Open Source Beer

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Open Source Beer

Background

The Boston Beer Company was founded in 1984 by Jim Koch when he brewed the first batch of the now famous Samuel Adams "Boston Lager."[1] Boston Lager first debuted in Boston on Patriots Day in April of 1985. Six weeks after the beer debuted, it was selected as the "Best Beer in America" in The Great American Beer Festival's Consumer Preference Poll. Since 2000, Samuel Adams beers have won more awards in international beer tasting competitions than any other brewery in the world. Today, the Boston Beer company has "18 distinctive, award-winning styles of beer."[2]

Samuel Adams Long Shot Contest

Image:long shot.jpg

The Samuel Adams Long Shot contest is a beer brewing contest. Professionals and amateurs alike are encouraged to brew their own beers at home and send them in to be considered in the contest. The 4 best beers selected in the first round of judging are invited to the Great American Beer Festival, where the Grand Champion winner is announced. The winner's beer is then brewed and bottled by The Boston Brew company. Samuel Adams provides instructions and regulations for brewing, as well as links to available home-brewing "kits" so that participants can create their own beers from scratch.

Similarities to Open Source Spying

American intelligence and security agencies have traditionally kept their information databases guarded and secret, both from the public and from the other such agencies. Similarly, breweries carefully guard their beer recipes so that they can stay in business. The Long Shot contest brings the collective genius of the masses to an industry that has previously been dominated by a few large companies closely guarding their recipes. Even microbreweries, which are hard enough for a working person to establish, are typically only sold on a small scale and area. As such, the most popular beers are invented by a few already established brew masters working for large companies. The Long Shot competition allows people with day jobs to try their hand at brewing, and through the power of the open source model allows for mass ingenuity. Similarly, in US intelligence agencies, analyst reports are funneled through administrators who decide which reports are important and in turn pass those on. The Long Shot competition allows amateur brewers to try their hand at brewing in the same way that the Intellipedia database allows intelligence analysts to try their hand at figuring out enemy plots and strategies.

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