Monday, August 24, 2009

Top Honors at the 2009 Washington IPA Challenge

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 This year’s winners will be invited back to defend their crown in 2010.

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