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Snipes Mountain looking for more awards in Denver

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Terry Butler, the head brewer at Snipes Mountain Microbrewery and Restaurant, does all the brewing and side work himself. Here, he checks the cleanliness of a fermenting tank.

Thirsty?

Why not try an award winning beer from Sunnyside's Snipes Mountain Microbrewery and Restaurant?

The microbrewery has 10 beers, made on-site, on tap for customers to taste. Also offered is beer to go, by the six-pack or even by keg.

Snipes' head brewer, Terry Butler, has been making beers at the brewery for just over a year.

"I was working at Rogue Ales in Newport, Ore. when the old head brewer at Snipes, Scott Freitas, called me and asked if I wanted to come to Sunnyside," Butler said. "After a few phone calls I was basically hired over the phone."

Butler honed his brewing skills in Eugene, Ore. He used to go into a place called the Wild Duck for lunch. It was a brew pub and he told them if they ever needed help to give him a call.

They did.

"I started off washing kegs for the first year and a half," he said. "That got old real quick but it kept me in the business and I got to drink a lot of beer."

He quickly worked his way up to washing out the fermenting and serving tanks. It wasn't long until he was filtering the beer and transferring the sweet nectar.

He then got his break and started working as a brewer.

"I've been brewing for four and a half years and I've been in the business for nine years," Butler explained.

His brewing duties took him to the Oregon Trail Brewery after the Wild Duck closed down. From there he went to Rogue Ales and now he is at Snipes Mountain.

He keeps 10 beers available to drink. Right now he has an American stout, a porter, a pale ale, an extra blonde ale, an IPA, a Hefeweizen, a Belgian wit, chocolate espresso stout, Coyote Moon nut brown ale and a fresh hop harvest ale.

Butler said the actual brewing of a beer takes between eight and nine hours. After the beer is brewed it is transferred to a fermentation tank, where it is kept between two and two and a half weeks. After that the beer is filtered and then transferred to serving tanks. Then the beer is ready to drink.

In the eight years Snipes Mountain Microbrewery and Restaurant has been open, their beers have won 15 awards. The most recent award was for Butler's American stout. The beer won a bronze medal at the 2006 World Beer Cup in Seattle.

"There were over 2,200 entries from 565 breweries from around the world," he said.

Sept. 27-30 Butler will be in Denver, Colo. at the Great American Beer Festival to present two of Snipes' beers, the American stout and a porter.

Butler said the porter won the gold medal three years ago and has won the silver medal the last two years. He is hoping to add another medal with his American stout.

Next month Butler will attend the Fresh Hop Ale Festival in Yakima. There he will pit his fresh hop harvest ale against other fresh hop beers.

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