By William Brand
Friday, September 29th, 2006 at 6:19 pm in Uncategorized.
Credit: Gregory Daurer/Denver
Boundary Bay head brewer Ed Bennett with the Alpha King Friday afternoon, Sept. 30 at Falling Rock Tap House in Denver. Bennett’s Imperial IPA was named the Alpha King.
Long Live the Alpha King
The hoppiest beer in America? It may or may not be Boundary Bay Imperial IPA from the Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham, WA.
One thing for sure, it’s the Alpha King. This giant, 9 percent, 100-plus IBU (International Bitterness Units, a Bud has 13 IBU) beer won the eighth annual Alpha King Contest this afternoon (Friday, Sept. 29) at Falling Rock Tap House here in Denver. It’s held each year at Falling Rock on the second day of the Great American Beer Festival.
This contest, sponsored and created, naturally, by Hop Union, Yakima, WA, a major supplier of hops to craft brewers, by Brewing News, the national brewspaper, and White Labs, San Diego, a supplier of yeast to craft brewers. (Full disclosure: I write articles for Northwest Brewing News.)
Ralph Olson, of Hop Union, said there were 65 entries this year, up from 35 last year. Second place winner was Hop Suey from Pizza Port, Carlsbad, CA; third, was Wipeout IPA, also from Pizza Port, Carlsbad and brewer Jeff Baghy.
What brought victory? Boundary Bay head brewer Ed Bennett and his assistant Anthony Stone said the answer is great balance. The beer has a ton of hops: Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe all much-used West Coast hops. It also has a lot of malt 00 I heard 1,300 pounds for an eight barrel batch. Is that right?
Malts were a two row pale base, Munich, Vienna, both much used in Oktoberfest beers, and a lot of carapils, a kind of crystal malt that adds body and flavor but not sweetness.
Whew. Enough for this post. Can’t get this in Oakland, though, damn. However, I recommend Denoginizer from Drake’s San Leandro and Pliny the Elder, from Russian River, among others in this category.