SAMUEL ADAMS LONGSHOT WINNERS
Innovative home brewers from Georgia and Illinois triumphed over more than 7OO competitors to win this year’s Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest-Category 23. Jim Koch and the brewers of Samuel Adams beers encouraged this year’s entrants to incorporate unusual and unique ingredients into their recipes. Georgia resident Richard Roper created a brew he named Friar Hop Ale, and Illinois resident Rodney Kibzey submitted his Blackened Hops beer.
The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) classifies beer styles into 22 different categories depending on style and brewing process, and they reserve “Category 23” for beers whose ingredients are so unusual that they need a place all their own. This year, the brewers at Samuel Adams wanted to focus the annual competition on these innovative beers. 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. Kibzey’s Blackened Hops is a 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 that 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 2OO7 with a Weizenbock and his beer was included in the 2OO8 LongShot Variety Pack. In addition to Richard and Rodney’s winning brews, Samuel Adams also honored Employee Homebrew Winner Caitlin DeClerq for her Honey Bee’s Lavender Wheat beer. DeClerq has worked as a member of the Samuel Adams sales team since 2OO6. She created her beer 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.
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. 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 2O11 LongShot Category 23 Variety 6-Pack.