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Alpha King Challenge

Congratulations to Thomas Peters of The Belching Beaver
The 2014 Alpha King!

Click to watch the 2014 Alpha King Challenge Champion Video. 

Register Now for Alpha King Challenge 2015 

Alpha King Challenge 2015 will be held at Rock Bottom Brewery - Downtown
on Friday, September 25 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.
The event is free to attend and open to the public.

Since 1999, Yakima Chief - Hopunion LLC, Brewing News Publications and Three Floyds Brewing Company, have been scouring the country for the best hop-laden beers. Each year, a team of brewers and veteran beer writers test the vigor of their hoppy findings and crown an Alpha King, deeming his (or her) beer to be the holy grail of well-balanced and drinkable, yet highly-hopped ales. The Alpha King Challenge is a battle of the brews!

Congratulations to Thomas Peters of The Belching Beaver in Vista, CA for claiming the 2014 Alpha King Crown!

After consecutive wins in 2012 and 2013, Kirk McHale’s Alpha King Challenge reign ended as newcomer Thomas Peters of The Belching Beaver in Vista, CA knocked out the competition with his first ever Alpha King entry. The Belching Beaver's Pound Town Triple IPA hoisted the crown above a field of 128 hop-forward entries from more than 90 commercial craft breweries.

When asked about the winning entry, head brewer Thomas Peters described the beer as a dream that was realized by studying the characteristics of other highly respected California contenders and applying his own knowledge of IPA to champion the 10.3% heavyweight. With rich, tropical fruit aromas and tropical fruit, pine and citrus flavors, Peters’ boasts, “It’s pretty drinkable for such a huge beer…”.

The entries in this year’s Alpha King Challenge represented many of the most notable, hop-famous breweries in the nation. The final round included beers from Pizza Port - Bressi Ranch, Roadhouse Brewing Co., Comrade Brewing Co., Uberbrew, Columbus Brewing Co., Pizza Port - Solana Beach, Sunriver Brewing Co., La Cumbre Brewing Co., Cellarmaker Brewing Co., Willoughby Brewing Co., and Canteen Brewhouse (Il Vicino Brewing Co.), but after careful deliberation by the judges, Barley Brown’s Forklift Double IPA took 3rd, Pinthouse Pizza’s Batch 69 Double IPA finished in 2nd and Belching Beaver’s Pound Town Triple IPA was deemed the top contender and crowned 2014 Alpha King.

Named in honor of Three Floyd’s Alpha King Pale Ale, the Alpha King Challenge is an annual competition held during the Great American Beer Festival® and is open to commercially licensed breweries throughout the United States. Entries are judged on overall quality and balance of flavor, and must have a minimum 60 IBUs (no barley wines allowed).

Questions regarding the Alpha King Challenge can be directed to

The King's Court

2014 - Thomas Peters

Pound Town Triple IPA

The Belching Beaver
Vista, California


2013 - Kirk McHale
2 x 4

Melvin Brewing
Jackson Hole, Wyoming


2012 - Kirk McHale
2 x 4

Thai Me Up Brewery
Jackson Hole, Wyoming


2011  - Jeff Bagby
Poor Man's Double IPA

Pizza Port Carlsbad
Carlsbad, California


2010 - Jeff Bagby
Poor Man's Double IPA

Pizza Port Carlsbad
Carlsbad, California


2009  - Brian Hutchinson
Hop Vivant Imperial IPA

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery
Boulder, Colorado


2008 - Tomme Arthur
Hop 15 Double IPA

Port Brewing Company
San Marcos, California


2007 - Vinne Cilurzo
Pliny the Elder Double IPA

Russian River Brewing Company
Santa Rosa, California


2006 - Ed Bennett
Boundary Bay Imperial IPA

Boundary Bay Brewing
Bellingham, Washington


2005 - Jeff Bagby
Torrey Pines IPA

Oggi’s Pizza and Brewery
Vista, California


2004 - Tomme Arthur
Hop 15 Double IPA

Pizza Port
Solana Beach, California


2003 - Geno Acevedo
Deuce Imperial IPA

El Toro Brewing
Morgan Hill, California


2002 - Brendan Moylan
Moylander Double IPA

Moylan’s Brewing
Novato, California


2001 - Brendan Moylan
Moylander Double IPA

Moylan’s Brewing
Novato, California


2000 - Gabe Fletcher
Sockeye Red IPA

Midnight Sun Brewing
Anchorage, Alaska


1999 - Larry Bell
Two Hearted Ale

Bell’s Brewing
Galesburg, Michigan