Heart of Cascadia

Heart of Cascadia began in 2013 as a style competition focused on "Cascadian Dark Ale" and "Northwest Red Ale" - two styles who have taken root in the Pacific Northwest. Now we have expanded to all IPA styles, all the styles in the 2021 guidelines, newer styles defined by commercial trends, and any specialty IPAs you can dream up. If it is recognizable as an IPA in its hopping and overall character we will judge it.

Competition Website:


American IPA: A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American or New World hop varieties. The balance is hop-forward, with a clean fermentation profile, dryish finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.

Black IPA (Cascadian Dark Ale): The hop character of an IPA combined with the dark color of a porter. Roast character from the dark malts can be present but much more subdued than a stout or porter, the hops still take center stage. Local examples include Deschutes Hop in the Dark, Widmer Pitch Black IPA.

Red IPA (Northwest Red Ale): Malty flavors of an American Amber blended with the hop characters of an American IPA. Deep red color from darker malts along with slight toasty or dark fruit flavors. Strong hop presence distinguishes this beer from an Amber. Local examples include Hopworks Rise Up Red, Laurelwood Red Elephant.

Brown IPA: A hoppier version of an American Brown Ale. Retains the light body and drinkability of an IPA without getting too heavy or sweet. Some fruity and toasty malt character will be present and accent the hops. Examples include Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale.

Belgian IPA: An IPA made with Belgian yeast to add fruity, spicy character. Belgian examples tend to be hoppier versions of a Tripel or Belgian Pale Ale. Examples include De Ranke XX Bitter, Stone Cali-Belgique, Piraat Triple Hop.

White IPA: An IPA brewed in the style of a hoppier Belgian Wit with the additions of wheat to the grain bill and sometimes spices and orange peel. Lighter in color and body than a traditional IPA and sometimes hazy from the wheat. Local examples include Deschutes Chainbreaker.

Rye IPA: Traditional IPA with the added dryness and spicy notes of 10-20% Rye Malt added to the base malt bill. Examples include Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA.

Brut IPA: A style of beer, invented at a brewpub in San Francisco, combines bone-dry aspect of a Champagne in an India Pale Ale. Usually with some clarity, and an FG approaching 1.000 usually achieved by the use of enzymes.

Specialty IPA: Any other IPA style not containing wild/smoke/shv/fruit/wood or defined elsewhere. Define your own IPA here. Must have a hop profile recognizable as an IPA.

Hazy IPAs: An unfiltered IPA that’s been aggressively hopped with new world hop strains. Appearance ranges from slightly hazy or cloudy to opaque or muddy. Dry-hopping, the use of high-protein grains, certain yeast strains, water chemistry, CO2 levels, and other techniques may also contribute to the beer’s haze and mouthfeel. Typically a hazy, juicy IPA packed with fruity and floral flavors.

In addition, we expanded the competition to accept IPAs that fall within the following categories:

12C English IPA: A hoppy, moderately-strong, very well attenuated pale British ale with a dry finish and a hoppy aroma and flavor. Classic British ingredients provide the best flavor profile.

27 Historical IPA: From early 1800s english examples to 1980s ballantine IPA, all historical IPA styles can be entered here.

28 Wild Specialty: Essentially specialty IPA where the styles are defined only by the use of specific fermentation profiles and ingredients. They are influenced by microbes other than traditional brewer's yeasts. Sour IPAs should be entered here.

29 Fruit IPA: Made with any fruit or combination of fruit. A harmonious marriage of fruit and beer.

30 Spice Herb Vegetable IPA: A harmonious marriage of spice/herb/vegetable and beer, but still recognizable as beer. The spice/herb/vegetable character should be evident but in balance with the beer, not so forward as to suggest an artificial product.

31 Alternative Grain or Sugar IPAs: Any IPA containing alternate fermentables not covered elsewhere in the style guidelines or custom styles.

32 Smoked IPA: A smoke-enhanced IPA showing good balance between the smoke and beer character, while remaining pleasant to drink.

33 Wood aged IPA: Specialty beers with a wood-aged character, with or without added alcohol character

34 Experimental IPA: IPAs truly experimental in nature, using processes or ingredients not found in IPAs. Must not be able to be entered in any other category to be entered here

35 Special Category: Session IPA: Specifically for IPAs with an ABV of 4.9% or less, maintaining flavor and hop-forward character while remaining easy to drink.

36 Special Category IPL:India Pale Lager, IPA made with lager yeast and having a lager character in fermentation, and often using lager style malt bills. Should be hoppier than a pilsner or NW pilsner. Cold IPAs should be entered here as well.

37 Special Category Milkshake IPA: A NEIPA that adds lactose and frequently fruit additions. Has a full mouthfeel and opacity resembling a smoothie. Other small variations such as smoothie IPAs should be entered here.

Heart of Cascadia Photos