This year's National IPA Competition (NIPAC), organized and sponsored by Brewing News, a national consortium of regional beer newspapers, has been canceled due to an article by the company's founder and co-owner Bill Metzger that many deemed sexist.
After his offensive front-page article in Great Lakes Brewing News, many brewers around the country said they would in protest not submit beers to this year’s contest. Additionally, many advertisers and subscribers pulled out immediately. A statement on Great Lakes Brewing News’ Facebook page, which was shortly released after the publication, and which called the article a “parody and does not reflect the views of the author” could not remedy the situation.
NIPAC was held already for 10 years in a row and it was supposed to go into its 11th round this year. The NIPAC beer competition is different from other beer competitions as beers which are submitted by brewers from across the U.S. and Canada, are randomly entered in a 1:1 single elimination bracket. Winners of the first round will advance to the next and so on.
As a consequence of the public outcry and the criticism on his article, Bill Metzger announced to resign from his position and to give up his 50 percent ownership in the company. Additionally, three of the company’s seven titles – Yankee Brew News, Mid- Atlantic Brewing News and American Brewer – have confirmed they will withdraw from the network to operate without any further ownership or involvement by the publisher.
Jamie Magee, co-owner of Yankee, Mid-Atlantic and American Brewer, who will take over Metzger’s stake in those titles, said he was deeply offended by the article and distraught over the harm it caused to readers. “Bill’s reckless action has destroyed the reputation of these papers and hurt the writers.”