If you haven’t noticed, IPAs are kind of a popular style in Seattle and the rest of the northwest. While local beer drinkers know how many great examples of the style are obtainable in our fair state, the large majority of these IPAs are not distributed very far from the source and it is a rare occassion that they get the chance to shine against other IPAs from around the country. The Brewing News National IPA Challenge pits 128 IPAs (with a max of 7.5% ABV) from around the country against each other in a head-to-head style matchup in a “March Madness” type of format. Several panels of brewers will blindly evaluate the beers and pick a winner each round, but the public can get in on the fun as well.
Head to the Brewing News NIPAC website and make your picks for which IPAs you think will move on each round and which IPA will eventually take the title. It’s just like filling out your NCAA tourney brackets. You may not know much about some of the competitors, but how is that different than when you decide to take an unknown #15 seed over a top #2 seed in the basketball tourney? The person who fills out the bracket that garners the most points will receive a free case of the 2011 NIPAC winning IPA.
Here are the 19 matchups for Washington breweries in the competition:
Elysian Brewing Co Idiot Sauvin vs. Six Rivers Brewery IPA
Schooner Exact Brewing Co 3-Grid IPA vs. SweetWater IPA
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Co Wildcat IPA vs. Mad Anthony Brewing Company Good Karma IPA
Black Raven Brewing Company Trickster IPA vs. Michigan Brewing High Seas IPA
Rock Bottom Brewery- Bellevue Hop Bomb IPA vs. Big Dog’s Brewing Co Hop Harvest Ale
Naked City Brewery & Taphouse Hoptrocity vs. Three Heads Brewing The Kind India Pale Ale
Trade Route Brewing Hoppy Bitch IPA vs. Marin Brewing Company Marin IPA
Pike IPA vs. Tallgrass Brewing Company Oasis
Flyers Restaurant and Brewery Hop Duster IPA vs. Oaken Barrel Brewing Company Super Fly
Snipes Mountain Zombie Killer vs. Tyranena Brewing Company Bitter Woman IPA
Boundary Bay IPA vs. Oskar Blues Brewery Dale’s Pale Ale
Boundary Bay Cascadia Dark vs. Pumphouse Brewery Summit IPA
Ice Harbor IPA vs. Avery India Pale Ale
Lazy Boy IPA vs. Great Lakes Brewing Commodore Perry IPA
Diamond Knot IPA vs. The Brew Kettle Production Works White Rajah
Flyers Restaurant and Brewery Afterburner IPA vs. Orlando Brewing Pompous Ass
Hale’s Ales Supergoose IPA vs. Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company Hoppin’ To Heaven IPA
Fremont Brewing Company Interurban IPA vs. Stone IPA
Harmon Brewing Commencement Bay I.P.A. vs. Hop City Brewing Company Happy Hour Premium Ale
Make sure your predictions are complete! The deadline for your picks is 9am PT, Sunday, February 13, 2011. The NIPAC starts on February 13th in Buffalo, New York and then continues weekly up until the Final Four on March 5 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.