2009 Washington IPA Challenge Results

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA, Marin Brewing White Knuckle Double IPA, and Rock Bottom Bellevue Hop Bomb Take Top Honors at the 2009 Washington IPA Challenge

Seattle, WA (8/22/09) – On Saturday, August 22, 16 judges gathered at Beveridge Place Pub, located in Seattle, Washington, for a blind evaluation of 36 IPA and Imperial IPA entries. The Washington IPA Challenge was a chance for some of Washington’s breweries, very few of which distribute beer outside of the Northwest, to compete with select well-regarded IPAs from around the country.

In this inaugural year of the Challenge, Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA, from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles, California, was judged the winning IPA out of 19 entries. Marin White Knuckle Double IPA, from Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, California, was judged the winning Imperial IPA out of 17 entries. Congratulations to both breweries for winning a competition that was packed with outstanding examples of the styles. For the rest of the field, the saying “Everyone is a winner” truly applied to the IPAs in this competition. As this was a competition with a Washington focus, a big congrats goes out to Big Time Brewing for taking second place in the IPA category with their Scarlet Fire IPA!

Beveridge Place Pub also had 12 Washington IPAs on tap for the occasion for public consumption, and customers voted for their favorites. The tap handles were blank, with only numbers to order samples by so that there was no bias in the customers’ voting. Rock Bottom Hop Bomb IPA, from the Rock Bottom in Bellevue, Washington, tallied the most votes (in a serious landslide) to claim the Customer Favorite award from the Challenge. For the Hop Bomb, this award follows up a Gold medal at GABF in 2008 and a Silver medal at GABF in 2007. Cheers to brewer Brian Young for his continued success!

For more complete results of the Challenge, please visit Seattlebeernews.com. This year’s winners will be invited back to defend their crown in 2010.

Participating beers in the IPA category:

Northern Lights IPA (WA) Cigar City Jai Alai IPA (FL)
Laurelwood Workhorse IPA (OR) Silver City Indianola IPA (WA)
Three Floyds Alpha King (IN) Anacortes IPA (WA)
Green Flash West Coast IPA (CA) Big Time Scarlet Fire (WA)
Rock Bottom (Bellevue) Hop Bomb (WA) Diamond Knot IPA (WA)
Pike IPA (WA) Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA (CA)
Boundary Bay IPA (WA) Stone IPA (CA)
Snoqualmie Wildcat IPA (WA) Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (MI)
Victory Hop Devil (PA) Big Al IPA (WA)
Elysian Immortal IPA (WA)

Participating beers in the Imperial IPA category:

Russian River Pliny the Elder (CA) Silver City Whoop Pass Double IPA (WA)
Three Floyds Dreadnaught (IN) Diamond Knot Industrial IPA (WA)
Pike Double IPA (WA) Firestone Walker Double Jack (CA)
Boundary Bay Imperial IPA (WA) Stone Ruination IPA (CA)
Victory Hop Wallop (PA) Elliott Bay Hoppus Collosum (WA)
7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA (WA) Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA (OR)
Port Brewing Hop 15 (CA) Maritime Imperial IPA (WA)
Marin Brewing White Knuckle Double IPA (CA) Elysian Hubris Imperial IPA (WA)
Oskar Blues Gordon (CO).

About Washington Beer: The state of Washington boasts over 80 active breweries, very few of which distribute their beer outside of the state or the Northwest. The majority of the nation’s hops are grown in the state of Washington (63 million lbs out of a total 80 million lbs in 2008), and the state ranks fourth among the top barley-producing states. Craft brewing pioneer Bert Grant (1928 – 2001) established the first modern day brewpub in the United States in Yakima, Washington, and he also led the charge to revive the India Pale Ale style in this country. Bert would be proud to see all of the Washington IPAs that have followed in his footsteps.

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