The results are in from Round One of the New Mexico IPA Challenge at Draft Station Santa Fe. A total of 188 beer lovers showed up, which very well might be a record for a non-Albuquerque round. As our headline says, Marble takes the lead with 38 votes. Tied for second were Blue Corn and Bosque with 26 apiece, which is almost fitting since Bosque brewer John Bullard won the 2013 NMIPAC crown with Blue Corn before claiming it again last year with his current employer.
As for surprises, it comes from the disappointing end as La Cumbre finished 12th (out of 15) with just four votes, while Turtle Mountain did not get a single vote. Those breweries came in seventh and eighth, respectively, at the VIPA Challenge last weekend. Chama River, the leader at VIPA, was just sixth with 13 votes this time around.
In between Blue Corn/Bosque and Chama were Canteen (18 votes) and Second Street (15 votes), while Boxing Bear (12 votes), Three Rivers (10 votes), Back Alley (nine votes), Spotted Dog (eight votes), and Ponderosa (seven votes) were just behind. Taos Mesa and Pi Brewing had one vote apiece.
Round Two of the NMIPAC is set for Wednesday at Pecan Grill and Brewery in Las Cruces, followed by the final round at Boxing Bear next Saturday. A lot can and will happen, so do not take the first round as fait accompli for either the breweries at the top or the breweries at the bottom. To say there is a difference in the palates between southern, northern, and central New Mexico would be an understatement. But the gauntlet has begun; may the fans’ favorite brewery win!
The Crew will (hopefully) have things covered from now till the end. Until then, prep those palates. Many of the NMIPAC entries are available on tap, including Blue Corn (Hoplon), Bosque (Scale Tipper), Boxing Bear (Title Clincher), Chama River (Radioactive), and La Cumbre (Male Stripper).