The 2018 Iowa Beer Blog IPA and Pale Ale March Tournament Bracket - The Iowa Beer Blog

A blog about the beer produced, distributed and consumed in the great state of Iowa.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The 2018 Iowa Beer Blog IPA and Pale Ale March Tournament Bracket

The time to release the 2018 Iowa IPA (and Pale Ales too!) tournament bracket has come. Tomorrow, the competition begins and you can vote on 16 match-ups on this blog between some of the best IPAs (and Pale Ales!) currently available in the market in Iowa.

Round 1 consists of 32 Iowa-made beers that are currently available within reason. You'll find some are draft and or taproom only so a little work might be required if you're interested in sampling before voting. Otherwise, each post will try to update as close as possible to the most current available tap lines or bottle shops.

The Iowa Beer Blog committee carefully selected beers from across the state and did its best to associate each brewery with the proper bracket. There's a Central Iowa and Eastern Iowa side and each winner will meet for the Championship. Note, his is not East vs. West so you'll note some breweries had to travel from home to claim the crown.

As previously mentioned, voting will begin tomorrow. A new blog post will publish every 30 minutes starting in the morning until all 16 match-ups are available. Voting will be open from Monday through Saturday closing at noon Central Standard time for each round. Polls may appear to be open after noon but votes will tally at exactly 12:00 pm March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st. Each new round will require a new blog post with each match-up getting its own poll. The winner will be crowned March 31st.

Two weeks ago, the IBB committee released a preliminary bracket and some has changed since. Some newly available beers replaced some otherwise more difficult to find while others earned their right into the competition. The committee allowed, in a last minute decision, to hold two "play-in" games with the votes tabulated via Twitter in a 24 hour window.

So, that's the rules, here is the official 2018 IBB IPA March Tournament Bracket:

First Four Out: Toppling Goliath King Sue, 515 OJ IPA, Confluence Des Moines IPA, Franklin Street Dirty Loral Secret

Next Four Out:  Peace Tree Grapefruit No Coast, Torrent Attila DIPA, Backpocket IC Wave, Keg Creek Citrafiable


Starting out on the Central Iowa side we see a tough run for the #1 seed Sticky Juice. The newcomer, Hopnotize, may not be a tough test but a possible second round battle versus a Des Moines established brewery like 515 or Madhouse could be. Barn Town has two in this bracket and could see two losses against the mighty Toppling Goliath Fire, Skulls and Money. Your upset alert in this section of the bracket might be Alluvial's Helix. OJ Gets Lei'd routed Peace Tree's newest East Village IPA to get in the tourney.

On the bottom side of the Central Iowa bracket, Toppling Goliath's Double Dry Hopped Pseudo Sue does make the tournament and at a #2 Seed! Left off the committees possible early bracket, DDH Sue made a surprise appearance on taps and around shelves just yesterday. She'll have a tough run with two Eastern Iowa beers up next in round 2 and Barn Town's DBL Hop Skewer waiting on the bottom of the bracket.

On the Eastern Iowa bracket side, Pulpit Rock can potentially get two into the Elite Eight as Saftig makes it into the tourney as a #4 seed. There's some real sleepers in this section of the bracket with Exile's Nelson NE Style IPA, Lion Bridge's Majestic Beast and Lark's Boing!. Vegas bookmakers see a very tough run for the Eastern Bracket's #1 seed.

Finally, on the bottom half of the Eastern side, we see a lot of Toppling Goliath but they have to beat up each other to emerge into the finals. Absent, is TG's King Sue which is making the rounds and could be on shelves as the tourney gets into March. But, the committee said King Sue had such a poor December she's out this year. Shocking! Also, Alluvial is on upset alert here again as Fat Hill's Rongorongo is a favorite among those that have had it.

Who will win? Make sure you vote and check the blog and Twitter for updates as the tournament progresses. The state of Iowa has a lot of great beers and here's just a small example of some of them. Hopefully, you'll get a chance to get out and try all of these great beers and maybe even try something new. Cheers! and Good Luck.

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