First, a big thank you and good luck to each and every brewer entered in this year’s competition. And at this early stage of the proceedings I would ask the Committee to pass a vote of thanks to the brewers, maltsters and, of course, the hopsters in New Zealand and overseas who have put in time and hard labour, the fruits of which we are honoured to partake of next Friday.

(Seconded N. Miller, passed unanimously).

Second, as Official Blogger and Secretary I would like to offer a sincere apology and clarification for an error in last week’s blog. There are in fact two (2) Golden Gumboots to be presented to the winning brewer. These comprise a matching set that can be worn home.

(Some discussion from Committee that the tradition is to drink from one gumboot while losing the other in the crowd, then losing the first gumboot and walking home in wet socks).

The presentation this year will of course be of a matching pair of Golden Gumboots.

Third – The annual Introduction of the Candidates:

This is a massive field with 27 entries. This gives a spread probability of 3.7% of each individual entry winning.

However as discussed last week, each and every entry is a genuine contender, and with the right ingredients, well-brewed and presented, every single one of the following beers is in with a (3.7%) chance of taking home the Rubberware.

Our entries are (in alphabetical order):

Renaissance Bandwagon IPAI could tell you why it’s called Bandwagon but that would be a bit of a give away.

Fork & Brewer Captain ObviousMedalled twice but never Booted. Will be thirsty for the win.

Urbanaut El Segundo 2Which by my calculation makes it El Tercero.

Tuatara Fateful 8Picked up a second in 2012 and will be keen to improve this year.

Sprig & Fern Game ChangerI just hope the game they are changing is not making big hoppy West Coast IPAs because I like that game.

McLeods Glinks Gully West Coast IPAOn a roll this year and in with a real chance.

Liberty GoldilocksConsistent form in this Challenge and could set a record by winning for a third time.

Whistling Sisters Groundhop Day 2Last year was first time in the Challenge and has picked up a lot of experience since.

Heyday High Plains DrifterContinuing its Western theme from last year’s High Noon

Rocky Knob HootenannyMt Maunganui folk musicians back again this year.

Behemoth Hopularity Contest IPAAnother beer pun and a style this brewery enjoys. Never placed but will be keen to build on recent crowdfunding success. Blatant and probably successful attempt to bag Peoples’ Choice.

Epic IPA on a StickPrevious winner but hasn’t booted since 2012 and will be very thirsty for a repeat. Always worth a flutter.

Boneface Iron FistPlease follow this by releasing a Velvet Glove imperial stout.

Parrotdog L.B. WCIPAConsistent form in this Challenge and could set a record by winning for a third time.

Emersons Little FootUnderstated pitch for the Big Gumboots. Never medalled but capable of winning.

Panhead Lube NubeNot sure what this means so Google it yourself while at work. Let me know.

Hallertau Not my first Rodeovery appropriate name from brewer who has entered every WCIPA Challenge since its inception in 2008 and will be very thirsty for a repeat win.

8 Wired Outatime West Coast IPA“It’s no good thinking that you are still mine/You’re out of touch, my baby, my poor unfaithful baby/I said baby, baby, baby you’re out of time”.

Moa Rattlesnake IPAConsistent form in this Challenge and could set a record by winning for a third time.

Black Dog Rock n’RollaLocal brewpub back for its second Challenge.

Croucher ShreddedOats? Coconut? Incriminating documentation? Six-foot glass wall tubes? We’ll have to wait to find out.

Good George Straight to the Pool Roomcontinuing its ‘The Castle’ theme from last year’s Jousting Sticks and 2017’s Bonnie Doon.

Deep Creek Strength Mountain IPAOn a roll this year and in with a real chance.

Brew Union Swamp Creaturefrom the Manawatu lowlands. Might be a mudfish, might be a spotless crake, might be a winner.

Fortune Favours The Drifterambitious Wellington brewbar thirsty to get a win.

Hop Federation VelocityNB not speed. Velocity is different.

Cassels West Coast IPAClassic understated Christchurch beer name. Will understatement stand up in this brash company?

So that’s the field. Note the spaghetti western theme this year with High Plains Drifter, Rattlesnake, Not my First Rodeo, The Drifter and Fateful 8. Despite appearances, McLeod’s Glinks Gully isn’t named after a western, but after an exclusive Northland beach resort.

Summary – 100% chance of excellent, fresh, hoppy IPAs. Get there early, or go to the alternative venue at Fork & Brewer on Bond Street.


Martin Craig

Malthouse events

Friday 26 July – 12th Annual West Coast IPA Challenge

Wednesday 7 August – Road to Beervana The Great British Takeover. Featuring Thornbridge (England), Tiny Rebel (Wales) and Fierce Beer Co (Scotland)

And keep your eye out for a palate-cleansing return of Ginhouse during Beervana week. Needs more juniper…