Hello Beer Friends Nation! It's that time of year where EVERYONE is swept up in the madness... yes - Beer Friends Final Four Beer Bracket is BACK!
Forget Louisville in the First Round and bubble teams, we're talking ales in the First Round and drinking the suds...
This year we (kinda) followed a regional bracket match up instead of the style like last year.
Brad's Bracket includes beers from Colorado and the Michigan area (somehow Great Lakes snuck in there...). Vote your favorite brew through and pick that Cinderella team, sorry, stout. Pick the winner and hold it over your friends heads until the next year (Brooklyn's Dark Matter anyone?) Beer! Voting!
The 1 vs 16 match up pits Last Years winner, New Belgium's Fat Tire against a stout from Boulder - Avery's Out of Bounds Stout. The Out of Bounds was delicious when infused with coffee, but Fat Tire seems like the fan favorite - should be interesting. See more of this entry for voting!
The 8 vs 9 match up has Breckenridge Breweries 471 Small Batch IPA against Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. This is a interesting choice because Edmund Fitzgerald is a multiple award winner - but the selection committee always gets a few wrong (they failed the "eye" test?)
The 5 vs 12 match up sees Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout against Bristol Laughing Lab. This is a Colorado knock down drag out... Yeti is known all over the US and Laughing Lab all over Colorado - both delicious beers - I'm guessing multiple overtimes.
The 4 vs 13 match has upset special all over it. Odell Cutthroat Porter against the ultimate mid-major in Equinox Nova Pale Ale. These two breweries are miles apart (if even a mile) but the beers couldn't be different. Dick Vitale is watching this one as a "upset special!"
The 6 vs 11 match up has another two close breweries duking it out. Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale against Boulder Beer Companies Cold Hop. Both beers are available all over the US, but only one beer became available at my local grocery store which puts their RPI in the 20's!
The 7 vs 10 match up could go either way. Two completely different beer styles in Bristol's Mass Transit against Founder's Porter - but great brews in their own rights. Will the up-tempo smooth play of Mass Transit triumph over the slow down pace of Founder's Porter?
The 2 vs 15 match up could be another upset special. Bell's Oberion vs Ska Brewing Company Pinstripe Ale. Oberion is a summer time favorite but Ska is quickly moving up the popular breweries ladder. With Ska Brewing Company now available in cans... will this be enough for the 15 over 2 upset?