The deadline to enter the King of Ohio is Friday. (Aug. 23)
The beer competition, organized by beer bloggers and writers in the Buckeye State, is once again looking to crown the best beer in Ohio.
And this year, we are looking for the best IPA.
Maybe it’s a West Coast.
Or perhaps an imperial.
Or even a hazy.
We will find out Sept. 7 at MadTree Brewing Co. in Cincinnati which is hosting the judging this year.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 60 breweries from all over the Buckeye State had entered.
Here’s how the King of Ohio competition works: Each Ohio craft brewery is invited to submit one IPA — whatever it considers its best — for the blind judging.
The beers will be broken into sub-styles, depending on how many we receive. The judges, including certified beer judges, will pick the best of each sub-style and then choose a “best of show” — or as we like to call it the King of Ohio.
The King of Ohio is different from other competitions because it focuses on only one style at a time. There’s also no fee to enter. It’s free — we just ask that breweries provide at least 36 ounces of beer, whether that’s three 12-ounce bottles, a few 16-ounce cans, a couple Crowlers, a couple howlers or a growler. (Sorry, no kegs.)
The winner will receive a trophy, be featured on the Ohio Beer Blog and Pat’s Pints websites, and be highlighted in the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper. The winners in each category also will be recognized.
This is the fifth year for the event. The inaugural King of Ohio competition showcased IPAs, with Hoof Hearted Wet Musk of the Minotaur winning. The second tasting featured session beers and Streetside Brewery took home the crown with Raspberry Beret. Yellow Springs Maxxdout Stout won the stout competition, besting 79 other beers entered. And last year, Rockmill Petite Saison was named the best Belgian out of 64 beers submitted.
Any brewery interested in competing can contact Rick Armon at firstname.lastname@example.org, Pat Woodward at email@example.com, Joe Easton at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tom Morgan at email@example.com to enter or for more details. Again, the deadline to notify us about competing is Friday, Aug. 23.
Here’s the nitty gritty for breweries:
Beers will be sorted into six different categories depending upon their strength and whether they are traditional American IPAs or Hazy/New England style IPAs. In addition, there will be at least one, and possibly multiple, categories of specialty IPAs as defined below. The number and grouping of the specialty IPA categories will be determined by the organizers and based upon the number of entries.
Session strength: ABV <5.5%
Standard strength: 5.5 < ABV < 7.5%
Imperial strength: ABV > 7.5%
Traditional American IPA vs Hazy/NE IPA:
Traditional: A decidedly hoppy and bitter beer (IBU ranges from 40 to 100+ depending upon strength), showcasing modern American or New World hop varieties. The balance is hop-forward, with a clean fermentation profile, dryish finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through. Color ranges from medium gold to light reddish-amber. Should be clear, although unfiltered dry hopped versions may be a bit hazy.
Hazy/NE IPA: Straw to deep golden in color with a high degree of cloudiness. Low to medium-low malt aroma/flavor, medium-high to very high hop aroma/flavor. Perceived impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance. Perceived silky or full mouthfeel. Descriptors such as “juicy” are often used to describe the taste and aroma hop-derived attributes present in these beers.
Belgian IPA: An IPA with the fruitiness and spiciness derived from the use of Belgian yeast. The examples from Belgium tend to be lighter in color and more attenuated, similar to a tripel that has been brewed with more hops. This beer has a more complex flavor profile and may be higher in alcohol than a typical IPA.
Black IPA: A beer with the dryness, hop-forward balance, and flavor characteristics of an American IPA, only darker in color – but without strongly roasted or burnt flavors. The flavor of darker malts is gentle and supportive, not a major flavor component. Drinkability is a key characteristic.
Brown IPA: Hoppy, bitter, and moderately strong like an American IPA, but with some caramel, chocolate, toffee, and/or dark fruit malt character as in an American Brown Ale. Retaining the dryish finish and lean body that makes IPAs so drinkable, a Brown IPA is a little more flavorful and malty than an American IPA without being sweet or heavy.
Red IPA: Hoppy, bitter, and moderately strong like an American IPA, but with some caramel, toffee, and/or dark fruit malt character. Retaining the dryish finish and lean body that makes IPAs so drinkable, a Red IPA is a little more flavorful and malty than an American IPA without being sweet or heavy.
Rye IPA: A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American and New World hop varieties and rye malt. The balance is hop-forward, with a clean fermentation profile, dry finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.
White IPA: A fruity, spicy, refreshing version of an American IPA, but with a lighter color, less body, and featuring either the distinctive yeast and/or spice additions typical of a Belgian witbier.
English IPA: A hoppy, moderately-strong, very well attenuated pale British ale with a dry finish and a hoppy aroma and flavor. Classic British ingredients provide the best flavor profile.
Fruit IPA: A hop-forward IPA made with fruit. The fruit character should be evident but in balance with the beer, not so forward as to suggest an artificial product.
Milkshake IPA: A hop-forward IPA made with lactose. May also contain fruit and/or spices, but those additions are optional.
Sour IPA: A synergistic combination of hop aromatics and fermentation derived acidity. The acidity could range from tart to sour but should not overwhelm the aroma and flavor of the hops. May contain adjuncts like fruit, lactose or spices.
Miscellaneous: Any beer that has the hop character of an IPA but does not fit into any of the above categories may be entered in this catch-all category. The brewer must describe the special ingredients and/or processes used and the intent of the beer.