A Letter from Jim: It’s LongShot Season!
I’m pleased to announce that the 2015 LongShot American Homebrew Contest, celebrating its 19th year, is now open! For those not familiar with our LongShot contest, this is a special competition we like to host here at Samuel Adams that looks to find and recognize some of the best homebrewers in the country. Each year we choose two amateur homebrewers and one Samuel Adams employee winner to have their beer brewed and distributed nationally. This year we’re introducing a new twist to the competition – we will select one winner from east of the Mississippi River and one from the west, to join the Samuel Adams employee winner in the final 6-pack.
Homebrewing is a big piece of the DNA that makes up our Samuel Adams team. Over 30 years ago I was just another homebrewer in my kitchen, constantly sanitizing equipment and tinkering with ingredients as I worked on my craft. After several batches made their way to the sink drain (happens to the best of us homebrewers), the first batch of our Samuel Adams Boston Lager was born in my kitchen and the rest is history. To this day much of our research and development for new brews are first created on brew systems that are not much different from what you’ll see in an avid homebrewer’s garage or basement. And I still look forward to each issue of Zymurgy.
There’s no denying that the revolution in Craft beer over the last 30 years is due in large part to homebrewers and craft brewers (many who started as homebrewers). A few short years after homebrewing was made legal here in the United States (February of 1979), my good friend Charlie Papazian founded the Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association. In 1984, Charlie published The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, which today remains the “bible of home brewing”. Many avid homebrewers from the 1980s and 1990s have gone on to be successful craft brewers and are a driving force to the 3,000+ active craft breweries we see today.
Whether you consider yourself a homebrewing “weekend warrior” or you have aspirations to make beer brewing a career, I encourage you to participate in the LongShot American Homebrew Contest. While we’ve had winners go on to become professional brewers (as was the case with Cesar Marron, winner of the 2013 LongShot American Homebrew Contest, who opened Sketchbook Brewing Company in Evanston, IL following his win), we’ve seen plenty of casual homebrewers take the crown. And the competition between our employees? Let’s just say the bar gets raised higher and higher each year.
I look forward to seeing the brews start rolling in and I wish you the best of luck. To learn more about the contest and get started, head over to www.SamuelAdams.com/LongShot.