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PRODUCT: Samuel Adams Longshot Homebrew Variety Pack

Last fall, Samuel Adams made dreams come true for three homebrewers, who were named at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

More than 700 hopefuls entered their beers in the annual Samuel Adams Longshot American Homebrew Contest. The main contest is not open to employees of Samuel Adams’ maker, The Boston Beer Company. Instead, they compete in a separate, in-house competition, with equal prizes.

The prize is the experience of brewing their beer at the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston, alongside the professional brewers. Their beer is then distributed in a Limited Edition—with the winners’ photo on the bottle. And there’s some cash: a $5,000 royalty for their recipe.

Given how many different brews Samuel Adams already makes (more than 40), entrants are encouraged to incorporate unusual ingredients into their recipes.

The winning beers are now available nationally in the 2011 LongShot Category 23* Variety 6-Pack, two bottles of each of the winning recipes, at a suggested retail price of $9.99:


The Samuel Adams Longshot six-pack with our personal favorite. Photo by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.


  • Friar Hop Ale from Richard Roper of Georgia
  • Blackened Hops Beer from Rodney Kibzey of Illinois
  • Honey Bee’s Lavender Wheat Beer from Caitlin DeClercq of California, the Samuel Adams Employee Homebrew Winner
    *Category 23 is a judging category for beers whose ingredients are so unusual that they don’t fit into the other categories.


    Friar Hop Ale
    Richard Roper created a hybrid of two styles: a big hoppy IPA and a fruity Belgian ale. The caramel sweetness of a Belgian ale is enhanced with big, citrussy hop reminiscent of an IPA. The beer has universal appeal; but rather than have a second, we tried a different style.

    Honey Bee’s Lavender Wheat Beer
    We loved the idea created by Caitlin DeClercq, a member of the Samuel Adams sales team. She brewed a wheat beer with dried lavender petals, honey and vanilla. We’re a flavor-forward fan: While a delicious wheat beer, the lavender, honey and vanilla were too subtle for us. (“Flavor forward” is the opposite of subtle and delicate. It means that the flavors assert themselves to the point where they are easily recognized. It’s a style preference, a positive term not to be confused with “heavy-handed” or “overdone,” which are negative terms.)

    And now for our favorite among the winning trio:

    Blackened Hops Beer
    Blackened Hops Beer made by Rodney Kibzey is one we’d buy again and again. With deep roasted malt character and both citrusy and piney American hops, this dark beer is both profound and refreshing. Its black color hints at roasted malt and coffee flavors. We love hops, but this beer will appeal to the non hop-heads in the crowd. This is Rodney’s second LongShot American Homebrew Contest win. His Weizenbock was included in the 2008 LongShot Variety Pack. Rodney, we’ll gladly stop by any time for a taste of what’s brewing.

    Bravo to to the winners and to all of America’s homebrewers.

  • Learn your beer types in our Beer Glossary.

    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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