Tried these beers today at a retailer exclusive event here in RI. The Longshot beers are the result of a homebrew competition sponsored by BBC and judged by, among others, Michael Jackson and Joseph Owades.
Hazelnut Brown Ale: The hazelnut is about the only thing one gets from this beer. In the nose, the palate, the finish, I tasted nothing but hazelnut. I enjoyed the beer, but some may be put off by the predominance of the nuts.
The beers were served with a buffet consisting of entrees prepared with Sam Adams beers, most notably the new selections. Most notable was pork tenderloin marinated in Cherry Wheat. The sweetness of the Cherry Wheat came through quite nicely.
In addition to sampling these beers, I got to meet Jim Koch for the first time. He is an amiable, pleasant man, and I spoke with him at length about several topics. He seemed rather shy, but went out of his way to express the fact that he could not have gotten to the point where he is today without the help of the retailers who sell his product. He did not come off as the "sheister" he has been labeled as by some, and seemed sincere about his efforts to bring quality beer to the US. Neither did he claim all the credit himself, instead he stressed the role of ALL craft brewers in the beer revolution.
Great beer, great food, interesting people. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday afternoon. Especially when it's free!
On June 7th I tried this in bottles:
Though definitely hyped as a German-style schwarzbier, the beer does not seem to me to be one, though it does come close and is my favorite of the longshot brews. The hop finish seems to me too strong for a schwarzbier, much more so than Kostritzer at any rate. I wouldn't say it is coffeeish enough for a porter, though the roasted malt is obviously very apparent.
Interestingly, when I first tasted the beer at a BBC sponsored tasting, I remarked that it seemed to me far too fruity for a lager, though the beer seems to be less so now. When I read the recipe on the six-pack holder, it called for lager yeast but suggested fermentation somewhere in the 60 degree range. Perhaps this explains the frutiness I picked up. In any case, It's not a bad beer, and I'd suggest picking up a six for evaluation if nothing else.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.
Bottom label courtesy of beerlabels.com .