Beer Advocate Helps Select 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Winners

With the 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest – Category 23 Variety six-pack hitting shelves this month, drinkers nationwide can taste the two innovative homebrews that triumphed over more than 700 competitors to win the 2010 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch tapped homebrewers nationwide to think outside the box and develop a “Category 23” style beer unlike any other. Georgia resident Richard Roper’s Friar Hop Ale and Illinois resident Rodney Kibzey’s Blackened Hops beer were named the 2010 winners at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

In addition to Richard and Rodney’s winning brews, Samuel Adams also honors Employee Homebrew Winner Caitlin DeClercq for her Honey B’s Lavender Wheat beer. All three winning homebrewers had the opportunity to brew alongside the Samuel Adams brewers in Boston. Their recipes were bottled and are now available nationally in the 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest – Category 23 Variety six-pack.

In the 2011 American Homebrew Contest, the brewers are accepting entries across all 23 categories, allowing devoted homebrewers to perfect their recipe for a traditional style, or brew something totally out-of-the-ordinary. Creative beer lovers are encouraged to try their hand at a shot in the spotlight, and on the shelves, by submitting their original brews by May 20, 2011. Two winning beers will be chosen from all of the entries and the lucky homebrewers will have their brews made available nationwide in 2012, just as Richard and Rodney are experiencing now with their win in the 2010 American Homebrew Contest.

“I started homebrewing the first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager in my kitchen 27 years ago, and ever since then I’ve been passionate about creating unique and interesting brews that challenge the perception of what beer can be,” said Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. “We asked homebrewers to really push beer’s boundaries and brew their own one-of-a-kind recipes. I was very impressed by the quality and creativity of the homebrew entries submitted to the first Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest – Category 23; Richard Roper’s Friar Hop Ale, Rodney Kibzey’s Blackened Hops and Caitlin DeClercq’s Honey B’s Lavender Wheat are all exceptional beers that will give American craft beer drinkers an opportunity to taste interesting ingredients and flavors that they may have never expected in a beer. The response and creativity were overwhelming and I look forward to seeing what other great brews homebrewers will come up with in the 2011 Contest.”

For more than 15 years, Samuel Adams employees have competed in their own annual homebrew competition. The 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 choose three finalists. Those three employee homebrewers attend the GABF and ask attendees to vote for their favorite brew, with Caitlin DeClercq’s besting the rest in 2010.

A panel of industry judges including Jason Alstrom and Todd Alstrom of Beer Advocate, Tom Dalldorf from Celebrator Beer News, John Holl, freelance beer writer, 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 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 its aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel as well as the overall uniqueness of the process, ingredients used and creativity.

The 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest – Category 23 variety six-pack is available nationwide in select retail stores beginning in late March for a suggested retail price of $9.99. The variety pack will include two bottles each of Richard Roper’s Friar Hop Ale, Rodney Kibzey’s Blackened Hops, and Caitlin DeClercq’s Honey B’s Lavender Wheat.


Richard Roper’s Friar Hop Ale combines his love of hops with his affinity for spicy Belgian ales. To develop his recipe, Roper created a hybrid of two styles, uniting the big hoppy taste of an IPA with the spicy, fruity flavor of a Belgian. The toasty caramel sweetness from the malt and Belgian candi sugar mimics a Belgian ale, while the big citrus hop notes of an IPA balance the style. A spicy yeast fermentation and hints of orange and coriander round out the brew. Richard’s Friar Hop Ale is a refreshing beer that can be enjoyed any time of year.

Rodney Kibzey’s Blackened Hops is a perfect combination of deep roasted malt character and citrusy hop bitterness. Harnessing eight years of homebrewing knowledge, Rodney found that combining debittered dark malts and citrusy hops yielded a surprising and unique flavor for this brew. Its black color hints at roasted malt and coffee flavors, but it is the big hop character really steals the show. Packed with citrusy and piney American hops, this beer has a big flavor and clean bitterness. This is Rodney’s second LongShot American Homebrew Contest win; he won in 2007 with a Weizenbock and his beer was included in the 2008 LongShot Variety Pack.

Caitlin DeClercq has worked as a member of the Samuel Adams sales team since 2006. She created her Honey B’s Lavender Wheat with dried lavender petals, giving it a fragrant but soft aroma. A citrus tartness and slight sweetness from the honey and vanilla balance out the finish in this California resident’s brew; perfect to sip while kicking back and relaxing.


The brewers are challenging homebrewers to perfect a favorite style or create a brew outside the traditional style guidelines, accepting entries across all 23 categories in the 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. Interested beer drinkers can visit 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. Winners will be announced at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.

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, 27 years later, Koch is a recognized pioneer of the U.S. craft-brewing revival. He continues to push the boundaries of brewing, by leading the charge in the extreme brewing category, and following his passion for elevating the craft beer-drinking experience.