BERNALILLO — What has happened before will happen again.
It is not just a line from the last version of Battlestar Galactica, but it is a summation of the 2018 New Mexico IPA Challenge. Blue Corn, the 2013 winner, has recaptured the title in a stunning upset of the biggest breweries in the state. The little brewpub that could has done it again.
“I think it’s kind of cool to bring the trophy back to Santa Fe,” said BC head brewer Paul Mallory, who had trouble forming words after his brewery took its second-round lead and carried that over to a commanding victory.
Blue Corn racked up 83 total votes, including a round-best 45 on Saturday. The final round was a resounding success at Bosque North, with short lines, plenty of space, and a general sense of positive camaraderie in all corners of the new location.
Two-time defending champion Boxing Bear finished second with 69 votes for its AlbuMurky Hazy IPA, while Marble was third with 68 votes for Safeword IPA. Red River (57), La Cumbre (55), Kellys (39), Rio Bravo (39), Quarter Celtic (38), Second Street (38) and Kaktus (33) rounded out the top 10.
This is only the second time that a brewery outside of Albuquerque has won the NMIPAC. The last time? Well, it was Blue Corn in 2013, then featuring current Bosque director of brewing operations John Bullard in the command seat.
“I think that Blue Corn has been around for so long that everybody has made up their mind about it,” Paul said. “In a way, this will make people pay attention to Blue Corn (again).”
Paul said the key to victory was hitting all the right spots with hopheads in this state.
“I think it was nice and clean, it had that really nice bitterness,” Paul said.
Paul came to Blue Corn from a brewery, Black Diamond, in Northern California, but he was born and raised in New Mexico.
“New Mexico has taught me more about IPAs than California, they try to dry them out,” he said. “I think New Mexico taught me more about it than anyone else.”
Congratulations to Paul, Blue Corn, and everyone in New Mexico. This has been another great IPA Challenge, and we look forward to everyone raising their game for the 2019 edition.