First West Coast IPA National Throwdown Names Its Champs

Organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild and open to breweries across the country, the inaugural Best of the West Coast IPA National Throwdown recently named its winners from among 200 entries.

Brewing Industry Guide Staff Aug 10, 2023 - 4 min read

First West Coast IPA National Throwdown Names Its Champs Primary Image

Logo courtesy Oregon Brewers Guild

California’s Riip Beer walked away with the Grand Champion IPA award for its Danky Doodle Dandy at the inaugural Best of the West Coast IPA National Throwdown, organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild (OBG).

“The guild is thrilled to announce this new event,” says Ben Edmunds, the guild‘s board president and brewmaster at Breakside in Portland. “We’ve long thought that a competition would be a fun event for the OBG to host, and there’s no better way to make that happen than by celebrating excellence within the most popular craft style in the U.S.”

Open to brewers across the country, the competition received 200 entries in its first year, awarding 27 medals in six categories. Rather than the usual three-medal system—bronze, silver, and gold—the organizers opted to allow multiple silvers or golds if merited, plus a category champion. The guild announced the winners August 6 on its Facebook page and via the New School beer and cider blog.

Riip’s Danky Doodle Dandy was champion among West Coast IPAs above 6.7 percent ABV, while gold in that category went to Volatile Substance from Portland’s Von Ebert.

The competition’s Runner-Up Grand Champion was Breakside IPA, which was the category champion among traditional American IPAs. (“Also known as classic or ‘old school’ American IPA, these beers exemplify IPA from its early heyday in the 2000s and early 2010s,” the competition’s guidelines say.) There was no gold in that category, but silver went to Von Ebert’s Nook & Friends.

In other categories:

  • New Mexico’s Ex Novo won category champion among West Coast IPAs below 6.7 percent ABV for its Eliot IPA: 9th Anniversary Edition. Golds in that category went to Colorado’s Westbound & Down for Westbound Select and to Breakside Wanderlust IPA.
  • Westbound & Down also won champion International West Coast IPA for its Spirit of the West, with no other medals awarded in that category.
  • In the Flagship IPA category, San Diego’s North Park won champion honors for Hop-Fu, while golds went to Tropic Pines IPA from Oregon’s Bend Brewing and to Separation Anxiety IPA from Berryessa Brewing of Winters, California.
  • In the Oregon-Hop IPA category, meant to support Oregon hop growers by honoring beers made with at least 80 percent Oregon hops, the champion was Deschutes Grower Direct IPA: Crosby, while gold went to Vine Breaker from Ghost Town in Oakland, California.

The competition also named six champions grouped by brewery size, honored for the highest-scoring IPA in each group:

  • Hop Dogma of Half Moon Bay, California, for its Alpha Dankopotamus (less than 1,000 barrels per year)
  • Seattle’s Cloudburst for Never Saw It Coming (1,000–3,000 barrels)
  • Von Ebert for A Boat with No Name (3,000–10,000 barrels)
  • Ex Novo for Eliot IPA: 9th Anniversary Edition (10,000–25,000 barrels)
  • Breakside for Breakside IPA (25,000–50,000 barrels)
  • Deschutes for its Grower Direct IPA: Crosby (more than 50,000 barrels)

For information about entering next year’s Best of the West Coast IPA National Throwdown, watch the Oregon Brewers Guild website.