Two Alpha Kings join forces for one mighty, Imperial IPA



Burke-Gilman and Boundary Bay create a beer of royal lineage

Each year since 1999, the Alpha King Award is bestowed upon the hoppiest beer in all the land. The highly coveted award crowns the most well-balanced and drinkable beer with 60 IBUs or more — the top IPAs and Double IPAs on the market. In 2020, Burke-Gilman Brewing of Seattle won the Alpha King honors. In 2006, Boundary Bay Brewery of Bellingham took home the title. Those are the only Washington breweries to earn top honors at the Alpha King Challenge.

Washington’s Alpha Kings recently teamed up to create a beer: Ale of 2 Kings Double IPA. On May 2nd, Boundary Bay Brewery and Burke Gilman Brewing tapped it at each of their breweries (Bellingham and Seattle). Look for it soon in six-packs of 12-ounce cans.

“The two breweries collaborated at Boundary Bay in Bellingham to craft a distinct and robust Double IPA,” said a release announcement from Boundary Bay Brewery. “The inspiration for Ale of 2 Kings originates from their Double and Imperial IPA recipes that brought home the coveted Alpha King Challenge award.” 


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The Alpha King Challenge was created in 1999 by Yakima Chief Hops and 3 Floyds Brewing Company. Over the years it has grown in significance as IPA and Double IPA have increased in popularity. Today, the Alpha King award is one of the most important honors in the realm of American craft beer.

“My first craft beers were from Boundary Bay in the early 2000s while attending Western Washington University,” says Phil Pesheck of Burke-Gilman Brewing. “This project was a ton of fun to do a brew at the brewery that inspired me to become a brewer. It was equally cool to join forces with another Alpha King winner to make an Alpha King-inspired Double IPA, and at 8.6%, his one’s a real sneaker.”


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As far as the beer is concerned, it focuses on hops, as you’d imagine. The hop bill includes Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe, Lupo Ekuanot, and Cyro Citra, which combine to create aromas of citrus, melon, and pineapple. The malt character provides just enough sweetness to support the intense hop flavor. The beer offers a pronounced bitterness that rises into a sensationally resinous, warming finish suitable for royalty.

BEER GEEK SPECIFICATIONS: Ale of 2 Kings Double IPA — 8.6 percent ABV, 80 IBU, 6 SRM, 17.8°P O.G.


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For more news about recent beer releases, visit the Washington Beer Blog’s New Beer Releases page.



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