20 April 2017
With National Homebrew Day just a few weeks away, I can’t think of a better group of beers to sample tonight. Started in 1996 and now extending over 20 years, the Samuel Adams Longshot American Homebrew Competition places the spotlight on up-and-coming small home brewers as well as the art of home brewing. Each year, thousands of entries are judged and three winners are picked to be released nationwide in the Longshot American Homebrew Competition variety pack.
This year’s winners Graham Johnson, Duane Wilson and David Cousino will join the ranks of previous winners and perhaps even have a chance to go on to be professional brewers like 2015 winner Tim Thomssen, brewer at Boiler Brewing Company in Lincoln, NE; 2013 winner Cesar Marron, brewer at Sketchbook Brewing Co. in Evanston, IL; 2009 winner Mike Robinson, brewer at Newburyport Brewing Company in Newburyport, MA; and 2006 winner Don Oliver, brewer at Dust Bowl Brewing Co. in Turlock, CA.
As always the styles are very unique, so lets give them a taste. Up first is David Cousino’s Barnstorm Saison. This beer has a decidedly Belgian yeast aroma with some pleasant biscuit aromas as well. The Belgian yeast presence follows in the flavors along with the classic slightly-sweet undertone and peppery finish. This beer has a pleasant and soft mouthfeel with a crisp and slightly hoppy flavor toward the end, thanks to the English hops on board. Barnstorm Saison hits 7.8%-AbV and 30 IBU.
Up next we sampled Duane Wilson’s Wild Child and this beer reached out and grabbed us with apricot and peach aromas. Thanks in part to the mixed (and wild) fermentation, the flavors begin with apricot and end with a spicy and dry finish. There are certainly sour and tart notes in this beer, but they are balanced nicely with additional fruit flavors. Wild Child hits 5.7%-AbV and 17 IBU.
Finally we poured Graham Johnson’s Coffeehead Imperial Stout. This beer pours a rich deep walnut color and if you don’t get hit with coffee and chocolate in the aroma, you’re nose must not be powered on. Coffeehead is aged on cocoa nibs and coffee beans and those flavors are prominent in the nose and the taste. This beer leads with a bit of sweet chocolate and ends with dark fruits and raisins…and you can’t miss the pleasant and soft mouthfeel. This beer finishes with a touch of sweetness, but it’s well balanced with the bitterness of the coffee. Coffeehead hits 7%-AbV and 22 IBU.
All three of these beers are available now in 12oz bottled six packs with two of each beer (as well as on draft at select accounts and events.) Be sure to try all three of these beers for yourself and see if you don’t get the home brewing bug for yourself….We really liked all three winners so get out there and try them while they are available…and when you do, be sure to let us know what YOU think.