The results of the third round of the National IPA Challenge popped up a little early online this weekend, with five New Mexico entries advancing in three brackets.
Bosque’s Scale Tipper, which claimed the title in 2015 and 2016, advanced to the fourth round at the expense of Quarter Celtic’s Mor-Buck. I actually had the chance to try the two beers side-by-side last week when I was visiting QC to talk about its medal haul from the New York International Beer Competition. Bosque brewmaster John Bullard dropped in with a bottle of the same batch of Scale Tipper that was sent to NIPAC.
The aroma was notably in Scale Tipper’s favor, while the flavor profiles of the two IPAs were quite different. Mor-Buck was sweeter, with a bit maltier mouthfeel. Scale Tipper was drier and had a higher bitterness, though some of that had dropped off a bit due to aging. In the end, both were complex, flavorful IPAs, but only one could advance.
Joining Scale Tipper in the fourth round of the regular IPA brackets are Boxing Bear’s Uppercut, which knocked out Madison Brewing’s DownTown, and Canteen’s Hop Baller, which bounced past Oskar Blues’ IPA. Next up in the fourth round for each:
- Scale Tipper vs. Lynwood’s Hop Sauce (which eliminated Quarter Celtic’s Clark)
- Uppercut vs. Old First Ward’s The Streaker
- Hop Baller vs. Ipswich’s 1620
The fallen in the third round, in addition to Clark, were Canteen’s Tuttle at the hands of Melvin’s Hubert MPA, and Blue Corn’s Witty Hop Pun, which was really and truly knocked out this time by Hops & Grain’s Lupulin Rodeo (initial results had Witty Hop Pun eliminated way back in the first round before a correction was issued).
As for the other three brackets, Bosque’s Southwest Session reached the semifinals of the Session IPA bracket. Southwest Session ousted Saranac’s Gen IV and will now face Fat Heads’ Sunshine Daydream.
Over in the Specialty IPA bracket, Steel Bender’s Manana moved on to the quarterfinals by defeating Boneyard’s Incredible Pulp. Next up will be a showdown with El Segundo’s Cerveza Fresca Guava. Steel Bender’s other entry, Red Iron Red, saw its run come to an end at the hands of Coronado’s North Island IPA.
UPDATE: The results have been posted for the Imperial IPA bracket. The results are not good. The last two New Mexico entries, Quarter Celtic’s Test Batch #1 and Tractor’s Acreage, were eliminated by Lynwood’s El Hombre Enojado and Melvin’s Citradamus.
Congrats to all the New Mexico winners and good luck in the next round!