GOLD – Beer of the Year // Fat Tug IPA
GOLD – Best West Coast/Specialty IPA // Fat Tug IPA
GOLD – Best UK-style Ale // Naughty Hildegard ESB
GOLD – Best Branding/Packaging
BRONZE – Best Imperial Ale/Lager // Singularity
Driftwood Brewery launched in 2008 with two Belgian beers as part of its opening trio: White Bark Wit and Farmhand Saison. The third was a hoppy pale ale. There was no IPA in sight.
The first IPA Driftwood ever brewed was Sartori Harvest IPA. It was a huge hit—as it still is each fall—and consumers clamoured for Driftwood to add a regular IPA to its lineup. Co-founder Jason Meyer’s response at the time was undeniably prophetic.
“There are a lot of good IPAs out there,” he told me in June, 2010. “We know that the bar has been set high, so we intend to try and set it just a little bit higher.”
When Driftwood launched Fat Tug IPA later that year it quickly became the brewery’s most popular beer. Before too long, it commandeered most of its brewing schedule.
With the current excitement around hazy IPAs, the West Coast IPA style sometimes gets pigeon-holed as out-of-date or old school, but who can deny the potent, pungent, tongue-tingling pleasure of that first swig of a freshly poured Fat Tug? The resinous bitterness of all the succulent hops stuffed into this iconic beer is not for the faint of heart, but for all us HopHeads, there’s nothing quite like it.