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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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Filtering by Category: Event

Live blog! Idle Hands NY beer week kick off!

Phil Foleen

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Tonight we are back at Idle Hands for the slightly official kickoff of New York beer week with Kelso, Empire and the newcomer Singlecut. As always thanks to Rev and .rob for the awesome event and Dan at That Burger for TATCHOS!!!!!!! Let's get started! Phil's First: Kelso Rauchbier - I'm a big fan of the Rauchbier. graham and I have agreed its not a real pint contender unless you're looking for a sipping beer. Wonderfully smokey this one keeps the beer taste on the down low, but that's not a bad thing. I would usually only have one or two of these a night, but that because its a bit more specialized than others. Fortunately we have Jarlsberg cheese here with some samples to go along with the smokey goodness, a well balanced bitterness that helps balance the sweet smoke of the Kelso.

Graham's First: Kelso Rauchbier - Rauchbier is a delicious flavor of beer that I rarely get a chance to drink, and probably for good measure. If I had it all the time I probably would get smoked out. In the rare circumstances that I enjoy a Rauchbier I, well, enjoy it. Especially when it's paired with smokey Jarlsberg cheese like tonight. The Kelso Rauchbier has a hint of bacony meat smoke with a great earthy flavor behind it and a light hop bitterness that is delightfully embraced by the cheese.

Phil's Second: Empire Amber - always a good showing form the Empire crew, the Amber is a solid malt forward offering that hits well in the second round. A slight combination after taste of the malts and the hops finished cleanly and get you ready for the next taste.

Graham's Second: Empire Amber - Ambers are not usually my favorites: too heavy on the malts and not enough hop action. This one is mostly the same with the exception the nice hop bitterness in the back end of the back end. In reality, I'm not as praising of this beer because I'm some sort of hop monster, in the end it's one of the most well-balanced, easy-drinking ambers out of the northeast.

Phil's Third: Singlecut 18 Watt IPA - OH MAN is this good! Super hoppy in the best way. The aroma hits you even before your bring the glass up to take a sip. A lot of floral hop flavor right off the bat, bewitch a good sweetness on the back end that only compliments the hops you tasted 2 seconds before. This is one I will be getting another glass of, right after this glass! Can't wait to hit up the brewery for some fresh IPA. Yum yum.

Graham's Third: Singlecut 18 Watt IPA - I could talk about this IPA as having a super hoppy herbal aroma, or having a complex hop flavor or being a super drinkable 5% ABV. Or I could talk about the secret tasting of a rum barrel aged dopplebock that will eventually be poured in a nitrogenated fashion. Not that these two awesome things happened at the same time or anything...

Thanks again to Rev and Rob for the amazing event. Thanks to the breweries Kelso, Empire and Singlecut! Singlecut we'll be seeing you real soon for some more IPA/Rum aged Doppelboch in the very near future, Trista it was great to meet you!

Till next time BF Nation! (next week probably, who are we kidding)

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of August 26th - September 1st

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Another week, another week of beer events... check it!

Monday August 27th - 

In the craft beer world movement to get local, we find Rockaway Brewing Company , a company so local they deliver their kegs via bicycle!  This brewery pairs up with Jimmy's No. 43 and  Queens County Farm Museum to provide a small tasting where you can try this 2 barrel microbrewery and find out a little more about the Queens County Farm Museum in a fun filled evening of food pairing and local drinking.

Jimmy's No. 43 is located at 43 E 7th St., New York, NY

Tuesday August 28th - 

Sticking with the local breweries theme, Kelso of Brooklyn (click here for location, new website for Kelso coming soon) is serving up suds at The Brazen Head in Brooklyn.  Kelso brews are 4 dollars from 6pm to 8pm so plan accordingly.  Beers being served are:

Kelso Saison Kelso Cabernet Barrel Aged IPA Kelso Pilsner Kelso Industrial IPA Kelso Nut Brown

The Brazen Head is located at 228 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday August 29th - 

While Idle Hands Bar is doing its wonderful $10 Tastings with Harpoon Brewery (including a full pour of UFO Pumpkin), across the island of Manhattan The Blind Tiger is hosting Great Divide Brewing Company with delicious pours including: a few Yeti's (Chocolate Oak-Aged, 2011 Belgian, and Cask Oak-Aged) and a personal favorite - Smoked Baltic Porter.  Be sure to get there early because the Blind Tiger Ale House always fills up quickly.

Idle Hands Bar is located at 25 Avenue B

Blind Tiger Ale House is located at 281 Bleecker Street

Thursday August 30th - 

The Growler Station jumped on the Beer Friends radar in a big way.  Excellent pours, great bottle section and a very knowledgable staff (they even have a cool website!) all makes for a great beer hangout.  On Thursday they prove their awesome-ness by hosting Kelso with special pours of Kellerfest and Imperial Pumpkin (tis the season).

The Growler Station is located at 26 W 8th St.

Friday August 31st -

Take the night off, seriously.  Eat a salad and preserve those calories for tomorrow...

Saturday September 1st - 

Pig Island - and this ain't to Lord of the Flies theme park.  Pig Island is in its 3rd Year of serving up all you can eat pork and delicious brews (partly sponsored by Sixpoint).  Honestly this blog can't do justice enough to this great event, you just have to check out the website for more information and to by tickets.

Live Blog! Bourbon and Beer Night at Idle Hands Bar: Sierra Nevada edition

Phil Foleen

It's Live Bloggerin' time!!!! (Phil's kinda excited for The Avengers). Hello Beer Friends Nation! Here we are again for our current favorite live blogging beer event at Idle Hands Bar in New York City welcoming Sierra Nevada to the stage. For now were are chilling with a couple of pre-gamers:

Phil's -1 Sierra Nevada Torpedo - alright I know this is why we're here, BUT I personally kicked two kegs for my first round just looking for a beer, so lay off. The only thing I have for this one is its actually got a bit of a spice note (talking like I know liquor). Pretty good actually and not what I was expecting, but I dont know if it's for real or a trick of the taps. I'll let you know when I have it again for the event.

Brad's -1 Troegs Nugget Nectar - I dig this beer. It's the only double/imperial Red I can remember because it's delicious. A deeper taste than any red (hence the double) it's still incredibly smooth. The downside is it's higher ABV (7ish) and I have a empty stomach. The latter part of this live blog might get interesting...

Phil's First Kellerweis - alright, I know everyone knows I'm not the biggest fan of German/wheat beers. This one included, BUT off the tap it's not so bad. I like the unfiltered part, there is a good bunch of bananas at the beginning, bane of my existence, but the most intriguing thing is I detect a distinct after taste of corn breakfast cereal that keeps me coming back.....at least till the end of this glass (thank god for 8 oz pours).

Brad's First Kellerweis - I like it! As explained to us by the Sierra Nevada guy, this is a unfiltered, open aired German wheat beer which allows for the yeast to germinate naturally. I like it but couldn't do them all the time, fortunately not a lot of American breweries are into this so I'll have to stick in the good ol' US of A

Phil and Brad's 2nd and 3rd Pale Ale & Ruthless Rye - what else can we say? Solid stand by brews, always take the Ruthless over the Pale. (insert shameless self plug of our own review)

Phil's 4th Hoptimum 2012 - So I love this one. Good bright and hoppy flavor with enough malts at the back that it doesn't dry you out, but not too much to overtake any of the flavor. Good competition for Torpedo in my opinion. I agree with the Sierra Nevada guy in that it's a very deceptive 10% ABV. You should probably pick this up when you see it.

Brad's 4th Hoptimum 2012 - Interesting... I believe this is the first year of this brew. It's like me signing my name "Brad 1981" every time. The hop taste is delicious - I feel it's like Sixpoint Resin but sweeter. I dig this beer - but the ABV is dangerous.

Phil's Last Torpedo - yes I know again, but I already told you that story. Always a classic, now my fourth fav from Sierra (thanks to Hoptimum), but definitely still pleases. Again the weird part is getting that slightly spicy note from the back end of the taste. Never really seen it before, but I'm not against it either. A good way to finish up the night, and if you haven't picked this one up in cans yet,do it.

Brad's Last Torpedo - yep. same old same old. This is a delicious beer. This was the first beer we reviewed and recently did a cans vs bottles taste test with it (look for the video in the upcoming days). I don't get the same spicy note Phil gets but he's weird like that. At least he only mentioned he didn't like Belgian beers once during this live blog...

Thanks for joining us tonight! Can't wait for the next one, thanks Idle Hands and Sierra Nevada!

P.S. Did I mention I don't like Belgian beers? Phil

P.P.S. Brad: "Two!"

Empire Brewing night at Rattle 'n Hum: Hangover Edition!

Phil Foleen

We had a great time at Rattle n' Hum last night at the Empire Brewing Company event.  Being a fan of the Empire Cream Ale I was excited to try some of the brewery's other offerings.  Of course, they did not disappoint.  The "Dragons" were the standouts to me. I tried both and am interested to try these, and more like these, again.  The addition of the basil to the Belgian style was great, and it almost got Phil to call a Belgian ale delicious...

If you  missed out last night, NEVER FEAR! Empire is hitting NY Craft Beer Week hard and you should make sure you don't miss it.

They have 2 events scheduled tonight; one at Spring Lounge and at Puck Fair. If you miss those, then you can hit up Dive Bar tomorrow night.

I suggest you try to get out to one of these events, and check below for what Phil and I thought of the night as it unfolded.

-Paul

Well here we are, gentle beer drinkers, for yet another NYC Craft Beer Week. We find ourselves at Rattle 'n Hum this evening for the Empire Brewing night and it looks pretty darn good! Now while I wait for Paul to get here let's have a beer!

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Phil's 1st: I have chosen to go historical first with Ol' Wooden Tooth, which according to the flyer, is base on our dear founding father George Washington's personal homebrew recipe. As the words say, good molasses and oak flavors in a deep, dark color. It doesn't hide it's 8.5%ABV, but the front flavors do a good job of rounding out the alcohol in there.

Phil's 2nd: Empire Hop Harvest - very hoppy and very good. Hoppy to the pint of almost being airy in the mouthfeel. If you like hops this is a good one, it has a slightly sweet back end that might turn a couple of people off, but over all a good hop offering. Bonus points for the hops all being grown on the Empire grounds.

Paul's 1st: Starting easy, I went with the Empire India Pale Ale. It's a good IPA. It's sweet and bitter at the same time. The flavor doesn't roll over your tongue, this beer more or less slaps your mouth in the... Mouth. This beer hits your taste buds and doesn't stay very long. That is neither a good thing or a bad thing, it's just its thing.

Phil's 3rd: Empire Black Magic Stout - having this served on the nitro tap I thin serves this beer the best. I would describe this as the best example that I can think of for a stout with a mostly toasty flavor. The nitro smooths the feel out of the beer and the toasty part just takes over in the mildest way you could imagine.

Paul's 2nd - This time I went bigger and had the Empire Deep Purple. It is a beer made with NY Concord grapes. It is described as "tart & dry" and that would be accurate. What would also be accurate would be to describe this as adult grape juice. It tastes like a slightly carbonated, slightly sour grape juice that gets you drunk. I suggest this beer, but know what you are getting into.

Paul's 3rd- I got an Empire Golden Dragon. This round was bought by my father, you could all learn a thing or two from him in the comments section. As for the beer, it's been described as mint or licorice. There is no denying this one is different. The Thai basil really adds something to this brew. It's already sweet being a Belgian golden ale, but the basil and other spices make this something very different. It tastes more like a cocktail than a beer. Like I ordered a mojito by accident. Absolutely a fun beer and is worth ordering.

Phil's 4th: Empire IPA - pretty much your run of the mill IPA, but in a good way. Good hoppy flavors with a little sweetness that's tamed by the hops just enough to be unobtrusive.

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of August 28, 2011

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Wow, so that just happened. The Beer Friends hope everyone is safe (to drink craft beer) and has power (enough to watch our videos). While people are getting power back and lives together, this week we'll feature something to do every night in effort to get you out of the house. Some of these events are weekly happenings so if you like it, come again next week!

Monday - 25 Cent Wings and Daily Double at Lansdowne Road

The Beer Friends love The Pony Bar, but Lansdowne Road has a special place in our hearts as well. Maybe because they are run by the same amazing manager, maybe because they are a block and a half down the street from Pony Bar, or maybe because every Monday night they have 25 cent wings which you order in 6 packs (naturally). In terms of craft beer, the same manager from Pony Bar has his hand in Lansdowne Road taps so favorites like Sixpoint Sweet Action, Stone IPA, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale are available along with a Daily Double: a draft and can/bottle beer that is available for 4 dollars all day long. First to find the Beer Friends gets a free Daily Double of their choice so we'll see you there!

Lansdowne Road is located at 599 10th Ave., New York, NY

Tuesday - Anglo-American Pale Ale Tasting at Bierkraft

The Beer Friends love growlers. There is (almost) nothing better than cracking open a rare beer from a fresh draft pull and enjoying it with friends (we had a few during this Irene thing...). Bierkraft was always mentioned as a destination in Brooklyn for great beer and every time we've made it down we are impressed. While famous for growler fills and a great selection of take home brews, Bierkraft has some great events too. Great beer, knowledgable staff and great sandwiches make the trip to Brooklyn totally worth it. In the spirit of great beer, this Tuesday, August 30th Bierkraft is having Dr. Carl Burger discuss pale ales in the Anglo-American tradition, then a great cool history lesson on styles with focus on the American Pale Ale. Beer-education!

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Ave Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday - The "Perfect Storm" of Beer Events

Wednesday, hump day - hopefully this trifecta of beer events will get you through it (hopefully the MTA will be running as well!).

4pm - Every week Nita Nita has a Craft Can Beer and Grilled Cheese Night. This is a great weekly event, especially with more and more craft breweries switching/adding cans to their lineups.

Nita Nita is located at 146 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

6pm - From Nita Nita, jump on the L Train headed to 8th Ave, get off at Union Square and transfer to a 6 Train uptown to 51st St and walk to 2nd Ave for another Beer Friend bar favorite - The Stag's Head. The Stag's Head will be hosting Captain Lawrence, which is a quick easy trip on the Metro North to Pleasantville, NY, a great beer bar and a great brewery is a natural fit. Captain Lawrence will have two different years of their Golden Delicious (a Tripel aged in apple brandy barrels), 5 Years Later (American Black Ale), Nor' Easter (Winter Warmer) and their Smoked Porter.

The Stag's Head is located at 252 East 51st St., New York, NY

7pm - From the Stag's Head you can walk to the 51st St E Train and ride that downtown to West 4th stop and walk west to The Blind Tiger. The Blind Tiger has been a fixture in the craft beer scene in NYC for years and the site of many liveblogs from the Beer Friends themselves. Sierra Nevada from Chico, California has been producing great craft beer for years and are commonly seen on the same craft beer level as Samuel Adams. Sierra's Torpedo was the first beer we reviewed and they continue to impress with Beer Camp and the innovative use of Southern Hemisphere hops in their beers. This event will feature some of those Beer Camp brews, Life and Limb 2 (American Strong Ale) and other rarities!

The Blind Tiger Ale House is located at 281 Bleecker St., New York, NY

Thursday - Brooklyn and Jersey Events

After Wednesday's Perfect Storm, we hope you're still alive. Grab your "Go Bag" of hangover cures (Gatorade and Bacon, Egg and Cheese for me) and head to one of two events - depending on how adventurous you feel.

3-8pm - Kane Brewing at The Copper Mine Pub in Arlington, New Jersey.

Depending on how crazy your Wednesday-night-Beer-Friends-city-wide-perfect-storm-bar-crawl was, this might be the closest location for you! The Beer Friends love new breweries, the excitement of the brewer and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Equinox Brewery was a favorite stop on the Colorado Brewery Tour 2010 and the Beer Friends continue to sing the praises of Cape Cod Beer, only available on Cape Cod itself. Kane Brewing is another startup with three beers on tap: Single Fin (belgian blonde), Afterglow (rye pale ale) and Head High (IPA) and hope is in the air.

The Copper Mine Pub is located at 323 Ridge Road, Arlington, NJ and beers are available on tap at 3pm with the brewers answering questions around 8pm.

7pm - Lagunitas Draft Event at Bierkraft

Lagunitas from California has captured the attention of the Beer Friends twice (and here) and we've been pretty impressed. Now they bring six kegs and three cask (one's a mystery!) to Bierkraft in Brooklyn. If you ventured out to Bierkraft for the Anglo-American Pale Ale tasting on Tuesday use that muscle memory (or beer-muscle memory) and jump back on the train to Brooklyn. They'll have (tentatively): IPA, New Dogtown Pale Ale, Undercover Shutdown Ale, Czech Pils, Lil Sumpin Ale (American Pale Wheat Ale), Lil Sumpin Wild (Belgian Strong Pale Ale), Hop Stoopid (Imperial IPA) on Cask and the Mystery Brew!

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Ave Brooklyn, NY

Friday - A Night at Home with the Beer Friends

You've had a long week. Survived a Hurricane, ate your weight in wings at Lansdowne Road, had a beer-education at Bierkraft, traveled all over the Boroughs for some great beer events, and got stuck in Jersey with a new brewery. Take a night off. Avoid the crowds of people trying to enjoy Friday night by getting wasted on $2.50 bottles of Bud Light and hoping to take a stranger home... Visit your local beer store or Whole Foods and fill a growler. The Whole Foods all over the city all have a different selection and they are all close to a train (the Columbus Circle Whole Foods has a "growler happy hour" which takes a dollar off growlers from 5-6p). Visit the Bowery Beer room and find the Octoberfest and Fall beers on early release. If you're a Harlemite - stay north and check out the beer selection upstairs at the Best Yet Supermarket. Enjoy a night in, and rest up for the Saturday day drinking as college football begins...

The Stags Head Blues Brothers Event Live blog

Phil Foleen

Shout out to Nick @ Stags head!!! Go see this man!! Phil's First- Oskar Blues G'Knight - Always my favorite from Oskar. Holds up at this great event. Just the right malty seedbeds with a hoppy bite to start the night off.

Brad's First- Oskar Blues Ten Fidy - what else on a hot night but a stout... Wait... Somethings are just so good you need to get them. With no Hungarian Oak Aged available (See: The Pony Bar Oskar Blues Night) I settled on a brew I always enjoy - Ten Fidy, dark, malty and delicious.

Brad's Second- Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout - I like a lot of stuff Two Brothers does, but this is no Imperial Stout, not nearly as heavy as the Ten Fidy, but this is unfair - like trying to follow Michael Jordan you're never gonna be as good (Read: LeBron James).

Phil's Second- Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout - thankfully I don't really like basketball so I'm unbiased to my interpertaion.......and that means I liked it. Good and deep malty roasted goodness with a nice coffee sidecar attachment to the flavor. Definitely a repeat offender for my Taste buds.

Phil's Third- Left Hand Sawtooth - always a fantastic way to round out the evening. This is one I never fail to have if it's offered. Perfect for the back of the bell curve.

Brad's Third- 21st Amendment Monks Blood - classic, I've had this on tap a couple places and this is always enjoyable. This doesn't taste like rotten fruit (Phil) but like a nice mixture of light fruity taste but still a beer. No overpowering notes makes this very light and drinkable.

Live Blog of Oregon Beers night at The Stag's Head

Phil Foleen

As a peace offering to the West Coast, The Stag Head has graciously hosted an Oregon Beers night here in NYC! At least one of us is SUPER excited for the possibilities, let's see what we have in store from Rogue, Dick's and Elysian Breweries: Phil's 1st - Elysian Men's Room Red: a good staple kind of red ale. A little coppery on the aftertaste, but was an excellent way to start the evening, a good malty ending helps bring the flavor forward.

Brad's 1st - Elysian Jasmine IPA: This was a bit of a surprise because I was expecting a more flowery hop because of the name (I'm a native male). This brew was good but could've been better... However I've had other Elysian stuff so I'm looking forward to more.

Phil's 2nd - Dick's Danger Ale: a good choice for the second round. A good showing from he malts involved, but I missed the hops that were supposed to round out the taste. The feel was a little on the thin side, but definitely worth a try.

Brad's 2nd - Full Sail IPA: a decent IPA, although I enjoy a hoppier IPA. When your favorite IPA's are Bengali Tiger and Pale Ale is Dale's a lighter hopped IPA just doesn't do it... The thrill is gone.

Phil's 3rd - Full Sail LTD 05: I had high hopes for this one, and it came close to my hopes and dreams. A good middle range ale, gets a little bread-y I'd you let it get warm. Maybe good for a first round, but I think better could be found.

Brad's 3rd - Elysian Immortal IPA: This is cheating but I've had this beer before and I really like it. It's a hoppier IPA (see above) and that's the way, ug huh ug huh I like it!

The Beer Friends Final 4 2011 Video Recap - Our Story So Far

Phil Foleen

Hello Beer Friends Nation!  We've had some crazy competition this year to get here, the Final Four beers that will battle it out!  Our two matches are Founders Brewing VS Nebraska Brewing and Speakeasy VS Cape Cod!  Just for you we have a video with the four of us summing up the last few rounds and making our predictions for the Championship!  If you're good, we'll show you the new "Hash Tag" dance move brought to you by The Beer Friends.  Take a look and don't forget to vote! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJqLg3b8rRo]

BFF4 Elite 8 - Graham and Phil's Brackets

Graham

As the East Coast v. West Coast Final Four Matchup quickly approaches we reflect on the Sweet Sixteen in amazement.  This has been by far the craziest BFF4 in the history of this storied tournament. Northeast Region - Elite Eight

There was one major upset in the Northeast - although at this point it's hard to call a Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold victory an upset as they have been dominating the Northeast side of this tournament and continued to do so against Sixpoint's Bengali Tiger IPA defeating the Brooklyn #1 seeded favorite by an 80% - 20% vote margin.

The Cape Cod Red vs. Long Trail Hibernator matchup was topsy turvy with a come from behind win.  Hibernator took an early and decisive lead that had many Beer Friends commentators and spectators alike betting the farm that Hibernator would be coasting to the Elite Eight...we couldn't have been more wrong.  Cape Cod Red staged a last minute voting campaign in the fourth quarter that devastated Hibernators once vibrant offense - winning by the same margin as Game One:  Cape Cod Red - 80%, Long Trail Hibernator - 20%.

We move into the Elite Eight with a truly monumental craft beer matchup:  #2 Cape Cod Red versus #12 Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold.  Can Cape Cod defend their high ranking with their late in the game offense?  Will Captain Lawrence continue to power through these Northeast breweries as if they were all just light beer?

This is your moment Captain Lawrence and Cape Cod!  Mobilize your troops!  Tweet the crap out of this round (Shortlink: http://wp.me/pOAC9-Gn)!  Facebook everyone you know!  Let's make this a matchup to remember!  Good luck to all!

[polldaddy poll=4851027]

Western Region - Elite Eight

What a set of Matches this was!!!  Both competitions ended in the underdogs coming from behind to take out the favorites and continue on!

First up we had the #11 Stone Brewing's Arrogant Bastard take on the #7 Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout and win by 28%!  The second match was no small feat either: We had the #5 Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA overcoming the #1 seed Sierra Nevada's Torpedo by 16%!!!

Well done both of the you!  Now we come to the real game: Who will be crowned King of the West and take on the other 3 regions in the Final Four?  Can Speakeasy take on and overcome the Arrogant Bastard, or will Stone's remaining brew pull through to the end.

Both are worth contenders but only one can survive.  Your Votes are the key to the game!

[polldaddy poll=4852180]

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!