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Samuel Adams picks LongShot winners

Homebrewers from Georgia and Illinois were the big winners in Samuel Adams annual LongShot American Homebrew Contest – which this year focused only for beers that would be entered in Category 23 of a sanctioned homebrew competition.

2011 LongShot Winners

Georgia resident Richard Roper (right) with Friar Hop Ale and Rodney Kibzey (left) of Illinois with Blackened Hops beer. Earlier this year Kibzey won Meadmaker of the Year in the National Homebrew Competition.

The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) reserves Category 23 for specialty beers, noting “This is explicitly a catch-all category for any beer that does not fit into an existing style category. No beer is ever “out of style” in this category, unless it fits elsewhere.”

Two bottles of each of those beers will be featured in the 2011 LongShot Category 23 Variety 6-Pack from Samuel Adams. The other two bottles will be Honey Beer’s Lavendar Wheat beer from Caitlin DeClerq, which won the company Employee Homebrew competition.

“This year we asked homebrewers to push the boundaries and brew their own one-of-a-kind beers,” Boston Beer founder Jim Koch said when the winners were announced Saturday. “I was very impressed by the quality and creativity of the homebrew entries submitted to this year’s (competition.)”

For more than 10 years, Samuel Adams employees have competed in their own annual homebrew competition. Once all the employee homebrews are submitted (more than 300 this year), Koch and the other brewers at Samuel Adams spend a day tasting the employees’ entries, and they choose three finalists. Those three employee homebrewers attend the Great American Beer Festival and ask attendees to vote for their favorite. This year, GABF attendees chose Caitlin DeClerq’s beer.

More from the press release:

Roper’s Friar Hop Ale is described as 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 perfect 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 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 2007 with a Weizenbock and his beer was included in the 2008 LongShot Variety Pack.

DeClerq has worked as a member of the Samuel Adams sales team since 2006. She created her Honey Bee’s Lavender Wheat 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, perfect to sip while kicking back and relaxing.

The 2011 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest – Category 23 Variety 6-Pack will be available nationwide in select retail stores beginning March 2011 for a suggested retail price of $9.99.

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Louisiana homebrewers work for legalization

Support Your Local BreweryNow that Oklahoma has legalized homebrewing the attention turns to Louisiana. The American Homebrewers Association is working with a group of homebrewers in Louisiana to legalize the serving of home brew in licensed establishments for homebrew events.

Here’s the call to action:

House Bill 1484, which is an improved substitute for a previously filed homebrew bill, if passed would create a free three-day permit, allowing the possession, serving and consumption of homemade beer, mead and other fermented beverages at businesses licensed for on premises consumption of alcohol. This will allow homebrew clubs to legally have club meetings, competitions and other organized events at bars, restaurants and other licensed establishments.

HB1484 was passed favorably from the House Judiciary Committee on May 13th and will be debated on the House floor soon. We request that you contact your Representative’s office today to ensure that HB1484 is passed by the House and is sent to the Senate for consideration.

Call Your Representative Today!
Click here to find contact information for your Representative.

During business hours, calls to the Representative’s receptionist are the most productive means of communication. The calls will be quick and easy. Your message should at least relate these points, phrased in your own words:

* Please pass HB1484 through the House when it comes up for debate.

* Louisiana homebrewers are solely seeking to gain legalization of serving homebrewed beer in licensed establishments for homebrew club meetings, competitions and events, which will help us share and improve our craft, so please help us in this effort.

It is up to Louisiana’s beer and brewing community to help the homebrew bill move through the legislative process. Please commit to making these communications, and forward this message on to anyone you think would be interested in supporting this cause. Without paid lobbyists, showing strong popular support is the only mechanism that will move this bill forward.

Thank you for your support of Louisiana’s homebrewers!

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Oklahoma governor signs homebrewing bill

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry has signed into law legislation that makes homebrewing beer legal in the state.

House Bill 2348 officially legalized the home production of beer for personal use in Oklahoma. Home production of wine and cider for personal use was already legal in Oklahoma. The passage of HB 2348 leaves Alabama and Mississippi as the only remaining states where the homebrewing hobby is not yet legal. The U.S. government made homebrewing legal on a federal level in 1979.

Gary Shellman, a member of the American Homebrewers Association and editor for Oklahoma City’s homebrew club, the High Plains Draughters, initiated the legalization process and worked to ensure the bill’s passage. Shellman spent months lining up a sponsor for a homebrew bill.

“Our theme from the very beginning was to get support from all sectors of the brewing community to bring parity for homebrewed beer with that already long enjoyed by home wine and cider makers,” Shellman said. “We are proud to say that we finally got the job done, but none of this would have been possible without the diligent efforts of Rep. Colby Schwartz.”

The AHA is currently working with homebrewers in Alabama and Mississippi on efforts to legalize homebrewing in those states.

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The accidental brewery

Making beer at home is one thing. Selling it is another.

The British government has told a Hampshire man he must now pay duty, keep better records and undergo a background check for a license to sell his beer.

The Metro reports it began when Robert Shields, who brews 100 pints (or 12.5 gallons) a month, decided to start charging friends just six months after he started brewing.

But before selling the home-made Moorlands and Runnymede bitters, he was told to convert his shed into a bonded warehouse and apply for two licences.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom’s guidelines added that he must pay 20p duty a bottle, measure how much alcohol is in his beer and record how much malt he buys.

(He) also had to get a personal licence to sell alcohol and undergo a criminal records check by the police.

“It’s totally over the top for someone who just wants to sell beer to friends,” he said.

However a spokesman for the a Campaign for Real Ale, a consumer advocate group, said: “It’s right that if you are selling it to people then you have to make sure it is of a demonstrable quality.”

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Dream double for homebrewer Ben Miller

Longshot winners

Homebrewer Ben Miller (center) thought he was having a pretty good day Saturday when he found out his beer was one of three big winners in Samuel Adams LongShot homebrew contests. But it was about to get better.

Little more than two hours after the New Mexico homebrewer closed his eyes and sighed when he heard Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch announce his barley wine would be one of three beers sold next year in the LongShot variety pack he heard his name again. He and Jeff Erway of Chama River Brewing in Albuquerque captured the gold medal in the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am competition for Herbal Joe’s Columbarillo IPA.

This is the fourth year for the Pro-Am competition, and Erway had a beer reach the final table of the first one in 2006. Then he was the “am” portion of the team, brewing his entry at Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery in Santa Fe along with Daniel Jaramillo.

The LongShot package will include Miller’s barley wine, an old ale from Michael Robinson of New Hampshire and a saison spiced with pepper created by Jeremy White, who won the Samuel Adams employee competition.

Miller and Robinson first won regional competitions — entered by 1,300 homebrewers nationally — to advance to the finals, which were judged blind by panel that includes Koch. He gets only one vote.

Remembering the barley wine he said, “There is a lot of fermentation complexity that consumed the alcohol.”

The winners will travel to Boston later this year to help brew the beers that will be released next spring in the 2010 LongShot package.

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Washington homebrewers can use our help

Support Your Local BrewerySupport Your Local Brewery has issued an E-Action Alert for Washington, to help legalize homebrewing.

There’s the news:

The American Homebrewers Association has been working with the Washington Homebrewers Association (WAHA) to modify Washington’s regulations (RCW 66.28.140), which currently prohibit transportation or sharing of homemade beer and wine outside of the house of production, with exceptions only for competitions or exhibitions at which only “judges” can sample the products. The largest volume that may be transported is 1 gallon. Thus serving homebrew at homebrew club meetings or even at the house of a friend or family member is currently prohibited.

Senate Bill 5060 would allow for serving homemade beer and wine in amounts up to 20 gallons for meetings, events, etc., is currently scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee on Tuesday, January 20th at 1:30 pm in Olympia (date is subject to change due to the Presidential Inauguration).

What is needed now is for people to contact the members of the Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee to ask for them to support Washington’s brewing and winemaking communities by supporting Senate Bill 5060. Personal contacts with state legislators will go a long way in ensuring the success of this bill.

Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee Members:

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles: (360) 786-7670
kohl-welles.jeanne@leg.wa.gov

Senator Karen Keiser: (360) 786-7664
keiser.karen@leg.wa.gov

Senator Janea Holmquist: (360) 786-7624
holmquist.janea@leg.wa.gov

Senator Rosa Franklin: (360) 786-7656
franklin.rosa@leg.wa.gov

Senator Jim Honeyford: (360) 786-7684
honeyford.jim@leg.wa.gov

Senator Curtis King: (360) 786-7626
king.curtis@leg.wa.gov

Senator Adam Kline: (360) 786-7688
kline.adam@leg.wa.gov

All of the information you need, updates and background material for this effort can be found at www.wahomebrewers.org/legal.

Thanks so much for your support of Washington’s homebrewers!

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Alabama homebrewers can use our help

Support Your Local BrewerySupport Your Local Brewery has issued an E-Action Alert for Alabama, to help legalize homebrewing.

There’s the news:

Dear Alabama Beer Enthusiasts:

Your phone calls and emails have helped gain a hearing for Alabama’s Senate Bill 355 (SB355), which would legalize homebrewing in the state of Alabama. The bill will be considered by the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee at a public hearing this Thursday, April 3.

The text of SB355 can be found here:
www.legislature.state.al.us/searchableinstruments/2008rs/bills/sb355.htm

What is needed NOW is additional support from Alabama residents prior to Thursday’s hearing, to ask the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee members to do two things:

(1) Pass SB355 out of committee favorably.

(2) Persuade other Senators not on the Tourism and Marketing Committee to call for a vote on the Senate floor and pass the bill there.

Contact information for Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee members can be found below. Please call the first phone number listed for each Senator, which is the number for their Senate office. This should take about 10 minutes total. A receptionist will answer. Just make the two points described above.

Also, please email the Senators on the committee. A list of all of the email addresses that you can cut and paste into an email can be found below the Tourism and Marketing Committee contact info.

Additionally, if you have time, you can call the second phone number listed, which is a business phone for the Senators.

If SB355 clears the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee and is scheduled for a vote by the full Senate, we will follow up with additional information to help obtain passage of the bill in the Senate and hopefully move it on to the Alabama House.

Thank you for your support for Alabama homebrewers and SB 355. Please forward this message on to any other Alabama residents that you feel would be interested in supporting this bill.

Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee Members

BOBBY SINGLETON (D), Chairman
(334) 242-7935
bsingle164@yahoo.com

EDWARD B. “E. B.” McCLAIN (D), Vice-Chairman
(334) 242-7867
(205) 781-0786
ebmc@bellsouth.net

LOWELL RAY BARRON (D)
(334) 242-7858
(256) 623-2298

CHARLES BISHOP (R)
(334) 242-7894
(205) 221-4950

W. H. “PAT” LINDSEY (D)
(334) 242-7843
(205) 459-2478

DEL MARSH (R)
(334) 242-7877
(256) 237-8647

MYRON C. PENN (D)
(334) 242-7868
(334) 775-9778
myronpenn28@hotmail.com

QUINTON T. ROSS, Jr. (D)
(334) 242-7880
qtross2002@hotmail.com

RODGER SMITHERMAN (D) [Mr. Smitherman is the sponsor of SB355]
(334) 242-7870
(205) 322-0012
rodger.smitherman@alsenate.gov

WENDELL MITCHELL (D)
(334) 242-7883
(334) 244-1877
wmitchell@faulkner.edu

ZEB LITTLE (D), Senate Majority Leader
(334) 242-7855
(256) 775-7707
zeb@zeblittlelawfirm.com

“JABO” WAGGONER (R)
(334) 242-7892
(205) 978-7405
jabo.waggoner@alsenate.gov

Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee Email Addresses

bsingle164@yahoo.com; jabo.waggoner@alsenate.gov; zeb@zeblittlelawfirm.com; ebmc@bellsouth.net; myronpenn28@hotmail.com; qtross2002@hotmail.com; rodger.smitherman@alsenate.gov; wmitchell@faulkner.edu

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Homebrew contest winners enjoy Samuel Adams’ spotlight

Samuel Adams longshot“It’s a bit overwhelming. The weirdest thing was when [Samuel Adams] sent me pictures of my beer on the bottling line. I saw thousands of bottles with my face on it.”
         – Rodney Kibzey

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Rodney Kibzey’s friends call him a “beer rock star.” Because Kibzey was a winner in the 2007 Samuel Adams American Homebrew Contest a Weizenbock brewed to his recipe currently is on shelves across the country.

Each Longshot six-pack contains three bottles of Weizenbock and three of Grape Pale Ale from Samuel Adams employee Lili Hess.

Kibzey’s beer was one of two winners of a national homebrew contest. The other was an Imperial IPA and production of that one was delayed because of the hop shortage.

Grape Pale Ale is the 2007 champion of Samuel Adams’ annual employee homebrew contest. Attendees at the 2007 great American Beer Festival tasted the three employee finalists’ homebrew and voted Grape Pale Ale their favorite.

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Falconer brewing scholarship applications are open

Applications are now being accepted for Falconer Foundation Brewing Scholarships.

In co-sponsorship with the Seibel Institute of Technology, the foundation offers two full-tuition brewing education scholarships in 2008.
One scholarship is for the World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology held at the Siebel Institute in Chicago in October/November 2008. The Concise Course in Brewing Technology is a two-week intensive program that covers every topic critical to successful brewery operations. The program is designed for brewers pursuing a wider knowledge of professional brewing standards and techniques in order to advance their brewing careers as well as individuals planning to enter the brewing industry.

The second scholarship allows candidates to apply for one of three two-week modules from the International Diploma in Brewing Technology Program held at Siebel’s Chicago campus in September/October 2008. This specialty brewing scholarship is intended for those brewers who seek an in-depth understanding of a specific brewing discipline. Candidates must designate which module they wish to attend.

Applicants must be from the Pacific Northwest (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Northern California regions (San Francisco Bay/Monterey Bay areas and north). Each scholarship includes a $750 stipend to help offset travel and lodging expenses.

For more details and information on how to apply, visit the Siebel Institute website.

The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation was formed to celebrate the life of Glen Falconer, an innovative and creative local brewer well known throughout the brewing industry. Falconer died in a tragic accident in 2002.

The Foundation’s cornerstone event is the annual Sasquatch Brew Fest.

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National Organic Homebrew Challenge

Seven Bridges Cooperative, a certified organic homebrew supplier, is hosting the worlds first all organic homebrew competition which is open to home brewers of beer throughout the United States.

This is the first time a contest has been held for beer brewed at home using only organically grown ingredients, GMO free yeast (most yeast packaged for homebrewers, including White Labs and Wyeast brands, is GMO free), and no chemical or artificial additives. By accepting only organically brewed beer entries, the contest represents the first opportunity organic homebrewers have had to compete fairly against other organic brewers in an AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition.

National Organic Homebrew Challenge winners will get a chance to brew in at commercial breweries that produce organic beer. One winner from the western side of the country will be selected to brew their winning recipe at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery in Santa Cruz, Calif. One winner from the Eastern side of the country will brew their winning recipe at Otter Creek Brewery in Vermont, home of the Wolavers brand organic beer which is distributed nationally.

The winning recipes will be selected from the top scoring entries that also meet the requirements of the breweries which have limitations on what styles can be brewed on the brewery equipment and a limited range of organic ingredients that qualify as USDA certified organic. Other prizes will also be awarded, including organic ingredients, T-shirts, brewery merchandise, and pint glasses.

The contest rules will differ slightly from other homebrew contests because all of the ingredients will have to be verified organic. Just as professional brewers of certified organic beer have to show documentation that all ingredients are USDA certified, the entries will have to include a complete recipe listing the source of each ingredient.

Entry details.

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Zymurgy readers vote for Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Readers of Zymurgy, the journal of the American Homebrewers Association, have chosen Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA as the “Best Commercial Beer in America.”

90 Minute was a three-time champion of Real Beer’s Battle of the Beers.

Zymurgy has been conducting the annual survey for five years, inviting readers to send in a list of their twenty favorite commercially available beers in the U.S. More than 1,100 votes for 618 beers from 293 brewers around the world were received.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Stone Arrogant Bastard both tied for second.

All the results.

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Saint Paul Homebrewers win Club of the Year

Richard Skains of Rocky River, Ohio, won Best of Show and National Homebrewer of the Year in the National Homebrew Competition judged in Denver, Colo. Jamil Zainasheff of Elk Grove, Calif., won the Ninkasi Award as the winningest brewer in the second round of judging.

Awards were presented Saturday at the National Homebrewers Conference Grand Banquet.

The National Homebrew Competition is the largest beer competition in the world, this year attracting a record breaking 5,052 entries from 1,172 homebrewers. Last year the number of entries was 4,548 from 1,067 homebrewers.

Judging for the competition begins at 10 regional sites, with up to three beers, meads or ciders in each category advancing to the second round.

The other major award winners:
Meadmaker of the Year – Steve Fletty, Falcon Heights, Minn.
Cidermaker of the Year – Joseph Franconi, Red Hook, N.Y.
Homebrew Club of the Year – Saint Paul Homebrewers Club, Minnesota.

Complete results.