Welcome to Week 2 of the 1st Annual Steve's Word Beer Bracket. If you missed Week 1's action, check it out here. In a real barn burner, last week Avery Booker got things started having 8th seed Three Philosophers come out of his bracket. This week Mitchell Frye will inform us as to how he decided on his quadrant's winner. In true Beer Bracket fashion, Mitchell began his research by accidentally doing the wrong quadrant. That's ok . We're accustomed to mistakes and failure here. It's kind of our thing. So, grab that pint glass you've been keeping in the freezer and let's drink up Mitchell Frye's Week 2 results.
1 Dogfish 60 Minute vs 16 Miller Lite
Gearing up for the competition, I did my best to drink each beer in what I believed would be its most desirable situation for enjoyment. For instance, I gave my number one seed, Dogfish Sixty Minute, a run for its money as I enjoyed the delights of Miller Light during a Hoboken Beer Pong game.
Though I had a great time getting trashed lobbing ping pong balls into solo cups filled with ML, it was a far cry from the bold flavors of Dogfish 60M which advanced to round 2. Not to mention I lost the game and left the party cursing Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
2 Guinness vs 15 Quilmes
And of course Guinness is better than Quilmes. Who couldn’t see that coming? Although I might add, that Quilmes can be drunk in humongous quantities if done in Buenos Aires, as displayed here:
3 Brooklyn Lager vs 14 Red Stripe
As one of Jamaica’s 4 major world contributions, alongside Jamaican Beef Patties, Bob Marley and the propagation of Marijuana use, I thought Red Stripe had a pretty good chance of an upset, but alas, its deep flavor and unique bottle shape weren’t enough to unseat Brooklyn Lager on its own turf.
4 Smithwicks vs 13 Old English
I desperately wanted to brown-paper-bag my 40oz OE into the next round, but Smithwicks, step child of the Guinness company, was just too good to deny. I think I have more idiotic stories about growing up with Old English than I care to divulge, dropped bottles rolling down the aisle’s of movie theaters, running from the cops with two bottles taped to my hands caught in a game of Edward 40 Hands in college… I just love Smithwicks: Smith-icks. Though harder to find, and more difficult to pronounce, Smithwicks is like Guinness without the stomach ache. It is a complex ale which creeps close to Guinness in flavor, but is lighter and has more potential to keep on drinking all night.
5 33 vs 12 Pacifico
The Vietnamese beer, 33, fared better than Mexico’s Pacifico. These are both light beers that, when ice cold, are amazing on a sunny day in the summer. I did have some time for day drinking last week so I gave each beer a fair try. The problem was, and I know what you’re going to say, “just because the beer is Mexican, it's not going to give you swine flu.” I know, I know, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Needless to say, 33 won.
6 Bellehaven vs 11 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
I had never tried Bellehaven before this week and at first glance I couldn’t understand how I could have missed such a high-ranked brew. I’d had Sierra Nevada hundreds of times, but tried to put a fresh face on for the competition. To my surprise Bellehaven had the aromas reminiscent of a Robert Burns poem, and a rich malted taste which sent Sierra Nevada packing.
7 Negro Modelo vs 10 Zwyiec
There's something about Mexican beers that makes you feel like its sunny even though it might be raining. I can't say the same for Polish beers. I think they all taste relatively similar, and though they all have different, unpronounceable names, every label seems to share the same font and color scheme. We get it! Your flag is red and white, get over it. Negra Modelo shut down the Polish Zwyiec (don't even try to pronounce this one), even though these were drunk in Greenpoint. It was risky, but I did it.
8 Hoegaarden vs 9 Becks
Though Beck’s has been running strong for several years at the forefront of many bodega beer fridges, it was an afterthought when followed by the rich spices and flavors of Hoegaarden. I deducted points when, upon further inspection of the Hoegaarden bottle, I noticed that half the label was written in a language I couldn’t understand, which was frustrating in my semi-delirious state, but Hoegaarden advanced nonetheless.
7 Negra Modelo vs 2 Guinness
4 Smithwicks vs 5 33
6 Bellehaven vs. 3 Brooklyn Lager
8 Hoegaarden vs 1 Dogfish 60 Minute
Round 2 saw the rise of the Guinness Brewing Company. Negra Modelo was taken out by Guinness like border jumpers and the awaiting militia, and Smithwicks simply destroyed 33 by being both outflavored and outclassed. Bellehaven, a new favorite of mine, took out Brooklyn Lager, shockingly eliminating the host team. In a huge upset, a highly contested match, Hoegaarden beat out number 1 seed Dogfish 60 Minute. Hoegaarden is coming to its peak time of year to drink for full enjoyment.
8 Hoegaarden vs 4 Smithwicks
2 Guinness vs 6 Bellehaven
Here’s the thing, nobody had any clue how much I like Hoegaarden. I love it. And now that I’m completely unemployed, and it's summer, and it’s readily available at my local bodega, I’m going to be drinking it all the time. For this reason Hoegaarden was able to beat Smithwicks in the semifinals.
Guinness finally stopped Bellehaven on its incredible run in this tournament into my heart. Guinness is one of those beers whose presence precedes itself. You can taste it even before you take your first sip and you know it will be a slowly consumed bit of heaven.
2 Guinness vs 8 Hoegaarden Drinking Guinness is as comfortable as an Irishman in a bar fight, and as consistently pleasing as 80's U2, and though nothing compares to a Guinness tapped at the factory in Dublin, this is summer in New York City, and it was Hoegaarden that took the crown. Even if it sounds like a gardening tool and looks like a bitch when sitting next to a can of Guinness, the refreshing, yes a bit fruity, and smooth taste of Hoegaarden is what I'm sending to the 1st Annual Steve's Word Beer Bracket Final Four. I'm confident that a hot summer party in June is the perfect situation for my bracket winner to claim the ultimate prize!
Come on, Eldrick.