Monday, January 28, 2013

2012 California IPA Tournament: Semifinals

We finally arrive at the Fynal Fower (I spelled it wrong just in case the NCAAs have that copyrighted).  The last eight were bracketed, so the semis were not reseeded.  And look at that- two Bay Area beers, two San Diego county beers.
I need to work on my photo framing skills.
Semifinal 1:
7) Lagunitas (Petaluma), $7.99/6-pack, 6.2% ABV, 16.55 NSP, 2 (Andy, Brent)
6) Russian River Blind Pig (Santa Rosa), $4.90/500mL, 6.1% ABV, 6.43 NSP, 3 (Brendan, Matt, Samer)
This one took a while.  Everyone went back and forth, back and forth, taking tiny sips, trying to get a handle on reasons to put one over the other.  To me, Blind Pig was just a bit drier and had a touch more citrus than Lagunitas.  Oh, and once again, Andy goes against Blind Pig.

Semifinal 2:
1) Alpine Duet (Alpine), $7.99/22oz, 7.0% ABV, 5.69 NSP, 5-0
5) Port Wipeout (San Marcos), $4.99/22oz, 7.0% ABV, 9.12 NSP
Damn, Duet.  Just keeps on beating the tar out of its opponents.  And Wipeout was really outstanding.  But against Duet...not quite.

Guess which one's Alpine, and which one's Port.
A note on the defeated, Lagunitas and Port Wipeout.  First, Lagunitas.  A sixer of this beer costs the same as a single 22 of Duet.  It's absurdly cheap for how good it is.  So, if you're looking to hit the maximum in your California IPA cost-benefit analysis, go find yourself some Lagunitas and drink the shit out of it.

Secondly, when you looked at the initial list of 36 tournament beers, did you ever imagine that Port would be in the Fynal Fower, and one of the last two San Diego county beers remaining?  Don't lie.  No you didn't.  Two out of Stone, Green Flash, Sculpin, and Alpine, most likely.  But not Port.  This guy quietly stalked its way through the tourney and showed up when it mattered most.  So I'm giving it its due respect- when you talk about the best IPAs in San Diego, you absolutely have to include Wipeout in the discussion.

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