2017 Maine Madness Beer Tournament Beer List

mainebeermadness_brackets1Here is the list of beers for the 4th Annual Maine Madness Beer Tournament. We put a lot of thought and discussion into the beers included below. This is not a task we take lightly. There are many solid beers that didn’t make it into the tournament, and don’t think it didn’t break our beer-loving hearts to make those tough choices. But there are only 64 slots in the tournament, and with over 80 breweries in Maine, there were bound to be good beers cut. It just shows the embarrassment of riches in Maine’s brewing scene.

epiphanyYou’ll notice that MITA from Rising Tide isn’t on the list, as it was retired from the tournament two years ago. We have a rule that when a beer wins the tournament twice, it becomes Champion Emeritus. That means that if last year’s champion, the luscious Epiphany from Foundation, wins again, it will join MITA with its esteemed title.

THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS. We are picking the match-ups tomorrow on our Selection Sunday, so if you believe we’ve made an abominable oversight, please leave a comment below. Make a good case for a beer, and there’s a good chance we’ll work it in. Though, remember, if we add a beer, we’ll have to remove another one. It’s a tricky business.

To Drink ME is to Love ME!

  1. 20 Gauge IPA // Marsh Island Brewing
  2. Allagash White // Allagash Brewing
  3. Apostrophe IPA // SoMe Brewing
  4. The Big Aristotle DIPA // Orono Brewing Company
  5. Blackfly Stout // Gritty’s Brewing
  6. Blushing Star Barreled Aged Lager // Liquid Riot Bottling
  7. Brett Loves Hops // Austin Street Brewing
  8. Brightside IPA // Lone Pine Brewing
  9. Cant Dog DIPA // Marshall Wharf Brewing
  10. Coal Porter // Atlantic Brewing
  11. Crossfade Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale // Oxbow Brewing
  12. Curieux Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels // Allagash Brewing
  13. Cutter DIPA // Rising Tide Brewing
  14. Daikaiju DIPA // Banded Horn Brewing
  15. Daymark Ale // Rising Tide Brewing
  16. Dexter ‘Rippa’ Red IPA // Boothbay Craft Brewery
  17. Dinner DIPA // Maine Beer Company
  18. Dirigo Lager // Dirigo Brewing
  19. Epiphany Maine IPA // Foundation Brewing (2016 Champion)
  20. Farmhouse Pale Ale // Oxbow Brewing
  21. Frye’s Leap IPA // Sebago Brewing Company
  22. G-String Pale Ale // Funky Bow Brewing
  23. Gneiss Weiss // Gneiss Brewing
  24. Goldilox DIPA // SoMe Brewing
  25. Gunner’s Daughter Peanut Butter Stout // Mast Landing
  26. Hampshire Special Ale // Geary’s Brewing
  27. Headstash IPA // Liquid Riot Brewing
  28. Hoppy Table Beer // Allagash Brewing
  29. Jamaican Stout // Sunday River Brewing
  30. The Juice IPA // Peak Organic Beer
  31. Lemonless Lemonade IPA // Foulmouthed Brewing
  32. Lunch IPA // Maine Beer Company
  33. Lygonia IPA // Fore River Brewing
  34. Machine Czech Pils // Bunker Brewing
  35. Neverender DIPA // Austin Street Brewing
  36. Mott the Lesser Russian Imperial Stout // Tributary Brewing
  37. Mr. Grumpypants Oatmeal Stout // Norway Brewing
  38. Ozone IPA // Orono Brewing
  39. Pale Ale // Tributary Brewing
  40. Paper Planes // Barreled Souls Brewing
  41. Patina Pale // Austin Street Brewing
  42. Peeper Ale // Maine Beer Company
  43. Pemaquid Oyster Stout // Marshall Wharf Brewing
  44. Pepperell Pilsener // Banded Horn Brewing
  45. Pisces Gose // Rising Tide Brewing
  46. Portland Pale Ale // Lone Pine Brewing
  47. Pulp Truck IPA // Marsh Island Brewing
  48. Pumpkinhead // Shipyard Brewing
  49. Quadricentennial Pale Ale // Monhegan Brewing
  50. Riverton Flyer Pilsner // Foundation Brewing
  51. Saccarappa IPA // Mast Landing Brewing
  52. Salad Daze IPL // Bunker Brewing
  53. Simmer Down Session Ale // Sebago Brewing Company
  54. Smiling Irish Bastard Ale // Geaghan Brothers Brewing
  55. Space Gose // Barreled Souls Brewing
  56. Stowaway IPA // Baxter Brewing Company
  57. Substance IPA // Bissell Brothers
  58. Super Fresh DIPL // Peak Organic Beer
  59. Swish DIPA // Bissell Brothers
  60. Tropical Storm Sour Wheat Beer // Liquid Riot Brewing
  61. Tumbledown Red // Tumbledown Brewing
  62. West Coast Pilz // Mason’s Brewing
  63. Whistle Punk DIPA // Sebago Brewing
  64. Whoopie Pie Porter // Friars’ Brewhouse
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2016 Maine Madness Beer Tournament Beer List

mainebeermadness_brackets1Here is the official list of the beers for the 3rd Annual Maine Madness tournament. Much discussion goes into crafting this list of Maine beers. We tried to include brews that are brilliantly crafted, available to try during the tournament, and/or popular in Maine and New England. It’s a tough job, and we had to make some difficult choices to leave beers off the list that we love.

You will notice that Rising Tide’s Maine Island Trail Ale is not on this list. After its second victory, MITA has been retired from the competition and now holds the distinction of Maine Madness Champion Emeritus. (All champions will be retired after garnering a second championship.)

We encourage you to give feedback if you feel we have made any egregious oversights in beers that were left off this list. Please make comments below and we’ll try to accommodate your suggestions.

Once the list is set, the match-ups will be chosen at random this Sunday at Rising Tide Brewing Company.

Cheers!

  1. 20 Gauge IPA // Marsh Island Brewing
  2. Allagash Black // Allagash Brewing
  3. Allagash White // Allagash Brewing
  4. Allagash Saison // Allagash Brewing
  5. Baby Genius // Bissell Brothers
  6. Blackfly Stout // Gritty’s Brewing
  7. Blueberry Ale // Sea Dog Brewing
  8. Brett Loves Hops // Austin Street Brewing
  9. Burnside Brown Ale // Foundation Brewing
  10. Cadillac Mountain Stout // Bar Harbor Brewing
  11. Cant Dog // Marshall Wharf Brewing
  12. Calcutta Cutter // Rising Tide Brewing
  13. Coal Porter // Atlantic Brewing
  14. Crystal Persuasion // SoMe Brewing
  15. Curieux // Allagash Brewing
  16. Cypher IPL // Bunker Brewing
  17. Daikaiju IPA // Banded Horn Brewing
  18. Daymark Ale // Rising Tide Brewing
  19. Dexter ‘Rippa’ Red IPA // Boothbay Craft Brewery
  20. Dinner // Maine Beer Company
  21. Epiphany Maine IPA // Foundation Brewing
  22. Export Ale // Shipyard Brewing
  23. Farmhouse Pale Ale // Oxbow Brewing
  24. Fresh Cut // Peak Organic Brewing
  25. Frye’s Leap // Sebago Brewing Company
  26. Grizacca // Oxbow Brewing
  27. G-String Pale Ale // Funky Bow Brewing
  28. Hampshire Special Ale // Geary’s Brewing
  29. Headstash IPA // Liquid Riot Brewing
  30. Jailbreak Chocolate Chili Stout // Bigelow Brewing
  31. Jali Apricot Jalapeno Ale // Hidden Cove Brewing
  32. Jamaican Stout // Sunday River Brewing
  33. Lunch IPA // Maine Beer Company
  34. Machine Gun Czech Pils // Bunker Brewing
  35. Midnight Special Porter // Funky Bow Brewing
  36. Mo Pale Ale // Maine Beer Company
  37. Mockingfish Gose // Rising Tide Brewing
  38. Mott the Lesser Russian Imperial Stout // Tributary Brewing
  39. Norweald Stout // Banded Horn Brewing
  40. Ozone IPA // Orono Brewing
  41. Pale Ale // Geary’s Brewing
  42. Pale Ale // Tributary Brewing
  43. Pamola Xtra Pale Ale // Baxter Brewing Company
  44. Paper Planes // Barreled Souls Brewing
  45. Patina Pale // Austin Street Brewing
  46. Patroon IPA // Hidden Cove Brewing
  47. Peeper Ale // Maine Beer Company
  48. Pemaquid Oyster Stout // Marshall Wharf Brewing
  49. Pepperell Pilsener // Banded Horn Brewing
  50. Phantom Punch Stout // Baxter Brewing Company
  51. Primus Belgian Table Beer // Liquid Riot Brewing
  52. Pumpkinhead // Shipyard Brewing
  53. Quadricentennial Pale Ale // Monhegan Brewing
  54. Simmer Down // Sebago Brewing Company
  55. Smiling Irish Bastard // Geaghan Brothers Brewing
  56. Space Gose // Barreled Souls Brewing
  57. Stowaway IPA // Baxter Brewing Company
  58. Substance // Bissell Brothers
  59. Super Fresh // Peak Organic Brewing
  60. Swish // Bissell Brothers
  61. Tectonic Tomahawk White IPA // Gneiss Brewing Company
  62. Wanderlust // Foundation Brewing
  63. Window Seat Porter // Baxter Brewing Company
  64. Whoopie Pie Porter // Friars’ Brewhouse

Official 2015 Maine Madness Beer Tournament Bracket

Official 2015 Maine Madness Beer Tournament BracketWe present to you the official 2015 Maine Madness Beer Tournament Bracket. Click on the document to get a better look at the match-ups. It’s clear that the early rounds are going to be tight with some amazing brews in head to head battles early on.

Remember, the purpose of this tournament is to celebrate Maine beer. We’re Jali Beer 2 Hidden Covelucky to live in such a fecund beer mecca. Go out and find the beers on this list you’ve never tried and toss ’em back. Support old favorites and seek out new beer companions.

Voting begins a week from today on March 26th through MaineToday.com. Like Maine Madness Beer Tournament on Facebook to get the updated voting links. Until then, print out the bracket, digest the match-ups, make your picks, and drink Maine beer!

Cheers!

The Official List of Beers for the Maine Madness Beer Tournament

Rising Tide Maine Island Trail AleWe are so happy to announce the participants in the 2015 Maine Madness Beer Tournament. What we’d like to ask of you is that you peruse this list and see if there are any Maine beers you dearly love that are not on this list. We are going to finalize the list in the next day and this weekend we will have “Selection Sunday” when we randomly choose our head-to-head match-ups for the first round. Last year we divided the bracket into categories, but we felt that it would be most democratic to randomly pick the match-ups.

This tournament is a celebration of the glorious Maine beer landscape. If you see a beer on this list you’re unfamiliar with, track it down and toss it down your grocery hole! Our motto at the Maine Madness Beer Tournament is: To Drink ME is to Love ME.

The 2015 List (in Alphabetical Order)

Ace Hole Pale Ale // Marshall Wharf Brewing

Allagash Black // Allagash Brewing

Allagash White // Allagash Brewing

Bissell Brothers Brewing CompanyAngels With Filthy Souls // Bissell Brothers

Baby Genius // Bissell Brothers

Blackfly Stout // Gritty’s Brewing

Blueberry Ale // Sea Dog Brewing

Bonfire Rye // Sebago Brewing

Brett Loves Hops // Austin Street Brewing

Burnside // Foundation Brewing

Cant Dog // Marshall Wharf Brewing

Calcutta Cutter // Rising Tide Brewing

Coal Porter // Atlantic Brewing

Coolship Resurgam // Allagash Brewing

Crystal Persuasion // SoMe Brewing

BunkerCurieux // Allagash Brewing (2014 Runner Up)

Daymark // Rising Tide Brewing

Dinner // Maine Beer Company

Eddy // Foundation Brewing

Epiphany // Foundation Brewing

Export Ale // Shipyard Brewing

Farmhouse Pale Ale // Oxbow Brewing

Fresh Cut // Peak Organic Brewing

IMG_20130816_121823Frye’s Leap // Sebago Brewing Company

Grizacca // Oxbow Brewing

G-String // Funky Bow Brewing

Halloween Ale // Gritty’s Brewing

Hop Swap // Sebago Brewing Company

HSA // Geary’s Brewing

King Titus // Maine Beer Company

Lobster Ale // Belfast Brewing

London Porter // Geary’s Brewing

Lunch // Maine Beer Company

Machine Gun Czech // Bunker Brewing

Maine Island Trail Ale // Rising Tide Brewing (2014 Tournament Winner!)

McGovern’s Oatmeal Stout // Belfast Brewing

Mean Old Tom // Maine Beer Company

MBC Leaning LunchMo Pale Ale // Maine Beer Company

Norweald Stout // Banded Horn Brewing

Pale Ale // Geary’s Brewing

Pale Ale // Peak Organic Brewing

Pale Ale // Tributary Brewing

Pamola Xtra Pale Ale // Baxter Brewing Company

Paper Planes // Barreled Souls Brewing

Patina Pale // Austin Street Brewing

Peeper Ale // Maine Beer Company

Pemaquid Oyster Stout // Marshall Wharf Brewing

Pepperell Pilsener // Banded Horn Brewing

Phantom Punch Stout // Baxter Brewing Company

Pumpkinhead // Shipyard Brewing

Real Ale // Atlantic Brewing

Salad Daze IPL // Bunker Brewing

Sea Belt Scotch Ale // Marshall Wharf Brewing

Simmer Down // Sebago Brewing Company

So Folkin’ Hoppy // Funky Bow Brewing

Stowaway IPA // Baxter Brewing Company

Summer Ale // Geary’s Brewing

Summer Ale // Shipyard Brewing

rising-tide-ursa-minorSubstance // Bissell Brothers

Swish // Bissell Brothers

Ursa Minor // Rising Tide Brewing

Veridian IPA // Banded Horn Brewing

Wanderlust // Foundation Brewing

Whoopie Pie Stout // SoMe Brewing

Final Results and Analysis of the Maine Madness Beer Tournament

Rising Tide Maine Island Trail AleTwo weeks, 64 beers, and 1,524 votes later, we have our 2014 Maine Madness Beer Tournament Champion: Rising Tide Maine Island Trail Ale.  MITA received 76% of yesterday’s vote, giving it a landslide victory over Allagash Curieux, a mighty, mighty opponent.  Rising Tide fans got out the vote and made it happen for this tasty, summertime offering.  Congratulations, Rising Tide.  You had a great tournament with three spots in the Elite Eight, and knocking off tournament favorite Maine Beer Company Lunch in the Final Four.

Before launching into analysis of this year’s tournament and thoughts for next year’s bracket, let’s spotlight the championship beer.

Maine Island Trail Ale is an American Ale brimming with malt and hop character.  At 4.3% abv, I initially thought this beer would be a light-weight brew.  Au contraire, MITA is brewed with Citra and Simcoe hops.  The hop flavor is ever-present and crisp.  They focus mainly on flavoring and aroma hops, making this beer drinkable for almost everyone since it doesn’t have a smack-you-in-the-face bitter finish that lingers on the back of your tongue for days.  Hop Heads love MITA because of the citrus intensity of the Citra and Simcoe hops, and all the non-Hop Heads love it because it’s a refreshing, well-balanced beer.

MITA copyAnd there it is.  Maybe that’s why this beer made it past Lunch and Curieux, two of Maine’s best beers.  It’s a world-class beer that doesn’t get backed into a corner by being a niche beer.  It’s brilliantly crafted and accessible, like a great Beatles’ album or a Steve Jobs designed Apple product.

Here’s the best news, this picture from Rising Tide’s Facebook page shows them receiving their Summer supply of cans.  That means that we will be able to drink the Maine Madness Beer Tournament Champion soon.  Very soon.  Look for it in May.  Hopefully early May.

This tournament started as something my friends and I thought would just be voted on by us.  Quickly, it became clear that people wanted in on the action.  More than anything else, I take that as a sign that people are passionate about Maine beer.  It simply reinforced what I already believed: this state has a world-class beer scene, and it’s just getting better with each new brewery.

A huge thanks goes out to Maine.Eater.com who hosted the Final Four and the Championship, allowing us to collect more votes and reach a larger voting audience.  They are a great publication.  Go to the for Maine food and drink news.

I’ve heard people’s feedback about the tournament, and there will be some changes next year.  First, we’re thinking of supplanting the Seasonal category for a Belgium category where we can put farmhouse ales, saisons, tripels, sours, lambics, and Belgium whites.  There are enough Belgium beers and super fans in Maine to inspire this change.  We received some well-deserved flack for leaving Oxbow out of the tournament, so expect a good showing from this brewery next year.

In one year, we also expect the Maine beer scene to be richer with more breweries opening and new beers appearing from established breweries.  This will make next year’s bracket look vastly different from the bracket we brought you this year.

Thank you to all the Maine beer fanatics who engaged in this process of voting and trying new beer.  And the biggest thanks is due to the brewers who labor over their beers to get the final product just right for our palates.  Without you, there would be no tournament, and no Maine beer happiness in our lives.

See you next year.

And remember: To Drink ME is to Love ME!

Cheers!

Results and Analysis of the Final Four

This tournament has been a whirlwind ever since voting started two weeks ago in the Round of 64.  If Warren Buffet offered a billion dollars to anyone who could pick a perfect bracket in the Maine Madness Beer Tournament, I have a feeling that he wouldn’t have to pay up in our tournament either.

Rising Tide Maine Island Trail AleIf you voted in the Final Four round, then you saw the close races between these monster Maine beers.  Maine Beer Company Lunch and Rising Tide Maine Island Trail Ale were in a tight battle all day until Rising Tide fans united to take down MBC’s delicious IPA.  We got messages from more than one voter stunned by the sizable victory Maine Island Trail Ale had mounted.  But the people have spoken, and Rising Tide’s seasonal Ale is now in the Finals.

The Maine Beer Company Peeper and Allagash Curieux match-up was a clash of two Maine beer titans that never got further away than a handful of votes.  Allagash’s bourbon barrel aged strong ale held a slight lead all day, and though Peeper made a couple good runs at it, the Curieux never relinquished the number one spot.  Curieux has proven over and over during this tournament that it is a force to be reckon with.

Allagash Barrels 2We are ecstatic for today’s championship match between two beautiful brews.  Thanks to everyone who participated in this tournament by voting and drinking Maine beer.  Maine is a great state, and this tournament helps to illustrate that truth.

Good luck voting today!  Remember: To Drink ME Is To Love ME!

Results and Analysis of the Elite Eight

Elite Eight AlesSomeone commented after yesterday’s Elite Eight round that they felt like a traitor voting against any of the remaining beers.  But voters steeled themselves and made the hard choices, and we have our Final Four Lineup:

Maine Beer Company Peeper (2) vs. Allagash Curieux (9)

Maine Beer Company Lunch (1) vs. Rising Tide Brewing Maine Island Trail Ale (1)

Good luck parsing out your loyalties between these monster brews!

(Click here to view full bracket.)

In a breakdown of yesterday’s match-ups, Bissell Brothers The Substance gave a mighty fight against Lunch.  Though the Brothers Bissell have only been open for a few months now, they have overtaken Maine with their well-balanced American Ale.  Kudos to them for being aggressive getting The Substance on a number of taps in Portland, making a buzz by doing a limited run of cans, and zeroing in on one beer and killing it.  I have a feeling they will be a denizen of the Maine Madness Beer Tournament for years to come.

The Daymark/Peeper showdown was another brew battle that was fun to watch in real time.  Peeper took an early lead that it never relinquished, but Daymark kept getting within a few votes, close enough to brush the crisp hops of Peeper.  But, alas, Peeper was too dominate among voters.  Rising Tide still has Maine Island Trail Ale in the competition, and they should be proud, having the most brews in the Elite Eight.

Elite Eight DarksTime to admit a mistake.  Making Allagash Curieux a 9 seed was a colossal oversight.  This beer has been a juggernaut in the tournament and deserved a much higher seed from us here at MMBT.  However, despite our ranking snafu, Curiuex has barreled its way into today’s Final Four.  Next year, Curieux, expect a higher ranking!

Thanks for making this tournament such a beautiful celebration of Maine beer.  Here’s our new slogan (so new it still has that new slogan smell): To Drink ME Is To Love ME.

Cheers!