Homebrew Hero

A Forestville fire captain was one of three 2015 winners in the Samuel Adams American Homebrew Contest.

Home brewer Greg Rasmussen won the 2014 Samuel Adams Longshot American Homebrew Contest. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

When Greg Rasmussen joined the Forestville Fire Protection District 28 years ago, he was slapped with a nickname that will soon be on bottles of beer sold across the country.

“Raspy,” now 46 and a Forestville fire captain, was one of three 2015 winners in the Samuel Adams American Homebrew Contest. His Robust Porter, an English-style dark ale with malty, chocolate richness and a refreshing finish, joins the two other winners, a dunkelweiss and a rauchbier, in the Samuel Adams LongShot six-pack (two bottles of each beer) to be sold in the U.S. beginning in April. The Boston Beer Co., parent of the Samuel Adams brand, learned of Rasmussen’s firehouse moniker and renamed his beer Raspy’s Robust Porter.

“Some of the guys had trouble pronouncing Rasmussen, so I became Raspy,” he said. “They’re going to give me such a hard time about this.”

After the porter was chosen from more than 1,000 entries, Rasmussen gave the recipe to Sam Adams, which brewed, bottled and packaged the ale and will ship it to stores. The national exposure, plus more than 150 medals won in 17 years of homebrewing, could motivate a guy to go pro.

“Yes, I’ve thought about that,” Rasmussen said. “I retire from the department in four years and will need to keep busy.” It won’t happen tomorrow, he said, “but maybe the day after tomorrow.”


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