The Alpha King returns to Washington this year



Two Washington breweries earn honors at the Alpha King Challenge

This time last year, Seattle’s beer lovers rejoiced in the news that Burke-Gilman Brewing had just won top honors at the 2020 Alpha King Challenge and was thus named The Alpha King. It’s a prestigious, highly coveted award. Burke-Gillman Brewing damn-near repeated that feat this year, placing third in the 2021 competition. Single Hill Brewing of Yakima landed in second. (Pictured above: Burke-Gilman Brewing’s brew crew: Julia Astrid Davis and Phil Pesheck. From Instagram.)

The Alpha King Challenge is a competition sponsored by Yakima Chief Hops and Three Floyds Brewing to determine the most well-balanced and drinkable hop-forward beer in America. All the beers entered in this one must be at least 60 IBUs. Alpha King happens at the same time as the Great American Beer Festival but is not part of that competition.

Congrats to the 2021 Alpha King Winners!


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  • 1ST PLACE: BREW BROTHERS, BIG DOG AMERICAN IPA, 68 IBUS, CTZ / MOSAIC® / IDAHO 7®.
  • 2ND PLACE: SINGLE HILL BREWING, MIND PLANT DIPA, 75 IBUS, TALUS® / STRATA / CHINOOK.
  • 3RD PLACE: BURKE-GILMAN BREWING CO, FRESH HOPOTHEOSIS HAZY DIPA, 90 IBUS, CITRA® / MOSAIC® / STRATA™ / IDAHO 7® / GALAXY®.

Beer Awards Season Success!

If this is beer award season, Washington’s brewers have enjoyed a very successful season. The other day, we shared the news that the state’s breweries brought home 22 medals from the GABF, the most medals the state has ever earned at the nation’s most prestigious beer judging competition. More medals than any state but California.

Now, we announce that two of the three Alpha King awards were handed to Washington breweries. Below, I share what Burke-Gilman Brewing had to say about this award on Instagram. No word from Single Hill Brewing, but it is the hop harvest season in Yakima and that means everyone is busy. I am sure they’re thrilled.

From Burke-Gilman Brewing’s Instagram feed:


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“Wow. Okay, as you know if you’ve been paying attention, we won Alpha King in 2020 – the competition for the hoppiest beer in America. Of course we entered again this year! We submitted Fresh Hopo with Strata. Any competition has some randomness to it – skill plays a role, but everything else has to go just right, and of course, you’re up against the best that other breweries can do as well!”

“We did not get a notification that we’d made the top 20 and should join the zoom call to talk beer and award prizes. We were bummed, of course, but we were super happy for all the other breweries on the list, especially the WA breweries! We were watching the broadcast from the taproom, ready to cheer like crazy when anyone we know won.”

Then we started counting. Wait a minute. This is the “top 20” zoom call, but there are not 20 breweries here. I wonder… could it be? Nah, not possible we just missed the invite. Unless…. Well, it doesn’t hurt to check….

“Our invite was in spam. I’m not making this up.”

“Long story short, WE CAME IN THIRD this year!!!! We made the third hoppiest beer in America! Huge congrats to Phil and Julia for making this beer. Huge thanks to all staff who helped bring it out.”

“And huge congrats to second place winners, our friends @singlehillbrewing (I drink your beer all the time!) and this year’s Alpha King, Brew Brothers, of Reno Nevada! (I want to try your beer!)”



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