American Homebrewers Association Crowns Winners of Third Annual ‘Hill Staff Homebrew Competition’

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Hill Staff Competition winners Pierce Wiegard and David Pigue of Sen. Dan Sullivan's (R-AK) office.

Washington, D.C. • December 11, 2018 – Winners of the third annual Hill Staff Homebrew Competition were announced today by the American Homebrewers Association® (AHA) during a reception on Capitol Hill. Twenty-two entries were submitted by eligible congressional legislative staff and federal employees and judged by an elite group of certified beer judges and professional brewers.

Charlie Papazian, widely regarded as the “godfather of homebrewing” and founder of the AHA—which celebrated its 40th anniversary last week—was on hand to present the winners with the esteemed Capitol Hill Staff Homebrew Champion Trophy and offer his renowned celebratory fist bump.

The 2018 Winners:

Capitol Hill Staff Homebrew Champion (1st place entry from each category competes for trophy):

  • Black IPA, Pierce Wiegard, Office of Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)

Category 1: UK and Belgian Ales (5 entries)

  • First Place: Scottish Export Ale, Gray Maxwell, Office of Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)
  • Second Place: Belgian Golden Strong Ale, Michael Pinkerton, Office of the Senate Finance Committee
  • Third Place: Saison, Claudia Urrabazo and Yuri Beckelman, Americus Homebrewers Association, Office of Democratic Whip, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD, 5th District)

Category 2: Bitter American and European Ales (10 entries)

  • First Place: Black IPA, Pierce Wiegard, Office of Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
  • Second Place: New England IPA, Deborah and Dean Haynie, Office of Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
  • Third Place: American Pale Ale, James Johnson, Office of Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ, 6th District)

Category 3: Spiced and Wood Beer (7 entries)

  • First Place: Sweet Stout, Josh Caplan, Office of the Senate Budget Committee
  • Second Place: Rauchbier, Eric Lausten, DC Homebrewers, Office of Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL, 3rd District)
  • Third Place: Sweet Stout with peanut butter and cocoa nibs, Ann Tumolo, Office of Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH, 2nd District)

The House vs. Senate Best on the Hill Homebrew Award went to the Senate this year for its Oatmeal Stout. The two hotly contested beers were made during the Homebrew on the Hill event back in September and awarded by popular vote at the reception.

“This is the type of brewing battle we like to see on Capitol Hill,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “This competition is a great example of how beer is bipartisan and brings people together. The annual Hill Staff Homebrew Competition is a fun way to tap into the collaborative—and often competitive—spirit of homebrewers in the Beltway. Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you to all those who entered into the competition.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D – Oregon), co-chair of the House Small Brewer Caucus.

Notable competition entrants included the offices of U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), and the offices of U.S. Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH).

Images from the awards reception are available for use and download here.

Hill Staff Homebrew Competition

(L-R) AHA Director Gary Glass, James Johnson of Rep. Frank Pallone’s (D-NJ) office, Clare Plassche of Rep. Albio Sire’s (D-NJ) office, and AHA Founder & Brewers Association President Charlie Papazian.


Alex Kofsky, on behalf of the American Homebrewers Association, (212) 255-75417