Eight regional craft beers advance at Quarantine Madness 2.0

Mark Urban, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.
·3 min read

Apr. 4—CADILLAC — Sixteen craft beers on the wall in the Northern Lower Peninsula are now eight after the first round of online voting in the Michigan Beer Drinker Quarantine Madness 2.0.

The second annual March Madness-style tournament to determine the best craft beer in the state has seen the 16 initial entries in the Northern Lower Peninsula bracket cut in half.

And just like its NCAA basketball counterpart, there were a few upsets in the first round of the region. The breweries were seeded in each of the regions by the number of Facebook likes.

In the Northern Lower Peninsula bracket, a pair of Traverse City breweries — No. 1 seed North Peak Brewing and No. 3 Workshop Brewing — failed to advance to the second round.

"Some of the underdogs had big showings and using social media, propelled themselves into Round 2, knocking out some of the heavyweights," said Michigan Beer Drinker owner Kim Gabara, who runs the contest.

Voting on Facebook for the second round in the Northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula bracket begins Monday. Voting is open for three days.

The 64 craft beers that began the contest are divided into four regions — Northern Lower Peninsula, Upper Peninsula, Southwestern Lower Peninsula and Southeastern Lower Peninsula.

Voting began March 21 at https://www.facebook.com/mibeerdrinker/ to determine the winning beer that advances in the single-elimination tournament. Gabara said online voting will take five weeks to complete.

In the second round in the Northern Lower Peninsula bracket, the breweries and beer matchup results are:

* Juniper Rye IPA from Earthen Ales in Traverse City vs. Psychedelic Cat Grass IPA from Short's Brewing Company in Bellaire/Elk Rapids

* GoodAle Donut Cream from Rolling Oak Brewing in Grayling vs. First Curve IPA from Ludington Bay Brewing Company

* 45'er IPA from Austin Brothers Beer Company in Alpena vs. Kayak Attack from Big Buck Brewing in Gaylord

* Copper Harbor Ale from Midland Brewing Company vs. Whiled Away IPA from Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort

In the first round, the breweries and beer matchup results were:

* Juniper Rye IPA defeated Tropical Diabolical IPA from North Peak Brewing Company in Traverse City

* Psychedelic Cat Grass American defeated Scoop Stout — Imperial/Double Milk from Five Shores Brewing in Beulah

* GoodAle Donut Cream defeated 20 Pound Sledge American IPA from The Workshop Brewing Company in Traverse City

* First Curve IPA defeated My Chest Hurts IPA from Snowbelt Brewing in Gaylord

* 45'er IPA defeated Pen Hopper IPA from MiddleCoast Brewing Company in Traverse City

* Kayak Attack defeated Hell's Half Mile from Tri-City Brewing Company in Bay City

* Copper Harbor Ale defeated I Fear No Beer Imperial IPA from Alcona Brew Haus in Harrisville

* Whiled Away IPA defeated Real Rock Lager from Stiggs Brewing Company in Boyne City

'Winners' are determined solely by voting on Facebook. Gabara said one of the smaller breweries to step up in the "socially-driven" contest was Rolling Oak Brewing in Grayling.

"They really kicked it in high gear, he said.

Gabara said there is no cost for breweries to participate. He said breweries market themselves to secure as many votes as possible to advance.

A late addition to Quarantine Madness 2.0 is a chance to win one of four Wall Mount Bottle Openers with magnetic cap catcher, one for each of the regions. Winners will be randomly drawn to win if they share the post, like it and include a picture from one of the breweries in that region in the comments.

In the inaugural 2020 contest, Tangelo Dream IPA from Ludington Bay Brewing Company won the Northern Lower region, but lost in the semifinals to Drift North IPA from Cold Iron Brewery in Ironwood.

Zephyros New England IPA from HomeGrown Brewing Company in Oxford won the Southeast Lower region before losing in the finals to Drift North.

Pontius Pilate New England IPA from Beer Church Brewing in New Buffalo won the Southwest Lower.