Stoutmeister here with a quick tally of the votes from Round One of the 2013 IPA Challenge. Held at Las Cruces’ High Desert Brewing on Friday night, a total of 102 voters cast their picks in the blind taste test for the best IPA in New Mexico.

One round down, three more to go until a champion can be crowned.

One round down, three more to go until a champion can be crowned.

The results, well, were a bit surprising. Sitting atop the 14 breweries was Turtle Mountain’s Genesis IPA with 19 votes. This burly little beer weighed in at 100 BU with an ABV somewhere between 6.5 and 6.8 percent.

Nipping right at Turtle’s heels was Blue Corn’s Resurgence IPA with 18 votes. Brewer John Bullard said he put a total of 47 pounds of hops into the batch, roughly coming out to 6.7 pounds of hops per barrel. Trust us, that’s a lot.

Third place fell to Bosque Brewing’s Ember IPA with 10 votes. One of the few “house IPAs” in the competition, this one likely appealed to folks who prefer a less hoppy, maltier IPA.

But where lies the three-time defending champion, Exodus? Il Vicino’s juggernaut finished tied for fourth with eight votes, the same number Santa Fe Brewing’s entry managed to garner.

Lurking right behind those two in sixth place was Broken Bottle (seven votes), followed by host High Desert (six votes), Chama River and Second Street (five apiece), Marble, Taos Mesa and Three Rivers (four apiece), with La Cumbre and Tractor (two apiece) at the bottom.

And yes, apparently Three Rivers replaced The Wellhead from our earlier list. These things happen.

Otherwise, Round One definitely had some unexpected results, from La Cumbre and Marble struggling and Turtle and Blue Corn showing this year there might be some serious competition for Il Vicino.

Round Two will kick off today at noon at Taos Mesa, so it will be interesting to see how the palates of southern and northern New Mexico differ in the voting.

Rounds Three and Four will take place next Friday at Santa Fe Brewing and Saturday at Marble. Most of the Crew will be at the grand finale.

Prior to next week’s rounds, the Crew will have plenty more posts on this site to help prepare our ABQ and Santa Fe readers for what to expect.

Until then …

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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