Southern Brew News December 2016/January 2017 : Page 7

In 1999, before the turn of the mil-lennium -and the turning of American palates toward the more heavily hopped versions of the India Pale Ale -Bill Owens decided to create a competition that would judge a beer’s hop worthiness. The Alpha King Challenge was a joint ef-fort, including Owens and American Brewer, Yakima Chief Hopunion (Hopunion at the time), and Three Floyds Brewing, whose Alpha King Pale Ale gave the competition its name. The winner of the competition was the beer that best expressed hop flavor. The only restriction was that each entry have no less that 62 International Bittering Units, seen to be quite high at the time. Bill Owens was a visionary. In 1983, he opened Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, which he claims to be the first brewpub in the nation. In 1985, he created American Brewer, seeing a bright future in artisanal beer. He has since continued his publishing efforts with American Distiller, a publication covering the relatively new industry of artisanal distilling. Just as Owens foresaw, the nation’s number of breweries grew, perhaps to levels even he had never imagined. With that growth, American brewers ex-perimented with Old World beer styles, creating New World versions of them. One of those styles was the India Pale Ale (IPA). Originally a British invention, the IPA has found a holy place on the American pal-ate. And in a reversal of historic norms, the American style sparked a counter invasion of hoppy beers in Great Britain. The inaugural Alpha King Challenge occurred in 1999. It consisted of approximately 20 hoppy beers judged in a hotel conference room during the Great American Beer Festival. The entries were lined along several tables, where a small group of beer journalists sampled them. A smaller group of beer judges chose the winner, the Alpha King. The winner of the first Alpha King Challenge was Two-Hearted Ale, brewed at Bells Brewing’s Ka-lamazoo, Michigan location. In 1999, Two-Hearted Ale was considered a path blazer. Its amped-up hop content challenged the taste buds of a generation of pre-Millennium hop lovers. Since then, the competition’s winners reads like a Who’s Who list of the great American IPA breweries, brewers and their beers. Moylan’s Double IPA (Bren-don Moylan), Pizza Port’s Hop 15 (Tomme Arthur), Russian River’s Pliny the Elder (Vinnie Cilurzo), Port Brewing’s Poor Man IPA (Jeff Bagby) and Thai Me Up’s 2x4 (Kirk McHale) have all taken home top honors in the annual event. This year’s winner, Headwall Imperial IPA from Lakeside (and now Missoula) Montana’s Tamarack Brewing Company), continues the tradition. And adds a new name to the list of IPA brewers of fame: Kyle Carson (and the Tamarack Brew Crew read the entry form). Already a winner of the National Imperial IPA Challenge, an annual event that pits IPAs, Imperial IPAs, and Session IPAs from across the nation against each other, Tamarack’s Headwall is a favorite of hopheads. The 2016 AKC entry disappointed no one. It was a clear winner to the group of seven judges sitting in on the final round. The competition has continued to grow larger and stiffer. This year, 150 beers from breweries across the country competed to be the 2016 Alpha King. With the growth of the competition comes a gradual im-provement in the quality of the beers being brewed, and their varied expressions of hops. With the growth in entries has also come the awarding of prizes for second and third place in the Alpha King Challenge. Second place this year was won by Alpha Force RapDom, a triple IPA brewed by Mark Hastings, of Uberbrew, in Billings, Montana. Incidentally, Uberbrew’s Hastings won the Alpha King crown last year (2015) with Alpha Force Double Tap, a double Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA. Third place this year went to Moon Cannon, an imperial IPA from Bosque Brewing, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bosque brewer John Bullard is no stranger to hops, as indicated by his winning the Na-tional IPA Challenge twice with his Scale Tipper IPA. Joining the top three winners in a top seven final matchup were: Dank IPA, from pFriem Family Brew-ers of Hood River, Oregon; Hype Machine, from Comrade Brewing, Denver, Colorado; Bosque IPA x 2, from Bosque Brewing, Albuquerque, New Mexico; HEADWALL CROWNED www.brewingnews.com 7 and Dank Statement, from Cellar-maker Brewing, of San Francisco, California. Seven panels of judges narrowed down the entries by pushing forward 22 beers for consideration for the hop crown. Given their high quality, they are all are worthy of mention. They are, in no particular order: Dank IPA from pFriem Family Brewers, brewer Josh pFriem Alpha Force Double Tap from Uberbrew, brewer Mark Hastings Bout Damn Time from 4 Noses Brewing, brewer Tommy Bibliowicz Hype Machine from Comrade Brewing, brewer Marks Lanham Double Sunshine IPA from Lawson’s Finest Liquids, brewer Sean Lawson Moon Cannon from Bosque Brewing, brewer John Bullard 2 x 4 from Melvin Brewing, brewer Kirk McHale Yojo from Moonraker Brewing, brewer Zack Frasher Amarillo Adoration from Track 7 Brewing, brewer Ryan Graham Imperial IPA from Second Street Brewing, brewers Team Second Street Road to Nowhere from Pinthouse Pizza (South Lamar), brewer Joe Mohrfeld Bosque IPA x 2 from Bosque Brewing, brewer John Bullard Techno Viking from Cannonball Creek Brewing, brewer Brian Hutchinson Three Lovers from Ocelot Brewing, brewer Mike McCarthy Bye Felicia from Artifex Brewing, brewer Jonathan Johur Highland IPA from Highland Brewing, brewer Hollie Stephenson Dank Statement from Cellarmaker Brewing, brewer Tim Sciascia Alpha Force RapDom from Uberbrew, brewer Mark Hastings You Holdin Bro? from Pinthouse Pizza (South Lamar), brewer Joe Mohrfeld Headwall from Tamarack Brewing, brewer Kyle Carson (and the Tamarack brew crew) Huckster from Topa Topa Brewing, brewer Casey Harris Forklift IIPA from Barley Brown’s, brewer Eli Dickison The history of the Alpha King Challenge repre-sents a path from the original hop-heavy but lower alcohol beers represented by the first year’s winner, to the heftier higher alcohol, hop-heavy winners of past years. This transition has resulted in the intro-duction of a newer competition, sponsored by the Brewing News publications. The National IPA Chal-lenge (NIPAC) pits three categories of IPAs (session, regular and imperial) against each other, separately judged. The 10th Annual NIPAC kicks off in Febru-ary of 2017. For 2017, NIPAC organizers have added a fourth category, Specialty IPAs, to honor beers that feature different ingredients while still expressing essential hop flavor of an IPA. NIPAC is now open to entries. There is no fee. For more information on the National IPA Challenge, go to brewingnews.com/ nipac. TURN YOUR PASSION INTO A PROFESSION. SOUTH COLLEGE NOW OFFERS THE PROFESSIONAL BREWING SCIENCE PROGRAM, A NINE-MONTH PROGRAM THAT WILL GIVE YOU THE SKILLS YOU NEED TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL BREWER. YOU COULD WORK AT ONE OF AMERICA’S MANY CRAFT BREWERIES OR BREW PUBS, AT A MAJOR BREWING COMPANY, OR START YOUR OWN MICROBREWERY. So take a long look at that craft brew. If you see a career opportunity, call or visit our website today. (828) 398-2500 OR SOUTHCOLLEGENC.EDU SOUTH COLLEGE-ASHEVILLE 140 140 SWEETEN SWEETEN CREEK CREEK RD RD | | ASHEVILLE, ASHEVILLE, NC NC 28803 28803 For more information on graduation rates, median debt of graduates and other important information, visit http://www.southcollegenc.edu. South College-Asheville is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to award BS degrees, AAS degrees and certifi cates.

Headwall Crowned

<br /> <br /> In 1999, before the turn of the millennium - and the turning of American palates toward the more heavily hopped versions of the India Pale Ale - Bill Owens decided to create a competition that would judge a beer’s hop worthiness. The Alpha King Challenge was a joint effort, including Owens and American Brewer, Yakima Chief Hopunion (Hopunion at the time), and Three Floyds Brewing, whose Alpha King Pale Ale gave the competition its name. The winner of the competition was the beer that best expressed hop flavor. The only restriction was that each entry have no less that 62 International Bittering Units, seen to be quite high at the time.<br /> <br /> Bill Owens was a visionary. In 1983, he opened Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, which he claims to be the first brewpub in the nation. In 1985, he created American Brewer, seeing a bright future in artisanal beer. He has since continued his publishing efforts with American Distiller, a publication covering the relatively new industry of artisanal distilling.<br /> <br /> Just as Owens foresaw, the nation’s number of breweries grew, perhaps to levels even he had never imagined. With that growth, American brewers experimented with Old World beer styles, creating New World versions of them. One of those styles was the India Pale Ale (IPA). Originally a British invention, the IPA has found a holy place on the American palate. And in a reversal of historic norms, the American style sparked a counter invasion of hoppy beers in Great Britain.<br /> <br /> The inaugural Alpha King Challenge occurred in 1999. It consisted of approximately 20 hoppy beers judged in a hotel conference room during the Great American Beer Festival. The entries were lined along several tables, where a small group of beer journalists sampled them. A smaller group of beer judges chose the winner, the Alpha King.<br /> <br /> The winner of the first Alpha King Challenge was Two-Hearted Ale, brewed at Bells Brewing’s Kalamazoo, Michigan location. In 1999, Two-Hearted Ale was considered a path blazer. Its amped-up hop content challenged the taste buds of a generation of pre-Millennium hop lovers.<br /> <br /> Since then, the competition’s winners reads like a Who’s Who list of the great American IPA breweries, brewers and their beers. Moylan’s Double IPA (Brendon Moylan), Pizza Port’s Hop 15 (Tomme Arthur), Russian River’s Pliny the Elder (Vinnie Cilurzo), Port Brewing’s Poor Man IPA (Jeff Bagby) and Thai Me Up’s 2x4 (Kirk McHale) have all taken home top honors in the annual event.<br /> <br /> This year’s winner, Headwall Imperial IPA from Lakeside (and now Missoula) Montana’s Tamarack Brewing Company), continues the tradition. And adds a new name to the list of IPA brewers of fame: Kyle Carson (and the Tamarack Brew Crew read the entry form). Already a winner of the National Imperial IPA Challenge, an annual event that pits IPAs, Imperial IPAs, and Session IPAs from across the nation against each other, Tamarack’s Headwall is a favorite of hopheads. The 2016 AKC entry disappointed no one. It was a clear winner to the group of seven judges sitting in on the final round.<br /> <br /> The competition has continued to grow larger and stiffer. This year, 150 beers from breweries across the country competed to be the 2016 Alpha King. With the growth of the competition comes a gradual improvement in the quality of the beers being brewed, and their varied expressions of hops. With the growth in entries has also come the awarding of prizes for second and third place in the Alpha King Challenge.<br /> <br /> Second place this year was won by Alpha Force RapDom, a triple IPA brewed by Mark Hastings, of Uberbrew, in Billings, Montana. Incidentally, Uberbrew’s Hastings won the Alpha King crown last year (2015) with Alpha Force Double Tap, a double Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA.<br /> <br /> Third place this year went to Moon Cannon, an imperial IPA from Bosque Brewing, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bosque brewer John Bullard is no stranger to hops, as indicated by his winning the National IPA Challenge twice with his Scale Tipper IPA.<br /> <br /> Joining the top three winners in a top seven final matchup were: Dank IPA, from pFriem Family Brewers of Hood River, Oregon; Hype Machine, from Comrade Brewing, Denver, Colorado; Bosque IPA x 2, from Bosque Brewing, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Dank Statement, from Cellarmaker Brewing, of San Francisco, California.<br /> <br /> Seven panels of judges narrowed down the entries by pushing forward 22 beers for consideration for the hop crown. Given their high quality, they are all are worthy of mention. They are, in no particular order: <br /> <br /> Dank IPA from pFriem Family Brewers, brewer Josh pFriem <br /> <br /> Alpha Force Double Tap from Uberbrew, brewer Mark Hastings <br /> <br /> Bout Damn Time from 4 Noses Brewing, brewer Tommy Bibliowicz <br /> <br /> Hype Machine from Comrade Brewing, brewer Marks Lanham <br /> <br /> Double Sunshine IPA from Lawson’s Finest Liquids, brewer Sean Lawson <br /> <br /> Moon Cannon from Bosque Brewing, brewer John Bullard <br /> <br /> 2 x 4 from Melvin Brewing, brewer Kirk McHale Yojo from Moonraker Brewing, brewer Zack Frasher <br /> <br /> Amarillo Adoration from Track 7 Brewing, brewer Ryan Graham <br /> <br /> Imperial IPA from Second Street Brewing, brewers Team Second Street <br /> <br /> Road to Nowhere from Pinthouse Pizza (South Lamar), brewer Joe Mohrfeld Bosque IPA x 2 from Bosque Brewing, brewer John Bullard <br /> <br /> Techno Viking from Cannonball Creek Brewing, brewer Brian Hutchinson <br /> <br /> Three Lovers from Ocelot Brewing, brewer Mike McCarthy <br /> <br /> Bye Felicia from Artifex Brewing, brewer Jonathan Johur <br /> <br /> Highland IPA from Highland Brewing, brewer Hollie Stephenson <br /> <br /> Dank Statement from Cellarmaker Brewing, brewer Tim Sciascia <br /> <br /> Alpha Force RapDom from Uberbrew, brewer Mark Hastings <br /> <br /> You Holdin Bro? From Pinthouse Pizza (South Lamar), brewer Joe Mohrfeld Headwall from Tamarack Brewing, brewer Kyle Carson (and the Tamarack brew crew) Huckster from Topa Topa Brewing, brewer Casey Harris Forklift IIPA from Barley Brown’s, brewer Eli Dickison <br /> <br /> The history of the Alpha King Challenge represents a path from the original hop-heavy but lower alcohol beers represented by the first year’s winner, to the heftier higher alcohol, hop-heavy winners of past years. This transition has resulted in the introduction of a newer competition, sponsored by the Brewing News publications. The National IPA Challenge (NIPAC) pits three categories of IPAs (session, regular and imperial) against each other, separately judged. The 10th Annual NIPAC kicks off in February of 2017. For 2017, NIPAC organizers have added a fourth category, Specialty IPAs, to honor beers that feature different ingredients while still expressing essential hop flavor of an IPA. NIPAC is now open to entries. There is no fee. For more information on the National IPA Challenge, go to brewingnews.com/nipac.<br />

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