The bracket worked in quadrants, North, South, East, and West. The first round had 8 of the 16 beers, second had the other 8. Round 3 halved the competition to 8 and round 4 had the top four. All judging of the beers was done blind, so you didn't know who was who, only that you had a beer in a gray cup and one in an orange cup. Other than that, it was no different that any other bracket you are used to seeing.
The only difference is that you get to be a player in this event instead of a spectator. And when matters, it can be a little nerve-wracking. I really thought it was just going to be a chance to kick back and drink a few with some friends. As it turned out, I was a bit of a nervous wreck the entire time. I really wanted everyone to do well. Some choices were easier than others but some were so difficult, it just came down to circling a color on the ticket. This is especially true for the later rounds.
Though my decisions didn't always match the crowd, I couldn't be happier with the outcome. The winners were clearly deserved and that was an easy thing to see as the rounds advanced.
The pace at times was a little hectic, but understandably so. Timing was one of the biggest things I thought would be an issue. It is easy to start chatting and stop paying attention to the clock, but the brew bracket guys did a nice job keeping everyone on time.
The bracket was as follows: * marks an advance through, + marks how I voted, if you are interested.
Round 1 - North
Flat 12 vs. Rock Bottom Downtown * +
Round 1 - WestBier* vs. Crown+
Round 1 - EastShoreline vs. Brugge*+
Round 1 - South
Figure 8+ vs. Sun King*
Round 2 - North
Upland*+ vs. BBC Bloomington
Round 2 - West
Bee Creek Brewery*+ vs. Barley Island
Round 2 - East
Oaken Barrel+ vs. Rock Bottom College Park*
Round 2 - South
Ram+* vs. People's
Round 3 - North
Rock Bottom Downtown *+ vs. Upland
Round 3 - West
Bier*+ vs. Bee Creek
Round 3 - East
Brugge+ vs. Rock Bottom College Park*
Round 3 - South
Sun King+ vs Ram*
Round 4 - West
Rock Bottom Downtown +* vs. Bier
Round 4 - North
Rock Bottom College Park +* vs. Ram
Rock Bottom DT +* vs. Rock Bottom CP
|Liz Laughlin - Rock Bottom College Park and Jerry Sutherlin - Rock Bottom Downtown|