Ninety-three beers. That was the number of brewed beverages submitted for judging during the 2010 Alpha King Challenge, hosted by Falling Rock Taphouse, 1919 Blake Street. Crowds gathered in the basement as the judging took place, tasting what they could of the line-up.
The contest pits beers against each other in a blind tasting extravaganza, from which a team of judges select their favorites, based on overall quality and balance. The only stipulation? The beer has to be hoppier than average, but it can't be a barleywine.
Last year, Boulder brewer Mountain Sun (this week's Cafe review) took the prize for Hop Vivant, a surprisingly smooth double IPA with the ripping bitterness characteristic of its beer type.
This year, though, southern California-based Pizza Port claimed the top honor, landing the first and second place spots.
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An omen of what's to come in GABF judging? Pizza Port can only hope.