The ‘elite eight’ brews have emerged from our annual Beer Madness competition, which has been marked by decisive victories and relatively
few close calls. Our panel of judges seems to be in agreement on the superior beers so far, with only four 5-4 splits in the first round and two in the second.
But while judges appear to be on the same page with their picks, readers have disagreed with a few of the panel’s decisions.
In the first two rounds, readers voted against Maui Coconut Porter, selecting both Lucky 7 (in Round 1) and Allagash Black (Round 2) over the porter. Sierra Nevada Stout has suffered the same fate. Despite six votes from the panel in the first round, the Sierra Nevada product lost to Schlafly Oatmeal Stout among readers.
The most jarring discrepancies between readers and judges have come over a trio of beers: Three Philosophers, Bell’s Lager and Eliot Ness Amber.
In the first round, Bell’s Lager crushed Fordham Helles Lager, 1329-786 in online voting, despite losing in the judges’ final tally. Three Philosophers likewise dominated Siamese Twin, 1190-344, but couldn’t convince the judges to pick it over the lemon grass-flavored Siamese Twin.
In the second round, Eliot Ness triumphed over Fordham among online voters without advancing to the final eight among judges.
Have you agreed with our panel’s verdicts? Tell us in the comments below and cast your vote for the ultimate brew in our interactive bracket.
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