For the first time in the 12-year history of the IPA Challenge, a brewery outside of the Albuquerque metro area will take the trophy home.

Blue Corn's John Bullard hoists the IPA Challenge trophy after his Resurgence rolled to an absolute victory.

Blue Corn’s John Bullard hoists the IPA Challenge trophy after his Resurgence rolled to an absolute victory.

Blue Corn’s Resurgence captured the title with a resounding victory after the fourth and final round at Marble’s downtown pub on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s pretty good,” said Blue Corn brewer John Bullard. “It feels good to get the recognition finally for all the hard work I put in. It’s great.”

John would not give away the recipe for Resurgence, saying only he put “tons of money” into the beer.

“Copious amounts of Citra, Simcoe, and Centennial (hops),” John added. “And a pinch of Eldorado.

“It’s the most expensive beer I ever made.”

Blue Corn racked up 104 votes in the final round for a total of 164 votes, more than the second through fifth-place finishers combined. This is the first time a non-Albuquerque area brewery claimed the trophy.

“It feels great,” John said. “So many people think you’ve got to be a giant brewery to make good beer. There are so many people opening up small breweries and we’re making fantastic beers. Don’t underestimate the small breweries.”

The tray of IPA goodness that we indulged in this Saturday.

The tray of IPA goodness that we indulged in this Saturday.

Overall, there were 513 ballots cast this year, including 287 in the final round at Marble. The joint was packed with plenty of serious beer drinkers; many were there from start to finish. Representing the Brew Crew were myself, Franz Solo, and Brandon. In full disclosure, we all chose the IPA numbered 9, which turned out to be La Cumbre, the runner-up. We all found its multi-hop mixture — it was the one true “hop bomb” in the 14 samples — to be our favorite on the day, but clearly everyone else found the slightly more mild and balanced beer numbered 12 to be the best of the bunch.

“Go big or go home,” John said of Resurgence. “You’ve got to make a big (powerful) beer or you’re not going to make it.”

Here were the final results from Saturday, with the number from Saturday’s competition in parentheses right after the brewery name:

1. Blue Corn (#12) — 104 votes (164 total)

2. La Cumbre (#9) — 34 (45)

3. Il Vicino (#2) — 25 (43)

4. Turtle Mountain (#1) — 16 (35)

5. (tie) Marble (#5) — 19 (29)

5. (tie) Chama River (#6) — 8 (29)

7. Santa Fe (#4) — 11 (28)

8. Second Street (#3) — 3 (24)

9. Tractor (#14) — 14 (23)

10. Three Rivers (#11) — 13 (21)

11. Broken Bottle (#7) — 10 (18)

12. (tie) High Desert (#13) — 9 (17)

12. (tie) Bosque (#10) — 6 (17)

14. Taos Mesa (#8) — 5 (10)

Once again this was a wonderful event, with great participation by the state’s beer-loving public. The state’s breweries did an amazing job providing us with 14 excellent beers to choose from, with no two tasting alike. As common as the IPA may have become in New Mexico it was a great effort by all to put a unique stamp on each beer.

Thank you to our hosts at Marble and to everyone involved in the NM Brewers Guild for putting on this event every year. A big thanks to John Bullard amid the avalanche of congratulations for stopping to chat for a minute. And an additional thanks to all of the other brewers, brewery owners, employees, and Brew Crew readers who said hello on Saturday.

As long as you all keep reading and brewing, we’ll keep writing and drinking. We promise.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Comments
  1. erin says:

    Sounds ridiculously awesome… Depressed that I missed out, again- stupid 17 hour flight from Australia. Looking forward to Blue Corn! Do they deliver? 😉

  2. […] beers really stood out in 2013, claiming the IPA Challenge trophy with Resurgence IPA in August and then pulling in silver medals for Gold Medal Stout and End of the […]

  3. […] in Santa Fe. It will also kick off with an unusual twist this year. Blue Corn Brewery is the defending champion, yet the defending champion brewer, John Bullard, is now at Bosque Brewing. The trophy stayed at […]

  4. […] in Santa Fe. It will also kick off with an unusual twist this year. Blue Corn Brewery is the defending champion, yet the defending champion brewer, John Bullard, is now at Bosque Brewing. The trophy stayed at […]

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