Monday, March 26, 2012

The Final Four- 2012 Beer Bracket

It comes down to these four teams. The best of the best from the East (Troeg's Nugget Nectar), West (Green Flash West Coast IPA), World (O'Hara's Stout), and Big Beers (North Coast Old Rasputin). Next weekend we will have our 2012 champion.  Fortunately, many people will have the ability to drink the winner, as all four beers are available in many places.

It will be an IPA vs Stout final (if you consider Nugget Nectar an IPA). There is the possibility of having an All-California final- with both Green Flash (San Diego) and North Coast (Fort Bragg) located in the Golden State. So much excitement.

And the Full Bracket:

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Sweet Sixteen- Beer Bracket Style

Now that the first rounds are complete, we are at a stage where all the teams and beers want to get to- The Sweet Sixteen. Here is my quick breakdown of the beers that are left:

Troeg's Nugget Nectar- this is my favorite beer, one that I could drink all year long. There is a reason why I placed it as the #1 overall seed.
Wolverine Dark Lager- lagers don't get much respect in the beer geek world, mostly ruined by the fuzzy yellow piss. But Wolverine is trying to bring them back to respectibility, and the Dark Lager is a great example.
Bullfrog Edgar IPA- Bullfrog is a great little brewpub in Williamsport, PA. Their Edgar IPA is a must try when stopping in.
Stillwater Premium- one of the lastest offerings from Stillwater, this "Post-Prohibition" ale is a easy drinking beer that has a Brett kick to it.

21st Amendment/Ninkasi Allies Win the War- this was a beer that half blew me away this year. Hits at 8.5%, but you wouldn't know and is as balanced as you can go with strong malt and hop characteristics, plus a nice dark fruits taste shines through.
Green Flash West Coast IPA- this is the classic example of what the West Coast IPA should taste like, it deserved a higher seed than #4, but...
Bear Republic Racer 5- this gets the higher seed. Racer 5 is my favorite WC IPA, and something I order whenever it is on the beer list.
Anderson Valley Brother David's Double- while it isn't the greatest dubbel-style in the world, Brother David's is mighty tasty. The big maltyness of it keeps the very mild hops at bay, with a nice Belgian yeast to provide many other flavors.

Rodenbach Grand Cru- if you think you like sours, this is the beer that you must always have on hand.
Jever- super, super clean tasting German pilsner. Perfect for the summer.
Cantillion Rose de Gambrinus- my favorite of the Cantillions, although you cannot go wrong with any. Another delicous sour beer, the Rose features a raspberry tartness to it.
O'Hara Stout- a classic dry Irish stout. Sure, Guinness has a bigger name, but O'Hara's has a bigger taste.

Westvletern 12- considered one of the top beers in the world, Westy 12 is a big beer, that comes through. Everything that is good in a Belgian, the sweetness, the yeast, the spiciness, all make this beer an A+.
JW Lees Harvest- this smooth, warming beer (11.5%) is perfect for winter sipping next to the fire, or really any time of year. JW Lees Harvest is a great beer to cellar and do a vertical, where you can really taste the changes.
Unibroue La Fin du Monde- "the end of the world" is not literal end of the world, but it can put an end to your night. This delicious triple can hit you hard when you don't even know it, it is dangerously drinkable.
North Coast Old Rasputin- the only American to make it out of the Big Beer region, Old Rasputin is a classic example of a Russian Imperial Stout. Big, thick, chocolate with a hint of coffee, this RIS can get you through a cold night in the Russian tundra.
(Click to see full bracket or Right click and open in new tab)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 Beer Bracket

It is finally here. The way to easy the pain of filling out your NCAA bracket. What do you do if you can't choose between Wichita State/VCU or Murray State/Colorado State or Gonzaga/West Virginia? The Beer Bracket is here to help you out.

Wichita State/VCU - Jolly Pumpkin La Raja/Harpoon IPA
Murray State/Colorado State - Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils/Caldera
Gonzaga/West Virginia - Witkap Pater/Czech Rebel

Let the Beer Bracket be your guide.  Cheer on the Beer!
(Click to view entire bracket, or right click and open in new tab.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Beer Bracket 2012 Region Formulation

To go to the 2012 Beer Bracket, CLICK HERE.

It is this time of year. The NCAA tournament is about to start, so the 2012 Beer Bracket will be posted soon.  Like in years past, the beers will replace the teams in the bracket. The beer will advance when the team advances. 

 I have decided on this year’s regions:

  • West Coast (west of the Mississippi, beers under 10%)
  • East Coast (east of the Mississippi, beers under 10%)
  • Extreme (beers over 10%, imports or domestic)
  • Imports (anywhere but the US, under 10%)

Normally, I wound formulate these rankings, but I am willing to let others to take a region and let me know what they think.  These can be based on personal preference, and can include a sentimental Macro beer, if you want it to be there. 

One last rule is that there can only be one beer per brewery in each region.
Let me know through email or twitter if you want to take a region.

Why a beer bracket?
  • It makes it fun to pick a side in games you don't care about- watching a game that is Chimay vs. Guinness is better than DePaul vs Bucknell.
  • It can help beer geeks fill out NCAA office pool brackets.
  • I like ranking beers, even if it is personal preference.


Last Years Bracket

Monday, March 5, 2012

Three Cheers to Local Beers

This month’s  The Session is hosted by Hoosier Beer Geek and focuses on Local beers:
What does it really mean though?  Is it more of a marketing term or is there substance behind the moniker? This month I want to think about what makes local beer better?  I'm not just talking about the beer itself, although it's the focal point, but what makes local beer better?  My connection to local beer is far from thinking that my beer is actually "local." 

For me, local started when I first started drinking. I had the pleasure of being introduced to the Selin’s Grove Brewpub, as I went to college in the town. They really don’t have a bad beer, and it destroyed the Natty Light, Busch Light, etc. that was the going rate for college students.  As for my everyday, keep in the fridge stuff, I also stayed local.  Yuengling. Sure it is bigger than many local joints, but it was brewed less than an hour away, and I knew some of the employees.

As I have continued to drown myself in craftbeerdom, I have continued to take my stance on local. I have found that I just want to help out the guy down the road. Sure it might not be the absolute best beer, service might be a little off, or whatnot- but it is nice to keep him going. Maybe over time the beer will get better, the servers will learn more and the food will improve.  I don’t always know why I make these decisions, but I think it has something to do with me hoping people help out whatever business I get into someday.


(Yep, I was late this month.)