The Battle

Battle of the Beers

2002: Predictions

We truly admire those who were willing to go out on a limb and predict how the tournament would play out. Perhaps because we're not very good at it ourselves. For instance, when the pairings put Alaskan Smoked Porter against Coors Light in the first round we expected one of our favorite beers (remember, we get one vote, too) to make a quick exit. Well, Smoked Porter won by almost a 4-to-1 margin.

"The Saloon and the Pub brackets have several good beers. But I believe that the Hop 'Ottin and the Shakespeare Stout will advance. The Cafe and Tavern brackets are a more difficult call. Ommegang and New Glarus will probably duke-it-out in the Cafe bracket. While Eliot Ness should survive based solely on it's cool name."
- Matt Morris

"The SNPA vs Hop 'Ottin matchup in the first round is a beauty. Rasputin might be the dark (excuse dreadful pun) horse of the field, though."
- John Shepherd in Sydney, Australia

"I predict a HopDevil-Shakespeare Stout matchup (though I've never had MacTarnahan's) for the championship of 'The Pub.' New Glarus Wisconsin Cherry should sweep 'The Cafe' with relative ease."
- Aaron Lyon

"The Tavern is weak in the first round, then will get interesting. Fat Tire against Wisconsin Cherry should be the finals matchup NOT a first round matchup."
- Alan Asay

"God help me on March 5 if I'm forced to choose between Redhook ESB and Goose Island Honker's Ale! It's too early to make any kind of a prediction, but I see about 5 beers that could easily walk away with the title."
- Patrick Wilmot

"Those beers paired against the Coors Lights, Millers, etc. are essentially getting a bye, aren't they? Maybe not, maybe there's a 'Cinderella Beer' in there?"
- Dave Manley

"Fat Tire and Pabst all the way baby!!!!!"
- Matt Blom

"I expect all of the macrobrews to go down hard in the first round. GO Rogue Shakespeare."
- Robert Borsato

"All of these are good beers, even Coors Light (at least for a mass produced light beer), but Shakespeare Stout is the best stout, and maybe the best beer, in the whole world. It would only be right for the Rogue masterpiece to win."
- Unsigned in North Carolina

"Old Raspy has a good draw and should get to the finals only to lose to the Beast of the East, Dogfish Heads Raison D'etre (a beer with a lot of fight in it)."
- Jim Anderson

"For my predictions for the final four I have to go with Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada as the top seeds in the Saloon round; Victory HopDevil and Shakespeare Stout as the leaders in the Pub; The Cafe is nearly impossible to pick but I have to go with Ommegang (due to the fact that I used to work there); and in the Tavern I say there will be an upset and Eliot Ness will trounce the world favorite Budweiser. For the champion I'm going to go out on a limb and choose Ommegang, because of the recent reader's poll results and because of my obvious bias."
- Mark Loiacono

"The pub category is too strong! It reads like a wish list of my favorite beers. BridgePort vs Old Rasputin!?! Too close to call!"
- Eric Sawyer

"What a great tournament...March Beer Madness!!
"Tavern: Yuengling upsets Sam Adams. Cafe: Fat Tire over Ommegang. Semis: Yuengling upsets Fat Tire to make it to the finals.

"Saloon: Sierra Nevada over Full Sail. Pub: Victory Hop Devil upsets Shakespeare Stout. Semis: Sierra Nevada in OT over Victory Hop Devil.

"Final: Sierra Nevada over Yuengling!"
- Darren Proctor

"Bud. Go St Louis!!"
- Ryan McHenry

"Very hard to figure out a winner, for no other reason than many of the beers don't make it to every area of the country. So the winner will not necessarly be the best, but the most drank by the voters. Alaskan Smoked Porter should win, but look for a good showing by Anchor Steam."
- Steve Olsen

"I predict the final four to be: Great Lakes Eliot Ness, Ommegang, Rogue Shakespeare Stout, and Anchor Steam."
- Eric Parsons

"Yuengling Lager Takes it all, or at least it beats Pabst!"
- Anthony Rasicci

"Black Butte Porter or Rogue Shakespeare Stout these are what beer-life is all about!"
- Jody Hall

"Destined to be the most overlooked beer in the tourney? New Belgian Fat Tire. Perhaps the best amber in the world, this masterwork from the folks in Fort Collins should rightly make noise in the Cafe and beyond, but it may not even make it out of the first round due to a nightmare draw."
- Matt Nelson

Looking forward to April 2 when Yuengling Lager is crowned champion.
- Christper Nolte

"I getting in on this a little late, but my prediction for the final four is: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Sam Adams Boston Lager, and Widmer Hefe....with Rogue walking away with top honors.... In any case, may the the best beer win and the rest be drunk! Cheers"
- Andy Simons

"I likes this idea, goes along well with March Madness. My #1 pick is Elliot Ness."
- Devon Neujahr

"Sam Adams all the way!!!!"
- Mitch Hall

"Fat Tire #1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale #2"
- Jim Jones

"Ommegang. If their abbey ale doesn't win I demand a recount. Absolutely the best beer I have ever had."
- Chuck

"The Saloon: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The Pub: Rouge Shakespeare Stout. The Cafe: Fat Tire. The Tavern: Pabst. Winner: Fat Tire."
- Brad

"Alaskan Porter beats Bells Stout, New Glarus Cherry over Elliot Ness. Then the Porter beats the Cherry in the end."
- Jay Patel

"Budweiser 'The King of Beers' "
- Jon Blakley

"Will try to keep my head about me while waiting for Alaskan Smoked Porter to win!"
- Elvis in Cincinnati

"Out of the Saloon division I see a head on collision with Alaskan Smoked Porter and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The pale ale is a big market beer that is very well known, well distributed and well liked. The Smoked Porter is an excellent tasting beer with a lot of heart. This one just might come down to what style the voters like better. The Alaskan Smoked Porter is the beer that I feel will win the Saloon division."
- Chuck Ott

"This Hophead says it is going to come down to Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' vs Victory Hop Devil In the Saloon vs Tavern showdown. Who will win? It's to close to call. I think it will depend on the geographic location of your voters (and household income, Anderson Valley is over $10 a six pack here and Hop Devil $7.50). Rest assured I will drink to the winner!!!"
- Thomas Saunders

"The Saloon - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (in a close one). The Cafe - Pyramid Apricot. The Pub - Victory Hop Devil. The Tavern - Sam Adams Boston. The overall winner will be - VICTORY HOP DEVIL!"
- Paul Juster

"I think Alaskan Smoked goes up against Yuengling Lager in the final and wins by an incredibly flavorful backside."
- Anthony Caroll

"I predict Rogue Shakespeare Stout the winner. What a shame it has to compete so early against Victory Hop Devil ... now that should be the championship round!"
- Bill Goodman

"Alaskan takes the @ 11"
- Unsigned

"There are five beers in the group I haven't tasted. Final four should pit two darks on one side (Shakespeare vs. Smoked Porter), and a Belgian (Fat Tire) vs. a common (Pete's or Sam's). Anchor Steam may prove to be the Duke of the bunch."
- Dan Cole

"Saloon winner - Deschutes Black Butte Porter. Pub winner - Bridgeport IPA. Cafe winner - Hair of the Dog Adam. Tavern winner - Gordon Biersch Märzen. Grand Champion - Hair of the Dog Adam."
- Kevin Axt

"Since there's no office pool this year, this tourney is a godsend. My final four: Anchor, Rogue, Ommegang, Great Lakes. Who'll win? Who cares - there really is no 'loser' in that bunch."
- Mike Donovan

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Great places
to try these beers

Monk's Cafe
263 S. 16th St.
Philadelphia, PA

Falling Rock
1919 Blake
Denver, CO.

547 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA.

Cafe Saint-Ex
1847 14th st NW
Washington, DC