Come March, selecting a field of 64 is always plenty nerve-racking. Which powerhouses are positioned for a deep run through the bracket? Which Cinderellas should be granted entrance to the big dance? Where should the contestants be slotted? When it comes to the country’s best beers, the choices were just as intense. For the first edition of our Men’s Journal Final Pour Beer Bracket, we took a hard look at the more than 7,000 breweries in America before narrowing it down to the final list of 64. (Vote for a chance to win a trip for two to a Final Pour brewery, plus a Stanley gift set!)
Time-tested staples such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Stone IPA find themselves in the same bracket as buzzy newcomers including Great Notion’s maple syrup–drenched Double Stack and the elegant pilsner from pFriem Family Brewers. We wanted to include beers that you can buy at the supermarket, while others should be added to your bucket list. With some matchups, we wanted to see if hyped beers could topple the old guard, pitting brews like Live Oak Pilz against Triple Crossing Falcon Smash, one of Virginia’s finest IPAs.
Unlike the NCAA version, there are really no easy outs in this tournament—the losers will no doubt be just as delicious as the winners.
Now, vote for your favorite brew in the Final Four.