Sorry, Stone. Apologies, Allagash. This year’s Washington Post Beer Madness is limited to local breweries. And that’s a reason to celebrate.
The annual blind-tasting bracket of amazing brews features 32 breweries from D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania, which will fight through four “regions” – Hops, Crisp, Malt and Fruit/Spice – until one is named the champion. Last year’s victor, Flying Dog’s Double Dog Double IPA, is taking a deserved rest and won’t defend its crown.
As always, the Post’s Food section put together a panel of judges composed of readers and industry experts. But this year, we want you to sample the beers in person, and then vote for your favorites. From Friday through Sunday, Meridian Pint will put all 16 beers in the Crisp and Malt categories on tap, serving them in four-ounce tasters as well as full pours of 12 to 16 ounces. On Monday, the 16 beers from the Hops and Fruit/Spice categories will replace them, and will remain there through Wednesday.
On March 27, once the Food section has unveiled the judges’ Sweet 16, Meridian Pint will start offering free side-by-side tastes of each matchup. You can try one-ounce pours of the two beers, and then vote for your favorite on a ballot. (Don’t forget to give it back to your bartender.) This voting and tasting will continue every week until only one beer is left standing.