Drawing inspiration from college basketball's "March Madness" tournament, the Washington Post recently held its second annual Beer Madness. The Post selected 32 brews from a variety of styles, and held blind taste battles between them.
Nine dedicated beer-drinking readers and the post's beer columnist Greg Kitsock were the judges. They already held the tasting, but the winners are being revealed with the winner announced April 6. Kudos to the Post for holding this competition, which connects the paper to its readers and shows it is paying attention to niche communities like beer nuts.
Unfortunately they're advertising that this may be their last Beer Madness as the Post is reluctant to pony up the approximately $600 needed to purchase the brews.
Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Lager was last year's winner, but the panel bumped it in the round of 16, losing out to Colorado's Old Scratch Flying Lager. Baltimore native National Bohemian lost to Brooklyn Lager in the opening round.
The Stone Pale Ale from my old stomping grounds in San Diego has made it into the round of 8, facing off against Pennsylvania brewer Troegs' Hopback to be crowned king of the Ales. That winner advances to the final 4 against the winner in the Lager category.