Gearing up for the National IPA Championship

For those of us who love IPA, this is our version of March Madness. Each year the Brewing News organizes the National IPA Championship (NIPAC). Participating beers are randomly bracketed and pitted in head-to-head competition. The winners advance to the next round. The losers go home.

The initial 128 entrants will be narrowed to 64, then to 32 and so on. Eventually the final four will face off to determine a champion. The judges in this competition are all brewers.

To stay informed, you should subscribe to the Hop Tips Newsletter. Obviously, we will track how Washington breweries perform in NIPAC this year.



Brewers, there is still time to enter your beer into the competition. To enter your beer click here. (Note – This competition is for commercial brewers only.) A list of the Washington breweries that have entered thus far can be found further down this article. We also provide a list of all participating breweries. Entries are still being accepted and the list continues to grow.

The Brewing News provides a way for beer lovers to be involved. We are invited to fill out brackets and see how well we can predict the winners. Yes, there are prizes for us, too. If you’re subscribed to Hop Tips, you’ll know what’s going on. Otherwise you’ll have to keep an eye on the Brewing News website.

Past Champions

In 2010, the NIPAC winner was Headhunter IPA from Fat Head’s Brewery in Cleveland. In 2009 Workhorse IPA from Portland’s Laurelwood Brewing took home the trophy. In 2008, top honors went to West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing in Vista, CA.

2011 Schedule

Round 1- February 13th @ Buffalo, NY
Round 2 – February 19th @ Syracuse,
NYRound 3 – February 26th @ Grand Rapids, MI
Round 4 – March 2nd @ Cleveland, OH
Final Round – March 5th @ Philadelphia, PA

The Combatants

As of this moment, the following Washington beers have joined the competition:

Interurban IPA – Fremont Brewing Company
Lazy Boy IPA – Lazy Boy Brewing Co.
Pike IPA – Pike Brewing Co
Supergoose IPA – Hale’s Ales
Trickster IPA – Black Raven Brewing Company
Zombie Killer – Snipes Mountain Brewing
Hop Duster IPA – Flyers Restaurant and Brewery
Afterburner IPA – Flyers Restaurant and Brewery

Here is the complete list of entrants thus far:

Afterburner IPA – Flyers Restaurant and Brewery
Avery India Pale Ale – Avery Brewing Company
Be Hoppy IPA – Wormtown Brewery
Big Eye IPA – Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Big Sky IPA – Big Sky Brewing
Bitter Woman IPA – Tyranena Brewing Company
Border Hopper – SweetWater Brewing Co
Caged Alpha Monkey IPA – CB’s
Centennial IPA – Founders Brewing Company
Class Five IPA – Thomas Creek Brewery
Cleveland IPA – Buckeye Brewing
Crooked Tree I.P.A – Dark Horse Brewing Company
crooked tree ipa – dark horse brewing co
Dagger Falls IPA – Sockeye Brewing
Devil’s Peak IPA – Copper Canyon Brewery
Dirty Dog IPA – Big Dog’s Brewing Co.
Duet – Alpine Beer Company
Elevated IPA – La Cumbre Brewing Co.
Empire I.P.A – Empire Brewing Co.
Finestkind IPA – Smuttynose Brewing Co.
Flower Power IPA – Ithaca Beer Company
Full Sail IPA – Full Sail Brewing Company
Good Karma IPA – Mad Anthony Brewing Company
Harpoon IPA – Harpoon Brewery
Head Hunter IPA – Fat Heads Brewery
Heavy Seas Loose Cannon – Clipper City Brewing
High Seas India Pale Ale – Michigan Brewing Company
Hop Duster IPA – Flyers Restaurant and Brewery
Hop Harvest Ale – Big Dog’s Brewing Co.
Hop Ride IPA – Tenaya Creek Brewery
Hop Stalker IPA – Fat Heads Brewery
Hoppin’ To Heaven IPA – Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company
India Pale Ale – Nebraska Brewing Company
India Pale Ale – Goose Island Beer Company
Interurban IPA – Fremont Brewing Company
Inversion IPA – Deschutes Brewery
IPA – Southern Tier Brewing Company
Islander IPA – Coronado Brewing Co
Jamaica Sunset IPA – Mad River Brewing Company
Lake Placid India Pale Ale – Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company
Lakefront IPA – Lakefront Brewery
Lazy Boy IPA – Lazy Boy Brewing Co.
Left Coast IPA – John Harvard’s Brew House CT
Marin IPA – Marin Brewing Company
Mile HI.P.A. – Wynkoop Brewing Company
Modus Hoperandi – Ska Brewing Co.
Mojo IPA – Boulder Beer Company
Moylan’s Harvest IPA – 15 Rowland Way
Nelson – Alpine Beer Company
NOR CAL IPA – Moylan’s Brewing Co.
Norm,s Raggedy – Ass IPA – Big Rock Chop House
Oasis – Tallgrass Brewing Company
Organic Hopworks IPA – Hopworks Urban Brewery
Pike IPA – Pike Brewing Co
Pompous Ass – Orlando Brewing
Railroad Street IPA – Rohrbach Brewing Company
Ranger IPA – New Belgium Brewing
Red Eye PA – The Brew Kettle Production Works
Red Racer IPA – Central City Brewing
Red’s Rye PA – Founders Brewing Company
Royal IPA – Bastone Brewery
Saber’s Edge – Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA – Boston Beer Company
Samuel Adams Latitude Belgian IPA – Boston Beer Company
Saranac IPA – F.X. Matt Brewing Company/Saranac
Sculpin IPA – Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Seven Gates Pale Ale (Gate Two) – Spring House Brewing Co.
Seven IPA – Cornerstone Brewing Company
Sheltowee Hop – a – lot IPA – Bluegrass Brewing Co
Special Ration IPA – Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
Stone IPA – Stone Brewing Co.
Super Fly – Oaken Barrel Brewing Company
Supergoose IPA – Hale’s Ales
SweetWater IPA – SweetWater Brewing Co
The Black Pearl – Pearl Street Grill & Brewery
Titan IPA – Great Divide Brewing Company
TOP GUN IPA – Blind Tiger Brewery
Torpedo Extra IPA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Tower 10 IPA – Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Trestles IPA – Left Coast Brewing Co.
Trickster IPA – Black Raven Brewing Company
Triple Play IPA – Lawson’s Finest Liquids
West Coast IPA – Green Flash Brewing
White Rajah – The Brew Kettle Production Works
Wipeout IPA – Port Brewing Co.
Workhorse IPA – Laurelwood Brewing Co
Zombie Killer – Snipes Mountain


  1. Wow. This contest sounds amazing. Pretty much the definition of heaven for a hophead like myself. I may have to make a trip down for this one. Any predictions on who will take the title this year?

  2. I wish at least one of the events was anywhere near Washington State but they are all back east. Assuming that this is a blind tasting, it would seem to be anyone’s game. There’s such a variety of IPA’s on the market, it will probably depend on the one that tastes the freshest and best matches the judges’ personal preferences.

  3. i’m with you, wabeerblog,

    it’d be nice if some of these events actually took place on the west coast. i’m sure it is blind tasting. but, isn’t there SOME regional bias as to how people like their hoppy beer? i mean, we on the west coast have greater access to hops and our ipa’s are kind of the standard, but i’m betting that other parts of the country have different pallets and what might win on the east coast, might not win over here. just a thought.

Comments are closed.