On Friday, Sept. 30, the panel of experienced beer judges selected the following four beers as the best-tasting and best-balanced out of the 37 super-hoppy beers entered:
1st – Torrey Pines IPA, Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Company, Vista, Calif., brewer – Jeff Bagby
2nd – Pliney the Elder, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif., brewer – Vinnie Cilurzo
3rd – Green Flash IPA, Green Flash Brewing Co., Vista, Calif., brewer – Chuck Silva
Honorable Mention – Hercules Double IPA, Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver, Colo., brewer – Bernie Tonnig
Hopunion’s Ralph Olson and Ralph Woodall crowned the new Alpha King, Jeff Bagby. Ralph & Ralph then gave each of the other winners a combination of the following prizes: a small cash award, a gift certificate for pitchable yeast from White Labs, and a free 44-pound box of hop pellets from Hopunion. Congratulations to all of the winners!
(One sidenote: One day afterwards, the top two beers from the Alpha King Challenge were also announced as GABF medal winners, in the American IPA and Double IPA categories, respectively.)