Saturday, February 16, 2008
National IPA Championship: Can You Pick the Best IPA?
The annual March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament generates more office pools than perhaps any other event besides the Super Bowl. But while Super Bowl pools usually come down to the dumb luck of selecting the right square out of 100 options, March Madness challenges basketball geeks to predict a flurry of games between the nation's best teams. Upsets can turn the novice into a champion and make the avid fans who spend their evenings flipping between ACC, Big East, Pac 10, Big 10 and SEC games look like rookies.
Now the folks at Brewing News -- where I write the Business of Beer column -- have come up with a brilliant beer related version -- the National IPA Championship. It is a single elimination bracket featuring 32 of the best IPAs from around the country. It is a hophead's dream come true. The National IPA Championship starts with the preliminary round on Feb. 23rd in Grand Rapids, Mich. You can make your picks at www.brewingnews.com/nipac.
All contestants that correctly predict the winners of every round and the final champion will be included in a NIPAC Contest Winners Drawing. Prizes include a full case of beer from the 2008 National IPA Champion, tee-shirts, posters and brewery merchandise. That's right free beer and free beer swag!
Judges for the head-to-head face offs between the IPAs will be brewers. They will be organized into panels of 3, and given the task of choosing the best IPA between two beers. The judges will not know what beers they are being served. At the completion of the judging session, the names of the beers will be revealed to the panels and audience at large. The winners will be posted to the web site within 24 hours.