stlhopswikiWelcome back to the STL Hops 2012 St. Louis Beer Challenge! With March Madness starting today, I thought it would be fun to have a contest to see how local beers would do in a tournament. Thanks to an influx of new breweries, we now have a tournament featuring beers from within 75 miles of downtown St. Louis.

Now, a few things. First, don’t make any judgment about the rankings. I just randomized it and then did a bit of sorting so a brewery didn’t face off against itself in the first round. Second, as we have a bunch of new breweries and new beers, there might be something I missed. I’m sorry if I missed you, it wasn’t on purpose.

If you’re curious how I picked the beers, here’s the method behind my madness. I tried to include an equal amount of beer from each brewery if possible. For instance, we could almost do entire contest just using everything Schlafly made last year, so I tried to limit most breweries to three options. But some breweries got four options, the way I picked those we those breweries that made it to the elite 8 last year and the three newest breweries get an extra pick because they’re new.

You may also notice that some of your favorite seasonal and one-off beers aren’t on the list. For the most part, I tried to stick with two year-round beer from each brewery and one season. As not everyone gets a chance to try a lot of the one-off or seasonal beers, thought it would be more fair with the year round releases.

Now, for the serious stuff. Even after last year’s unpleasantness, I’m sticking with the Bracketeers website. It’s still the best website I can find to make this process easy for me and you, so we’ll stick with it.

Please, I remind everyone again not to take this too seriously, it’s just for fun.
Round Dates:
Round 1 – Thu Mar 15
Round 2 – Mon Mar 19
Round 3 – Thu Mar 22
Round 4 – Mon Mar 26
Round 5 – Thu Mar 29
Championship – Mon Apr 2

So, good luck to everyone and have fun! (If you can’t see the poll below, click on this link to visit the website hosting it.)