We have arrived at the end. After three weeks of intense competition, lobbying by beer lovers from across the globe (I don’t care if you are mad at me China, Tsingtao still sucks), and what my doctor described as “a liver Mickey Mantle would be proud of”…WE HAVE A CHAMPION! First, the final four results.
(5) Hoegaarden over (3) Budweiser American Ale
I know I said upsets were possible, but did anyone really think Bud American Ale could defeat Hoegaarden? Having said that, American Ale is a pretty solid brew. AB/InBev needs begin to promote this beer as their “flagship.” They can be proud of it, and it would help to elevate their status in the beer world. Until then, most people will associate Budweiser products with swill. Considering the quality of American Ale that is a shame. If you haven’t tried it, we are only talking about anywhere from $7-$8 for a six pack. Give it a shot…
(3) Anchor Steam over (4) Negra Modelo
My new found love of Modelo Dark plus lime cannot defeat the smooth, hoppy flavor of Anchor Steam. While it may have been unexpected to see Anchor Steam survive the American Microbrew (aka the group of death) bracket, it isn’t implausible. Anchor is a fine beer and a credit to its San Francisco brewers.
Setting up the glorious championship, which was fought last night while watching Butler defeat Michigan State.
(5) Hoegaarden over (3) Anchor Steam
Our regular readers knew of my love for Hoegaarden from previous posts, but I honestly thought it would run into trouble late in the European bracket, especially considering the strength of competition. The true Belgian White, Hoegaarden combines the classic combination of orange peel and coriander to create a magical concoction. They even recommend a special hexagon glass to drink it out of, which I keep under lock and key in a refrigerated hexagonal beer glass cabinet.
Anchor Steam was a worthy runner-up, a true American Microbrew that is a pleasure to drink year round, but the flavor of Hoegaarden was too much for Anchor to overcome.
Obviously, this was a highly subjective competition. How do you compare a Belgian White to a Pale Ale? Brown Ale vs. Pilsner? The honest answer it that you just have to trust whatever tastes best at that moment. I could run this bracket again in six months and have different results. The main objective was to enjoy the beer and perhaps learn a few things in the process. In that sense, mission accomplished.
A special thank you goes out to John for helping decide a decisive Mexican battle, J & K from Ypsi for an enjoyable night of drinking and their honest feedback (Bell’s Amber vs. Anchor was tough but fun), and my wife for helping on championship night.
My guess is that next spring I will pursue a different challenge. Breakfast cereals, salty snacks, who knows. I need to recover from this one before I start to worry about next year. I sincerely hoped that EP readers enjoyed this year’s beer tourney. Happy drinking and, please Butler…BEAT DUKE!