What a moment. What a victory.
What. A. Beatdown.
After staging impressive campaigns through three rounds of voting, No. 1 Surly and No. 2 Castle Danger met under the big, bright lights. And yeah, it was pretty ugly — or beautiful, depending on your preferred flavor of suds — with the latter stealing a stunning 73 percent of the votes and stripping the favorite down to its malt.
Time to head home, Surly — you’re skunked.
As it turns out, tourney experience does win championships. After playing runner-up to last year’s champ Schell’s, Castle Danger orchestrated a delirious run that conjured memories of Tiger Woods in his prime, leaving his competitors trailing in the dust. The defeat? That felt more like the U.S. losing to little Trinidad and missing the World Cup, or No. 1 overall Virginia getting annihilated by 16-seed UMBC. Embarrassing.
Castle Danger climbed up on the ropes, and came crashing down with a diving double axe handle and a message for its foe. Perhaps one of Surly’s cans says best: “Overrated.”
Here’s how it went down: The Two Harbors brewery earned the No. 2 seed this season, and disposed of Steel Toe in the Sudsy Sixteen, Dangerous Man in the Ale-ite Eight and Bent Paddle in the Foamy Four. Then came the real work: dethroning Twin Cities brewer Surly by the third-largest margin of victory in tournament history (the other two big losers were last season’s 15th and 16th seeds) in the title game.
In the end, Castle Danger won with 5,256 votes to Surly's 1,908.
Congratulations, Castle Danger, you’ve earned your golden goblet. Now throw your head back and take a sip.