Samuel Adams and Jim Koch Looks for Next Great American Homebrewer; Calls for 2012 Contest Entries

The much-anticipated Samuel Adams 2012 LongShot Variety Six-Pack hits shelves this month, fulfilling the dreams of three winning homebrewers by giving them the chance to see their hard work brewed, bottled and distributed nationwide. Normally only available to each homebrewers’ friends and family, drinkers across the country can now taste these beers that surpassed nearly 1,000 competitors to become the 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest winners. Chosen by a panel of industry judges, the winners include Texas resident Corey Martin’s A Dark Night in Munich (Munich Dunkel style) and Illinois resident Joe Formanek’s Five Crown Imperial Stout. In addition to Joe and Corey’s brews, the variety pack also includes Samuel Adams Employee Homebrew Winner Fred Hessler’s Derf’s Secret Alt.

Each year, Jim Koch and the other brewers at Samuel Adams recognize the most talented homebrewers through the LongShot contest. The winning brews were announced at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival—an especially fitting location as thousands of beer lovers made the pilgrimage to Denver, to share a common passion for beer. This year’s picks have yet again yielded impressive, complex and flavorful beers.

For 15 years, Samuel Adams has offered its homebrew contest to shine a light on the quality of homebrewing, and help springboard aspiring brewers. Several winners have even gone on to become professional brewers, turning their homebrewing hobby into a full-time career.

Aspiring homebrewers have another shot at achieving their beer dreams by entering the 2012 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. Interested beer drinkers can check online at 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 from May 11 – May 25 and the winners will be announced at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival (October 13).

What Jim Koch, Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer, has to say: “Every year we invite the winning homebrewers to Boston to brew alongside the Samuel Adams brewers. We all have a lot of fun, experimenting and watching their faces as their creations become a reality.

“The distinction between craft brewers and a great home brewer is arbitrary; 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. Corey’s A Dark Night in Munich and Joe’s Five Crown Imperial Stout are exceptional brews that Samuel Adams is proud to be brewing with these homebrewers.”

How they were picked as the ultimate 2011 winning brews and brewers:

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 chose 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.

Samuel Adams employees also competed in their own annual homebrew competition. The staff contest challenges 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 spend a day tasting their entries and select three finalists. The finalists are sent to the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), for the final showdown. Attendees at the festival sample the employee homebrews and vote for their favorite. The crowd at the 2011 GABF chose Fred Hessler’s Derf’s Secret Alt as their selection.

Tasting notes from the brewers:

Corey Martin’s A Dark Night in Munich is a perfect balance between deep roasted malt character and 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 light caramel notes round out the brew.

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 Dusseldorf 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. It has the flavor complexity of an ale and the hop makeup and creamy head of a pils.

Joe Formanek’s Five Crown Imperial Stout is a malt-forward Russian Imperial Stout that combines rich malt character with roasted barley and chocolate notes, to balance the bitter hop undertones. Harnessing more than 20 years of homebrewing experience, Joe’s full-bodied stout has a sweet aroma with fruit esters.

How to get your hands on these beers:

The Samuel Adams 2012 LongShot Variety Six-Pack is available nationwide in select retail stores beginning March 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.

LongShot American Homebrew Contest history:

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 firsthand the challenges and 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 25 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.

When Samuel Adams began offering its homebrew contest 15 years ago, it was Jim’s dream that it would be a catalyst to help aspiring brewers. 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 passion for homebrewing into a successful career.

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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 soon became a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.

Today, The Boston Beer Company brews more than 30 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 in the past five years has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. As an independent company, brewing quality beer remains its single focus. Although Samuel Adams® beer is America’s largest-selling 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

SOURCE Samuel Adams