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Beer of the Week: Green Flash West Coast IPA

Last week, I put out the word that I’d be judging a San Diego IPA challenge at Hotel Solamar’s LOUNGEsix. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the acronym, it stands for India pale ale. (What type of beer have you been drinking under that rock you call home, anyway?). A traditional style hailing from Britain, it started out as a session beer that was highly hopped, not for flavor or aroma, but because of hops’ preservative qualities.

In present day, the term IPA is synonymous with San Diego where our region's brewers resurrected the style and, in the process, altered it to form the basis for a sub-style known as the “West Coast IPA.” In bending the IPA to their will, local brewers not only kept in all those hops, but also brought down the malt backbone to make for crisper, cleaner, more refreshing beers that allowed all those hops to shine through. The result are the botanical bitter bombs that paved the way for even more beastly hop harriers—double and triple IPAs.

The competition I helped judge (along with representatives from *UT San Diego, West Coaster*, and QUAFF) was set up to celebrate both established signature San Diego IPAs: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Port Brewing Wipeout IPA, and Stone IPA, and relative newcomers from smaller operations, Lightning Brewery and Manzanita Brewing Company.

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/may/07/45141/

The judging was so close that, at first vote, there was a three-way tie. In the end, after over a half hour of discussing the merits of each member of that trio, one was able to edge out the other two by a single point. Turns out, it was the very same beer that won the first annual edition of this competition—Green Flash West Coast IPA.

Tasting of pink grapefruit with a mild sweetness and lingering pithy bitterness, it is clearly deserving of being the namesake for the style that San Diego rightly calls its own. This was a fun way to rediscover a beer that, like so many of our long-standing, high quality regional staples, sometimes gets overlooked in favor of the next big thing. Don't wait for your next stint as a beer judge for a refresher course on this repeat titleholder.

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Last week, I put out the word that I’d be judging a San Diego IPA challenge at Hotel Solamar’s LOUNGEsix. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the acronym, it stands for India pale ale. (What type of beer have you been drinking under that rock you call home, anyway?). A traditional style hailing from Britain, it started out as a session beer that was highly hopped, not for flavor or aroma, but because of hops’ preservative qualities.

In present day, the term IPA is synonymous with San Diego where our region's brewers resurrected the style and, in the process, altered it to form the basis for a sub-style known as the “West Coast IPA.” In bending the IPA to their will, local brewers not only kept in all those hops, but also brought down the malt backbone to make for crisper, cleaner, more refreshing beers that allowed all those hops to shine through. The result are the botanical bitter bombs that paved the way for even more beastly hop harriers—double and triple IPAs.

The competition I helped judge (along with representatives from *UT San Diego, West Coaster*, and QUAFF) was set up to celebrate both established signature San Diego IPAs: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Port Brewing Wipeout IPA, and Stone IPA, and relative newcomers from smaller operations, Lightning Brewery and Manzanita Brewing Company.

http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/may/07/45141/

The judging was so close that, at first vote, there was a three-way tie. In the end, after over a half hour of discussing the merits of each member of that trio, one was able to edge out the other two by a single point. Turns out, it was the very same beer that won the first annual edition of this competition—Green Flash West Coast IPA.

Tasting of pink grapefruit with a mild sweetness and lingering pithy bitterness, it is clearly deserving of being the namesake for the style that San Diego rightly calls its own. This was a fun way to rediscover a beer that, like so many of our long-standing, high quality regional staples, sometimes gets overlooked in favor of the next big thing. Don't wait for your next stint as a beer judge for a refresher course on this repeat titleholder.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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