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On Tap: Trickster’s wins National IPA Championships

In a major March Madness upset, Trickster’s has topped a national IPA competition.

The Coeur d’Alene brewery’s Juice Box IPA was named grand champion of the National IPA Championships sponsored by the Brewing News.

“We’re beyond excited here,” owner Matt Morrow said. “We went up against some of the best and won.

“We’re humbled to be in with everybody there. The pedigree of the competition speaks for itself.”

In its 11th year, the competition attracted 158 entries from breweries across the country including such Northwest IPA heavyweights as Fremont, Reuben’s, Boneyard and Barley Brown’s.

They were divided into three brackets, NCAA basketball tournament style. Judging was conducted through a series of tastings in New York, where the Brewing News is headquartered, by panels of “brewers and qualified hop lovers.”

Trickster’s took top honors in the final round over the winners of the other two brackets, second-place Hazer Beam from Barley Brown’s (Baker City, Oregon) and third-place Boat Shoes from Karl Strauss (San Diego).

It’s the second New York-based award in the past month for the fruity, Simcoe-focused Juice Box, which is available in 22-ounce bottles and accounts for 70 percent of Trickster’s overall production.

It took a silver medal in February’s New York International Beer Competition, judged by buyers for retailers, restaurants and distributors. Trickster’s American Stout also earned bronze in that competition.

Morrow founded Trickster’s in December 2012. He has since turned over brewing duties to head brewer Evan Ruud (formerly of Winthrop’s Old Schoolhouse Brewery), who arrived in 2014, and assistant Nathan Vesser.

They entered Juice Box, which debuted in 2015, in the National IPA Championships the previous two years but didn’t advance past the third round.

On its way to the championship round this year, Juice Box defeated Southern Tier IPA (Lakewood, New York), Revival You Thirsty? (Evergreen, Colorado), Shipyard Monkey Fist (Portland, Maine), Hop Dogma AlphaDankopotamus (Half Moon Bay, California), Knee Deep Breaking Bud (Auburn, California) and Canteen Hop Baller (Albuquerque, New Mexico).

The Brewing News produces a series of regional beer publications that are distributed through brewery taprooms, including the Northwest Brewing News and Rocky Mountain Brewing News.

Back in the flow

Slate Creek reopened under new ownership last week in Coeur d’Alene with the 6 Weight IPA on tap along with several guest handles. More house-brewed beers are on the way, beginning with the Norse Nectar pale.

Beers are being produced on a smaller two-barrel system, with the former 15-barrel system having been sold. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m.

Freshly tapped

New releases at Black Label include John’s Hefeweizen (5.8 percent alcohol by volume, 20 International Bitterness Units), a malty, golden 2-Bock maibock (7.2, 12) and the Malt-O-Trio collaboration blend of Black Label’s doppelbock with River City’s imperial stout and barleywine.

Big Barn’s hazy Campesino Tropical IPA (5.5, 62) has notes of mango, banana, apple and orange.

Twelve String has tapped an aromatic, bitter Loco Loco Hazy Session IPA (4.5, 49) hopped with Simcoe, Citra and Amarillo.

The Workin’ Late Pale Ale at Daft Badger (6.5, 35) is hopped with Simcoe, Chinook and Warrior for a piney, earthy character.

English Setter is serving a Golden Doodle golden ale (5.1, 14).

Hopped Up’s Mayhem Orange (7, 30) is brewed with Munich and aromatic malts and infused with orange.

Post Falls Brewing is pouring a sessionable Sex Panther Stout (4.8, 27).

Iron Goat and Oregon’s Fort George Brewing have collaborated on a fruity Bad Ryeligion IPA (7) brewed with triticale (a wheat/rye hybrid) grown in Ritzville.

No-Li is featuring five small-batch specialties through the end of the month: a hazy, unfiltered March Radness pale ale with cantaloupe and peach notes (6.2); a Chasing Rainbows red with a strawberry/rhubarb character from dry-hopping with Belma (5.8); a malty, dry-hopped, fruity/spicy Thawed Out IPA (7.1); Wake and Cake, a peppermint-infused version of Rise & Grind coffee/oat/milk stout (6.2), and a barrel-aged Wrecking Ball imperial stout dubbed Rip Van Winkle (9.5).

Save the date

David Walker from California’s Firestone Walker Brewing will visit the Coeur d’Alene Growler Guys tonight from 6 to 9 to discuss the industry, answer questions and share some seldom seen beers.

IPA March Madness continues for a fourth week at Manito Tap House with blind flights of four Washington IPAs; the winner in customer voting advances to the Final Four along with the first three weeks’ winners, with the grand champion getting a permanent tap handle for the coming year.

Nectar Wine and Beer hosts a release party Thursday from 6 to 9 for Iron Goat’s newest bottled beer, Brick and Steel IPA.

River City’s monthly First Friday party April 6 will feature the Malt-O-Trio doppelbock/imperial stout/barleywine collaboration with Black Label along with live music and food from the Crate truck.

For a full rundown of local beer events and news see www.spokane7.com/blog/ontap.