On Friday, Sept. 30, the panel of experienced beer judges selected the following four beers as the best-tasting and best-balanced out of the 37 super-hoppy beers entered:

1st - Torrey Pines IPA, Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Company, Vista, Calif., brewer - Jeff Bagby
2nd - Pliney the Elder, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif., brewer - Vinnie Cilurzo
3rd - Green Flash IPA, Green Flash Brewing Co., Vista, Calif., brewer - Chuck Silva
Honorable Mention - Hercules Double IPA, Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver, Colo., brewer - Bernie Tonnig

Hopunion's Ralph Olson and Ralph Woodall crowned the new Alpha King, Jeff Bagby. Ralph & Ralph then gave each of the other winners a combination of the following prizes: a small cash award, a gift certificate for pitchable yeast from White Labs, and a free 44-pound box of hop pellets from Hopunion. Congratulations to all of the winners!

(One sidenote: One day afterwards, the top two beers from the Alpha King Challenge were also announced as GABF medal winners, in the American IPA and Double IPA categories, respectively.)