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How many times have you watched a tournament only to have the competition fizzle out in the final rounds? A predictable powerhouse dominates. A Cinderella story can’t compete against the giants. Good teams go home too early. All of which can lead to a lackluster Championship Game.
This was not the problem with 5280’s Battle of the Brews.
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Weeks ago, we staged a March Madness-style bracket unlike any other, pitting Colorado’s acclaimed craft beers against each other in a quest to find the most awesome brew. The editors started with 36 beers in four categories, and narrowed them down over the course of four separate taste tests. The only question we answered was: Which beer do you like better? And thus, we built the first-ever Colorado craft beer bracket. The process was so much fun (did we mention it included beer drinking?) that we decided to open the game up to readers, too. We created a series of one-on-one polls over the course of a week, where readers could vote for their favorite brews. As the editors’ picks were revealed, we tallied up readers’ votes and built a special Readers’ Choice Bracket.
In the Editors’ Bracket, it came down to a battle of the No. 2-ranked brews, but Telluride’s Face Down Brown couldn’t hold up to Great Divide’s Colette, the editors’ tourney darling. In truth, there was only one negative note about Colette in the entire competition (one person said it was “a bit harsh”). Maybe it was because the editors had enjoyed several beers by the end of the game, but most of them just drew hearts near Colette’s name as a sign of approval.
The readers, on the other hand, paired two Colorado classics in the final game: No. 1 Milk Stout versus Odell’s IPA (ranked No. 2). This, as one Twitterer put it is “like picking your favorite child.” Opening a bottle of the IPA is like opening a spice cabinet filled with citrus and hops. The Milk Stout tastes like dessert in a glass. Both should be in a well-stocked beer fridge. In the end, the IPA pulled away with the win.
To be cliché, though, aren’t they all winners?
Feedback Welcome: Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments!