Monday morning....

Nobody really likes Monday mornings, but this past Monday at the brewery wasn’t so bad. Amid the masses of emails to be caught up on, one stood out. It was from the World Beer Awards.

Months before, in May, careful hands packaged enough bottles of one style for a panel of judges to sample and sent them on their way to the World Beer Awards judging location. The tasting wouldn’t occur until August and the hope was the beers would be safe over the upcoming months. By August, the competition had escaped everyone’s mind, until the email arrived. The tasting had finally occurred and the results were in. Attached was the list of winners. And there it was, receiving a gold medal award for the United States; Our Toe Tag Belgian Tripel.

What happened next was a lot of smiling, yelling, some tears and a sigh of relief. It is a bit of a surreal feeling to see your beer assigned a gold medal and a huge honor. The 11th Annual World Beer Awards used an international judging panel to blind-taste over 1900 beers from 36 countries to identify the best beers in each of the 72 styles.

Brewed to be a part of the high gravity Phoenix Mortuary Series of beers, the Toe Tag Belgian Tripel pours a bright gold with a thick, creamy head. Complex flavors with spicy phenolic notes, fruity esters and a sweetness from the malts combine to hide the higher ABV of 9% and mask the bitterness of the 30 IBUs. According to head brewer Duncan Macfarlane, “while this beer is delicious from the tap, it continues to improve with a little age in the bottle.” It is scheduled to be released on tap in mid-October and as a limited bottle release in November.

If all Mondays were like this, they wouldn’t be so bad.