(Photo above: Todd Clement, Head Brewer | Photo courtesy of Monkless Belgian Ales)
After two days of judging beers from around the world, the inaugural USA Beer Ratings competition revealed its 2018 Beer of the Year — Meet Your Maker, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale from Monkless Belgian Ales in Bend. This beer was a huge hit with competition judges, who gave it the highest points on the scoreboard of 2018 (96 out of a possible 100) for quality, value and packaging, the three judging criteria used to rank and evaluate the beers at the San Francisco event. In addition, Monkless Belgian Ales won Brewery of the Year and was awarded a silver medal for their Dry Hop Belgian Tripel, Capitulation.
The USA Beer Ratings competition was launched in late 2017 by Beverage Trade Network, which organizes beer industry events all over the world. The goal of this event was to judge beers the way consumers judge them. This competition is unique, in contrast to other beer competitions, in that it includes brewing ability and technical experience as a primary measure, but also includes evaluation of packaging and value. The goal of the USA Beer Ratings competition was to award and celebrate the beers that consumers actually want to buy, whether at a retail liquor store or ordering off the menu at a restaurant.
“At all the major competitions, beers are judged solely on the quality of what’s in the bottle. We wanted to take a different approach, by asking our judges to look at beers the way beer drinkers do, adding appearance and value for money into the mix,” said Chief executive of Beverage Trade Network Sid Patel. “The judges were impressed by every aspect of the entry from Monkless Belgian Ales, and especially the overall quality of the beer itself.”
The USA Beer Ratings Competition was the first of several events that Beverage Trade Network will be hosting over the next 18 months as part of a global drinks initiative to introduce beer drinkers to innovative and value-oriented beers from all over the world.
Monkless distributes throughout Oregon and southern Washington as well as through the international beer club app Tavour. Monkless recently introduced New York City to their beers at Octfest 2018, An International Beer, Music and Food Celebration that took place on Governor’s Island in New York City September 8 and 9 and expect to pick up limited New York and International distribution in the coming months.
On September 28, Monkless celebrates two years of Belgian Beers at their 10 bbl brewing facility in the urban brewer’s district on Bend’s Northeast side. With consistent growth and recent Gold and Silver Medal wins at the Oregon Beer Awards and now USA Beer Ratings, they continue to do their part to continue and push the innovative and robust Oregon beer scene.
During their two-year celebration the parking lot will transform into a live music and beer garden venue, complete with a draft trailer, hay bales, fire pits, food truck and a live t-shirt printing station. Brewery tours from the founder/head brewer, Todd Clement, will commence at the top of every hour. This event marks the steady growth of Monkless’ operation from 430 bbl in 2017 to a projected 700 bbl in 2018 and celebrates Oregon’s thirst for traditional and unique Belgians.