Frequently Asked


Frequently Asked

What is Alpha King?

Since 1999, the Alpha King Challenge has crowned the most well-balanced and drinkable beers with 60 IBUs or more — the top IPAs and DIPAs on the market. Founded by Yakima Chief Hops and 3 Floyds Brewing, the competition is named for 3 Floyds’ flagship Alpha King American Pale Ale. Past winners include some of the biggest names in craft beer, including several of the best beers in America, according to a Zymurgy magazine survey.  The Alpha King Challenge is limited to commercial brewers and is judged by a team of brewers, industry experts and veteran beer writers.

When is Alpha King?

Head to the Home Page for specific event dates depending on location.

Can I be a judge?

If you are interested in being a Judge for an Alpha King Challenge event, please email and we will reach out to you.

How are the beers judged?

The beers are judged through two blind elimination rounds, determining the winning beers based on flavor, aroma, bitterness, drinkability, balance and of course it’s powerful hop punch. Judges select the 20 top finalists in no particular order, along with the first, second, and third place winners.

When are winners announced?

Depending on the event location, winners will be announced at different times. Check out the location you want information about, and it should be listed on that web page.

What do the winners receive?

The top three entries for each competition each receive a cash prize, swag bag, mash paddle, and the first-place entry will also receive a one-of-a-kind AKC Crown. (Prize value will vary depending on location. Head to a specific event page to get the event specific prizes.)

How should I ship my entries?

YCH recommends that you package our entries with double layers of padding to avoid breakage, especially if you are shipping glass. Wine shippers work great as they are molded foam that will cradle the containers. Beer will be sent immediately to cold storage, so plan your shipping accordingly. Most entries do a max of 2 shipping days depending on the current weather conditions. YCH will notify breweries if their package arrives with too many broken containers, not leaving enough sample to be judged. YCH will work with the brewery to determine if there is time to re-submit your entry on a case by case basis. Make sure to include a copy of your registration confirmation so we know who the beer belongs to.

Is there a cost to participate?

The only cost breweries incur is the beer making and the shipping of the samples. Entry into the competition is free.

What do I do if my submission name, ingredients, etc. change?

If you need to change any of the information on your entry, please email Changes can be made up to 2 weeks prior to the shipping window dates.

What containers do you except for beer shipment?

Breweries can send their entries in cans, bottles, or crowlers. Please no growlers.

While many will contend,

There can be only one.