Last year at about this time, Sean Lawson, owner/brewer of Lawson’s Finest Liquids (a brewery in Warren, VT) was in the midst of a epic competition that would eventually see his wonderful “Triple Play IPA” crowned as the very best IPA in the whole US. The competition entered was called NIPAC… the National IPA Championship, which has been held for at least the last 5 years. In 2011, Sean matched his Triple Play IPA against 127 IPAs from all over the US in a “bracketed” competition… a la the NCAA Men’s Basketball “March Madness”… that would see only one IPA chosen as the nation’s best for 2011.
This year Sean has, once again, chosen to enter one of his “Finest” into the NIPAC competition… Chinooker’d IPA has been chosen to challenge 127 IPAs from around the US in this epic hop battle. According to the rules of the competition, the 128 IPAs are paired up in bracket fashion in a series of 7 challenge rounds, with the winner of each round advancing to the next round in single elimination fashion. The first round was held on February 3rd and the final round, where the National Champion will be determined, is to be held on March 3rd.
You can track Chnooker’d’s progress against the 127 other competitors at http://brackets.brewingnews.com/tmenu.cfm?tid=418946. As you will see, as of 2/10, Chinooker’d won the first round against Big Sky Brewing’s Big Sky IPA and has advanced to the 2nd round (to be held tomorrow, 2/11). This bracket will be updated as the competition moves toward the 7th, and final, round.