It’s back, baby. Tourney time!

No, not the NCAA hoops bonanza (although that’s coming, too). This is a different kind of March Madness we’re talking about: our second annual Ultimate Minnesota Beer Bracket.

This championship, which is determined entirely by readers’ votes, fuses postseason spirit and competitive rush with cold, malted deliciousness. You pick the field based on your favorite breweries (there are 151 statewide). Then choose the winners of each head-to-head match-up until we’re left with the victor and six-pack celebrations. (Voting to set the field has closed ... but come back on March 14 to vote on the first round's matches.) 

Last season’s journey to the title was full of stumbles, slam dunks and spilled suds — plus a field of memorable breweries that kept us coming back for more.

What will happen this time around? Perhaps some brewery newbies will step between the lines. Or maybe the heavyweights of the past will come back for what they feel is theirs. Schell’s is the reigning champ, and according to our Q&A with president Ted Marti, it’s not backing down.

Sounds like action worthy of inappropriately loud chants and can-slamming, to us. (OK, maybe not the latter. That sounds like a waste of beer.)

Check out these notable contenders hoping to make the cut and then get going on those obligatory hours of research and analysis (um, we mean beer tasting).

Voting for the field closes at 5 p.m. Friday!

The Reigning Champ: Schell’s

No one saw it coming, but the old-school New Ulm institution proved its worthiness with four rounds of takedowns, shocking us all. Who will challenge?

The Favorite Who Went Home Early: Surly

It seemed no one could hang with the Twin Cities giant, which earned the No. 1 seed by a landslide and has become a national brand. But then … upset city!

The Charmed Cinderella: Castle Danger

Sure, that Cream Ale is glorious, but the Two Harbors-based operation is still a modest one, producing fewer than 15,000 barrels a year. After Castle Danger advanced to the title round, though, we’re woke.

The Surprise Contender: Copper Trail

The Alexandria brewmasters slid in as our 16th and final seed — but that’s pretty impressive considering the hefty competition and the fact that Copper Trail isn’t even available in the Twin Cities.

HOW TO VOTE: Choose your favorite breweries — up to five — from the drop-down fields below, in order of preference. Vote for each brewery only once. Entries that include a brewery in more than one field will be disqualified. Voting is now closed. The top 16 vote-getters will form our Ultimate Minnesota Beer Bracket field, which we’ll announce online on March 13 (in print March 14).


Here's the complete list:

10K Brewing
12welve Eyes Brewing
14 Lakes Brewery
56 Brewing
Able Seedhouse & Brewery
Alloy Brewing Co.
Angry Inch Brewing
Ashby Brewing Co.
August Schell Brewing Co.
Back Channel Brewing Co.
Bad Habit Brewing Co.
Bad Weather Brewing Co.
Badger Hill Brewing Co.
Bald Man Brewing Co.
Bang Brewing Co.
Bank Brewing Co.
Barley John’s Brewing Co.
Barrel Theory Beer Co.
Bauhaus Brew Labs
Beaver Island Brewing Co.
Bemidji Brewing
Bent Brewstillery
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Big Axe Brewing Co.
Big Wood Brewery
Birch’s on the Lake Brewhouse
Blacklist Artisan Ales
Blackstack Brewing
Boathouse Brewpub & Restaurant
Boom Island Brewing Co.
Boomtown Brewery
Borealis Fermentery
Brau Brothers Brewing Co.
Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative
Burning Brothers Brewing Co.
Canal Park Brewing Co.
Carmody Irish Pub & Brewing
Castle Danger Brewery
Chapel Brewing
Clockwerks Brewing
Copper Trail Brewing Co.
Cosmos Brewing
Cuyuna Brewing Co.
Dangerous Man Brewing Co.
Day Block Brewing Co.
Disgruntled Brewing
Dubh Linn Irish Brew Pub
Eastlake Craft Brewery
ENKI Brewing
Excelsior Brewing Co.
F-Town Brewing Co.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Fitger’s Brewhouse
Flat Earth Brewing Co.
Forager Brewing Co.
Foxhole Brewhouse
Fulton Beer
Giesenbräu Bier Co.
Goat Ridge Brewing Co.
Grand Rounds Brewing Co.
Granite City Food & Brewery
Great Waters Brewing Co.
Gull Dam Brewing Co.
Gun Flint Tavern
HammerHeart Brewing Co.
Hayes’ Public House
Headflyer Brewing
Hoops Brewing
Imminent Brewing
Inbound BrewCo
Indeed Brewing Co.
Insight Brewing Co.
Island City Brewing Co.
Jack Pine Brewery
Junkyard Brewing Co.
Karst Brewing
Kinney Creek Brewery
Klockow Brewing Co.
Lake Monster Brewing Co.
Lake Superior Brewing Co.
Lakes & Legends Brewing Co.
Lakeville Brewing Co.
Lazy Loon Brewing Co.
Lift Bridge Brewing Co.
Loony’s Brew
LTD Brewing Co.
LTS Brewing Co.
Lupine Brewing Co.
Lupulin Brewing Co.
LynLake Brewery
Mankato Brewery
Mantorville Brewing Co.
Maple Island Brewing Co.
Modist Brewing Co.
Montgomery Brewing Co.
Moose Lake Brewing Co.
North Loop BrewCo
Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub
Nutmeg Brewhouse
Olvalde Farm and Brewing Co.
OMNI Brewing Co.
Oswald Brewing Co.
Portage Brewing Co.
Pryes Brewing Co.
Read’s Landing Brewing Co.
Red Wing Brewery
Revelation Ale Works
Rock Bottom Brewery
Roets Jordan Brewery Co.
Roma Restaurant & Brewery
Roundhouse Brewery
Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery
Shakopee Brewhall
Sisyphus Brewing Co.
South Fork Brewing Co.
Spilled Grain Brewhouse
Starry Eyed Brewing Co.
Steel Toe Brewing Co.
Summit Brewing Co.
Surly Brewing Co.
Take 16 Brewing Co.
Talking Waters Brewing Co.
Tanzenwald Brewing Co.
Tavern Brewery
The Freehouse
The Herkimer Pub & Brewery
Third Street Brewhouse
Three Twenty Brewing
Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.
Town Hall Brewery
u4ic Brewing Inc.
Union 32 Craft House
Union Pizza & Brewing Co.
Unmapped Brewing Co.
Urban Growler Brewing Co.
Urban Lodge Brewery & Restaurant
Utepils Brewing Co.
Venn Brewing Co.
Vine Park Brewing Co.
Voyageur Brewing Co.
Wabasha Brewing Co.
Waconia Brewing Co.
Waldmann Brewery
Ward House Brewery
Wayzata Brew Works
Wenonah Brewing Co.
Wicked Wort Brewing Co.
Wild Mind Artisan Ales