It wouldn’t be March without some Madness, and the Ultimate Minnesota Beer Bracket has loads of it. The Ale-ite Eight round is done, and we had our first upset, the ouster of a one-time champion, a narrow win for a favorite and a major blowout. Welcome to the Foamy Four.
This next round gives you a chance to show your true allegiance: Does your heart lie Up North or in the Twin Cities? Two Harbors’ Castle Danger faces St. Paul’s Summit. Duluth’s Bent Paddle is up against Minneapolis’ Surly.
Vote through Monday at 5 p.m. to determine who will go face-to-face in the final round.
But first, consider how we got here, with a pair of battles pitting Lake Superior brews against two of the Twin Cities’ most popular brands.
Let’s start with the upset. The state’s two largest breweries duked it out, with a surprise win (by an 18 percentage-point margin!) for No. 5 seed Summit. No. 4 seed Schell’s, the winner of the inaugural 2017 Beer Bracket, is out.
Think that’s impressive? Take a look at Bent Paddle’s performance. It crushed Fair State by a 2-to-1 ratio (67 percent to 33 percent) in a ferocious takedown of the Minneapolis brewery.
No. 1 seed and reigning champ Castle Danger had no problem holding onto its spot at the top. It easily beat out Indeed, with 58 percent of the vote.
Surly’s match tells a different story. Sure, the No. 3 seed and last year’s finalist beat Dangerous Man, but only by 629 votes (54 percent to 46 percent). Surly fans will have to turn things around if the Minneapolis institution is going to stand a chance against tournament powerhouse Bent Paddle.
Want to have a say in what happens next? Go to startribune.com/beerbracket and get voting!