Thanks to one of the many beer related emails that hit my inboxes daily, I found out that this year's winner of the AHA title "Homebrewer of the Year" is a woman. I also found out that Annie Johnson is the first woman to claim that title in 30 years. Not only that, her entry was a light lager.
First of all, congrats to Annie! Sitting at the top of the heap of 3,400 entries is pretty darn cool and something she's likely put years and years into achieving.
Second, I think the fact that a light lager was able to win the competition speaks to growing popularity of lower alcohol, lighter beers. I have friends who have gotten tired of super-hopped beers and who are looking for well-made, sessionable counterparts to the IPAs/DIPAs/Imperial IPAs that I love. There is, of course, also the argument to be made that making a quality light beer takes much more finesse than dumping in as many hops as one can, letting them and a higher alcohol content gloss over imperfections.
Third, and this is a point that I hope I am able to phrase appropriately, I would be remiss in my thoughts on this brewer if I didn't also include the fact that Annie is black. For years Mag and I have commented on the very noticeable lack of non-white people at beer festivals. It seems to extend to the brewing industry in general as well. I find it odd and wonder why that's the case. If you have any theories or if you're a non-white craft beer drinker or brewer I'd love to hear what you think.
Have a great 4th everyone and whether you reach for a sessionable lager, a pucker-inducing sour or a steroid-hopped brew, enjoy!