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The Beer Friends write, review, and discuss Craft Beer as fans instead of experts.  They share their unique voice and affinity for craft beer through multiple platforms and offer a range of media to join their craft beer conversation.

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BFF4 - Phil's Bracket: First Round

Phil Foleen

What's up everyone time to get the Western Bracket for the 2011 Beer Friends Final 4 up and running! This year Phil's bracket has contenders from Oregon(of course), California, Hawaii, and a surprise showing from Mexico!  Make sure your vote counts, check back often and get your friends to support your favorite beers in all four brackets all the way to the Final Round!

The first match up is our 1 vs 16 with Sierra Nevada's Torpedo going head to head with Kona Brewery's Fire Rock Pale Ale.  A good showing from both, but I'd have to side with the Torpedo, alot more flavor even with the Hops kick has enough in my opinion to unseat the standard flavored Fire Rock.  But who am I to tell you that?  Click on through to the rest of the article and get all 8 of your votes in!

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The 8 vs 9 match has Lagunitas Hop Stoopid going up against this Beer Friend's personal fav Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter!  Hop Stoopid was a pretty delicious beer, but for my 2 cents I'm throwing in with the Black Butte, there's just something about the overall taste the eeks it out over the other one's hops.

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For the 5 vs 12 1st rounder we have Stone Brewing Collaboration Saison vs Widmer Brother's Drop Top Amber.  My pick is the Drop Top, mostly because i have a special place for that beer(being one of my gateway brews) but mostly because I am not a fan of the Saison.  Even if it was a team effort with Victory and Dogfish Head.

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Rounding out the first half of the Western Bracket at 4 vs 13 we have Rogue Brewery's Mocha Porter vs Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA.  Mocha Porter is the pick from the BF's here, Big Daddy is an all around well-flavored IPA, but the Porter really takes the taste of the beer to a whole new level.  But vote for the one you want!

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Top of the bottom half of the bracket at 6 vs 11 we've got Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale vs Stone's Arrogant Bastard.  Alright, alright, I'll go with popular opinion here: Arrogant Bastard is the pick.  definitely has the intense flavor that helps the fans out, pulls ahead of a good but less arrogant(get it?) flavor from Anchor.

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Next we have the 3 vs 14 match: Dos Equis Amber vs Sierra Nevada Estate Ale.  I choose the Estate ale from Sierra Nevada, mostly for political reasons, I think having a beer brewed completely from ingredients that are grown on your brewery's grounds is an admirable achievement.  And it tastes better.  But who am I to judge?!  Vote for your fav!

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Coming up towards the end of our bracket we have the 7 vs 10 match with Rogue Brewing's Shakespeare Stout vs Green Flash's West Coast IPA.  I'm gonna have to go with Rogue again, the Oatmeal Stout has a much better overall flavor than the Green Flash, despite being on opposite ends of the drinking spectrum.

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And last, but certainly not least, we have the 2 vs 15 match! Lagunitas Censored Red vs Kona Brewing's Pipeling Porter. I'm siding with the Hawaiians on this one.  Pipeline Porter delivers a much more substantial and enjoyable flavor profile than the Censored, it's much more enjoyable to have on a cold day or a hot day.

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Thanks for voting!  But don't forget this is just the FIRST ROUND!  Come back for the next round to make sure your favorite beer makes it to NUMBER 1!