Here Are Your 2011 Sam Adams LongShot Finalists
Earlier today the finalists for the 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot contest were announced . The judging panel led by Jim Koch, included a number of beer writers (including yours truly) and homebrewing experts. We started off with nine beers and narrowed it down to the four finalists who will fly to Denver in September for the Great American Beer Festival, where the two winning beers will be announced.
The beers and finalists are listed below:
Munich Dunkel by Corey Martin of Round Rock, TX
Berliner Weisse by Ariel Friedman of Arcata, CA
Russian Imperial Stout by Joe Formanek of Bolingbrook, IL
Specialty Beer by Phil Moore of Columbia, SC.
The two winners will see their beers commercially produced by Sam Adams in the months after GABF. These will be available in a variety pack along with a homebrew created by a Boston Beer Company employee.
The brewery has been holding this contest since 1995 and gives homebrewers from around the country a chance to see their beers brewed commercially. This year close to 1,000 people entered. Entries were paired down at a number of regional contests held over the last few weeks.
In an interview I did for Beer Connoisseur Magazine a few years ago Koch, the founder of Boston Beer Co. offered this thought on LongShot:
“A competition like this gets you out of your mindset of your own brewery and introduces you to a whole other set of ideas and brewing philosophy,” he said.
Congratulations to the finalists, it was truly a pleasure to drink their beers and I’m looking forward to having the two winning beers in my glass a few months from now.
UPDATE: Gary Glass, the president of the American Homebrewers Association (and a fellow judge in the contest) added this bit of information:
“Joe Formanek has won the AHA National Homebrew Competition Ninkasi Award (which happens to be sponsored by Sam Adams) twice, first in 2000 and then again in 2006. The Ninkasi Award is given to the winningest entrant in the final round of the National Homebrew Competition, the world’s largest beer competition.”