Beer Madness: Final Four

The Sunday Source section of the Washington Post crowned their Beer Madness champion yesterday, and it was a fine brew: Brooklyn Lager. Brooklyn’s whole line of beers is solid. In the end, Brooklyn beat Ellie’s Brown Ale, while Saranac Pale Ale overcame Dominion Ale, and Brooklyn took the title.
Last night, Lisa and Ellie helped me recreate this Final Four. Lisa poured the four beers, Ellie brought them to me, and I blind-tasted them and picked my favorite. And lo and behold, I picked the exact opposite of the Post! I favored Ellie’s over Brooklyn and Dominion over Saranac. The Ellie’s-Brooklyn matchup was a close one, but I chose Ellie’s Brown Ale for its well-balanced malt and hop flavors. Dominion, in a bit of a strange twist, I thought had a bit more hoppy bitterness than the Pale Ale, and was overall fuller in flavor.
In the final matchup, I still did not know which I had picked from the semifinals, so I was still completely blind. I picked Ellie’s Brown Ale over Dominion. Again, the malt-hop balance won the day for Ellie’s. My daughter Ellie didn’t really understand how I picked “her” beer, but she had fun helping out anyway.
In spite of any criticism I had for the contest (seriously, who one earth picked Budweiser over Victory Lager???), this was a fun little tournament, and they’ve given me a good list of beers to work on this year. I’ve got a mixed up six-pack of spring beers from Norm’s that I will be drinking over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for some more full reviews.