The Battle

Battle of the Beers

2002: Rumbling in The Pub

Here's what some readers had to say about competition in the Pub Bracket:

"Having just heard about your contest, I write from Rome Italy to add my voice to those who love Honkers Ale, from Goose Island Brewery. I always look forward to visiting Chicago, because I know that is where I can find this great brew."

"I cannot believe that Goose Island lost! I thought it was a final four contender. Oh this is cruel, cruel! I think what it really means is that I will have to try that HopDevil, if it is voted better than GI."
- Ken Bugajski

"If anyone of the competing beers is better than Shakespeare Stout, it must be one hell of a beer, and I would love to try it!"
- Unsigned

"Shakespeare ... truly the nectar of the gods. It brings the Rogue out in me, and has swayed me away from the balsy Russian Imperial from San Diego's Stone Brewery. Rogue over Arrogance this day ... The McT is a nice player off the bench but not ready to play with the big boys in my opinion."
- Steve, Inglewood Ca

"HopDevil is, in my opinion, a strong favorite to run away with it all - if you have never tried it, and enjoy IPA's, HopDevil is a must drink beer! It has dominated my refrigerator at home for several months now - and I typically never buy the same case more than twice in a row - but the HopDevil is just that special! ummmmmmm... beer!"
- Unsigned

"I have a feeling it may come down to Bell's Vs Rogue. Unfortunately I don't think Bell's has the distribution and broad exposure that Rogue has enjoyed. I pray for Bell's, it is truly worthy of challenging Alaskan Smoked Porter."
- Jay Patel

On Old Rasputin vs. BridgePort IPA

"Tough choice. At the moment of voting it was Bridgeport IPA, tonight it might have been the Stout. 7 out of 10 coins came up head so..."
- Mitch Adelson

On Bell's Expediton Stout vs. Victory HopDevil IPA

"What a choice! I voted for Bell's because it is the most intense beer that I have ever drank. Hop Devil is a very fine IPA, but top-notch IPA's are fairly common anymore in the USA. Expedition Stout is truly in a class by itself and deserves a win."
- Maurice Hufnagel

"Hop Devil vs. Expedition Stout! Mommy, make it stop! Neither deserves a loss..."
- Andy Redline

"I've never met a Bell's I didn't love."
- Deanna P. Denk

On Shakespeare Stout vs. BridgePort IPA

"Great idea I've enjoyed your concept from the beginning, I was however skeptical of the geographics and how well dispersed nationally a regional would fare. Well I'm proud to say there are alot of damm smart beer experts out there. Rouge Shakespeare Stout (certainly one of the best of the best) vs Bridgeport IPA (the very best commercial IPA I've tried) is more a factor of style prefrence and distribution network. Clearly the American Pale Ale Style is a United States favorite but Rouge is to be commended on not just a great beer but getting it to places that never heard of Newport Oregon. But then again since we are supposed to be judging best beer without concern for anything but best beer my vote goes to Bridgeport IPA, hop heads rule!"
- Wesley Powell

"Ouch! Talk about torn! I love both of these beers, and am so proud as a Native Oregonian that they are both contenders. I must, however, go with Rogue, because I'm a dark man (and Irish as well). Now if the Bridgeport brew would have been Bridgeport Porter..."
- Slainte, Chris Schodrow

"What an agonizing choice - these are literally my two favorite beers! I'm dying here!"
- Jeff, Portland, Ore.

"You just can't compare two of the most delicious and completely opposite beers on the planet!! Please don't force me to make a decision like that again!
" - Joe Klink

On Shakespeare Stout vs. HopDevil IPA

"Oh, what a wonderful dilemma! Let's see: IPA for those summer evenings with sweet barbecue. Rogue stout on a winter evening with a nice hearty soup. Can I vote twice?"
- Jessica Chaiken

"One's a bombastically roasted yet perfectly balanced Stout and the other's a kick-you-in-the-face with super flavorful hops yet balanced with rich malts IPA. Jumpin Jiminy! I give up. My voting is done...and my head is aching."
- Loren Verkovod

"I can't believe I am voting against Shakespeare Stout. HopDevil is the only beer in the world that warrants it!"
- Mingo Reynolds

"I picked Shakespeare Stout to go all the way in my office pool. C'mon Rogue, baby needs a new pair of shoes!"
- Jon Woodman

"Blonde vs. Brunette? Pam Anderson vs. Selma Hayak? If I am on a desert island with either one I will stay there and die a happy man."
- Ron Puntil

"So tough to choose between two such great and different beers. A hop lover's delight on one hand and one of the finest stouts ever brewed on the other. Which would I rather drink? Depends on the time of day, season of the year, alignment of the stars, game on the tv. IPA's make for better everyday drinking than complex stouts, so to Victory goes my vote. It is, alas, a vote for style as much as substance."
- Scott Hercher

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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