A week and one day after the NCAA basketball tournament crowned its champion, we are happy to crown our champion of brewers. If you have been following along, we started with a field of 32 brewers to be rated in the Beerup Bracket Tournament. As we progressed through the rounds, votes poured in via hashtag voting as well as online voting. There were plenty of surprises, upsets and blowouts en route to arriving at our Final Four Brewers. The final survivors over the three rounds of voting were Lagunitas out of the West, Victory Brewing from the Northeast, Founders representing the Midwest, and Dogfish Head from the South rounding out the top 4 brewers.
Cinco de Mayo is about as useful, right down to the vague sense of cultural appropriation that I only know enough about to be a little snooty. And Christmas...probably isn’t considered a drinking holiday by most of you, so let’s move on from that one.
After three rounds of voting, our readers continue to cast online votes and hashtag check-ins through the #beerupbracket hashtag on Twitter. Round three of our Beer Up Bracket featured dominating wins by 3 of the four winners en route to a place in the Final Four. This contest not only allows voters the chance to cast a vote for their favorite brewery, but also stuff the ballots by sipping on your favorite brewers to register votes. As expected, our bigger brewers are holding steady and the smaller ones are falling off. Here is our recap and final four...
After a crazy first round of voting, our readers stepped up with even more online votes and hashtag check-ins through the #beerupbracket hashtag on Twitter. Round two of our Beer Up Bracket featured more blow outs and a few NCAA March Madness Cinderella stories. This contest not only allows voters the chance to cast a vote for their favorite brewery, but also stuff the ballots by sipping on your favorite brewers to register votes. This round also saw the addition of www.beercrafty.net to our guest panel as they participated in the voting and added their live feed to our streaming tournament action.
My name is Phil Stratigis, and I've been working in and around the Rochester, NY beer scene for the past 6 years or so. I'm currently a bartender, server, and middle-type manager (basically I have keys and the ability to void things) at a joint called Lovin' Cup, which serves as a combination bar, restaurant, art space, coffee shop, and music venue. Sounds stretched thin, but we make it work.
We've been doing monthly beer socials at this spot for as long as I can remember. Actually, that's how I got familiarized with Lovin' Cup in the first place: as a youth prone to debauchery and poor decision making, I went there with some friends many years ago under the supervision of plastic bottle gin. One thing lead to another, and the next morning I woke up butt naked in an empty bed with tickets to a Brew Ha Ha featuring Brewery Ommegang. Fast forward, they hire me as a manager.
Anyway, the point is that these things, as fun as they are, have gotten stale over recent years of repetition. Heading into a 10 am meeting with Ballast Point to discuss our upcoming event, I was still a bit skeptical about how to make it more interesting. (Also, 10 am to a bartender is kind of a dick punch, let alone I just got out of a 9 am meeting with some folks helping to plan my annual disc golf tournament. Shameless plug because I'm writing this for free: www.RealBeerDiscGolf.com.) Ballast Point by itself sounds jazzy and cool on the surface to lots of folks, but considering their recent acquisition by Constellation Brands, a local Rochester company, every a-hole and their cousin was throwing tap takeovers with Pineapple Sculpin and Mango Even Keel. The one keg I did want, the tits-awesome Indra Kunindra (curry, cayenne, coconut stout OMFG so good) was unavailable to us at the time. Dick punch number two.
After a wild weekend of basketball, beer festivals, and beer ratings, the people have spoken. Round one of our Beer Up Bracket featured a number of close contests, some blow outs and a few NCAA March Madness style upsets. Votes poured in via our online voting form as well as through the #beerupbracket hashtag on Twitter. This contest not only allowed voters the chance to cast a vote for their favorite brewery, but also put their money where their mouth was by checking in beers to cast votes. So with no further ado, here are our results.
Join in the March Madness and Vote for Your Favorite Brewers
March is now upon us and it cannot come to soon for beer drinkers and sports fans alike. After the doldrums of February, march brings us St. Patrick's Day and the NCAA Tournament. Both events lend themselves to beer drinking especially March Madness which spans over the course of three weekends and gives us a reason to take off the first Thursday and Friday to watch games. While it is pretty commonplace to see tournament style formats ranking everything from beers, tv shows and even food we are bringing you a different spin on this. Basketball is a team game where a balanced team of solid players can triumph over a team dominated by one superstar. Breweries are no different. There are plenty of one-hit wonders that base their reputation on a few superstar beers while the rest of their offerings fall below par. This event is dedicated to the true powerhouse breweries that field a full lineup of beers for all palates and will reward those brewers who consistently produce solid offerings. Rather than rank individual beers like everyone else, we will focus on rating breweries based on which brewers have the best offering as well as by tracking the consumption of each one.
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