that it would be a springboard for aspiring brewers, bringing attention to the quality of homebrewing, and perhaps launch a career or two. To date, Bob Gordash, winner of the 1996 LongShot Homebrew Contest, and Don Oliver, winner of the 2006 Samuel Adams Longshot American Homebrew Contest, have gone on to become professional brewers, turning their homebrewing hobby into a career. Through the contest, Jim encourages homebrewers across the United States to follow their dreams and test the boundaries of beer, just like he did when he homebrewed the first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager┬« in his kitchen in 1984.

“Over the past few years, homebrewing has had a major resurgence, and with nearly one million homebrewers in the U.S. alone, it’s clear that Americans are passionate about great beer,” said Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch. “The difference between craft brewers and home brewers is ambiguous, sometimes all they need is a shot. At Samuel Adams, we’re fueling the passions of homebrew hobbyists who are committed to brewing better beer by giving them the opportunity to achieve the ultimate homebrewer’s dream — making their beer available to beer lovers across the country. Joe’s Five Crown Imperial Stout, Corey’s A Dark Night in Munich and Fred’s Derf’s Secret Alt are exceptional brews that Samuel Adams is proud to be brewing with these homebrewers.”

For more than 15 years, Samuel Adams employees have competed in their own annual homebrew competition. The staff contest challenges Samuel Adams employees to channel their passion and knowledge for craft beer by experimenting in their own kitchens. Once all the employee homebrews are submitted, Jim and the other brewers at Samuel Adams spend a day tasting the employees’ entries and select three finalists. Those three employee homebrewers attend the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) where attendees vote for their favorite brew. This year, GABF attendees chose Fred Hessler’s Derf’s Secret Alt as their favorite.

A panel of industry judges including Tom Dalldorf from Celebrator Beer News, Julie Johnson of All About Beer, John Holl and Jay Brooks, freelance beer writers, Gary Glass from the American Homebrewers Association and Lauren Buzzeo from Wine Enthusiast joined Jim Koch in selecting the consumer winners. Together, they selected the winning brews based on the American Homebrewers Association Beer Judge Certificate Program guidelines. Each beer was carefully evaluated on the aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel according to the style category under which it was submitted.

The 2012 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest Variety Six-Pack will be available nationwide in select retail stores beginning February 2012 for a suggested retail price of $9.99. The variety pack will include two bottles each of Corey’s A Dark Night in Munich, Joe’s Five Crown Imperial Stout and Fred’s Derf’s Secret Alt.


Corey Martin’s A Dark Night in Munich is a perfect combination of deep roasted malt character with a smooth, creamy finish. To develop his recipe and the rich color of the beer, Corey used a “staining” process in which he powdered the roasted malts and added them early on in the brewing process. The rich Munich malt sweetness comes through in the aroma of this traditional Bavarian wheat beer and the light caramel notes round out the brew.

Joe Formanek’s Five Crown Imperial Stout is a malt-forward Russian Imperial Stout style beer that combines the rich malt character with roasted barley and chocolate notes to balance the bitter hops undertones. Harnessing more than 20 years of homebrewing experience, Joe’s full bodied stout has a sweet aroma with fruit esters. This warming winter brew finishes with a malty complexity that lingers on the palate.

Fred Hessler has worked as a member of the Samuel Adams team since 2008. Derf’s Secret Alt is Fred’s take on the traditional D├╝sseldorf Altbier style. It has a robust, full-bodied and well-hopped taste, with a surprising balance between bitterness and nutty-malty sweetness. Fred’s brew is packed with strong notes of chocolate and roasted malt and has the flavor complexity of an ale, with the hop makeup and creamy head of a pils


Aspiring homebrewers have another shot at achieving their dream by entering the 2012 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. Interested beer drinkers can check online at in March for contest rules, regulations and information on purchasing a homebrewing kit. In addition, they can download Jim Koch’s video, “The Art of Homebrewing” offering his personal tips on making a successful homebrew. Entries will be accepted in the Spring of next year and the winners will be announced at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.

The Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest continues the tradition first established in 1996 and is a natural link to the company’s roots. Jim Koch knows first hand the challenges and the personal rewards of creating a quality homebrew. He brewed the first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen in 1984. Now, more than 26 years later, Koch is a recognized pioneer of the U.S. craft-brewing revival, and he continues to push the boundaries of brewing and follow his passion for elevating the craft beer-drinking experience.

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