Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cast Your Vote for Local Beer!

Bend Brewing Co.’s award-winning brewer Tonya Cornett traveled to the U.K. last month as an international guest brewer for pub company J.D. Wetherspoon’s annual International Real-Ale Festival.

Now it’s your chance to make sure that her Wild Blue Yonder Oregon Amber wins the festival’s top prize! The hoppy amber is up against 50 of the world’s best guest ales, according to the J.D. Wetherspoon Web site.

Between today and Monday, May 4, anyone can cast their vote at Click on the International Real Ale Festival and make your choice. You don’t have to try the beer first, but it will be on tap at Bend Brewing Co. beginning the last week of this month should you want to taste this excellent hoppy amber.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase American craft brewing, and a win would open the door for other American brewers to have the same opportunity,” says Cornett.

Cornett was the first-ever female brewer to be invited to participate in the event and the only representative from the United States this year. “I was thrilled and honored to be included,” says Cornett, who has already been invited back to the U.K. to brew again in the future.

325 barrels (over 10,000 gallons) of Wild Blue Yonder were brewed (with American hops!) in two days during Cornett’s U.K. visit. The beer will be distributed at J.D. Wetherspoon’s over-700 pubs.

Cornett has been with Bend Brewing Co. since 2002 and is a graduate of the World Brewing Academy of Germany, a partnership between Seibel Institute of Chicago and Doemens Academy of Munich. In recent years she has garnered several gold, bronze and silver medals for her beer and in 2008 was honored as the first woman to win the title of Brewmaster of the Year at the World Beer Cup.

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