The brewers at Sam Adams today announced the three winning homebrewers from the 2015 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. The winning brews were unveiled at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, one of the most celebrated craft beer events attracting tens of thousands of beer lovers from across the United States. This year’s winners – Tim Thomssen’s Raspberry Berliner Weisse, Kevin Nanzer’s Belgian Golden Strong Ale, and Samuel Adams employee Colin Foy’s Flanders Red Ale – will have their beers featured in the 2016 Longshot Variety Pack, available nationwide next spring. These three homebrewers join an impressive group of past LongShot American Homebrew Contest winners, including some who have gone on to become professional brewers, most recently 2013 winner Cesar Marron, who opened Sketchbook Brewing Company in Evanston, IL, following his win.

Homebrewing has a long and storied history in the United States, with famous figures like George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and even President Barack Obama, counting themselves among the homebrewing ranks. The American homebrewing community celebrated a milestone in 2013, with Mississippi and Alabama becoming the 49th and 50th states to legalize homebrewing. Today, the American Homebrewers Association estimates that there are about 1.2 million homebrewers in the United States, with almost 800,000 of them having begun homebrewing within the past decade. Together, American homebrewers produce more than two million barrels of beer annually.

“There’s no better time than now to be an American craft brewer or homebrewer. This year’s LongShot American Homebrew Contest winners serve as shining examples of that passion and American homebrewing ingenuity,” said Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer, Jim Koch. “The first batch of Boston Lager I ever brewed was at home in my kitchen in 1984. Since then, I’ve seen the community grow exponentially.  What’s remained constant over the years is the passion for beer and the commitment to experimenting in brewing.”

Samuel Adams also recognizes skilled homebrewers within its own brewery. Each year employees from all across the company showcase their passion for brewing and one employee winner’s beer is included in the LongShot variety six-pack alongside the two consumer winners. This year’s employee winner is Colin Foy, who has worked at the Cincinnati brewery for a little over two years and won with his Flanders Red Ale.

About the winners:

  • Tim Thomssen’s Raspberry Berliner Weisse, Lincoln, NE:
    At first look, you notice the pink frothy head of this Raspberry Berliner Weisse. The bright notes of raspberries are balanced by refreshing tartness, and the beer finishes with a wonderful sweetness and a lingering sour character that draws you back for another sip.
  • Kevin Nanzer’s Belgian Golden Strong Ale, Mountain View, CA:
    This Belgian Strong Ale has a wonderful aroma of pepper, clove and fruits that are balanced by the subtle malt flavors and the citrus and bitterness from the hops.  At 9% ABV, this beer should be sipped slowly to savor the delicious flavors.
  • Colin Foy’s Flanders Red Ale, Cincinnati, OH:
    This Flanders Red was brewed the traditional way with “younger” beer blended with beer that has been aging in wood.  The more “mature” beer is aged for several months in wood with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus that contribute fruity, musty, tart and acidic flavors.

How the winners are chosen:

  • The beers are judged on the aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel according to the style category under which it was submitted. Eight semi-finalists were selected during the first round of judging conducted at three regional judging locations in New England, California and Illinois.   
  • The final winners are ultimately selected from a panel of industry judges including Jim Koch. The winning brews were judged as the best examples of their style. Industry judges include Bob Townsend of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tony Forder of Ale Street News, John Holl of All About Beer Magazine, Jason Alstrom of Beer Advocate, Don Russell (aka “Joe Six Pack) of Philadelphia Daily News and esteemed beer writers Jay Brooks and Lisa Morrison.
  • The Sam Adams employee winner is voted on by visitors to the Boston Brewery.

The 2016 Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest variety six-pack will be available nationwide in select retail stores in the spring of 2016. The variety pack will include two bottles each of Tim Thomssen’s Raspberry Berliner Weisse, Kevin Nanzer’s Belgian Golden Strong Ale and Colin Foy’s Flanders Red Ale.

Learn more:

  • For additional information such as recipes, pairing suggestions, or to locate a retailer near you, visit

Samuel Adams, Boston Lager, LongShot, and American Homebrew Contest are registered trademarks of The Boston Beer Company.

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