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2020 Beer Bracket welcome

Beer Baron

This is the ninth edition of the no-hops-barred suds smackdown in which it's up to YOU to crown Wisconsin’s favorite beer. The selection committee (yeah, that's me) has chosen the beers in the field, but it’s up to you to determine which ones advance through each round. What's in it for you, you ask? Well, just for playing, you'll be entered to win great prizes.

Each brewery in the field is represented by only one of its creations, ensuring as broad as possible cross-section of the state's beer. And each year it gets tougher to choose the field of 64, with exclusions numerous and egregious. The brewers in the field hail from all over the state, including ones you probably know from the supermarket or bottle shop but also attention-worthy smaller brewers that are worth checking out if you're in their area. 

The Beer Bracket has always been a bit Madison-centric, though, and this year we went all in on that theme to determine the regions. It worked like this: The brewers in the field were ranked by distance from the state Capitol. The first sixteen went into one region, the next 16 into the next, and so on. As it worked out, all brewers in Madison proper make up one region, suburban and Madison region breweries another, Milwaukee breweries dominate the third, while the farthest-flung region is a geographic miscellany of the northern and western parts of the state.

Past champions have their banners hoisted to the rafters of the Beer Bracket arena and are retired from future brackets. That's why you'll find no Ale Asylum Hopalicious (the inaugural champion, in 2012) and Ballistic (2013), New Glarus Spotted Cow (2014), Karben4 Fantasy Factory (2015), New Glarus Moon Man (2016), Ale Asylum Bedlam (2017), Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout (2018) or last year's champ, Lake Louie Warped Speed (2019).

When you vote, make sure you click to each of the four regions. And use your preferred social media platform to rally the vote for your favorite beer. You can use Twitter to rally the cause for your favorite beer and predict your champion using #WIBeerBracket -- and while you’re there give me a follow: @WIbeerbaron.

Cheers,

Chris Drosner (aka The Beer Baron)


Chris Drosner has the enviable task of writing beer columns for the Wisconsin State Journal. You can catch up on recent columns at go.madison.com/beerbaron. Questions about the Beer Bracket? Email chrisdrosner@gmail.com.

Voting cutoff dates:

First round ends 3/23

Second round ends (32 to 16) 3/26

Third round ends (16 to 8) 3/29

Fourth round ends (8 to 4) 3/31

Fifth round (4 to 2) ends 4/2

Championship ends 4/6

 
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