Local Breweries Compete in the Brewing News National IPA Championship – Fill Out Your Bracket

February 10th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Washington Breweries

There may be no greater spectacle in sports than the excitement that is the NCAA March Madness (Go Boilers!). IPAs are easily my favorite style of beer and often what you’ll find me drinking at home and out at the bars. So, every year when the Brewing News combines these two of my favorite things for the National IPA Challenge, you’ll have to excuse me if I get just a little giddy. The concept? Take your typical March Madness bracket, but replace the college basketball teams with some of the best IPAs from all over the country. The Brewing News has managed to put together 128 IPAs to compete, and only regular strength IPAs were allowed to enter (7.5% ABV cap). Each beer will be paired up against one other beer in each round, and panels of brewers will judge to determine who moves on to the next round. It’s not over until one IPA prevails over the other 127.

While it’s exciting to watch the results, the fun part is filling out your own bracket and trying to pick the winners. It’s tough to do since there are IPAs from all over the US, many of which most of us have never even heard of, let alone sampled. But, how much did you really know about that 12 seed you picked to upset that 5 seed in last year’s NCAA tourney? The top prize for the entry earning the most points is a case of the winning IPA from this year’s tournament.

Rules can be found here.

You can sign up here.

If you just want to see the brackets and pairings that’s here.

While everyone is going to have their favorites, we’ll also be keeping our eyes on how the locals do. 14 Washington IPAs will be competing this year, and they’ve obviously got some tough competition.

Washington IPAs:

Black Raven Trickster IPA
Boundary Bay IPA
Breakaway IPA (entered by Baron)
Diamond Knot IPA
Elysian Immortal IPA
Elysian Stolen Fire/Prometheus IPA
Fremont Interurban IPA
Hale’s Supergoose IPA
Lazy Boy IPA
Pike IPA
Port Townsend Hop Diggity
Ram Big Red IPA
Redhook Long Hammer IPA
Snoqualmie Falls Wildcat IPA

And of course, what would a preview be without some thoughts and predictions on the matchups?

  • Boundary Bay IPA looks to have a nice path in the first few rounds, and I think they’ll make it through to the Sweet 16.
  • Elysian Stolen Fire/Prometheus faces off against the Breakaway IPA in the first round. Tough matchup for these 2 WA IPAs (I took Elysian).
  • Troegs Nugget Nectar vs. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA might be the toughest first round matchup. They’re both great beers, but I have the Sculpin going deep into the competition.
  • There’s a second WA matchup. Port Townsend Hop Diggidy faces Lazy Boy IPA in the first round. Hop Diggidy might go into the battle as the favorite, but Lazy Boy could surprise with an upset.
  • Green Flash West Coast IPA and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale are on a collision course for the second round. These are two of the highest-regarded IPAs in the country, and Green Flash beat out Bell’s in the final two years ago. But, in 2009 both beers were eliminated by the end of the 2nd round.
  • Black Raven Trickster IPA could go far as well. I like them to make the round of 16, but the Anderson Valley Beer Guy Over the Top IPA could be a wild card.


5 Comments so far ↓

  • Tim Nichols

    I realize that not every Washington IPA can make it, but no Walking Man, Silver City, or Dick’s?

  • Kaiser

    Tim – it was completely up to the breweries to register and submit their beer. In addition to announcements in the Brewing News and on several blogs (including this one), I emailed a few contacts as well to make sure they were aware. But, it was ultimately up to them.

  • Frank Belson

    I had Breakaway taking out former employer Boundary Bay before losing to eventual champion Diamond Knot. But, I always get my hoops bracket wrong too.

  • AndyTheBeerman

    Don’t forget Central City Red Racer IPA from Surrey, BC. Not a WA IPA, but it’s still Northwest, right?

    Talk about a tough bracket, Red Racer faces FW Union Jack in Rnd 1. Only a 2 time GABF Gold Medal Winner…

  • Three Washington IPAs Continue to Advance in the National IPA Championship

    […] heading into the second round. If you are not familiar with the contest you can reference my original post. Here is how Washington breweries did in the second […]

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