Since 1999, YCH Hops LLC, Brewing News Publications and Three Floyds Brewing Company, have been scouring the country for the best hop-laden beers. Each year, a team of brewers and veteran beer writers test the vigor of their hoppy findings and crown an Alpha King, deeming his (or her) beer to be the holy grail of well-balanced and drinkable, yet highly-hopped ales. The Alpha King Challenge is a battle of the brews!
Congratulations to Thomas Peters of The Belching Beaver in Vista, CA for claiming the 2014 Alpha King Crown!
After consecutive wins in 2012 and 2013, Kirk McHale’s Alpha King Challenge reign ended as newcomer Thomas Peter's of The Belching Beaver in Vista, CA knocked out the competition with their first ever Alpha King entry. The Belching Beaver’sPound Town Triple IPA hoisted the crown above the field of 128 hop-forward entries from more than 90 commercial craft breweries.
When asked about the winning entry, head brewer Peters described the beer as a dream that was realized by studying the characteristics of other highly respected California contenders and applying his own knowledge of the IPA style to champion the 10.3% heavyweight. With rich, tropical fruit aromas and tropical fruit, pine and citrus flavors, Peters boasts, “It’s pretty drinkable for such a huge beer…."
The entries in this year’s Alpha King Challenge represented many of the most notable, hop-famous breweries in the nation. Final round entries included beers from Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, Roadhouse Brewing Co., Comrade Brewing Co., Uberbrew, Columbus Brewing Co., Pizza Port - Solana Beach, Sunriver Brewing Co., La Cumbre Brewing Co., Cellarmaker Brewing Co., Willoughby Brewing Co., and Canteen Brewhouse (formerly Il Vicino). After careful deliberation by the judges, Barley Brown’sForklift Double IPA took home third place, Pinthouse Pizza’s Batch 69 Double IPA finished in second and Belching Beaver’sPound Town Triple IPA deemed the top contender and crowned 2014 Alpha King.
Named in honor of Three Floyd’s Alpha King Pale Ale, the Alpha King Challenge is an annual competition held during the Great American Beer Festival® and is open to commercially licensed breweries throughout the United States. Entries are judged on overall quality and balance of flavor, and must have a minimum 60 IBUs (no barley wines allowed).