It was a couple of firsts at the 20th annual New Mexico Brewers Guild IPA Challenge.
Gravity Bound Brewing Co. took home the trophy with a hazy IPA. It is the first win for the brewery and it is the first time a hazy IPA has won.
“First hazy to win in 20 years, that’s awesome,” Chris Frigon, Gravity Bound Brewing Co. co-owner and general manager, said. “Actually my brother (Cameron Frigon) is the brewer and he couldn’t be here today, but he was the head brewer at The Bronx Brewery for a few years, obviously specializing on the East Coast style, and he does a fantastic job and it’s the very (reason) we won with this fantastic beer at this year’s IPA challenge.”
Gravity Bound took the win with a total of 66 votes for its Quick Take hazy IPA. Currently, Quick Take is not available on tap at the brewery. Three rounds took place at three different locations earlier this month. The first round took place at Second Street Brewery Rufina in Santa Fe, followed by the second round at Lauter Haus Brewing Co. in Farmington and ending with the final round hosted by Santa Fe Brewing Co. at Tin Can Alley in Albuquerque on Aug. 13. The final round was attended by 400 people.
Attendees at each of the rounds blind tasted 16 IPA entries from various New Mexico breweries and cast their vote for their favorite.
Initially there were 45 entries. A representative from each of the entry breweries participated in a private elimination round at the end of July in order to decide which 16 entries would advance to the public voting rounds.
The breweries that made the cut were Albuquerque’s Bosque Brewing Co., 2021 winner Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Canteen Brewhouse, Gravity Bound Brewing Co., Lava Rock Brewing Co., La Cumbre Brewing Co., Marble Brewery, Nexus Brewery, Ponderosa Brewing Co., Quarter Celtic Brewpub, Starr Brothers Brewing Co., Tractor Brewing Co.; Corrales’ Ex Novo Brewing Co.; Farmington’s Three Rivers Brewery; Ruidoso’s Downshift Brewing Co.; and Santa Fe’s Second Street Brewery.
Brothers Chris and Cameron Frigon opened Gravity Bound in 2020. The brothers are transplants from Colorado and were drawn to Albuquerque because of its bustling brewery scene.
“It’s great,” Chris Frigon said about winning this year’s IPA challenge. “This is fantastic. It’s wonderful. The brewing community and the (New Mexico) Brewers Guild are doing a wonderful job and Albuquerque is such a great place to brew some beer. We’re just happy to be here.”