Cary, NC – Every year, the top breweries in the country compete at the Great American Beer Festival. This year, Cary’s own Bond Brothers Beer Company entered one of their beers and won the silver medal in their category.
Silver Medal Nationally
Bond Brothers Beer Company entered one of its beers in the American-Style Sour Ale category. That beer, Disenchantment Blend #1, took second place in the category, coming just behind a beer from the Flat Tail Brewing Company from Corvallis, Oregon.
Whit Baker, Bond Brothers’ brewmaster and co-owner, said as a beer judge, he had insight into which of their beers would perform the best.
“It’s not always about how good the beer is but rather how close it fits to the style guide,” Baker said. “There are several beers we are proud of but the flavor profiles are too far in one direction.”
Together with Bond Brothers’ head of blending Sean McKinney, Baker selected Disenchantment Blend #1 for the competition.
“It had an acidity level that was in the middle and it had the right lactic character,” Baker said. “It is also very aromatic, though we didn’t use fruit in it. That smell comes from the wild yeast we used.”
Popularity of Sour Beer
In addition to this now-award-winning beer, Bond Brothers offers several other sour beers and McKinney said many breweries are now trying to include more sour beer.
“Sour beers, and IPAs, have become the new trendy style, whereas you used to see a lot more heavy beers such as barley stouts,” McKinney said.
Baker said, as with IPAs, brewers of sour beers used to focus on making the flavor as extreme as possible but that has begun to shift.
“With sour stuff, we’re seeing a lot more barrel brewing so it has a milder and more balanced taste,” Baker said.
McKinney added that the popularity of sour beers also incentivizes breweries to dial down these extreme sour tastes.
“The consumer palate is getting more educated so sours can be more nuanced,” McKinney said.
With this award, Baker said the brewery is interested in looking to enter more technical award competitions and earn the business more commendations.
Bond Brothers also won a vote from fans in March 2017 from USA Today to be named the best new brewery.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Hal Goodtree and Bond Brothers Beer Company.