The recent rise in craft beer has brought a whole slew of styles to the forefront–we’re talking browns, wits, lambics, goses, Bohemian pilsners, etc. People interested in the craft beer movement rejoice, considering more styles allow for more options depending on what the day inspires.
But, no matter what, IPA has been king of the recent craft beer boom. In fact, that is most peoples’ first experience with craft beer–they know the three letters mean it’s going to be something unique, so they dive in and try the quintessential style.
Three years ago, 10 Barrel Brewing Company decided that it was time to figure out who made the best example of the style. Considering IPA juggernauts like Boneyard Brewing and Deschutes were in the backyard, it only made sense to hold a competition to find out who was the best of them all.
From there, they moved the competition from city to region specific, where the home field advantage Apocalypse IPA won best of show. This year, because of the popularity of the contest, they were able to add other states to the competition–pitting Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, and Colorado against each other.
The fest is set up where each state has 5-6 breweries represented. Each person would try beers from the states with no idea what the state was or which brewery the beer came from. After a general consensus was decided, tasters would text in their favorite state.
And, of course, the home team took home the gold — Oregon edged out California for the best IPAs in the land.
The event, which served as a prequel to the ensuing Bend Brewfest, brought crowds that filled 10 Barrel’s parking lot. Entertained by a live band and decorated with military equipment, 10 Barrel went all out for this year’s event. Brewers from all of 10 Barrel’s outposts, including Whitney Burnside from the Pearl District pub and brewmaster Jimmy Seifrit.
This is the first event 10 Barrel has hosted since the AB-InBev buyout. While the company seemed to have a lot of fun with the event, former owner Jeremy Cox was not prepared to speak about how the buyout process has worked for the company thus far.
Ballast Point, Firestone Walker, Green Flash, Pizza Port, Stone, 21st Amendment
Avery, Cannonball Creek, Comrade, Epic, Great Divide, Ska
Boise, Edge, McCall, Sockeye, Payette, Woodland Empire
10 Barrel, Barley Brown’s, Boneyard, Breakside, Deschutes, pFriem
Bale Breaker, Elysian, Everybody’s, Georgetown, Naked City, Silver City