Another local homebrewer has done it again. Still basking in the success of winning gold at the National Homebrewers Conference, Tamarac homebrewer Russ Brunner brews home the gold again, this time at the Samuel Adams LongShot American Homebrew Contest last Friday.
Brunner's American Stout was chosen among two other winners of the competition, a pineapple IPA by Sam Adams employee Teresa Bury; and a Grätzer brewed by Cesar Marron. The Brewer's Association recently added the Grätzer to the categories of judged beer styles. The winners were chosen among more than 1,000 entries. The winning brews will be featured in a Sam Adams LongShot variety 6-pack coming out in the Spring of 2014.
The American Stout is described as a "a big, malty Stout with notes of chocolate and coffee". The LongShot judges were drawn to the stout's richness and balanced taste, which contains hints of citrus and pine from the American hops. Brunner said that this recipe was the first one he created on his own.
Update: Marron, who hails from Tamarac but currently lives in Evanston, IL, will also have his Graetzer included in the LongShot variety six-pack coming out next year. The Graetzer is a new category added this year to the LongShot contest. The beer is a pale, heavily-hopped smoked wheat beer from the German/Polish border brewed with beechwood-smoked malt.
Brunner is not the first South Floridian to win the LongShot title, but it is still a rarity. In 2006, a homebrewer named Robert Gordash won the title. As we all know, he went on to form Holy Mackerel Beers. Gordash now works for Florida Beer Company. Gordash describes Brunner as a "genius brewer".
At July's 35th annual National Homebrewer Conference in Philadelphia, Brunner was the only Florida winner to take home a gold medal. Brunner has been an active member of the Fort Lauderdale Area Brewers homebrew club for several years.
With credentials like these,wouldn't it be awesome if he did start his own brewery? The possibility is always on the table. In a July interview, Brunner said his goal is to make a flawless, 50-point beer. " I'm constantly brewing and entering my beer in competitions for feedback to see how I can improve my process and recipes. If the day ever comes where I'm completely satisfied with every brew I have in my keggerator, I will then look to the future. I ultimately hope to open a small brewery, a seven or fifteen barrel brew house, with a tasting room; where beer geeks like myself can find happiness, one glass at a time," he said.