What's weird is today's write-up by Greg Kitsock. It includes passages like this:
A wheat wine from DuClaw Brewing in Abingdon, Md. An Americanized version of a Belgian tripel from Flying Fish Brewing in Cherry Hill, N.J. A coffee stout from Evolution Craft Brewing in Delmar, Del. A double IPA from Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, Calif. None of those breweries existed 20 years ago; neither did any of those styles. [emphasis mine]and this:
Bob Tupper, of Tuppers’ Hop Pocket Ale renown, summed up the dilemma: “How can you choose between this nice [double] IPA, well brewed, with well-blended flavors, or the big coffee jolt?” He picked the Lagunitas “because this beer is so much harder to brew than the coffee.”One of the main reasons to hold a competition like this is beer education--especially for a newspaper. The final four certainly didn't represent novel styles--even by American breweries. And highlighting a quote saying a coffee stout is easier to brew than a double IPA is also a dubious claim.
Good luck to the competitors, but to the WaPo I say: work a bit on the education part.