Winners of the 2018 Hill Staff Homebrew Competition

2018 Hill Staff Homebrew Competition
Hill Staff Homebrew winners and AHA founder Charlie Papazian (right)

Since we are quite fond of beer, let’s take a look at the sort of non-partisan shenanigans our Hill Staff get into when they make their own beers.

On December 11th, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) hosted the 3rd annual Hill Staff Homebrew Competition at the Longworth House Office Building. The most non-partisan event our House and Senate take part in. Because everyone loves beer!

Besides the brief award ceremony (see list of winners below), the event proved to be a mini-beer festival with at least 16 different breweries pouring two different beer styles, with lots of stouts and IPAs available. Locally represented was Port City, Denizens and Heavy Seas. While there were plenty of other regions represented, three came from the Pacific Northwest – Fremont, Reuben’s Brews and Dechutes.

One could also get a quick taste of some of the competition’s homebrew entries, and I was able to try the 3rd place finisher (Sweet Stout) in the Spiced and Wood Category. I liked it.

Also, the House vs. Senate Best on the Hill Homebrew Award went to the Senate this year for its Oatmeal Stout. (These two beers were made during the Homebrew on the Hill event back in September and awarded by popular vote at the reception.) I tried them both and cast my vote for the House’s sour beer (but both were pretty good).

Charlie Papazian, retiring founder of the AHA (after 40 years!), gave a few words to the milling and happily beer tasting crowd, then announced the winners.

1st place entry from each category competes for the overall trophy.
The 2018 winners:
Capitol Hill Staff Homebrew Champion

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

Category 1: UK and Belgian Ales (5 entries)

First Place: Scottish Export Ale by Gray Maxwell (Office of Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, D-MD)
Second Place: Belgian Golden Strong Ale by Michael Pinkerton (Office of the Senate Finance Committee)
Third Place: Saison by 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 by Pierce Wiegard (Office of Senator Dan Sullivan, R-AK)
Second Place: New England IPA by Deborah and Dean Haynie (Office of Senator Chris Van Hollen, D-MD)
Third Place: American Pale Ale by James Johnson (Office of Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ, 6th District)

Category 3: Spiced and Wood Beer (7 entries)

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

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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