Samuel Adams Longshot champ achieves a GABF first


(Boston, MA) – In this third and final installment and last but not least, is Ben Miller, who won for his 12% Mile High Barley Wine. Miller became the first to win both the GABF Pro-Am Competition and the Samuel Adams LongShot competition in the same year since LongShot started in 2006 1996. Considering winners of both contests were announced within a couple hours of each other on the Saturday afternoon of GABF weekend, it stands to reason that Miller probably had one hell of a party thrown for him on that Saturday night.

Miller was featured on KRQE News this past week. Video below:

Miller, also known as “Herbal Joe,” a member of the popular homebrewing clan dubbed “The BN Army,” named his GABF Pro-Am winning beer after his online moniker. Though there were only 72 entries compared to 1,300+ in the LongShot competition, Miller is still proud of the accomplishment. A local New Mexico paper, The Weekly Alibi, gave some background on the beer and hinted that he plans to pursue brewing:

“Miller shares the Pro-Am gold medal with professional brewer Jeff Erway of Chama River Brewing Co. Last spring, Miller put up his Herbal Joe’s Columbarillo IPA against other local beers in the Enchanted Brewing Challenge, and Chama selected it as an IPA the brewery would reproduce. The homebrewer jumped at the chance to collaborate with Erway. Miller hopes to open his own brewpub and is eager to learn everything he can about professional brewing.”

As for the LongShot beer, Miller, a computer repair guy in the Albuquerque area , entered five beers into the contest, but this one stood out. Though the version he entered was 12% ABV, the one making it into bottles will be tamed considerably, down to 9.8%. According to an Albuquerque beer blogger his area was skipped over this past April when the 2009 LongShot mixed pack was distributed across the U.S. but mused that Miller’s winning brew should mean a different fate for locals this time around.

The Captain’s Chair describes the Barleywine as a “dark red beer boasting plum undertones to complement the distinct caramel malt flavor. Ben used five hop varieties to give the beer its citrus nose and bitter finish.” The article also revealed that Miller averages about one batch of brew every week.

What’s more impressive? Beer Author/Blogger, Brian Yaeger, notes that this entry was Herbal Joe’s first attempt at a Barleywine.

Not a bad result.

Label description: “Ben brewed this ale to mark his 100th batch of homebrew. The beer is rich and malty, with a hint of caramel and plum. Brewed with citrusy American hops and a blend of six varieties of malt, the sweet and dark fruit notes in this beer linger on the palate.”

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