There were some major upsets in round 2 of the March Madness Beer Championships as there is only two #1 seeds, two #2 seeds, two #3 seeds and two #4 seeds remaining in the tournament. Much like the NCAA Basketball tournament, there are Cinderella teams and major upsets in every round. Click the link below to see the March Madness round 2 results and the sweet 16 matchups! Check back for the Sweet 16 results, Elite 8 matchups, the Final Four and the eventual Beer champions. Results will roll out and coincide with the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.
Round 2 March Madness Matchups: 32 Beers Advance in the Bracket
By Matt Goldstein, Tim Rodgers, Pat Smith, Don Corino & Mike Magowan
In our first annual March Madness Beer Championship, the first round results are in. 32 Beers have advanced to round 2 and 32 beers were sent home with their bags packing. All styles of Ales, Lagers, Crafts, IPA’s, Stouts, Belgians and Pilsners are banging it out one taste test at a time. The round 2 matchups pit some big dogs against each other in an all out March Madness Bracket beer battle royal. Click the link below to see if your favorite beer made it through to the next round! Stay tuned for round 2 results to see out Sweet 16.
Click the Link Below to Download Your 2011 March Madness Tournament Bracket Now…
By Team Goldmine
Introducing the inaugural Whiskey Goldmine March Madness Beer Tournament Bracket Championship! 64 of the world’s best beers have been chosen and will go head to head in our March Madness Bracket Style tournament. It’s win or go home in one of the greatest all style all flavor taste tests ever created. In order to advance, the beers will have to win multiple taste tests in each round, sometimes blind and double blind taste tests. From the first two rounds, to the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, the Final Four and to the Championship Game, the March Madness Tournament winner will be declared the 2011 Beer of Champion! Download your 2011 Tournament Bracket now!
Click the link below to view the bracket. (Don’t be afraid to zoom in.)
Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Borris Oatmeal Imperial Stout the Show!
By Matt Goldstein & Kevin Hussey
The 2011 Beats, Brews & BBQ beer fest at the World Café Live in Philadelphia had over 35 brewers with more than 100 beers and tickets sold out months before the beer fest opened its doors. With more than 100 beers trying to stake their claim at the 2011 beerfest, our panel of tasters provides you with the top 10 craft beers that crushed the competition. Speaking of crushed, Hoppin Frogs Borris the Crusher stole the show!
Made from the 2008 Gold Medalist at the GABF, Borris the Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout, the barrel aged version is a masterpiece in cask matured stouts. Full bodied, robust, roasted and smoky, with notes of oak and vanilla, the Barrel Aged Borris is complex and full of character. 9.4% ABV, 60 IBU. Hoppin Frog Brewing. Akron, Ohio.
2. Weyerbacher Heresy Imperial Stout:
The Heresy is an old heathen oak aged imperial stout. Aged in bourbon oak barrels with a roasted flavor, the Heresy has notes of bourbon, oak, corn, vanilla, and coffee. 8.5% ABV, Weyerbacher Brewing. Easton, PA.
3. Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale:
The Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, also known as an old ale, is brewed with 7 different types of malts. Ruby Red in color, with strong notes of hops, hints of smoke and peat, the Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is a classic. 8.5% ABV, Founders Brewing Co. Michigan.
4. Victory Old Horizontal Barley Wine:
The Victory Barley Wine is rich in hops with a sweet flavor that balances very well. With imported 2 row hops malts and American whole flower hops, the Old Horizontal is perfectly balanced. 10.5% ABV. Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA.
5. Six Points Sehr Crisp Pilsner
With all the IPA’s and Imperial Stouts at every beer fest, the Six Point Sehr Crisp Pilsner was a refreshing session beer and strongly lived up to the Pilsner style. According to Beer Advocate, the Sehr Crisp Pilsner is a cross between a German Pilsner and a Bohemian Pilsner and blended with German hops. 5.4% ABV. Six Point Brewing Company. Brooklyn, NY.
6. Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye:
The Hop Rod Rye has been a staple of Bear Republic for years and years, winning three separate gold medals in craft beer competitions. The Racer 5 and Rocket Red are already legendary Bear Republic Brews, but the Hop Rod Rye is just as good. The Hop Rod Rye is an IPA with a heavy rye malt base, but also a spicy kick and bitterness that add a beautiful complexity to the hops. 8.0% ABV, 80 IBUs. Bear Republic Brewing Co. Healdsburg, CA.
7. Yards Chocolate Love Stout:
The Yards Chocolate Love Stout is a sweet and sultry full bodied chocolate stout with a beautiful roasted malt flavor. The Chocolate Love is brewed with oysters in a kettle. Oysters? WTF! 5.5% ABV. Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, PA.
Some of our tasters at the beer fest thought the Dorris Destroyer might have been better than Barrel Aged Borris and for good reason. This Double Imperial Oatmeal Stout is similar to the Borris but a little more tangy. Dry hopped and wort hopped, Dorris the Destroyer will smack you right in your mouth. 10.5% ABV, 70 IBUs. Hoppin Frog Brewing Co. Akron, Ohio.
9. Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 2 Baltic Porter:
The Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 2 is a flat lout smoke monster. Made with 2-Row malts, Smoked Munich (smoked with Hackberry) malts, Malted Rye, Cara Aroma, Chocolate, Carafa, Special II, Carafa III and Magnum and Northern Brewer hops, the medium to full bodied porter stood out from all other porters at the beer fest.
10. Dogfish Head Red & White Belgian Style Wit Ale:
The Red & White Belgian Style Wit Ale is an easy drinking Belgian ale “brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice.” WOW! Dogfish Head will try anything. The Red & White Ale is then aged in Oak tanks. An Oak tank? That’s first we’ve heard of that. It certainly sounds better than being aged in a metal vat, but can’t possibly provide the character of an oak barrel. Either way, the Red & White is a fabulous Belgian Wit. 10.0% ABV, 35 IBU. Dogfish Head Brewing. Rehobeth Beach, DE.
Pack of Pale Ale’s: One of the Top Craft Beer Variety Pack’s on the Market
By Tim Rodgers with Matt Goldstein
Southern Tier Brewery out of Lakewood, New York was founded in 2002 by Phineas DeMink and Allen (“Skip”) Yahn. Originally envisioned as a regional craft brewery, Southern Tier’s fine craft brews can be now enjoyed in much of the United States including other parts of the world. What could have been conceptually and now in hindsight, was the last tailgate of the year in the city of brotherly love, I needed a beer that I knew wasn’t going to disappoint. Based on experience and reputation, scoring a Southern Tier “Pack of Pale Ale’s” would ensure that we couldn’t be let down by the beer. It was very possible however, that it would be my favorite NFL franchise doing the letting down on Wild Card Weekend.
As soon as WhiskeyGoldmine founder Matt Goldstein and I arrived at an already lively tailgate party we wasted no time by diving right into the Southern Tier I.P.A. Unlike many I.P.A.’s and especially those from the west coast, the Southern Tier IPA was more balanced and encompassed more malt flavors. Slightly sweet but again was balanced with a nice appropriate bitterness in the aftertaste. 7.3% abv • 11.4ºL • These went well with the buffalo wings that were hot off of the grill as soon as we got there.
The Southern Tier Pale Ale
Next, we rolled up our sleeves and labored right onto the next beer. The Pale Ale. The Pale Ale like the IPA was slightly sweet with notes of grapefruit. I give Southern Tier points for a creative variety that stands out. I would recommend these beers for those looking for more flavor out of their beer, but don’t want to get blown away by bitterness, hops, or malts. The Pale Ale is about 6.1% abv. We paired this with some Philly style roast pork sandwiches with extra sharp provolone! Nice! You haven’t had a real roast pork sandwich until you came to Philly. FACT! We recommend Tony Luke’s in South Philly or the New Valley Tavern in Plymouth Meeting PA.
Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Ale
The best part of that late Sunday afternoon was Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Pale Ale. It is well represented by its name! What was extraordinary was how well the malts and hops complimented each other and balanced to produce a perfect beer. You can taste the quality of the ingredients and the final product is a true reflection of that. 5.7% abv • 7.3ºL. We paired these with some bratwurst and sauerkraut and I think it went well for us. I wonder if Michael Vick’s Pre-game meal was as good as ours.
Southern Tier 422 Pale Wheat Ale
Last in the infamous “Pack of Pale Ale’s” was the 422 Pale Wheat Ale. This unfiltered wheat ale gets its name from “earth day” and is packaged with recyclable material. (Earth Day? What a bunch of liberal crap! Who needs the earth.) While all of that environmental stuff is commendable, my partner in crime Matt is more into that hippy crap than I am. How’s the beer? 5.8% abv • 5.0ºL. I thought it held up against the other ales. It is a testament to the European wheat styles, and a very worthy beer. With hints of zesty coriander and orange, all around solid.
Although Southern Tier can’t drive your football team down the field in the 4th quarter to score a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers, but it won’t throw an interception either. The Southern Tier variety pack provides a quality beverage to your Sunday tailgate. We have yet to be disappointed by the fine folks at Southern Tier. Grab a “Pack of Pale Ale’s” for the upcoming Super Bowl to be the hit of your playoff parties!
The 20th Anniversary Brew by Flying Dog is an Absolute Must Try!
By Matt Goldstein
The Raging Bitch is an American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast. With Warrior, Columbus, Amarillo hops and El Diablo Belgian Yeast, the Raging Bitch is then dry hopped with Amarillo.Having great Belgian malts with a hop kick and delicate hop bitterness, at 8.3% ABV and 60 IBU’s, this bitch is dangerously drinkable. It’s perfectly balanced. The Raging Bitch is a MUST TRY!!! The Flying Dog Raging Bitch Strong cheese (sharp or blue), Spicy Thai, Dark Chocolates or anything rich, hot and sassy! It doesn’t really matter what you try the Raging Bitch with, just as long as you try it…
Is this Double Gold Medalist the Best Beer in the World?
By Matt Goldstein
Regarded by many as the best beer in the world, Russian River’s Pliny the Elder Double IPA certainly has made its mark in the craft world. We’ve been waiting to try this beer for a long long time. After the mini debacle and beer-less adventure at the Earth Bread and Brewery, we decided to take the show down the road to our favorite neighborhood classic craft beer joint, Mt Airy Philadelphia’s McMenamin’s. Right as we sit down the Pliny the Elder tap is looking us dead in the face. WOW! We’ve finally found it, Xanadu. Winner of two gold medals at the Great American Beer Fest, Rated #2 at Beer Advocate and #13 by Rate Beer, Pliny the Elder comes with a lot of hype.
When we put out our top 25 breweries list a few months ago, the Beer Advocate faithful berated us for not listing Russian River at #1. The problem is that in Philadelphia, most of us have never even seen Pliny the Elder, ever! (Only two of our 20 writers have actually been able to try it. Well, now its three.) I’ve been going to bars 2-3 times a week for almost 15 years and have simply never seen or heard of Pliny the Elder or it’s younger brother and triple IPA, Pliny the Younger. Clearly, it’s all relative to accessibility.
The bartender pours a 12 ounce draft in what is a mini pilsner glass. The look is a beautiful gold color and the nose has a scent of hops with citrus and spice. The taste is dry, slightly sweet and dries up towards the finish. No doubt, this is a classic IPA. The Pliny is crisp and has great bite. The hops are very well rounded and not over bearing like some IPA’s. The presence of malts are just as notable as the hops. It’s a perfectly balanced IPA. The Pliny the Elder Double IPA is flat out a world class beer, but maybe a bit over hyped. Is it the best beer in the world? Of course not! Only the Whiskey Goldmine can tell you what the best beer in the world is. We have the monopoly on culture, class, taste and amazing. Don’t ever listen to anyone else but us!
From the Russian River Web Site: Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, and writer. Although not considered his most important work, Pliny and his contemporaries created the botanical name for hops, “Lupus salictarius”, meaning wolf among scrubs.” Hops at that time grew wild among willows, much like a wolf in the forest. Later the current botanical name, Humulus lupulus, was adopted. Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle’s legacy by documenting much of what he observed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Ballast Point makes two IPAs, and between winning a Gold Medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup and the general public freak out that ensued whenever it was tapped this year, the Sculpin seems to be everyone’s favorite. Don’t overlook the Big Eye, though. The Ballast Point flagship IPA pours a nice dark amber color and has a balanced nose that reflects its taste. A hoppy beginning, malty finish and slight bitterness engage the tongue and the palate, and encourage you to drink slowly despite the ease with which it goes down. The Big Eye IPA is a very nice take on the style that deserves recognition and consumption.
Year-round in 12oz, 22oz, & draft
Alc. by Vol.
From the Ballast Point web site: If you have fallen for the IPA style like we have, Big Eye will be a welcome addition to your repertoire. You’ll revel in Big Eye’s bitter, hoppy flavor thanks to the American Columbus and Centennial hops that are used to flavor and dry hop our flagship IPA.
We thank our hops every day that the English loved their bitters—or else the IPA style may not have been born to help the beer survive the journey from Cape Hope to India back in the 18th century.
Thank the lord they finally started serving craft beer at Sixers games because the Philadelphia 76’ers are almost unwatchable. The Donnybrook was a life savor and one of the best stouts we’ve had in a while. This craft beer isn’t trying to do too much. It’s just simply a Guinness with a little more flavor and bite. That’s it! Pure genius. If it’s one thing that Guinness lacks its definitely flavor and bite. Wait, that was two things. The Victory Donnybrook has strong notes of coffee with light notes of malt and is made with imported German 2 Row malts and roasted barley. 3.7% ABV
Victory Storm King Imperial Stout:
The pour is a thick loud slow sludge. The scent is a light imperial stout. The taste is bitter, heavy malts with notes of coffee. The sip has a mellow bite with a good finish and the aftertaste lingers. The malt is a slightly sweet on the finish with good dry hops. The Storm King is made with American Whole Flower Hops & Imported 2 Row Malts. 9.1% ABV
Boulder Brewing Mojo IPA:
The Mojo is pale in color and has a strong scent of flowery hops and bitter floral flavor. It’s a hop heavy but refreshing ale, perfect with a burger. The heavy floral flavor and subtle malls get sweet with a hint of citrus towards the finish and then sweeter as the beer flattens a bit. The Boulder Brewing Mojo IPA is made with Pale, Caramel and Wheat Malts with Amarillo and Centennial Hops. The Mojo is a classic IPA. 6.8% ABV
Stoudt’s Gold Lager:
Stoudt Gold is a Munich style Helle session beer. The Gold Lager has a scent of fruit with a dry bite and notes of fruit in the flavor. It’s a very light bodied, refreshing drinkable beer as a session beer should be. The Stoudt’s Gold Lager won five medals at the Great American Beer Festival and another medal at the world cup. This lager is made with Perle, Hallertau and Saaz hops with Two Row, Munich and Vienna mats. 4.7% ABV
For Subtleness; Bottle Aged for More than a Year by Sommelier Tom Pittakas
By Matt Goldstein
As Colorado continues to put itself on the map for craft beer, Avery Brewing of Boulder sets the standard. Brewing with Rocky Mountain water, Avery is known for their IPA, the Beast Belgian Grand Cru, Kaiser dopplebock, barrel aged Brabant, Out of Bounds Stout and others, the Maharaja might be their finest. With a very malty scent and light hoppy flavor, the sweet and chocolate notes of the Avery Maharaja set itself apart from other imperial Indian pale ales. Having a good bite but very smooth, the bottle aged Maharaja is much more subtle in hops than if it had been open fresh. Only slightly bitter with a little citrus, and a thick sweet aftertaste, the Aver Maharaja Imperial Indian Pale Ale is flat out one of the best Imperial IPA’s in the world!
10.3% ABV, Avery Brewing, Boulder CO
From the Avery Brewing Website:
Beer Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
Hop Variety: Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Chinook
Availability: Seasonally produced from March through August. 22oz. bombers, 1/6BBL and 1/2BBL kegs.
Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, – “great” and rajan – “king”. Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley – fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence.
Be aware that The Maharaja is a limited release only available for the summer. Welcome to his kingdom!