Boston Beer Company and its Samuel Adams brand hold a homebrew competition on an annual basis. Known as Longshot, the winners receive not only the satisfaction of winning a national competition, but also the opportunity to have their beer brewed by Samuel Adams and sold in stores. This latest competition drew more than 1,000 entries and today, October 15, 2013, Boston Beer announced the three lucky homebrew winners. They are:
American Stout, submitted by Tamarac, Florida resident Russ Brunner
Gratzer, submitted by Evanston, Illinois resident Cesar Marron
Pineapple IPA, submitted by Samuel Adams employee Teresa Bury
Boston Beer founder Jim Koch started the Longshot series many years ago as a way to honor the creative talents of thousands of individuals who brew some amazing homemade beer each year. The competition includes two winners from the public at large and one winner selected from the many entries submitted by Boston Beer’s own employees. Teresa Bury, a Brewing Operations Specialist at the Samuel Adams Pennsylvania Brewery, celebrates victory today and will get to see her malt beverage creation alongside the other two winners’ products in Longshot sample packs.
Winning the Longshot Homebrew contest is no easy feat. Entries are judged by a panel of experts and are held to the strict standards of the American Homebrewer’s Association Beer Judge Certificate Program guidelines. This year’s panel included such noteworthy judges as Bob Townsend of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tony Forder of Ale Street News, John Holl of All About Beer Magazine, Norman Miller from Wickedlocal.com, and beer writers Christian DeBenedetti and Marty Nachel. They, together with Boston Beer founder Jim Koch, judged the entries and selected the winning beers.
Longshot started back in 1996 and over the years has selected some very interesting and commendable home brewed products among its winners. At the same time, however, there have been a few questionable selections. Here at Great Beer Now headquarters, we look forward to purchasing a Longshot sampler pack and marveling at the often great recipes submitted by ordinary home brewers like you and me. But we are also wary of some of the less- than- stellar selections that have somehow snatched victory from the jaws of what should have been defeat. At the same time, as most any Longshot consumer will attest, the good selections easily outnumber the spotty ones, so there is no reason to hold back if you contemplate a purchase.
The three winning entries this year certainly sound appealing, especially the Pineapple IPA. The Gratzer, a Polish smoked wheat beer, also sounds creative and could have great potential. The American Stout has the most ordinary title, but that doesn’t mean anything in the end. A sampling will be necessary before passing further judgment.
Look for 2013 Longshot sample packs in stores near you starting in the spring of 2014.