We picked up a flight of single IPAs and headed through to the back room where there was space to breathe. Hop lovers were given the option of judging flights of single IPAs or Double IPAs. As we sipped through the 5 brews provided, I noticed none of them were labeled nor was there any indication anywhere which IPA was which. We later found out that this was because Maxwell’s wanted to get the taster’s honest opinion, not the biased one based on which brewery they loved the most. Well played, Maxwell’s, well played.
My personal favorite, one I thought most balanced and tolerable (this Belgian lover can only take so much hoppiness), ended up being the Panic IPA, by Track 7 Brewing. The rep from Firestone later came over and talked about how his ultimate IPA has just the right balance of hops and malt sweetness, he too felt the Panic was the best (Firestone was not part of my IPA line up).
Other participating IPAs included Fall River’s Hexagenia, Drake’s 7×70 IPA, and Ballast Point’s Sculpin… Basically, if you love IPAs and people consider you to be judgy and a critic, this is your event. Keep an eye out for another Battle of the IPAs in next year’s Redding Beer Week.