Project Dank dethroned but others advance in 2nd round of National IPA Challenge

The hops floated to the top in the second round of the National IPA Challenge.

There will be a new champion in 2018 at the National IPA Challenge. The annual event, hosted by the Brewing News, saw La Cumbre’s Project Dank, the reigning champion, ousted in the second round by past champion Pallet Jack from Barley Brown’s Brewing.

While Dank went down, it was mostly good news for the other 10 remaining entries from New Mexico. In an apparent scoring change from what was originally reported, Blue Corn’s Witty Hop Pun not only advanced out of the first round (it was previously listed as having lost to Red Brick’s Hoplanta), it went on to defeat national heavyweight Samuel Adams and its Rebel IPA in the second round.

Here are the full results for New Mexico entries in the main IPA bracket.

  • Blue Corn’s Witty Hop Pun advanced to face Hops & Grain Brewing’s Lupulin Rodeo in the third round.
  • Bosque’s Scale Tipper (2015 and 2016 champion) defeated Pinthouse Pizza’s Electric Jellyfish and will now face …
  • Quarter Celtic’s Mor-Buck defeated Fremont Mountain’s Daisy IPA to set up an all-NM showdown with Scale Tipper in the third round.
  • Boxing Bear’s Uppercut knocked out Foolproof’s Backyahd and will next face Madison Brewing’s DownTown IPA.
  • Canteen’s Hop Baller defeated Big Dog’s Peace, Love & Hoppiness and will next face Oskar Blues IPA.
  • Canteen’s Tuttle ousted Big Ditch’s Hayburner and will next face Melvin’s Hubert MPA.
  • Quarter Celtic’s Clark upended Southern Tier’s Nu Skool and will next face Lynwood’s Hop Sauce.
  • Eliminated in the second round: Boxing Bear’s Bear Knuckle by Berryessa’s Separation Anxiety; Three Rivers’ IPAC Nugs by Old First Ward’s The Streaker.

Things were tough in the other three brackets for New Mexico entries. The Imperial IPA bracket now has just two remaining as Bosque’s Moon Cannon was silenced by Locavore’s 2 Fingers, Boxing Bear’s Sucker Punch failed to land against Good City’s Reward DIPA, and Rio Bravo’s Level 3 IPA fell to Sunriver’s Resin Nation.

Moving on in the Imperial bracket were Quarter Celtic’s Test Batch #1 over Lakefront’s Strange Neighbor, and Tractor’s Acreage topped Laurelwood’s Megafauna. Next up are Lynwood’s El Hombre Enojado and Melvin’s Citradamus.

Only one NM entry made it out of the first round in the Session bracket, and Bosque’s Southwest Session kept rolling, beating Berryessa’s Mini Separation Anxiety. Next up will be a third-round showdown with Saranac’s Gen IV.

It was a good day for Steel Bender in the Specialty IPA bracket. Both Manana and Red Iron Red advanced by beating Three Creeks’ Raptor and Midland’s Lime Rock, respectively. Manana will face Boneyard’s Incredible Pulp and Red Iron Red takes on Coronado’s North Island IPA in the third round.

Quarter Celtic’s Just Peachy Clark lost to Bron Yr Aur Brewi’s Black Mountain Side.

The third round in all four brackets will be held this coming weekend. Good luck to the remaining competitors!


— Stoutmeister

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