Welcome to the Northeast Regional! Beer brewing in America started here in the Northeast with the Founding Fathers and we continue their steadfast tradition to this day. There are some heavy hitters and fan favorites coming out of the Northeast this year, however even with the seeding there is no clear favorite. Could it be Brooklyn Breweries Pennant Ale? Or Vermont's homestate hero - Longtrail Hibernator. Will the underdogs from Cisco or Bluepoint provide us with some upsets? Can first timer Switchback Amber make a showing? You decide! As the Founding Fathers used to say: Vote early and vote often! [polldaddy poll=4774302]
Sixpoint's Bengali Tiger is brings tough competition for Cisco Brewery's Whale's Tale. A crisp, refreshing, citrusy IPA out of Brooklyn verse an English style, balanced Pale Ale. Will the #1 seed of the Northeast ease their way into the second round?
Bluepoint is making a weaker than expected showing in the Beer Friends Final Four this year and is seeded against an upstart newcomer to the dance - Cape Cod Brewery. Cape Cod's easy drinking Red is going up against the malty, refreshing toasted malt lager. Will Bluepoint live up to it's popularity or will it fall to the higher ranked newcomer?
Longtrail is bringing one of their best to the tourney this year - the warming your soul in the cold of winter dopplebock - the Hibernator. Riverhorse, out of New Jersey, is throwing their smooth and hoppy amber - Hop Hazard - into the ring. Who will come out on top is hard to pick - strong hop offense or malty warming defense?
Maine just went crazy. The whole state. Allagash is in the dance. With the Black. If you love delicious Belgian style stouts then you will want to cast a vote for this guy. However, Allagash is up against some stiff competition. Smuttynose IPA is New Hampshire's herbally hopped, smooth drinking heartthrob and they aren't going to let this one go - due to the fierce traditional rivalry between Maine and New Hampshire. We think it originated in a "who has more moose" competition.
Sam Adam's is the biggest brewery coming into the competition with the heaviest distribution in the Northeast and around the rest of the country. The Noble Pils from Sam Adams has a light herbal hop flavor and crisp refreshing drinkability. However, can a major brewery like Sam Adams stand up to Captain Lawrence's strong golden ale with a refreshing taste and citrus aromas - the Liquid Gold?
Blink. Blink again. Yea that's right - Genny Cream Ale is in the tourney. Genny is a long established Rochester, NY brewery that strikes this Beer Friends hometown bone. Genny Cream Ale might not make it very far against the strong and flavorful Cadillac Mountain Stout. I don't know if it has anything to do with being the first place in the US where you can see the sun rise every day, but when you name a stout after Cadillac Mountain you bring your game.
The Unfiltered Amber was originally, and not too long ago, brewed out of a garage. Switchback is still the smallest brewery in this years tournament and a first-timer. Their higher ranking comes from the delicious smoothness and hearty mouthfeel that only an unfiltered can bring. They are going up against a traditioned New England heavy-hitter - the Harpoon IPA. Can a newby from Vermont stand up to Harpoon? Let's see...
Our final matchup is the definition of toss-up. You have the delicious smooth, malty flavor of the Brooklyn Pennant Ale and the dark, stormy goodness of winters night in the Magic Hat Howl. Both hometown favorites and both delicious brews.
Alright Beer Friends Nation - do your part and vote for your favorite beers from the Northeast Region. You and only you have the power to vote your brews through the brackets and to the championships. Remember, the voting for the Northeast Region round one goes until Sunday so vote now! And while you're at it check out the other regions brackets and vote away!