Beer Madness, Round One

Beer/Drinks, Randoms

March Madness might officially tip off tomorrow, but what better day to celebrate beer and reveal the first round results than St. Paddy’s Day.

American Macrobrew:

(1) Blue Moon over (16) Miller High Life

All apologies to the Miller High Life guy, but if livin’ the high life means drinking crappy beer, I’ll pass.

(9) Bud Light over (8) Miller Genuine Draft

I blind taste tested this one and while Bud Light was pretty awful, MGD had a unique piss like quality that I particularly disliked.

(5) Budweiser over (12) Miller Lite

No 12 over 5 upset here, and a bad round for Miller.  Miller Lite doesn’t taste great, and it may be less filling but who would want to drink more than one of these?

(4) Coors Banquet over (13) Pabst Blue Ribbon

Coors wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be, PBR was wretched…

(3) Budweiser American Ale over (14) Old Style

All the memories of drinking Old Style at Wrigley Field can’t mask the fact that it is a really lousy beer.

(6) Land Shark Lager over (11) Coors Light

Coors Light was as bad as I thought it would be, and Land Shark was actually somewhat drinkable, that is to say, one is able to drink it.

(10) Rolling Rock over (7) Michelob Light

Score one for Old Latrobe.  Mich Light might be worse than Bud Light.

(2) Killian’s Red over (15) Natural Light

Nostalgia will get you no where in this competition.  Natty Light is an exercise in endurance.

The results set up the following round two matchups:

(1) Blue Moon vs. (9) Bud Light

(4) Coors Banquet vs. (5) Budweiser

(3) Budweiser American Ale vs. (6) Land Shark Lager

(2) Killian’s Red vs. (10) Rolling Rock

Best Matchup:

Round two in the weakest bracket is marked by a battle between Bud and Coors.  The two “flagship” beers, if the flagship is the Hindenburg.  Rolling Rock looks for another upset in a battle with Killian’s.


(1) Newcastle Brown Ale over (16) Amstel Light

Amstel might be better than all the light beers in the top bracket, but it was a tall order to defeat Newcastle.

(8) Harp over (9) Heineken

Close call, but on St. Patrick’s Day Harp wins by a nose.

(5) Hoegaarden over (12) Carlsberg

Carlsberg, like Amstel, would run roughshod over the top bracket but gets beat down by the great Belgian witbier.

(4) Stella Artois over (13) St. Pauli Girl

I was not prepared for how bad St. Pauli tasted and how smooth Stella is.  This was a blowout.

(3) Guinness over (14) Peroni

Guiness may not be for everyone but Peroni is boring and pedantic.  Not even close.

(6) Bass Ale over (11) Beck’s Dark

Wow, this is a strong group.  Bass Ale is quite delicious.

(10) Grolsch over (7) Boddingtons Pub Ale

A very close call, but score one for the Dutch.  Boddingtons is probably much better on tap.  Also, Grolsch has the cool bottles!

(2) Pilsner Urquell over (15) Beck’s Pilsner

The Germans take it on the chin, but who can argue.  Pilsner Urquell is a top notch representation of what a pilsner should be.

The results set up the following round two matchups:

(1) Newcastle Brown Ale vs. (8) Harp

(4) Stella Artois vs. (5) Hoegaarden

(3) Guinness vs. (6) Bass Ale

(2) Pilsner Urquell vs. (10) Groslch

Best Matchup:

Not to reignite any “troubles” but Harp and Newcastle are very different and should make for an interesting battle.  But hands down round two is highlighted by Guinness vs. Bass.

American Microbrew:

(16) Edmund Fitzgerald Porter over (1) Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Here’s something we would never see in the NCAA Tourney, but a big upset here.  Boston Lager is a fine beer, but Edmund Fitzgerald’s coffee notes sink Sam Adams.

(9) Red Hook Long Hammer IPA over (8) Bell’s Pale Ale

The iconic Seattle brewer lives to fight on with a defeat of an outstanding pale ale.

(5) Samuel Adams Winter Lager over (12) Samuel Adams Oktoberfest

Another tough battle, but Winter Lager is the stronger of these two seasonals.

(4) Bell’s Oberon over (13) Bell’s Winter White

Oberon has the advantage of being associated with spring and summer in Michigan.  I love Winter White but the anticipation of Oberon means more than just a delicious beer.

(3) Anchor Steam over (14) Big Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale

Two great beers, but unless you can bottle a late summer evening in Missoula you are missing the full effect of Moose Drool.

(11) Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat over (6) Goose Island Honkers Ale

Cherry Wheat is the fruit beer to end all fruit beers.  The hint of cherry is absolutely exquisite.

(7) Bell’s Amber Ale over (10) Samuel Adams Summer Ale

What a matchup.  Bell’s could live off their Amber Ale, it is their flagship and it defeats the wonderful Sam Adams Summer Ale.  It is sad that one had to be eliminated.

(2) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale over (15) Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat

No disrespect to Leiny’s best effort, but Sierra Nevada is a pale ale for the ages.  It has a floral quality that makes it a robust and rewarding drinking experience.

The results set up the following round two matchups:

(16) Edmund Fitzgerald Porter vs. (9) Red Hook Long Hammer IPA

(4) Bell’s Oberon vs. (5) Samuel Adams Winter Lager

(3) Anchor Steam vs. (11) Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat

(2) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale vs. (7) Bell’s Amber Ale

Best Matchup:

Difficult to choose, but Bell’s Amber and Sierra Nevada is a clash of titans if ever there was one.  Another summer/winter battle for Oberon, this time against Sam Adams.

International Macrobrew:

(1) Red Stripe over (16) Tecate

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Red Stripe?  Probably, but offer Red Stripe at a party and watch it go quickly.

(8) Sapporo over (9) Dos Equis Amber

I need to try a Sapporo with miso soup because it was a little disappointing, but Dos Equis Amber fell considerably short.

(12) Molson Canadian over (5) Foster’s Lager

Maybe Russell Crowe’s fightin’ round the world tour will take him to my house for this, but seriously Australia, if Victoria Bitter is really your beer than you need to make it available in the States.  You are embarrassing yourselves, mates.

(4) Negra Modelo over (13) Labatt Blue

Sorry Canada, but Labatt’s bland pilsner can’t compete with the richness of Modelo’s dark beer.

(3) Asahi Super Dry over (14) Tsingtao

Asahi brought it stronger than Sapporo, but it was an easy win over Tsingtao.  I will say that the Chinese beer does appear to be better crafted than their childrens toys.

(6) Dos Equis over (11) Corona

Corona needs the lime.  Without that crucial addition it is middling at best.  Dos Equis stands well on its own, good news considering how disappointed I was with their Amber.

(7) Moosehead over (10) Kingfisher Lager

Call me crazy, but for some reason every time I drink Moosehead I find myself pleasantly surprised.  Kingfisher isn’t bad, but our Canadian friends win this round.

(2) Modelo Especial over (15) Hite

South Korea may make a fine automobile, but Hite is putrid.  Would have been tough to beat Modelo anyway.

The results set up the following round two matchups:

(1) Red Stripe vs. (8) Sapporo

(4) Negra Modelo vs. (12) Molson Canadian

(3) Asahi Super Dry vs. (6) Dos Equis

(2) Modelo Especial vs. (7) Moosehead Lager

Best Matchups:

Canada vs. Mexico, with the Modelo/Moosehead battle looking like a close one.  The 6 vs. 3 Dos Equis/Asahi battle will also be an interesting one.

That is all for now, it has been fun so far.  Look for the announcement of the sweet sixteen early next week.  Happy St. Paddy’s Day!