Oregon Brewers Guild Presents Best of the West Coast IPA: National Throwdown

A new beer competition will take place in early July as the Oregon Brewers Guild announces the launch of the trade group’s first beer competition, Best of the West Coast IPA: National Throwdown. And as the name implies, this competition will focus on just one style, the West Coast IPA. Registration is now open for any brewery within the United States and runs until July 7, 2023 with the winners announced later that month.

“The Guild is thrilled to announce this new event,” stated Ben Edmunds, OBG Board President, in a press release. “We’ve long thought that a competition would be a fun event for the OBG to host, and there’s no better way to make that happen than by celebrating excellence within the most popular craft style in the US.”

According to the press release, the goal of the competition is to identify and celebrate the best West Coast IPAs being made in the country today by a wide range of breweries and brewers. But what makes the Best of the West Coast IPA: National Throwdown unique is that it’s a competition that only judges one style of beer, the West Coast IPA with an ABV range between 6% and 8%.

The Best of the West Coast IPA: National Throwdown will feature six sub-categories that are listed below.

  • Category 1: Traditional American India Pale Ale
  • Category 2: West Coast IPA Below 6.7%
  • Category 3: West Coast IPA Above 6.7%
  • Category 4: International West Coast IPA
  • Category 5:Flagship IPA
  • Category 6: Oregon-Hop IPA

In addition to these categories, the competition is limited to 450 beers. To read about all of the details, click here.

“This is a distinct competition in that it is dedicated to one-style of beer,” shared Edmunds in the press release. “We thought we would have some fun with the style subcategories and awards with this new event, while also bringing to bear all of the expertise and knowledge that we’ve gained from other competitions.”

Through the years, the Oregon Brewers Guild has hosted a variety of events to help keep the trade group afloat. Most recently the Guild has cut back its events to only a few, Portland Fresh Hops Festival, Central Oregon Winter Beer Festival and Zwickelmania, This, along with dwindling membership in the trade group, the Guild needs to find other revenue sources and hosting a competition is one avenue to explore.

“Although we’ve seen in-person events come back over the past year, we are dealing with much higher costs to run them and uncertain attendance rates,” shared Christina LaRue, Executive Director of the Guild, in a press release. “We’ve been brainstorming alternative event ideas and delving into the world of beer competitions just made sense.”

Registration for the competition is now open through July 7th and is open to breweries from all 50 states. All beers entered must be produced on a fully licensed, commercial brewery with a TTB Brewer’s Notice on file. Breweries-in-planning and homebrewers are not eligible. The entry cost is $40 per entry or $100 for three entries. All proceeds from the competition will go to supporting the Oregon Brewers Guild.

More information about the competition, as well as registration can be found on the Guild’s website at https://www.oregoncraftbeer.org/bowabout.

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