The United States Beer Tasting Championship (USBTC) recently completed the summer event of its 25th annual competition. A total of 538 beers from 174 breweries were examined across 17 different beer categories. Within each category, the USBTC determined both a Grand Champion and the best entry from each of seven US regions: 1) Northeast, 2) Mid-Atlantic 3) Southeast, 4) Midwest, 5) Rockies / Southwest, 6) California and 7) Northwest / Pacific.
This year Category 5 IPA, our 8.5% ABV and Citra dry-hopped imperial India pale ale, was awarded ‘Honorable Mention’ in the Imperial IPA category for the Southeast, only being bested by Space Lettuce from Monday Night Brewing out of Georgia.
The USBTC takes a unique approach in that its competition is held in multiple stages. Sequential field trials are conducted wherein judges evaluate beers and select the best to advance to subsequent rounds. This allows beers to be judged in relatively small flights while ensuring that the best beers are still determined through head-to-head competition. All beers were tasted in blinded fashion and judged on a hedonic scale.