Archive for the ‘IPA Challenge 2016’ Category

Amid a sea of people taking pics on their cell phones, the Boxing Bear brewing team holds their NMIPAC trophy aloft!

Amid a sea of people taking pics on their cell phones, the Boxing Bear brewing team holds their NMIPAC trophy aloft!

Another year, another IPA Challenge is in the books. Only for the first time in a while, there will be a new champion holding onto the trophy.

Boxing Bear held off Canteen and 3 Rivers in the closest vote in NMIPAC history. The final round was decided by hundreds of beer lovers/hopheads on a (very) toasty afternoon at Tractor Wells Park. When everything was counted, Boxing Bear had 81 votes, Canteen finished with 79, and 3 Rivers garnered 68. That ended the two-year reign of Bosque as champion, as well as the three-year reign of brewer John Bullard, who had previously won at Blue Corn in 2013.

The final totals, for those who are interested in such numbers.

The final totals, for those who are interested in such numbers.

A whole lotta folks asked us about which beer was which. Here is the list (we did not get a photo, sorry) of the beers by their number on the tray.

  1. Red Door
  2. Taos Mesa
  3. Quarter Celtic
  4. Starr Brothers
  5. Bosque
  6. Sidetrack
  7. Santa Fe
  8. Tractor
  9. Canteen
  10. Chili Line
  11. La Cumbre
  12. Boxing Bear
  13. Second Street
  14. Blue Corn
  15. 3 Rivers

As for the victorious head brewer, Justin Hamilton was all smiles after he got to hold the trophy aloft with assistant brewer Dylan Davis.

“I think it’s great, honestly,” Justin said. “The reaction to it is a little bit of stunned, but we’re also super happy to represent New Mexico. All of us have been locals for a long time. I grew up here, so did Dylan. For the fact that we’re local brewers, that we’ve been involved in the brewery scene for a long time, we were able to bring it home to our new place, that’s really awesome.

“Being that I was a part of the IPA Challenge for the last decade, and not being able to bring one home, this is hard. A lot of these guys it’s their first year, second or third year, I’ve been doing it for a long time. After years of contention it’s nice to have that boy sitting on our bar top.”

A big thank you to the tireless efforts of Tractor co-owner Skye Devore, left, and Brewers Guild director John Gozigian.

A big thank you to the tireless efforts of Tractor co-owner Skye Devore, left, and Brewers Guild director John Gozigian.

Starting last September, the accolades have been rolling in for Boxing Bear. First came the silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival for Chocolate Milk Stout. Then came a gold at the World Beer Cup for the same beer. Being able to hang their hat on a totally different style for Boxing Bear is huge, as it shows they are not just a one-trick pony of a sort.

“It’s great to bring it home,” Justin said. “It feels good that we have hopefully set our niche in the fact that New Mexico has good beer and that we’re one of the really good breweries here in New Mexico that’s up and coming and we put a lot of pride into our beer. I think people saw that.”

Do not expect Justin or Dylan or anyone else at Boxing Bear to kick back and rest on the laurels of their victories in the last 10 months.

“This is a thing you see with breweries — you win things in a row, then you won’t win (anything) for years,” Justin said. “It’s good we’re doing well, but at the same time all of us have a very similar viewpoint in our breweries that we want things to be good, and if they’re not good we want them to be better. We are constantly looking for a way to improve our product, even if people say it’s good. Even if people tell us our products are good, we can tell if they need to be done better. I think that’s one of the reasons we are having a really good year.”

Justin credited his small, tight-knit staff for the victory. In a way, he said, being a bit smaller in size has helped Boxing Bear establish themselves alongside the state heavyweights.

“I think the fact we’re all pointing in the same direction, everyone in our building is contending for (creating) the best product that we possibly can (and) great service from the pub viewpoint,” Justin said. “And also we really want to show Albuquerque, New Mexico, in general that we’re here for beer, we’re here to put out a great product, we’re here to put out what New Mexico expects as beer as far as what you’ve seen from Marble, what you’ve seen from La Cumbre, what you’ve seen from Bosque. We want to be on the same level of amazing beer that is known locally, nationally, and worldwide. That’s our goal.”

There were tough calls all around on this tray.

There were tough calls all around on this tray.

Justin has worked at a number of breweries over the years, so he has shared in past glories. This one, though, is his own.

“We’re having a great year,” he said. “For me, my thing is, I’ve been a part of a lot of great breweries. And it’s nice to kind of carve my own niche right now. It’s nice to get recognition for that. I’ve worked for lots of great breweries, but this is mine now, this is ours now.”

Now it is just a matter of getting everyone else out there to continue to recognize just how good we have it with our local breweries in New Mexico.

“I think that’s the thing about New Mexico and Albuquerque in general — we have literally some of the best beer in the world,” Justin said. “There’s not a lot of states that can say that. Our city alone, not only our city, but our state has literally some of the best beer in the world. People are drawn to that, no matter where (they) are. I think that things like this are great for locals, and for people that are involved with it, but when we win stuff on an international and national scale, and it brings it back home and then we win a local event, it makes it even better.

“It just really brings it full circle because we still get the question of where are you, who are you, which is fine. People still ask that question about Bosque. But it’s a lot less people. This is a great thing that will let people know we are a great force of good beer in New Mexico and we will continue to do that.”

We will raise a pint (or two) to that sentiment!

Another IPA Challenge is complete. We look forward to the 2017 version.

Before that happens, however, we have a few special thank yous to hand out for the finale: to Brewers Guild director John Gozigian; to his hard-working team of volunteers who poured the beer (including Angelo Orona); to Skye Devore, David Hargis, and every single staff member at Tractor (Lauren, Melissa, Nicole, and on and on); and finally, to all of you, our fellow beer drinkers! We (barely) beat the heat and had a great time, all while reminding people just how strong and vibrant our local beer scene really is.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Come pick a winner on Saturday!

Bitter is ending! The 2016 NM IPA Challenge comes to a close on Saturday at Tractor Wells Park. The final round will start at noon and run until 4 p.m. These are the things you probably already know, but just in case there was any additional important info, we contacted the hosts to make sure we have everything. Here ya’ go:

  • The front parking lot along 4th Avenue will be closed off. There will be additional parking at the Parks and Rec Department across the street from Tractor. You can also park in the back (east) lot of the brewery, or on Hannet east of 3rd, or on Haines north of the brewery. Basically, there will not be a lot of parking. Please carpool or get Uber or a designated driver.
  • Whole Foods will be serving up food in the closed parking lot in the front. You will not go hungry at this event!
  • You can still buy tickets online or at either Tractor location. There will be tickets sold at the door, too.
  • The winner of the whole thing will be announced no later than 5 p.m.

If you all needed a reminder, Boxing Bear is currently in the lead with Quarter Celtic in second place. However, in general this final round will produce more than 50 percent of the total vote, so the winner will truly be decided Saturday.

The Crew will see you there! Any additional questions, just ask us or contact Tractor.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Brewers Guild posted this photo of the results from the 3 Rivers round of the IPA Challenge.

The Brewers Guild posted this photo of the results from the 3 Rivers round of the IPA Challenge.

The NM IPA Challenge continued Wednesday night at 3 Rivers Brewery in Farmington, with 80 people coming out to partake and vote for their favorite. The hometown brewery had a respectable showing with 11 votes to give it 22 through two rounds, but Quarter Celtic was the round winner with 18 votes (26 total).

Boxing Bear, though, maintained their lead with another 13 votes to raise their total to 32. The breweries are listed below their voting totals from the first round at Santa Fe Brewing on Saturday and the second round at 3 Rivers.

  1. Boxing Bear: 19 + 13 = 32
  2. Quarter Celtic: 8 + 18 = 26
  3. Blue Corn: 17 + 5 = 22
  4. Starr Brothers: 11 + 11 = 22
  5. 3 Rivers: 11 + 11 = 22
  6. Bosque: 17 + 1 = 18
  7. Canteen: 12 + 4 = 16
  8. La Cumbre: 12 + 1 = 13
  9. Santa Fe: 10 + 2 = 12
  10. Second Street: 9 + 3 = 12
  11. Tractor: 10 + 1 = 11
  12. Chili Line: 8 + 2 = 10
  13. Red Door: 7 + 3 = 10
  14. Sidetrack: 6 + 4 = 10
  15. Taos Mesa: 6 + 1 = 7

The most shocking results from the round were Bosque, the two-time defending champion, and La Cumbre and Tractor getting just one vote apiece after stronger showings at SFBC. Starr Brothers continued to shine among the newcomers, doubling their voting total. (Yes, Quarter Celtic is a new brewery, too, but they have one of the most experienced brewers in the state at the helm.)

Brandon and I will be at the final round Saturday, which starts at noon, to provide live updates and blurry photos and the like. Do remember, Tractor is closing off the front parking lot for the event in case the crowd spills over from inside the brewery. Take this into account if you’re driving over. As always, Uber, a designated driver, or at least a carpool is your best bet.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Let's get this thing started!

Let’s get this thing started!

More than 160 patrons packed The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing on Saturday afternoon to cast their votes in the first of the three main rounds of the 2016 NM IPA Challenge. The initial tallies suggest this is going to be a close one, though a lot can change between now and the final votes this coming Saturday at Tractor Wells Park.

The final results. Voting totals are on the right, the beers by number are on the left.

The final results. Voting totals are on the right, the beers by number are on the left.

Boxing Bear has the early lead with 19 votes, picking up where they left off after tying for the lead in the preliminary round at Rio Bravo last weekend. Those votes do not carry over, so everyone was starting from zero this time around. Blue Corn and two-time defending champion Bosque tied for second with 17 votes.

After that was quite the cluster of breweries who could be sleepers down the line. Canteen and La Cumbre earned 12 votes. Starr Brothers and Three Rivers picked up 11. Host Santa Fe and future host Tractor snagged 10. Second Street snuck in there with nine, followed by Chili Line and Quarter Celtic with eight, Red Door with seven, and Sidetrack and Taos Mesa with six.

Guild director John Gozigian was in charge of tallying the votes.

Guild director John Gozigian was in charge of tallying the votes.

The next round is Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Three Rivers. The hosts have encouraged folks up in Durango to make the drive down, so it could be a different crowd in terms of what they want in an IPA.

A big thanks to Luke for keeping us all up to date on social media. He had more work to do for SFBC, which was hosting a post-event free concert, otherwise he would have written this himself. The pictures are all his, so here are a few more!

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Hello, happy beer lovers!

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That’s being serious right there. Just don’t get any beer up your nose.

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So many hops, so little time.

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Always good to see a familiar face.

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When your GM is smiling like that, you know the SFBC staff has done a good job.

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Cheers to that!

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It’s a meeting of directors past and present.

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Ride on, beer lovers!

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Hey, we know these two! Glad they made it down from Los Alamos.

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Whenever we see brewers gather like this, we hope for future collaborations.

If anyone out there who is planning on attending Wednesday’s round in Farmington and wants to be our special correspondent, please contact us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or via social media. The most important things we would need are photos and the voting totals.

The rest of us will see the rest of you at Tractor Wells Park!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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It’s go time!

It’s IPA Challenge time again! The second leg of the 2016 NM Brewers Guild’s annual event continues Saturday at Santa Fe Brewing Company’s brand new venue, the Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing. And, just as that sentence was, this competition will be a mouthful. It’s the first leg after the elimination round where 28 IPAs were judged at Rio Bravo Brewing Company on July 9, and 13 were eliminated. That’s right, only 15 IPAs made the cut, those you chose and one whose brewery happened to be a host for the next legs of the competition.

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In case you need a reminder, those breweries with seven or more votes moved on to the next round, unless the brewery was hosting a following leg of the tournament.

Saturday at noon, the jockey boxes will begin pouring their hearts out. Fifteen IPAs will find their way onto each tray per ticket purchased. It’s a simple concept. You sample and choose your favorite. The numbers will then be counted and added to the following legs in the competition, where, at the final round, the numbers will be tallied up, and your 2016 IPA Challenge Champion will be crowned. Note: The numbers have all been reset from the elimination round, so everyone that moved on starts at zero votes.

After you select your favorite, stay for a complimentary pint of your favorite choice of IPA, or purchase any other beers that Santa Fe Brewing has on tap at the outdoor patio. At 5 p.m., local roof burners, Sean Healen Band, will take the stage for a free-to-the-public show. There will be food from Jambo Food Truck, Kebab Caravan, and Taqueria Gracias Madre in case you’re hungry, or just need to fill your stomach somewhere in the middle of 15 IPA samples and a pint. Remember, food is your friend at the beer events!

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Sean Healen Band will perform a FREE live show following the IPA Challenge.

As with every poor sap that sits next to me at one of these competitions, I’d like to share my IPA Challenge strategy, thanks to the wisdom of Duel’s Todd Yocham. You’re picking one winner, right? So, there’s no need to drink each sample down to the end. You can sample, and if you don’t like something, put it aside, right away. I like to keep a “maybe” section so I can return to them, but your final, critical decision section, which you deem the best of the rest should be down to about two or three samples — this way you don’t get too drunk to really decide, and it cuts down on palate fatigue. And, insider hint, ask for small refills of those last two you’re still considering. 15 IPAs. Do yourself some favors. Also, if you can’t make it, Santa Fe Brewing Company will be live streaming from the event, so stay tuned to the SFBC Facebook page.

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Things may get a little fuzzy after so many IPAs. Remember to hydrate and eat food, but not food that will wreck your palate!

For me, I have personal nostalgic feels for this event. It was the first story I ever did for the NM Dark Side Brew Crew. That was two years ago at Second Street Brewery. I’m thrilled to still be writing for the Dark Side, and I’m so honored to have found a place in the NM brewing industry because of them. So, special thanks to Stoutmeister and the rest of the Crew for taking a chance on an untested dude from Santa Fe. Cheers to our great industry, and see you at the Bridge for Round One! Fight!

— Luke (Craft Crusader)

This year's many, many IPA entries.

This year’s many, many IPA entries.

And we are off! The preliminary round of the 2016 New Mexico IPA Challenge is complete, with 16 15 breweries advancing to the three main rounds that will begin next weekend at Santa Fe Brewing. This came out of the 28 beers that were sampled in a blind taste test Saturday afternoon at Rio Bravo.

Editor’s note: We have been updated by the Guild that Rio Bravo does not advance.

Were there surprises? Of course, both in some of the breweries that scored well and in some that did not. One of the new wrinkles in NMIPAC is that the three host breweries — Santa Fe, 3 Rivers, Tractor — were guaranteed to advance no matter their voting totals. In the end, only the first needed that bye to advance, as 3 Rivers (nine votes) and Tractor (seven votes) would have qualified regardless.

The results of the preliminary round, with the breweries listed by their numbers on the left, voting totals on the right.

The results of the preliminary round, with the breweries listed by their numbers on the left, voting totals on the right.

Every brewery that was eliminated garnered less than seven votes. Those are, with voting totals included, Bathtub Row (4), Cazuela’s (1), Chama River (2), Enchanted Circle (2), Kaktus (2), Little Toad Creek (4), Lizard Tail (3), Marble (6), Rio Bravo (3), Roosevelt (4), Sierra Blanca (6), Spotted Dog (1), and Turtle Mountain (2). While some of those breweries are newer or in more remote locations, seeing big names like Chama, Marble, Sierra Blanca, and Turtle were all surprising.

The advancing breweries, including the hosts, are Blue Corn (10), Bosque (13), Boxing Bear (33), Canteen (33), Chili Line (10), La Cumbre (13), Quarter Celtic (24), Red Door (7), Santa Fe (3), Second Street (7), Sidetrack (7), Starr Brothers (17), Taos Mesa (13), 3 Rivers (9), and Tractor (7). In terms of the two trays, numbered 1-14 and 15-28, the leaders were Boxing Bear and Canteen for the first tray and Quarter Celtic for the second tray. It was nice to see some of the newcomers, all of whom opened this year, make the final cut in Chili Line, Quarter Celtic, Sidetrack, and Starr Brothers.

In the interest of full disclosure, Brandon had the first tray and picked Canteen. I had the second tray and picked Starr Brothers, though it was close between their offering and Quarter Celtic.

The next round of NMIPAC will be Saturday, July 16, at Santa Fe, followed by a stop at 3 Rivers in Farmington on July 20, and the grand finale at Tractor Wells Park on July 23. Luke will have the SFBC stop covered for us, and the rest of the Crew will see you all at Wells Park.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

p.s. Kudos to the staff at Rio Bravo for putting on such a smoothly-run event. All of us attendees appreciated your hard work!

One IPA to rule them all!

One IPA to rule them all!

Hopheads! Assemble!

The 2016 edition of the New Mexico IPA Challenge kicks off this Saturday at noon with the preliminary round at Rio Bravo Brewing. If you need a reminder of how it will be set up, we wrote about that a while back. To further help you out, we asked Rio Bravo brewer Ty Levis for additional details.

“We are going to host the IPA Challenge in the brewhouse,” Ty said in an email. “We have decided to have participants file in through the doors at the east end of the taproom (like you were going to go out to the stage area) and we will have all the service and jockey box setups right there. From there participants will enter the main brewery through the side gate, where you will be able to sit at one of six-to-seven picnic tables set up inside along the row of brite tanks or alongside the brewhouse. We will allow participants to go out back to the bier garden where we will have some tents shading additional picnic tables, trying to keep all those IPAs out of the sun!!! Who let in the skunk?

“An important aspect to the IPA Challenge is that there are two huge flights of 14 beers and you will not be allowed to choose which flight you are given. Only the seven most voted for beers in each flight will move on to round two, which will probably lead to some amazing IPAs being left behind in round one. We hope to be in the running, but as you know ABQ is IPA Valhalla and I suspect that if you aren’t putting in 6-10 pounds of hops per barrel, you’re going to get left behind, thus the reason that a lot of these beers aren’t available anytime other than right around IPA Challenge competitions.

“You’re welcome to bring palate cleansers, but understand that you get your flight assigned to you, you won’t know who’s beers are in it and only your vote will decide the fate of the brewery’s beers that you taste in your flight. (Brewers Guild) Director John Gozgian will be the sole person who knows what brewery’s beer is located at what place in each flight, and I hear he’s signed up on ebay for this knowledge to be sold to the highest bidder. We will have a lot of fun hosting this event, John (Seabrooks) and I will be helping pour and serve flights all day.”

Get there early to make sure you get to enjoy your tray inside. And as noted, you can bring palate cleansers, so start stringing those pretzel necklaces after a hearty breakfast.

That brings us to the part of this that those of you who have been to an NMIPAC round before can skip over. For all of you planning to make this your first, here is how to get through it.

  • Get there early. You probably could have guessed that, but this lessens the chatter around you that might influence your selections.
  • Bring those aforementioned palate cleansers. Pretzels tend to work best, but figure out your personal favorite. These beers are not going to be kind to an inexperienced palate. Yours could be worn out before you get all 14 sampled, so give your palate a little break here and there. Water is good, but that is more for hydration than anything else.
  • Remember, you might have Bosque or La Cumbre on your tray, but that is not your standard Riverwalker or Elevated on there. These are all specialty IPAs. Heck, they might not even be the ones later sold as Scale Tipper or Project Dank at the breweries or in bottles. Do not try to guess which IPA came from your favorite brewery; just vote for the best one on your tray. Be honest with yourself. You might be rewarded, you might be surprised.
  • Take your time. This event is four hours long. Assess everything, from aroma to initial flavor to mouthfeel to finish. Take notes. Be thorough. These brewers put a lot into these beers, so give them an equally strong effort in your evaluations.
  • Do not pick the beer you think everyone else would like. The hoppiest or heaviest need not win. Pick your favorite. This is your opinion, not your friend’s opinion, not your significant other’s opinion, just yours. One person. One vote.
  • Try to avoid driving yourself, especially if this is your first NMIPAC. These beers will sneak up on you. Carpool with friends, bum a ride, use Uber, take a taxi, whatever. Yes, Rio Bravo has more parking than most breweries, but it will be gone in the blink of an eye. Plus, it is a summer weekend. APD and BCSO will be out in force. Don’t be dumb. If you have to drive, be willing to leave your car parked in the area overnight, if necessary.
  • Most of all, have fun. This is a serious event, but remember, it’s also about expressing our love for our local breweries and supporting the Guild.

Got any questions? Comments after this is all over about what you did and did not like? Send them our way at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or just drop us a line on any of our social media platforms. And if you spot Brandon or I over there, stop by and say hello.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

One IPA to rule them all!

One IPA to rule them all!

The announcement went out on Tuesday, and hopheads across the state rejoiced, for the New Mexico IPA Challenge is returning to the land. Now 28 breweries will do battle, as all seek to remove the three-time king, John Bullard, from his iron throne.

OK, fine, it is a bit of Game of Thrones there, but that is the theme this year, said NM Brewers Guild director John Gozigian. We met for some pints and a good old information download at Bosque Brewing on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re kind of running with a Game of Thrones theme,” John said. “It all makes sense. The brewing community in New Mexico is kind of incestuous, it really is. Everybody’s worked here and there. All the houses have been mixed, kind of, so it kind of lends itself to that.

“You’ve got a guy like John Bullard who’s won it three years in a row for two different breweries. He’s the guy that everybody wants to dethrone. You’ve got all these usurpers out there that would love nothing better than to make him pay.”

Bullard has won three in a row, the last two at Bosque and two before that Blue Corn. His title defense starts on Saturday, July 9, at Rio Bravo for the preliminary round. After that, the scoring rounds will be at Santa Fe Brewing on July 16, at Three Rivers Brewery in Farmington on July 16, and the grand finale will be at Tractor Wells Park on July 23.

The other 27 combatants who will face off with Bosque are, deep breath, as follows (* = confirmed first-time participant): Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Cazuela’s, Chama River, Chili Line*, Enchanted Circle*, Kaktus, La Cumbre, Little Toad Creek, Lizard Tail, Marble, Quarter Celtic*, Red Door, Rio Bravo*, Roosevelt, Santa Fe, Second Street, Sidetrack*, Sierra Blanca, Spotted Dog, Starr Brothers*, Taos Mesa, Three Rivers, Tractor, Turtle Mountain

Last year there were 23 participants, so to get to 28 is immense in and of itself. Rather than copy the same format as the VIPA Challenge, there will instead be a new format for the opening round at Rio Bravo.

“It’s going to be a little different though it’s going to accomplish the same end,” John said. “Last year was the first time that we had to winnow the field down to a manageable amount of beers to take on the road, so attendees at the subsequent stops got all of them in one sitting.

“We capped it this year at 28 breweries. They can only enter one beer. It all goes back to the lunch lady trays that we’ve always used. You can fit 14 of those plastic tumblers on one of those trays. You can fit 2-to-3 ounces in there, a big enough sample where you can reasonably evaluate the beer. So, that limits it to 14 in a flight. Plus, given the quantity of each one, you can’t go less than 2 ounces, so that ends up (28) ounces of beer per flight, plus you get the complimentary pint. We don’t want people to over-consume.”

The format now will feature two separate trays, labeled A and B. One will have beers numbered one through 14, the other 15 through 28. Each attendee will only receive one of the two trays, and will rank the beers on his/her tray only. An equal number of the two trays will be distributed so all beers will have an equal chance, regardless of which tray they are on.

“We’re going to be smart, the ones that have done well in the past, they’re not going to all be on one flight,” John said. “They’re going to be spread out in a way that makes sense. We’re going to take the top 12 to 14 out of that first round at Rio Bravo and then take those to the next stops.”

Yes, you and your best friend/significant other/old drinking buddy can each get a different tray and sample from the other, but you can only vote for one. Basically, drink up as much as you want off your tray first for proper voting, then, if your palate can take it, try from the other tray.

“So, the first one is going to be fun,” John said. “That’s where we get the field down to where it’s supposed to be. Even with 28, there’s going to be some good IPAs that get left behind. There are a lot of good IPAs out there now. For sure, those top 12 or 14, they’re going to be some great beers.”

Tickets for all four rounds are now on sale online, and paper tickets will begin appearing at the breweries (full list TBA) in the next couple of weeks.

Get them early this year. Even as big as Rio Bravo is, and Tractor WP will be (they are going to close the front parking lot along 4th for additional capacity), there will be ticket caps. This should be the biggest NMIPAC ever, both in terms of participating breweries and attendees.

After the opening round, the remaining rounds should be what you have come to expect, 12 to 14 beers numbered on a tray for a proper blind tasting. As attendance outside of Albuquerque has always lagged behind, the folks at Three Rivers are trying something new this year to get their numbers on par with at least Santa Fe.

“Actually, those guys are going to try to get people from Durango,” John said. “They’re going to put up posters at the breweries in Durango. I hope we get some attendance from there because, I think New Mexico’s beers, especially the IPAs, are well enough known now, at least in our neighboring states, it’ll be worth the 30-mile trip for somebody from Durango to come check out. Especially when we have gold medal winners and National IPA Challenge winners all submitting beers.”

Start doing your hop homework people. Prep those palates, get your ticket(s), and the Crew will see many of you at Rio Bravo and/or Tractor sooner than later.

One IPA to rule them all! We can get behind this theme.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister