Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2012 California IPA Tournament: Round 3, Heats 1-6

No idea what happened to my sheaf of notes from the judges for Round 3.  I guess record-keeping isn't particularly useful when your record-finding skills are subpar.  Good thing I took notes then.  For this round, the upper beer in each heat represents a Round 1 winner.  As you'll notice, they were kept separate so each Round 1 winner has its own heat.  Each opponent, the lower beer in each heat, was a Round 2 winner; these were re-randomized for entry into Round 3.  Round 3 is an elimination round, so losers have to go home swaddled in their cloaks of failure.
I have no pictures, so here's a random animal GIF instead.
Heat 1:
Speakeasy Big Daddy (San Francisco), R1H1, $9.89/6-pack, 6.5% ABV, 13.98 NSP, 2 (Brendan, Samer)
Stone (San Marcos), R2H4, $10.29/6-pack, 6.9% ABV, 14.28 NSP, 3 (Andy, Brent, Matt)
Tight matchup here, with Stone winning by a razor-thin margin based on a slightly better balance.  It was immediately clear that Round 3 was raising the stakes a bit- some of these heats were going to be really close.

Heat 2:

Port Wipeout (San Marcos), R1H2, $4.99/22oz, 7.0% ABV, 9.12 NSP, 5-0
Nectar Ales (Paso Robles), R2H1, $9.49/6-pack, 6.7% ABV, 14.87 NSP
On the other hand, some of these weren't all that close.  Port was miles better, and in Round 3, I began to notice a common feature of Wipeout- a hefty carb level that made the pours explode.  Wipeout also had a skunky weedness that seemed to appeal to everyone, almost like we were in Washington or Colorado.

Heat 3:

Mad River Jamaica Sunset (Blue Lake), R1H3, $9.99/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 14.92 NSP, 1 (Brendan)
Bear Republic Racer 5 (Healdsburg), R2H8, $9.69/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 15.39 NSP, 4 (Andy, Brent, Matt, Samer)
Brendan continues his pattern of opting for the maltier opponent- but everyone else clearly preferred the lighter-bodied Racer 5.  I agreed without question.

Heat 4:

Alesmith (San Diego), R1H4, $5.19/22oz, 7.25% ABV, 9.08 NSP, 5-0
Rubicon (Sacramento), R2H6, $3.99/22oz, 6.5% ABV, 10.59 NSP
Total woodshed shitstomping.  Compared to Alesmith, which was loaded with citrus, Rubicon was dirty dishwater.

Heat 5:

Sierra Nevada Torpedo (Chico), R1H5, $8.99/6-pack, 7.2% ABV, 17.06 NSP, 5-0
21st Amendment Brew Free or Die (San Francisco), R2H2, $9/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 16.57 NSP
Dammit, I guess what I said after Heat 1 was way off the mark.  Another thumping- though one I disagreed with, as I found BFoD to be nicely pineapply, whereas Torpedo was heavier-bodied and more bitter.

Heat 6:

Drake's (San Leandro), R1H6, $9.49/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 15.71 NSP,1 (Samer)
Green Flash West Coast (San Diego), R2H12, $8.99/4-pack, 7.3% ABV, 11.53 NSP, 4 (Andy, Brendan, Brent, Matt)
This one was really close, though it doesn't appear that way by the score.  This happens occasionally in these head-to-heads- it takes a while for the verdict, but if the majority leans heavily in one direction, it looks like an ass-kicking.  In this case, West Coast won by a nose, due to some slightly elevated weed-skunk and citrus, and a bit more dryness.


  1. I think you should start adding pics of hot babes so it isn't just text...

  2. Updated with a random cat GIF instead.