Annie Johnson of Sacramento, Calif., won Homebrewer of the Year when results of the American Homebrewers Association National Homebrew Competition were announced Saturday in Philadelphia.
A record 3,400 attended the 35th National Homebrewers Conference, 75 percent more than last year.
Johnson won with a beer she called her Lite American Lager.
Tavish Sullivan won the Cidermaker of the Year award with his Common Cider, and Mark Tanner won the Meadmaker of the Year award with his Strawberry, Rhubarb and Blackberry Mead. Local homebrewer David Barber won the Ninkasi Award as the winningist brewer in the competition. He won gold medals in the Strong Ale and German Wheat and Rye Beer categories; his homebrew club, Lehigh Valley Homebrewers also won the Gambrinus Club Award.
“Homebrewing is growing fast and attracting a more diverse following,” said AHA director Gary Glass. “I’m pleased see a woman win the Homebrewer of the Year Award, and it’s impressive that she did so in a lager category. Lagers are difficult to brew well, which shows how homebrewers are more technically proficient than ever before.”
The National Homebrew Competition recognizes the most outstanding homemade beer, mead and cider produced by homebrewers. This year, there were 7,756 entries from 2,187 homebrewers located in 49 states and the District of Columbia, U.S. Military APO, Puerto Rico, three Canadian Provinces and Belgium, entered in the first round of the competition.
First round took place at 11 regional sites in the United States. Judges evaluated 894 entries were in the second round. For the first competition, Boulder, Colo., in 1979, there were 34 entries.
Tickets for the 2013 National Homebrewers Conference went on sale Feb. 5 and sold out within 20 hours. Next year’s event will be June 12-14 in Grand Rapids, Mich.