The latest S.O.B.E.R. Group Epic had a little bit of a surprise winner when Hanger 24 Double IPA of Redlands California bested no less than 37 other brews from five different Western States to take the top Gold medal spot.
It was the second consecutive appearance for the three year old brewery (their 3rd Anniversary was June 11th) in an Epic competition but the first time it scored in the medal round of an Epic.
The Silver medal went to Truckee California's 50/50 Brewing's 'Rockslide' IPA and the Bronze to none other than the host of the event Auburn Ale House and their stellar flagship IPA 'Gold Digger'.
There were four judging panels with nine beers each. The top two qualifiers out of each panel would travel to the Best of Show round. Hanger 24 actually finished second in panel three behind Bear Republic Apex IPA but was a unanimous winner with the BOS Panel. Rockslide IPA and Gold Digger IPA both won their initial panels. Both beers from the fourth panel that transferred to the BOS were from Montana. FlatHead Lake IPA from Woods Bay and Carters Brewing IIIPA from Billings. The other two beers to make the final round of eight were Odell IPA and New Belgium Ranger IPA....both from Fort Collins Colorado. Ironically Hanger 24 was the only entry from Southern California in this years Epic.....thanks Mom!