Friday, August 9, 2013

Lord of the Flies...and IPAs

Happy now, all of ye who prayed for rain? I saw depressing statistics on how little the monsoon season has affected Albuquerque's drought conditions, leading me to this conclusion: The only thing rain does for New Mexico is bring a migration of all the world's flies, mosquitoes, and weeds. Monsoon season has one positive, at least- the annual IPA Challenge happens this time of year, starting tonight, in fact, at High Desert Brewing in Las Cruces. Tomorrow night, the Challenge moves on to Taos Mesa Brewing. Friday, August 16 brings the Challenge to Santa Fe Brewing, and the event culminates on Saturday at Marble Brewery. 14 Breweries are competing this year, all with one goal in mind: to beat Il Vicino, the champion of the last four years. IPAgate has been brewing, so to speak, a little more every year that Il Vicino wins. Some people seem to think that, while Il Vicino makes a fine IPA, it is more the rabid Il Vicino regulars figuring out which beer in the blind tasting belongs to Il Vic and voting for that one that brings home the prize year after year. Don't get mad at me, Il Vicino regulars, I'm just repeating what I know others believe. Is it just sour grapes on their part? I voted for Il Vicino in 2009 and 2010, and really don't care who wins this year. I'm going to vote for the IPA based on its merit, and I hope you do too.
The format remains the same, where your $25 gets you a few ounces of each of the 14 IPAs, then a commemorative pint glass filled with the one you liked the best (or filled with the Il Vicino offering, if you are a regular there...I'M KIDDING!) Damn, Il Vicino, see what happens when you are on top? Everyone's gunning for you!
It's going to be a great time at all the breweries hosting, and every year just seems to get better and harder to judge. Got to for a ticket, or pick one up at La Cumbre or any of the IPA Challenge sites.

No comments: