Most Wednesday afternoons you’ll find the 40 barrel brew system boiling and steaming, the bottling line banging and clanging, and pallets of beer whizzing by on forklifts, but last Wednesday was a little different. Beer Educator and Judge Jay Brooks had just touched down in Seatac, en route to hand deliver an award we hardly dreamed of getting only weeks ago. Clocking in at fifteen pounds, the World’s Best Beer Award isn’t Jay’s usual carry-on luggage (“my arm became a bit sore” he said later) but when he took it out of it’s velvet case it conveyed its significance in the streaming light of the warehouse.
Mingling among the brew team were shareholders, members of the media, Washington Senator Karen Fraser and Lacey Deputy Mayor Cynthia Pratt. Chef Rick and his pub team put out a fantastic spread, including fresh oysters provided by National Fish & Oyster Company and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association.
“This is an award of a lifetime” said CEO Sal Leone during his speech. “It’s an honor to represent this brewery”
Jay Brooks follow up with a run down of how such an expansive award is judged. As head judge of the Americas, he judges everything in this hemisphere. Beers winning in each category are sent to London to be evaluated in a final “best of show”. After the dust settled, Beyond The Pale was the one left standing.
The ever verbose Paul Pearson stated: “I’d like to thank all the members of my team for all their hard work, and all the mug clubbers for their support”. And then he added a simple shrug, for emphasis. Oh Paul!
This award has already been a wild ride. It’s garnered us international attention, and we’re getting inquiries from Brazil to Belgium. We enjoy the hell out of our beer, and it’s fantastic to hear that there are a few others out there who do as well
Photo Credit Ron Swarner 2015