News Release – FOR IMMEDIATE READING – Everyone drinks India Pale Ales. After all, it’s hard to really screw up an IPA. While experienced brewers coax complexity out of special yeasts, sugars and malts, hops let anyone achieve phenomenal flavor with little effort. But by the same token, it’s also hard to elevate an IPA into something truly extraordinary.
The best IPA in Washington state?
Peaks and Pints bottle shop, taproom and eatery in Tacoma’s Proctor District will host the Tournament of Beer: Washington State IPAs in April 2017. The Tournament of Beer will follow the same logic as the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament — through a seeded bracket system, 64 Washington state IPAs will battle for craft beer supremacy. Co-owner Ron Swarner will run the tournament. He ran six similar formatted tournaments as editor and publisher of the Weekly Volcano alternative newsweekly before moving on to open Peaks and Pints.
Currently, Peaks and Pints is asking its patrons and the public to seed the tournament — meaning it’s polling people for the best IPA in Washington state, and thus determining IPAs seedings and matchups in the knockout bracket — at tournamentofbeer.com.
We’re not taking about pale ales, folks. That’s another tournament for another day. We’re talking singles, doubles and triple IPA, American-style and English style IPA, West Coast hop bomb IPAs and East Coast haze craze IPAs, black IPAs, hybrid IPAs, wheat IPAs and Belgian white IPAs — they’re all IPAs, as long as the craft beer falls under the BJCP Style Guide Category 21 India Pale Ale or Category 22a Double IPA or Category 12C English IPA, and the brewery is recognized by the Washington Beer Commission. Peaks and Pints will take the top 64 IPAs voted in and seed the tournament according to most votes, in the state’s four regions — King County, Northwest (North Sound and Peninsula), Eastern Washington and Southwest (includes South Sound) with no more than the top two IPAs per brewery, if a brewery is fortunate to receive ample votes for more than one of its IPAs.
The top 64 vote getters — the cream of the hops — will compete Monday through Friday at tournamentofbeer.com (forwards to peaksandpints.com), April 7-29. Through online voting, Washington state IPA drinkers will pick daily winners until the best IPA in Washington state is crowned. It’s just like March Madness, only with way more alpha acids.
The IBU-to-IBU battle of Washington IPAs grand champion will be announced at the Tournament of Beer Party, April 29, at Peaks and Pints, 3816 N. 26th St., in Tacoma’s Proctor District. The final two IPAs will battle live pouring from our Western red cedar tap log with the champion brewery receiving a permanent handle at Peaks and Pints through the spring and summer 2017.
Look for the first round of Washington state IPA battles April 7.