American Homebrewers Association Announces Winners of 2019 ‘Hill Staff Homebrew Competition’

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Washington, D.C. Dec. 12, 2019 – The American Homebrewers Association® (AHA) presented its fourth annual Hill Staff Homebrew Competition, celebrating the comradery, community, and bipartisanship of craft beer. Individuals and teams of eligible congressional legislative staff and federal employees submitted their homebrewed beers for the chance to receive the coveted Capitol Hill Staff Homebrew Champion Trophy.

The 28 entries were evaluated by an elite group of certified beer judges and professional brewers. Gary Glass, director of the AHA, and John Moorhead, AHA competition manager announced the winners.

“Craft beer is a unifying force and shared passion on Capitol Hill and something we can all agree on,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “It is great to see staffers, members, and employees collaborate together to produce unique homebrews that reflect the hometowns and favorite styles of the Capitol Hill community. Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you to all who participated in the competition.”

The 2019 Winners

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

  • “Majestic Sea Cow,” American Pale Ale, by James Zorn, Office of Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL, 13th District)
Claudia Urrabazo and Yuri Beckelman won third place with their “Pre-Existing Relationship,” a Belgian Tripel with chili peppers.

Category 1: Fruit and Spiced Beers

  • First Place: “Warm Your Noggin Winter Ale,” Winter Seasonal with nutmeg and vanilla, by Jacob Towle, Office of Senate Special Committee on Aging
  • Second Place: “Coffee Stout,” American Stout with coffee, by Michael Rodgers, Annapolis Homebrew Club, US Capitol Hill Police
  • Third Place: “Pre-Existing Relationship,” Belgian Tripel with chili peppers, by Claudia Urrabazo and Yuri Beckelman, Americus Homebrewers Association, Office of Democratic Whip, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD, 5th District) and Office of Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA, 41st District)

Category 2: Bitter American and English Ales

  • First Place: “Majestic Sea Cow,” American Pale Ale, by James Zorn, Office of Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL, 13th District)
  • Second Place: “John Barleycorn’s Extra Special Bitter,” Strong Bitter Ale, by Gray Maxwell, Office of Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)
  • Third Place: “Wheels Up Thursday,” American IPA, by Pierce Wiegard and David Pigue, Office of Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)

Category 3: Hybrid/Mixed Ale and Lagers

  • First Place: “Clear Vision,” Belgian Triple, by Robert Ordway, Office of Senator Mike Braun (R-IN)
  • Second Place: “Schwartzy,” Schwarzbier, by Adam Link, Office of Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX, 13th District)
  • Third Place: “Cluster’s Last Stand,” Cream Ale, by Kevin Morris, Office of the Chief Administrative Office (CAO), Acquisitions Management

The House vs. Senate Best on the Hill Award went to the Senate this year. This honor is awarded to the congressional chamber that accrues the most points in the competition by category. The Senate accrued 18 points, the House, 12 points.

More than 16 congressional offices participated in the competition, including the offices of  Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD, 5th District), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

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

American Homebrewers Association Competition Director John Moorhead awards James Zorn, office of Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL, 13th District), the Best of Show trophy at the Hill Staff Homebrew Competition.

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,000-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at® and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association® and the free Brew Guru® mobile app. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.
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