Friday, April 14th, 2017

Tournament of Washington IPAs: Round One April 14

Ron Swarner

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Tournament of Washington IPAs: Round One April 14: The subject of India Pale Ales is, like the subject of barbecue, vexed and fraught with controversy. What constitutes a great IPA? Who makes the best in Washington state? Everyone seems to have his or her own favorite, and everyone’s an expert. Throughout the month of March we polled the public asking what are the top 64 IPAs in Washington? You chimed in. Friday, April 7 — National Beer Day — we launched the Tournament of Beers: Washington State IPAs, pitting 64 IPAs against each other Monday-Friday, similar to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, only with way more IBUs. It’s the sixth day of action, and we’re deep into the First Round. Let’s take a look at yesterday’s results and today’s four games.

Thursday, April 13, First Round Washington IPA Games results

GAME 1, SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON REGION

1. Ballz Deep Double IPA, 7 Seas Brewing vs. 16. Shadow Shinobi IPA, Loowit Brewing Company

The nice thing about a number one seed is it usually means you have a paddy-cake game the first round. Not so much the case yesterday. Loowit Brewing is one of the darlings of Vancouver, Washington. The brewery help revitalize the city’s downtown. 7 Seas’ Ballz Deep earned its number one seed for many reasons, but it wasn’t enough to prevail against a growing city and its beloved IPA. Shadow Shinobi moves into the Second Round with 71 percent of the votes.

GAME 2, SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON REGION

8. No Fluff IPA, Matchless Brewing vs. 9. Lights Out, North Jetty Brewing

Ask any beer geek what they’re drinking and more times than not they’ll reply “a Matchless.” Head brewer Pat Jansen helped put Three Magnets Brewing Co. on the map with innovative IPAs, saisons and sours. He has carried that talent over to his new venture with Grant Bolt, Matchless Brewing. The Tumwater brewery still has several months before hitting its first anniversary. North Jetty Brewing, on the other hand, is on the lips of an entire region. It owns Washington’s coast, with a packed taproom and delicious sweet, malty double IPA. Lights Out grabbed 72 percent of the votes yesterday and moves into the Second Round.

GAME 3, KING COUNTY REGION

6. Lush IPA, Fremont Brewing vs. 11. Imperial Pale Ale, Maritime Pacific Brewing Company

Yesterday saw three blowout games including Lush’s 73 percent of the vote win over neighboring Maritime Pacific’s Imperial Pale Ale. The traffic along Leary Way Northwest was extra heavy with Uber drivers as folks travelled back and forth between the two Seattle breweries. There’s a rumor Maritime’s owner George Hancock wore a pirate outfit yesterday but we can’t get confirmation. Eye patch or not, Fremont’s Lush IPA poured it on strong. Lush enters the Second Round.

GAME 4, KING COUNTY REGION

3. Crikey IPA, Reuben’s Brews vs. 14. Dang! Citra IPA, Hellbent Brewing Company

Crikey IPA and Dang! battled back and forth all day, changing leads several times. Then, Reuben’s Brews IPA put its new Rogue Wave IPA. Not so fast, Reuben. Hellbent busted out Pau Hana Passionfruit IPA and the whole taproom launched into an impromptu hula. While the two breweries lost their heads, Crikey and Dang! continued to pound away. When the finish buzzer sounded, Crikey looked up to see a victory with 59 percent of the votes. The Reuben’s Brews IPA moves into the Second Round and a date with Fremont Lush IPA April 21.

Let’s check the glassware lacing pattern. The following are advancing to the Second Round:

Loowit Shadow Shinobi IPA
North Jetty Lights Out Double IPA
Fremont Lush IPA
Reuben’s Brews Crikey IPA

OK, pour a pint and dive into today’s First Round IPA battles. Vote for one IPA per game. Voting for today’s IPA battles ends at 11:45 p.m. today.

Friday, April 14, First Round Washington IPA Games

GAME 1, NORTHWEST WASHINGTON REGION

Skookum-Brewery-Mammoth-Jack-Imperial-IPAPlayer: Mammoth Jack Imperial IPA (#7 seed)

Team: Skookum Brewery, Arlington

Player Stats: This is a real-life story of a brewery left for dead in the north Washington wilderness following an attack by noise-complaining, rural residents. Clinging to the adage that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, the brewery found its inner strength, fighting nearly impossible odds, as if it was Leonardo diCaprio in a bear-skin coat. Skookum Brewery’s story doesn’t elaborate subplots. Instead, it relies on arguably the most stunning brewing of the year to convey their classic Western messages of perseverance and stamina. In the summer 2012, the brewery gave up its “Beer in the Woods” adage and moved from a rural road in Arlington to a location across the street from the Arlington Municipal Airport. Skookum could now extend its hours and whoop it up. Their mouthful of beer, Mammoth Jack Double IPA — the big kid version of their Jackass IPA — secured a seventh seed in the Tournament of Beer. It has a big, robust fruity nose. It has a big, resinous, sweet orange peel, spicy rye taste. It has been massively dry-hopped and should do some damage in First Round action.

ABV: 8.2% IBU: 80 Hops: Yakima hops

Structures-Brewing-Crypt-Key-IPAPlayer: Crypt Key (#10 seed)

Team: Structures Brewing, Bellingham

Player Stats: James Alexander and Ryan Miller took time away from their East Coast brewery jobs to hang in a remote cabin nestled in the Green Mountain National Forest. When they emerged Structures Brewing was a thing. They slowly made their way toward Bellingham through various brewery jobs across the country. Bellingham fit their easy-going lifestyle and need for community. In late 2015, Structures had structure and several beers on tap. Their mixed fermentation IPA aged in French Oak barrels, Crypt Key, landed a 10th seed with its easy drinking, lightly funky structure. Citrus, floral notes, mild red wine tannins and flavor, oak, and a touch of Brett funk will come at Mammoth Jack from all sides. They’re calling this match-up the “Rumble in the Woods,” although we have no idea who “they” are.

ABV: 7% IBU: N/A Hops: N/A

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………

GAME 2, NORTHWEST WASHINGTON REGION

Rainy-Daze-Brewing-Pourhouse-IPAPlayer: Pourhouse IPA (#2 seed)

Team: Rainy Daze Brewing, Poulsbo

Player Stats: You know the story. Longtime homebrewer Mike Montoney scores a brew system from closed Battenkill Brewing of Poulsbo, apprentices on a professional with Brad Ginn and Mark Hood of Sound Brewery, goes on to brew awarding-winning craft beers under the Rainy Daze Brewing brand. The story received another hit of joy when Rainy Daze opened its new digs in Sound Brewery’s old space in Poulsbo Oct. 8, 2016. Montoney finally has an official taproom, as well as the ability to brew far more craft beer, including its flagship Pourhouse IPA. Rainy Daze has always had a cult brewery feel, which could work to its advantaged when the highly-hopped, dank Pourhouse hits the court today.

ABV: 6.7% IBU: 87 Hops: Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe

Diamond-Knot-India-Pale-AlePlayer: Diamond Knot India Pale Ale (#15 seed)

Team: Diamond Knot Brewing Company, Mukilteo

Player Stats: When Brian Sollenberger and Bob Maphet met in the beer-and-wine club at Boeing in 1993, Sollenberger already had the concept for a brewery in mind. Maphet was in. They leased a small segment of the Cheers Too pub on the Mukilteo waterfront, officially brewing Diamond Knot beer by October 1994. The duo eventually bought the rest of the building renaming it Diamond Knot Brewery and Alehouse. A larger-scale production brewery followed in 2005. In 2007, they opened a restaurant and pub on Camano Island. Then tragedy struck. In October 2009, Sollenberger died in a freak accident at home. Diamond Knot was devastated, obviously. The brewery continued on without their diamond, advancing in growth and brewing delicious, award-winning beers — including their flagship, well-balance, malty Diamond Knot IPA.

ABV: 6.2% IBU: 40 Hops: Galena, Columbus, dry-hopped with Columbus

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………

GAME 3, EASTERN WASHINGTON REGION

No-Li-Brewhouse-Jet-Star-Imperial-IPAPlayer: Jet Star Imperial IPA (#5 seed)

Team: No-Li Brewhouse, Spokane

Player Stats: What began as Northern Lights Brewing back in 1993 is now the multiple award-winning No-Li Brewhouse on the banks of the Spokane River in downtown Spokane. The brewery that created “Spokane Style” beers and has seen their bottles shipped across the country is also known for its quarterly Small Batch Festivals were its craft beers are infused with different ingredients. The brewers at No-Li love to experiment with flavors. They also love to double-dosed hops, using late kettle hop additions and dry-hopping, as proved with their Jet Star Imperial IPA. Chinook and Cascade hops provide a classic citrus and pine aroma and taste with a nice creamy texture and sweet finish.

ABV: 8.1% IBU: 115 Hops: Chinook, Cascade

Ten-Pin-Brewing-Company-Head-Pin-IPAPlayer: Head Pin IPA (#12 seed)

Team: Ten Pin Brewing Company, Moses Lake

Player Stats: When you’re getting ready for a night of bowling, one of the most important things you can do is just loosen up. Forget everything you’ve ever known about bowling, forget about trying to look cool (despite the goofy shoes), and just let your body do the work. It makes sense to knock down a few brewskis before hitting the lanes. It makes sense to drink Head Pin IPA. The Ten Pin Brewing IPA is malty with citrus, pine, malt, caramel on the nose and caramel malts, hops, citrus and pine, resin a little sap on the tongue. Today, Head Pin is going for strikes with the old three-holed stones again and again, watching Jet Star for foot line violations.

ABV: 7.1% IBU: 62 Hops: Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………

GAME 4, EASTERN WASHINGTON REGION

No-Li-Brewhouse-Big-Juicy-IPAPlayer: Big Juicy IPA (#4 seed)

Team: No-Li Brewhouse, Spokane

Player Stats: In addition to being named the National Beer Wholesalers Association 2015 National Brewer Partner of the Year, No-Li Brewhouse has won 20 or so international awards, including a gold medal from the 2012 Great American Beer Festival and named Large Brewery of the Year at the 2016 Washington Beer Awards. No-Li’s Big Juicy IPA is the Spokane brewery’s second IPA battling in the Tournament of Beer today. No-Li needs to ignore a Jet Star vs. Big Juicy IPA Second Round possible game and focus on its two individual games. Yes, Big Juicy is a delicious, hop-forward player with Citra, El Dorado, Belma and Azacca hops leading a tropical and citrus hops assault. No-Li needs to stay in the now or the Walking Man IPA will walk all over their fourth-seeded IPA.

ABV: 6.1% IBU: 55 Hops: Citra, El Dorado, Belma, Azacca

Walking-Man-IPAPlayer: Walking Man IPA (#13 seed)

Team: Walking Man Brewing, Stevenson

Player Stats: For a decade and a half, down the stairs of an old shop, across from the north bank of the Columbia River, Walking Man Brewing has been quietly churning out some of the world’s best beer, such as their 13th seeded IPA, a 2006 World Beer Cup gold medal winner. It’s a low seed for an extremely flavorful IPA full of pine, citrus and resiny notes. Walking Man Brewing could just send out their IPA onto the court and call it good. If the Gorge brewery starts swing around its award hardware, well, that’s why highlight films were invented.

ABV: 7.2% IBU: 64, Hops: N/A

VOTE BELOW……………….……………………………………………………………………………………………..…………………………………………………

Be sure to click the blue DONE button after selecting your favorite IPAs!

Monday, April 17’s Tournament of Washington IPAs action …

Game 1: Transcend IPA, Heathen Brewing (1109 Washington St., Vancouver) vs. Moving Day IPA, Wet Coast Brewing Company (6820 Kimball Dr., Gig Harbor)

Game 2: Rude Parrot, 7 Seas Brewing (2101 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma) vs. Ace IPA, Wingman Brewers (509 ½ Puyallup Ave., Tacoma)

Game 3: Trickster IPA, Black Raven Brewing Co. (14679 NE 95th St., Redmond) vs. Hopruption Double IPA, Sumerian Brewing Co. (11510 Woodinville-Redmond Road NE, Woodinville)

Game 4: Wonderland Trail IPA, Two Beers Brewing Co. (4700 Ohio Ave. S., Seattle) vs. ENIAC Mosaic IPA, Lucky Envelope Brewing (907 NW 50th St., Seattle)

LINK: Tournament of Beers: Washington State IPAs explanation

LINK: Hot Damn! Yes, I want to follow Peaks and Pints on Twitter

LINK: Explore Washington state breweries

Tournament-of-Beer-IPAs-bracket-April-14

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