The 7th Annual New York International Beer Competition took place on February 11th, in New York City. The winners have recently been announced, and Atwood Ales Farm Brewery was awarded a bronze medal in the Belgian Style Witbier category for their Brett Saison beer, Triticale. Triticale was one of over 600 submissions from 14 different countries to be judged at the event.
What sets this competition apart from other beer competitions is its “trade only” blind judging panels, where retail store buyers, cicerones, restaurant beverage directors, distributors and importers are the judges. According to the competition organizers, the feeling is that these judges, whose livelihood rely upon their skill set, truly know what the consumer wants, as they receive on a daily basis the feedback from the consumer of what is good and what will sell.
“We are honored to receive a bronze medal for our brett saison, Triticale,” Director of Sales and Marketing for Atwood Ales Farm Brewery, Monica Smith. said. By adding that the “trade only” component of the judging is encouraging for a small brewery like Atwood. “We brew mostly farmhouse-style beers that do not always fit neatly into standard beer style categories, and sometimes we use weird ingredients… so, it is always a good feeling to have people say, ‘not only do we like your beer, but we know we can sell it.’”
Triticale is not only the name of Atwood’s award-winning beer, but also the name of a wheat-rye hybrid grain used in the recipe for the beer. Originally bred in Scotland and Germany in the 19th century, triticale combines the spicy flavor, durability and disease resistance of rye with the nutty flavor, yield and quality of wheat. All of the triticale, wheat and barley used by Atwood Ales Farm Brewery to brew Triticale was grown in the nearby Skagit Valley and malted by Skagit Valley Malting. In addition, all of the hops used in the brew were estate-grown and processed at Atwood Ales Farm Brewery, making this another “50-mile beer” in the Atwood portfolio.
“Triticale is a great introduction to Brett beers, particularly for people who are afraid of classic Brett flavor/aroma descriptors like ‘horse blanket’ and ‘ox urine’,” said Head Brewer, Josh Smith.
The use of a large portion of malted triticale adds some earthy spice and nuttiness to the beer’s flavor profile that complements the spicy, fruity character obtained from the mixed primary fermentation of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces yeasts. Triticale has thus far been bottle conditioning for eight months and has mild funky, barnyard character and notes of tropical and stone fruits. The Smiths say that if kept at cellar temperature, Triticale will continue to evolve for another year or more in the bottle. If you cannot find a bottle at your favorite beer retailer, look for another batch of Triticale to be released in the summer months. In the meantime, seek out some of Atwood’s other farmhouse and sour ales!
About Atwood Ales Farm Brewery
Atwood Ales Farm Brewery, Blaine’s first and oldest brewery, is located in a 100-year-old barn on a family-owned and operated farm, just 18 miles north of Bellingham. Opened in Spring of 2016, the farm grows ingredients for the on-site brewery, which produces a variety of ales inspired by French and Belgian farmhouse brewing traditions. While the brewery is closed to the general public, Atwood Ales’ bottle-conditioned beers are available Saturdays at the Bellingham Farmers Market, and in bottles and on draft at select locations around Puget Sound, from Vancouver, BC to Tacoma, WA. Learn more about Atwood Ales and find your nearest retailer, visit atwoodales.com.