2017 Samuel Adams LongShot Winner Announced at Great American Beer Festival

Homebrew
by Carrie Dow on Oct 10, 2017 in Beer

Every year Samuel Adams and Boston Beer Company give home brewers around the country a chance to show off their cooking skills by holding the LongShot American Homebrew Contest. Four home brewers from around the country, including one home brewer from within Samuel Adams brewing company, are selected as the best of the best and travel to Denver, CO, for the Great American Beer Festival. The winner is crowed at a ceremony during the Samuel Adams Beer Brunch at Marlowe’s in Denver the Friday of the event. The event is also a chance for Koch to announce the winner of the Samuel Adams Brewing & Business Experienceship winner. The finalists and winners are presented by brewery founder and 33-year brewery owner Jim Koch.

“I’ve never forgotten the importance of the home brewing community,” says Koch. “Over 20 years ago we started something to recognize our debt to home brewers. The winner gets an internship at the Boston Brewery, which hopefully will help them to encourage starting their own home brewery or at least take their brewing skills to the professional level. I’m proud to say that four or five [past] LongShot winners are now professional brewers.”

Over the course of the spring and summer contest applicants submitted two-minute videos explaining their passion for brewing and why they want to leave their day job to become a professional brewer. A panel of judges narrowed the video applicants down to ten. Those were narrowed down again to a top five by online drinking votes. The top five homebrewers then submitted their best homebrew for judging by a panel of expert beer and media judges including Koch. Those finalists were flown to Denver for GABF where they are honored at the beer brunch and the winner announced.

The finalists and winner are:

Winner:  Ronnie Lawson, Austin, TX . This Texas homebrewer crossed a Munich Helles with a Dortmunder to come up with a whole new German style beer. Lawson wins a trip to Boston Beer Company to work alongside Samuel Adams brewers and learn the ropes of brewing and owning a brewery. He will also have the chance to collaborate on a limited release beer.

Runners up:  Peter Malikowski, Hampden, ME, and Justin Greer of Royal Oak, MD, both brewed different, but outstanding New England IPAs. Both finalists receive a scholarship to the online brewing course at The Siebel Institute of Technology

Employee Brewer: Sergio Posada of the Samuel Adams Brewery in Cincinnati, OH. He is both an avid home brewer and a professional brewer with Boston Brewery.

“Becoming a professional brewer will be a dream come true,” says Lawson. “Everything that I have done with my brewing and all of the competitions that I have entered all point to one direction:  becoming a professional brewer. What I first thought would just be a fun hobby has turned into a passion.”

When announcing the Business Experienceship winner Koch talks about what it was like when he started his brewery over 30 years ago.

“There were two things that I wished I had when I started [Samuel Adams],” says Koch. “One was the ability to borrow money, which I wasn’t able to do, and the other was just nuts and bolts business advice. When I started Samuel Adams, I should have known what I was doing. I have an MBA from Harvard and I spent six years as a consultant. I’m supposed to know something about business. Then I actually started one and realized all the things I didn’t know.”

The Experienceship allows breweries that have participated in Brewing the American Dream to advance their brewing dreams by receiving training and coaching and micro loans to make purchases. This year’s winner is veteran and minority-owned Chula Vista Brewery near San Diego owned by husband and wife team Tim and Dali Parker.

“We want to brew great beers for our community, neighbors and friends for many years to come,” says Tim Parker. “We’re confident they’ll steer us in the right direction and help us advance our mission at Chula Vista Brewery.”


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