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Samuel Adams craft beer brewery announced recently the three winners in its 2013 LongShot American Homebrew competition, held at craft beer’s biggest stage, the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Col. Cesar Marron, Evanston resident and member of the Evanston Homebrew Club, was among them,  his homebrew selected out of a thousand submissions. Winners will receive the ultimate honor in beer: Their homebrew recipes will be put into production, bottled and made available nationwide as next spring’s 2014 Samuel Adams LongShot variety six-pack.          

Mr. Marron’s Grätzer (added to the style guidleines for 2013) is described at Samuel Adams site blog.samueladams.com as “perhaps the most unique style … a light, Polish smoked wheat beer … that packs a punch of smoky sweet flavor from the heirloom smoked malt and spicy and herbal notes from Saaz hops.” They say that Mr. Marron is especially interested in the “unusual,yet traditional, style.”

Russ Brunner of Tamarac, Fla., won for his American Stout – a “big, malty stout with notes of chocolate and coffee … [that] carries a velvety finish with notes of roasted cocoa.” And Samuel Adams’ employee and long-time homebrewer Teresa Bury won the employees’ category with her Pineapple India Pale Ale, “brewed with four different American hops” with “mellow and complementary tropical fruit notes from the addition of real pineapples.”

Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch hosts the annual LongShot homebrew contest to recognize the most talented homebrewers in the U.S. America’s interest in homebrewing and craft beer is at an all-time high, giving rise to more than 2,500 craft breweries. Chicago Magazine’s September issue was devoted to “The Best Beer in Chicago,” and introduced and described their choices for the best beers produced in the city.

Mr. Koch said, “I’m proud to see these LongShot winners continuing to push boundaries, challenge themselves and show a real passion for brewing. When you start brewing, you’re guaranteed one thing – a very messy kitchen, but there’s always the hope that your beer will be enjoyed by drinkers everywhere one day. Russ Brunner’s American Stout, Cesar Marron’s Grätzer and Theresa Bury’s Pineapple IPA are remarkable brews and deserve such an opportunity.”

⁓pooky Brew†Contest

The Evanston Homebrew Club participated in the Chicago Beer  Society’s “Spooky Brew” contest, at which Mr. Marron acted as a judge – and took first and third place in the “Smoked & Wood-Aged Beer” category, with a “classic Rauchbier” and a wood-aged beer, both presented by member Sean Curry.