West Coast IPAs Take Center Stage in Oregon Brewers Guild Throwdown Competition

The Oregon Brewers Guild is thrilled to announce the details of their second annual beer competition, Best of the West Coast IPA: National Throwdown. Registration and information links will be emailed to last years’ participants by June 1 with details on competition rules and style guidelines. These will also be available on the Oregon Brewers Guild website, oregoncraftbeer.org.

This competition was established in 2023 with the goal of identifying and celebrating the best West Coast IPAs being made in the country by a wide range of breweries and brewers. The event focuses on one style of beer only: West Coast IPA. Specifically, between 6-8% ABV, this IPA style is characterized by bright clarity to very light haze, with punchy flavors and aromas that generally showcase classic north-western American hop varieties such as Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo or Citra.

With over 200 entries submitted from across the nation in the first year of this competition, the Oregon Brewers Guild expects this number to increase significantly this year as more breweries learn of its existence.

“This beer style is one of the most popular in craft brewing. What could be more exciting than getting its best representations from across the US in a head-to-head competition to see which ones reign supreme,” said Robin Johnson, OBG Board member and head brewer at Deschutes Brewery’s Bend Pub.

Registration opens June 1 and is open to breweries from all 50 states. Following the approach of many international competitions, judges will award silver and gold medals to qualifying beers in each category. Gold medalists in each category will compete against each other for a Category Championship, and the Category Champions will compete for the Grand Champion/Best in Show IPA award.

All beers entered must be produced on a fully licensed, commercial brewery with a TTB Brewer’s Notice on file. Breweries-in-planning and homebrewers are not eligible. All proceeds from the competition will go to supporting the Guild.

The 2024 competition is limited to 450 beers total. All breweries are limited to a maximum of three entries. Multi-site breweries and brewery groups with common ownership are limited to three entries total — the same as single-site producers. The fee for each entry is $40 or $100 for three beers.

Beers will be judged July 12-14 and the awards ceremony will be held August 3 from 4–8 p.m. at TopWire Hop Project in Woodburn, Oregon.

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