The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) today announced the winners of the third annual Hill Staff Homebrew Competition, a contest putting congressional legislative staff members’ beer making skills to the test. This year’s champion might surprise you, and at the very least, is most likely not from your state.
The 2018 Capitol Hill Staff Homebrew Champion prize was awarded to Alaskan legislative counsel Pierce Wiegard, from the Office of Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), for his Black IPA. The beer won first place in Category 2: Bitter American and European Ales.
Other category winners included Gray Maxwell, Office of Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), for his Scottish Export Ale (Category 1: UK and Belgian Ales); and Josh Caplan, Office of the Senate Budget Committee, for his Sweet Stout (Category 3: Spiced and Wood Beer).
In a separate competition, the House Vs. Senate Best on the Hill Homebrew Award went to the Senate by popular vote for its Oatmeal Stout.
Notable 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), the Brewers Association (BA) writes.
The Congressional contest isn’t only fun and games. The BA, which is the parent organization of the AHA, actively lobbies on Capitol Hill to improve craft beer legislation. Last December, Congress passed the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, due in large part to the BA’s efforts.
“This is the type of brewing battle we like to see on Capitol Hill,” Gary Glass, AHA director, said in the announcement. “This competition is a great example of how beer is bipartisan and brings people together.”
At the very least, beer has a better reputation in Congress than the Supreme Court.