Tester Reaches Across the Ale to Brew a Montana Victory

Senator’s beer brewed with barley grown on his own family farm near Big Sandy wins awards

Senator Jon Tester, along with his bipartisan buddy Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), swept both awards in last night’s Fifth Annual Brew Across America Congressional Brewing Competition sponsored by Anheuser-Busch. Their beer—the “Seventeen Finger Select”—was brewed with barley the Senator and his wife, Sharla, grew on their own farm near Big Sandy, Montana.

“Montanans know good beer, so while I’m not all that surprised, I’m very proud that Senator Rounds’ and my beer took home the gold,” said Tester. “I’ve always said that family farm agriculture is fundamental to preserving our democracy, and there’s no better toast to that than bringing folks together over a bipartisan beer brewed with barley Sharla and I grew on our own family farm in Big Sandy.”

The Brew Across America competition awarded two distinctions: the Brew Democracy Cup, selected by a panel of judges; and the People’s Choice Award, selected by popular vote. Tester and Rounds bested five other bipartisan Congressional teams to earn both awards.

Tester’s Seventeen Finger Select is a dark American wheat-style beer that was brewed at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado using Hockett barley that the Testers grew and harvested over the summer. Tester’s beer made competition history as the first Senate beer to win an award, the first beer to win both awards, and the first beer to be brewed with ingredients grown or harvested by a contestant.

In August, the Testers hosted an Anheuser-Busch brewing team at their farm to craft the winning beer flavor together. Nate Murphy, the Fort Collins Brewmaster behind the final product, hails from Hardin, Montana.