The first round of the National IPA Championship (NIPAC) and National Imperial IPA Championship (NI-IPAC) was judged over the weekend and many Ohio breweries advanced to the next round. This is the seventh annual competition, sponsored by the Brewing News. Interestingly, Fat Head's Brewery Head Hunter IPA won this competition in 2010 and 2012, but did not make it past the first round this year. What gives?
The competition mirrors the March Madness competition in the way it operates, only it's "hops, not hoops." IPAs and IIPAs from across the nation are randomly chosen for a 1:1 single elimination bracket tournament. Judgings are held in several locations over a period of weeks. The judges will all be brewers and qualified hop lovers.
Results of each round are posted on-line within twenty-four hours of each round. Final results and winners will be published on-line and in the Brewing News April/May 2014 issue.The next round will be judged in Grand Rapids, Michigan on February 22. Best of luck to the following Ohio breweries/beers that have advanced to the next round:
BREW Kettle Production Works: White Rajah IPA, El Lupulo Libr, and Old 21
Willoughby Brewing: Moondance IPA
Fat Heads Brewery: IBUsive and Hop Juju
Nanobrew Cleveland: Citramax
Hoppin' Frog Brewery: Hop Dam Triple IPA
Great Lakes Brewing: Chillwave Double IPA
Congratulations and good luck to all of them! Here's a link to the full bracket.