Bracket to the Future

Everyone loves a good tournament. Whether it is the King of the Ring where we have seen great champs crowned king, like King Macho Man Randy Savage (OOOO YEAH!) or the long Saturday Smash Bros. Tournaments where no one truly wins, to the March Madness college basketball tournament. It is safe to say, even your grandmother fills out a bracket. Though instead of any real knowledge, she is basing it on the color of the uniform or because the mascot is lion. Grandmother’s love cats.

Well now there is tourney for something we all love and that is beer! Welcome to Beer Madness. There are many different tournaments being run for Beer Madness but I am focusing on the Washington Post Beer Madness Tournament. It is probably the most famous of these tourneys. Last year the final vote was between Schlafly’s Kolsch, brewed in St. Louis, and Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, brewed in Kansas City.

The rivalry was intense and even the St. Louis Public Library got involved saying that you can’t win both the World Series and beer madness. Schlafly won and the Owner even donated $1 for every vote the beer got to the library.

The Beer tourney changes from year to year.  Sometimes it is a style of beer, sometimes it is in only one part of the United States and sometimes it is international. This year is the 10th annual tourney and it is still going strong. Even though it’s madness, it is still regulated. Here are the rules:

One beer per city allowed. The beer must be available at bars or stores (so don’t throw your homebrew on there to take down Yuengling… though I’d definitely vote for your homebrew guaranteed) No one time only made beers (those delicious one-offs you will never find again… besides, you were probably drunk anyway and it was not THAT good) And finally, there are four regions northeast, south, midwest and west.

8 judges were selected to judge the beer in a blind taste test. 4 of panelist were lucky Washington Post readers selected at random from hundreds of applicants.  The other four judges are industry palates from the world of beer and spirits.

If you are interested, the brackets are online at:

You can vote for your favorite beer plus keep track of the madness as it goes along. First round ends March 18th. So you’ll have plenty of time to catch up for the sweet sixteen.

Will a beer you love win or will it drop in the first round? One thing is for sure, it will be MAD tasty.