It may be a next to impossible to start a successful craft brewery in today’s competitive marketplace, but Boston Beer is helping give homebrewers a chance at going pro with the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest.
The annual contest, which has run since 1996, has been updated for 2017: where past years saw three winning homebrewers’ beers make it into a variety pack, this year, one brewer will win a week-long “Brewership,” a brewing internship at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, offering the chance to work alongside Sam Adams brewers in various departments. The Brewership winner and two runners-up will also win scholarships for an online course at The Siebel Institute of Technology, and tickets to attend the Great American Beer Festival.
On the docket for the LongShot Brewership are professional instruction and insight from Sam Adams brewers on running a brewery, sourcing ingredients, quality assurance, and packaging. The Brewership will also include the opportunity to brew a limited release collaboration brew with Samuel Adams, which will be available at the brewery as well as in the winner’s hometown, the company said.
This is pretty awesome for the winner and the two runners-up. The Siebel Institute of Technology is one of the most popular brewing schools in the country, and the alma mater of many, many professional brewers. And the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), along with being a giant beer tasting party, is one of the more significant industry events in the country; the event and competition saw 60,000 attendees, 780 U.S. breweries, and more than 3,800 beers pouring last year.
The Brewership winner shall hopefully not work for free in vain, either: several past winners of the LongShot competition have gone on to brew professionally, including 2015 winner Tim Thomssen, brewer at Boiler Brewing Company in Lincoln, Neb.; 2013 winner Cesar Marron, brewer at Sketchbook Brewing Co. in Evanston, Ill.; 2009 winner Mike Robinson, brewer at Newburyport Brewing Company in Newburyport, Mass.; and 2006 winner Don Oliver, brewer at Dust Bowl Brewing Co. in Turlock, Calif.
The LongShot competition is also one of several ways the Boston Beer company gives back to the brewing community; namely, the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program has provided startup assistance to craft brewers or those looking to launch their own businesses for 1,200 recipients across 29 states. The program has supported loans totaling more than $1 million across 40 craft brewers, along with providing a “Brewing and Business Experienceship” to one brewer every year since 2012. Brewers who took part in the Experienceship include Roc Brewing Co. of Rochester, N.Y.; Woods Beer Co. of San Francisco; Brewery Rickoli of Wheat Ridge, Colo.; ChuckAlek Independent Brewers of Ramona, Calif.; and Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer of Watertown, Mass., the company said.
“The craft beer revolution that we’re seeing today exists in part because of homebrewers who quit their desk job, like I did 33 years ago, to pursue their passion for brewing,” said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. “We updated our successful LongShot contest to not only recognize top homebrewing talent, but also to support the growth of the craft beer industry providing nuts and bolts advice and hands-on experience to make their brewing dreams a reality. We know the next generation of great craft brewers is out there and just need the extra support to go from a homebrewing system in a garage to a professional brewhouse.”
Those interested in entering the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest must submit a two-minute video detailing their passion for brewing and why they want to be a professional brewer by July 25, 2017. Read the official rules and requirements at www.samueladams.com/longshot.