Winner Profile: A short biography of the winning brewer, frequently including tips on homebrewing.

Jeff Landers
2018 Midwest Homebrewer of the Year
Midwest Homebrewer of the Year Winner Photo

Wow, 2nd year in a row and what a year it was! I guess I picked a good hobby.

This year I tried to concentrate on judging my own beer before I entered anything. If I didn’t think a beer was exactly to style or that it wouldn’t place, I would not enter it. For some of the styles that I was not as familiar with, I would bring them to my home brew clubs, Urban Knaves of Grain (UKG) and Club Wort, and have one of the other judges there give me feedback. This increased my winning percentage to over 50%.

The other thing that I tried this year was to dial in my brew system for step mashing and decoctions. Step mashes really help dry out a lager and make it more drinkable while decoctions help bring out more complex malt flavors in darker and maltier German Styles.

I had a ton of successful competitions at the end of this year. In Oct/Nov, I won 3 Best of Shows with 3 different recipes – a Czech Pilsner at Brixtober Fest, a Vienna at Spooky Brew, and a German Liechtbier at FOAM Cup.

After winning the MWHBOTY in 2017, I was lucky enough to have Church St Brewing out of Itasca IL ramp up my favorite Vienna Lager recipe. We brewed 30 barrels as their 6th anniversary beer and canned a portion of it in packs of 16-ounce cans. I was able to get it distributed to my local liquor store and have it on draft at my favorite bar.

To my Dad and my Father-in-law, this one’s for both of you. Wish you both could be here!

Farmhouse Brewing Supply
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