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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 Tag: March Madness

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]

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of April 3rd

Graham

I don't like starting the NYC Craft Beer Events post without an original theme, but this week I'm stealing ideas...from us.  I don't know if you've all been keeping tabs on the Beer Friend Final Four Beer-March-Madness tournament but this year has been the craziest ever.  A #12 seed in the Northeast bracket is currently poised to take it all.  Anyone thinking VCU?  Except this VCU could actually do it.  If you haven't voted yet then you should vote now here: http://thebeerfriends.com  I'll come back with an original theme next week, but this week I'm plugging the Beer Friends Final Four all over the place. In the mean time let's see what, and where you're drinking while you're voting this week. (Vote here, again: http://thebeerfriends.com)

Tuesday, April 5 - Lagunitas Night @ The Cloverleaf Tavern, NEW JERSEY:

New Jersey? NEW JERSEY? Yep.  This will be the second time that the craft beer events of the week will cross the Hudson River to the great state of New Jersey.  Now it's not that we don't like New Jersey...there are several amazing beer bars and beer drinking groups that call the Garden State home.  Jersey just doesn't show up on our radar that often (hint, hint: New Jersey, show up on our radar more often already).  Having a Lagunitas night catches the Beer Friends attention.  We don't have an official beer list released yet, but you should expect awesomeness.  Because Lagunitas (and Jersey!) is awesomeness.

The Cloverleaf Tavern is located at 395 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell New Jersey.

(Recommendation: It's a bit of a hike from NYC so make friends with someone you work with who lives in Jersey and get them to DD for you.  Work fast in the friend-making department, getting to the DD part of a friendship is a serious step)

Wednesday, April 6 - Smutty Part Deux @ The Stag's Head, Manhattan:

Do you love New Hampshire?  Yes, of course.  And cause you're hear already we know you already love craft beer.  So a Smuttynose Brewery night should be a sure thing right?  Right.  Except this one is more than a sure thing.  The Stag's Head will be grabbing as many Smuttynose kegs as they can and their head chef will be brewing up some delectable quantities of New England clam chowder.  Smuttynose rep Pat Fondiller will be on hand to explain why Smuttynose  beer is so delicious.  Probably has to do with the mountains.

The Stag's Head is located at 252 East 51st between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Upper East Side, Manhattan.

Wednesday, April 6 - Barleywine Ale, Strong Ale and Old Ale Style of the Month Kickoff @ The Blind Tiger Ale House, Manhattan:

The Beer Friends are devoted to innovation.  We've been trying to get into barleywines for a while.  Mission - Success. We love Strong Ales too.  And have since gotten into Old Ales.  Despite our love and expertise we need some more practice.  Lucky for us, the Blind Tiger is featuring barleywines, strong ales and old style ales this month in their Style of the Month series.  Head to the Blind Tiger Ale House this month of a continuous, recycling sample of these styles of brews. We're talking the best brews from the best breweries.

Head there a few times each week to achieve maximum expertise.

The Blind Tiger Ale House is located at 281 Bleecker Street between Jones Street and 6th Avenue, West Village, Manhattan.

Thursday, April 7 - Two Brothers Tap Takeover @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

The Fighting Illini' fought hard in the March Madness tournament this year, the Cubs are not yet mathematically eliminated from the MLB season, the Blackhawks still have a chance to grab that last playoff spot and the Bulls, well screw the Bulls, they're actually playing pretty damn well right now.  Anyways our love for Illinois goes beyond the pity we occasionally feel for their professional sports teams - we also truly love their beer.  Two Brothers Brewing Co. is one of Illinois most treasured and creative breweries and Jim Ebel, the brewmaster, will be bringing his finest pours alongside his extensive knowledge of brewing.  The list hasn't been released yet, but we expect it to be a pretty solid showing.

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Avenue between Union and Berkeley Streets, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Thursday, April 7 - Cisco Brewery Night @ The Pony Bar, Manhattan:

Continuing their tradition of featuring the country's best and most creative breweries, the Pony Bar will be hosting Cisco Brewery this Thursday night.  Cisco Brewery out of Nantucket will be pouring 10 lines and a cask of their seafaring brews.  Catch a Whale's Tale pale ale, close your eyes and imagine your on a trawler name Downeastern Alexa fishing for your pay or playing the piano with Billy Joel.  After a couple brews my daydreams tend to get a bit jumbled...

The Pony Bar is located on the northwest corner of 45th Street and 10th Avenues, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan.

Thursday, April 7 - Bronx Brewery Event @ The Bronx Ale House, Manhattan:

Recrafting a brewing tradition, recrafting a bourough.  That's the slogan for New York City's newest brewery located in the borough you'd least expect to open a brewery.  The Bronx Ale House will be hosting the Bronx Brewery's grand opening event - featuring their first, and for the time being only, brew.

The Bronx Pale Ale is an amber, American style pale ale that is brewed with 5 different malts and a healthy addition of Cascade and Centennial Hops that provide a delicious floral and citrus flavor.  The malts come from Britain, Germany and American and add a nutty, bready taste and feel to the brew.  Take all that, don't filter or pasteurize it and you have the Bronx Pale Ale. A spicy, gritty, unfettered offering from a spicy, gritty, unfettered borough of New York City that we hope becomes famous for its craft beer.

The Bronx's best beer bar presenting the Bronx's best brewery, The Bronx Ale House is located at 216 West 238th Street between Broadway and Putnam Avenue West, Riverdale, The Bronx.

A lot of people make a habit of steering clear of the Bronx.  It's not what'd you expect.  They have subways that take you right to their beer bars.  Take the 1 Train up to the 238th Street stop and walk half a block West towards Putnam Ave W.  We'll see ya there.

Friday, April 8 - Hill Farmstead Brewery Night @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Do you love the refreshing creativity that newcomers to the scene bring to an industry that is creative as hell already?  We do.  We also love hops.  Hill Farmstead Brewery represents all these things.

Hill Farmstead Brewery is a creative, small batch focused brewery out of Vermont.  They put the art in artisan ales as they rarely brew any of their beers more than once a year, they always dry hop their brews (plentifully we might add - with most of their beers being 85 ibus or higher) and have a thing for aging just about anything in oak barrels (French Oak, Napa Valley and Russian River).

You'll definitely get to experience Edward, their IPA, and the only beer the brew year round (just what you'd expect from a bunch of hop-heads) but bring an open mind and an extra pint glass cause it'll probably get pretty wild after that.  Napa Valley Oak barrel-aged, dry-hopped, espresso porter?  We hope so.

Rattle n' Hum is located at 14 East 33rd Street between 5th and Madison Avenues, Midtown, Manhattan.

Don't forget to vote in the Beer Friends Final Four!

BFF4 - Graham and Phil's Sweet Sixteen Brackets

Graham

Here it is.  This tournament just got serious - East vs. West style.  The best of the Northeast's breweries are taking on their arch-rivals on the West Coast for total beer supremacy in the Sweet 16 of this years Beer Friends Final Four Tournament.  Click on through to Vote!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast Region - Sweet 16 (Graham's Brackets)

To say that the Northeast Brackets have been topsy-turvy is an understatement.  It's been a whirlwind of ups and downs, upsets and close calls.  Sixpoint's Bengali Tiger, the Northeast favorite for the tournament with the #1 seed has continued their winning streak onto the 3rd round but is now facing their toughest opponent:  Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold.  Liquid Gold has played far better than anyone else in the tournament so far with decisive victories over #5 ranked Sam Adams Noble Pils and #4 ranked Smuttynose IPA, two other favorite East Coast contenders.  Can Captain Lawrence take to another round with what would be the biggest upset on their road to the championship?

[polldaddy poll=4830384]

Game 2 of the Northeast Sweet 16 round is an all out New England battle.  These two brews are looking to tip the scales on the New York domination on this branch of the bracket and they are gunning for each other with the chance to do it.  Will the Green Mountains of Vermont be celebrating after this weekend as Long Trail's Hibernator rolls into the Elite 8 or will the beaches of Cape Cod be Red...not with sunburns but with their own 'hoods Cape Cod Red.  Massachusetts or Vermont?  It's a #2 vs. #3 matchup and the choice couldn't be tougher.  Throw in your say below and help your favorite beer with a New England accent get to the next round.

[polldaddy poll=4830418]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Region - Sweet 16 (Phil's Brackets)

Time for the West to show it's stuff!!!  These are the crucial times where we decide which beer is our best bet to take on the rest of the country!  what?  too Braveheart?  should i put blue makeup and a kilt on?  anyway....We have four contenders up for the righteous honor of carrying the West into the Beer Friends Final Four!  We've had a pretty regular season so far, but now we're down to the wire, the next two games are shaping the fate of the Western region:

First up we have the 1 vs 5 pitting Sierra Nevada Torpedo against Speakeasy's Big Daddy IPA!  Both have been strong showings in the previous rounds, Sierra Nevada defeating Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid and Speakeasy taking out Rogue's Mocha Porter and Stone's Collaboration Saison!  But you, YOU decide the fate of these two great brews, vote below to make sure your favorite takes it to the next round:

[polldaddy poll=4830801]

Next up we have the 7 vs 11 round!  Two of my favorite contenders going head to head, only one to come out on top:  We have Rogue Brewery's Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout verses Stone Brewing's Arrogant Bastard!  Two absolute power houses taking each other to the mats to determine who will continue on to the next round.  Neither of these brews is a surprise being here: Rogue Shakespeare taking out Green Flash IPA and Kona's Pipeline Porter to be here while Stone's Arrogant Bastard bested Anchor Brewing's Christmas ale and Sierra Nevada's home grown Estate Ale to place their flag in this the pivotal third round of competition.  Who's the best?  Who will continue on for Western dominance to represent in the Final Four?  it's up to you....Vote Now!!!

[polldaddy poll=4830836]

Vote now or forever hold your peace!

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of March 20, 2011

Graham

March Madness is fast upon us and we have some craft beer to keep you company while watching all the games.  If you happen to feel empty and wanting the minute-to-minute thrills of bracket competition  in between rounds then you should check in to The Beer Friends to vote on our own March Madness Tournament - Beer Style.  Whichever event we see you out at this week we expect to see you buried face first into your personal-internet-device as you continuously update TheBeerFriends.com to see who is leading the nations most important beer competition.  Vote early and vote often to help us decide what is the best beer in the country. Tuesday, March 22 - East Coast versus West Coast IPA Challenge @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

The Beer Friends have often discussed how American Craft Breweries often prove their worth by brewing a great IPA. It stands as a benchmark that solidifies you as a notable member of the American craft beer community.  Well, then what better way to judge an East Coast v West Coast competition then going head to head with IPA's. Expect a wide selection of hoppy brew from your favorite east coast and west coast breweries including cask offerings, barrel aged and rare releases that only the craft beer gurus at Rattle n' Hum can get their hands on.  East Coast verse West Coast? Let's let the hops decide!

Rattle n' Hum is located at 14 E 33rd Street between Madison and 5th Avenues, Midtown, Manhattan.

Take the 6 train to 33rd. Walk West.

Tuesday, March 22 - Avery Brewery Event @ The Pony Bar, Manhattan:

Avery has long been know in and out of Colorado as a brewery that pushes the boundaries - making some of the hoppiest, maltiest, bad-assiest brews around.  They will be making their Pony Bar debut this Tuesday in full force - taking over all the taps and bringing some of their rarest pours.  Expect the Holy Trinity, Demon and Dictator Series to be hanging out - with a few of the rarer brews only available in 5 oz. pours, due to their extreme awesomeness.  Extreme Awesomeness.

The Pony Bar is located on the Northwest corner of 45th Street and 10th Avenue, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan.

Take the A/C/E to 42 St.-Port Authority.

Thursday, March 24 - Midwest Beer Night @ Barcade, Brooklyn:

When you walk by random people in the street do you say hello?  If someone bumps into you on the subway do you smile and wish them a good day?  Are you 24 and already married with three kids?  Do any of these things scare the crap out of you as the hard-ass New Yorker that you are?  Well then, this event is the event for you.  Whether you're from the Midwest or wonder what it means when someone "smiles" at you in a "friendly way" in public, we can all agree that they know how to brew some decent craft beer.  Expect your favorite suds from the following Midwest breweries: Arcadia, Atwater Block, Erie, Founders, Goose Island, Jolly Pumpkin, Kuhnhenn, Leinenkugel, Nebraska, Point, Schlafly and Two Brothers.

Even the most bad-assed, sarcastic New Yorker will be friendly as a Nebraska corn farmer after having one from each brewery.

Barcade is located at 388 Union Avnue, between Ainslie and Powers Streets, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Take the L to Lorimer Street.

Thursday, March 24 - Empire Brewery Tasting @ Dive Bar, Manhattan:

Empire Brewery will be making a big appearance Thursday night at Dive Bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  They'll be featuring 7 draft lines of Empires brews.  No specific names have been released yet but we can only hope that we get some Cream Ale, Black Magic Stout, Deep Purple, ESPA and many others.

Dive Bar is located at 732 Amsterdam Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets, Upper West Side, Manhattan.

Take the 1/2/3 or the B/C to 96th Street.

Thursday, March 24 - Bear Republic Tap Takeover @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

Bierkraft continues their plentiful weekly events by hosting one of California's strongest and hoppiest breweries - Bear Republic - this Thursday.  They say to expect some rare and not so rare stuff.  You know, here at the Beer Friends, we would care if they only poured Racer #5 and Hop Rod Rye - we'd drink em' up and have two of each.  Expect hops and California style in your favorite Brooklyn beer mecca.

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Avenue between Union and Sackett Streets, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Take the D/N/R to Union Street.

Friday, March 25 - Sunday, March 27 - Cask Ale Festival @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Cask Ales are those elusive brews that every craft beer fan claims to love but rarely orders.  It's time we fix that.  Jump on in to a deep (15 - 20 line) selection of popular and not so popular craft ales at Rattle n' Hum this weekend.  You have 3 days, starting Friday, so we're pretty sure you can go from a novice to an expert by Sunday.  Even if you don't leave with any increased knowledge, you're brain will forgive you and your taste buds will love you.

Rattle n' Hum is located at 14 E 33rd Street between Madison and 5th Avenues, Midtown, Manhattan.

Take the 6 to 33rd.

We hope to see all of you out at the events this week!  And remember the Beer Friends Final Four starts today with the Midwest Bracket and continues with the rest of the regions throughout the rest of the week.  Make sure you check in every day to vote in the new regions and in the new rounds!