Last month, I found myself having the privilege to help judge the final round of the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest. In its sixteenth year, the competition gives homebrewers the opportunity to have their beer bottled and nationally distributed in the Samuel Adams LongShot Variety Six-Pack released each spring.
While it doesn't get much better than sipping Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale from the tanks or the chance to try unique beers from previous Beer Camps every night in the brewery's taproom, Sierra Nevada's commitment not only to their employees but to sustainability and to protecting the environment left me inspired and excited for them to call North Carolina their second home.
Due South Brewing Company all started with a guy wanting to make a sulfite-free wine for his wife, who is allergic to the preservative. Mike Halker didn't even like beer, but a homebrew and winemaking supply store employee convinced him to take a few bottles of Samuel Adams Boston Lager instead of a winemaking kit.
Forrest Rogness studied photography at the University of Iowa for five years, where he learned the intricacies of framing the subjects in his pictures. Fortunately for the Austin beer community, Rogness transferred that knowledge to another craft. He says, "[It] was a natural progression into homebrewing—making beers and focusing on composition and balance." Rogness and his wife Diane recently founded Rogness Brewing Company in Pflugerville, Texas, a small suburb located fourteen miles northeast of Austin.
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