Red Deer brewery takes second at the World Beer Cup
Out of the 81 beers entered cateogry, Open Road by Troubled Monk took second place
Charlie Bredo never expected his beer to win.
After all, Troubled Monk hasn't even been running for a year, but the Red Deer brewery still entered its Open Road American Brown Ale into the World Beer Cup.
"We just figured we would try," said Bredo. "You always think you would have a chance but there are a lot of good beers out there."
The World Beer Cup saw 6,596 beers from 1,907 breweries from 55 countries entered in the competition some refer to as the "Olympics of Beer."
Bredo and his brothers, the other co-founders of Troubled Monk, were surprised they took second in the American-style brown ale category.
There were 81 beers entered in the category, with top prize going to Black Hog Brewing, a brewery from Connecticut.
For Bredo, this was his moment to bring international attention to Alberta breweries.
"This award brings recognition to Alberta breweries to the rest of the world," he said. "It's us saying, 'Hey guys, we have some great beer in Alberta, come check us out.' "
Craft breweries have been popping up all over Alberta ever since 2013, when the province dropped regulations that required breweries to produce at least 500,000 litres per year.
An Alberta product
Bredo said he and his brothers always loved beer and "for better or worse" drank a fair bit of it. One day, not long after the regulations were dropped they joked they should start a brewery.
One thing led to another and soon they were applying for licences. Since the start they have tried to make a product that represents their home.
"Alberta has world-class barley, it's malted locally only 45 minutes from here at a place called Alix, at Rahr, and we use it as a base," said Bredo.
"So a lot of this is a local product."
Garret Haynes, the brewmaster at Troubled Monk, is himself a local product. He's from Ponoka and was a member of the first graduating class from the brewmaster program at Olds college.
The brewery name comes from the long history that monks have of brewing beer in European monasteries.
"This is kind of a playful reference on a really passionate beer brewing monk who is totally dedicated to his craft," said Bredo.
"So much so, his peers think he is a little bit off but he's just doing it on his own terms."
Now, after the World Beer Cup, it seems all the monks troubles were worthwile.