We kinda figured that the take-home edition of the 2020 New Mexico IPA Challenge was going to produce some surprises. The big surprise was the first-time winner, beating out two stalwarts of the hop-forward part of our local beer scene.
Rio Bravo Brewing took home the trophy with 22 votes, followed closely by two-time past champion Bosque (21 votes) and award-winning powerhouse La Cumbre (20). The announcement came during a Zoom/Facebook live event on the New Mexico Brewers Guild’s page Wednesday night.
“We have been partying since we heard,” Rio Bravo head brewer Ty Levis replied in an email. “Beer is on point and crushed it. Dice Roll is on tap and in four-packs on site at (the) brewery. We literally rolled dice to decide between hop variety, and then again the proportions of each. This was version two. We have been putting in so much work to get to the top. We are all loving it.”
For those who did not follow this year, please see our previous post on how we handled voting, or we will just summarize it here. Since large-scale events are currently prohibited in New Mexico due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NMIPAC was transformed into a take-home event, with three groups of numbered 12-pack cans that were were available for purchase on the Guild website and then distributed via breweries throughout the state. Participants then cast their votes online.
The entire process was a yeoman’s effort by executive director Leah Black and the Guild’s board of directors. The Central New Mexico Community College brewing students helped with the canning, but only Ms. Black had the list of which cans belonged to which brewery.
Speaking of which, here is the list of who was who. If you participated, odds are you’re going to have a few “how was theirs that bad?” and “wow, theirs was really good, I gotta go try their brewery again!” among your personal ratings. We listed the breweries by their can numbers, with their final voting total and finishing place following.
- Rio Bravo — 22 votes, first place
- Toltec — 8 votes, tied for 15th
- Bow & Arrow — 15 votes, tied for sixth
- Marble — 12 votes, tied for 10th
- Thirsty Eye — 5 votes, tied for 22nd
- Brew Lab 101 — 6 votes, tied for 19th
- Ponderosa — 12 votes, tied for 10th
- High and Dry — 13 votes, tied for eighth
- Ex Novo — 18 votes, fourth place
- Palmer — 6 votes, tied for 19th
- Steel Bender — 12 votes, tied for 10th
- Canteen — 15 votes, tied for sixth
- Tractor — 2 votes, tied for 28th
- Gravity Bound — 17 votes, fifth place
- Sidetrack — 8 votes, tied for 15th
- Boxing Bear — 10 votes, 14th place
- Lauter Haus — 1 vote, tied for 32nd
- Red Door — 2 votes, tied for 28th
- La Reforma — 6 votes, tied for 19th
- Little Toad Creek — 1 vote, tied for 32nd
- Cloudcroft — 0 voters, tied for 35th
- Nexus — 0 votes, tied for 35th
- La Cumbre — 20 votes, third place
- Truth or Consequences — 5 votes, tied for 22nd
- High Desert — 4 votes, tied for 25th
- Bosque — 21 votes, second place
- Santa Fe — 8 votes, tied for 15th
- Rowley Farmhouse Ales — 2 votes, tied for 28th
- Second Street — 13 votes, tied for eighth
- Blue Corn — 12 votes, tied for 10th
- Taos Mesa — 5 votes, tied for 22nd
- Beer Creek — 4 votes, tied for 25th
- Red River — 1 vote, tied for 32nd
- Tumbleroot — 3 votes, 27th place
- Blu Dragonfly — 2 votes, tied for 28th
- Enchanted Circle — 7 votes, 18th place
Thanks to everyone who participated, from the breweries for putting forward the effort to make and donate IPAs during these troubled economic times, to the many volunteers who helped with canning and distribution, and finally to everyone who chose to purchase 12-pack(s) and vote. This is the Guild’s biggest annual fundraiser, and they will need every dollar when it comes to the 2021 legislative session in Santa Fe.
Keep supporting local!