Blanc Takes First Place at US Open Beer Championships

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Blanc, our Belgian Style Wheat Ale brewed with citrus peel, took home first place at the US Open Beer Competition for the Belgian Witbier category! Brewed with a traditional Belgian yeast strain, this refreshing light ale has notes of tangerine and light spiciness from locally sourced spices. This was the first Sonder beer to ever make it to package, and has been a staple since opening in October 2018.

The US Open judged over 7,000 beers for more than 130 categories with judges from England, Canada, and the United States. The competition happens every year where judges taste the beers blind, only knowing the category of the beer and not where the beer is from. The US Open judges more beer categories than any other competition, and accepts beer from all over the world to be entered.

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The story behind Blanc starts prior to Sonder opening with the four owners getting together and figuring out what beers will be year round once the doors open. Once three of the four realized that Belgian Style Wheat Ales are among their favorite styles of beer, it made sense to move forward with Blanc as an option. Chase, our COO and Director of Brewing Operations,  crafted the recipe on his home brew system, and it was clear from the start that this would be a core beer. This is also the most mysterious beer we have due to the secrecy behind the recipe and brewery practices. Only three people know the full recipe and brewing nuances of this beer, and even three of the managing owners are left out on the secrets. This beer definitely gets a bit of extra love every time it’s brewed, and it shows in the end product. Blanc is the beer we recommend for pairing with food, and is the ideal counterpart to your favorite meal. When Daniel Schmerr, CSO, is at events talking about Blanc with food he’ll say, “Pairing with food is a balancing act. Anything that is left on your palate craves acidity to wash it off. The gentle spice from Blanc excites your palate, while the bright acidity cleans and refreshes your palate to make the next bite of food taste just as fresh as your first bite”.

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With the beer being so delicate and artfully crafted, the name needed to embody how beautiful it is. Haley, Director of Strategic Partnerships, when tasting the beer said, “This is a beer that is so beautiful that it deserves a name like Blanc”. The name stuck, and Blanc is now a flagship beer for us and will continue to be a Sonder Brewing staple.