Cheap-Ass Regional Beers Bracketpalooza: The Elite 8

Cheap-Ass Regional Beers Bracketpalooza: The Elite 8

July 25, 2016 / by , / 0 Comment

After a brutal round of 16, we’re down to 8 remaining beers competing to represent their region as the best affordable, local beer you can find in America.

It’s been a great competition so far, and will only get harder now that the real proper shit beer has been separated from the chaff. After two rounds, here’s what our bracket looks like:

The third round matchups of our bracket to determine the best cheap, local beer in America.

And now, it’s on to the Elite 8! We’ve got analysis of each of the last week’s matchups as well as this week’s Elite 8 matchups below, but if you don’t have time for that, feel free to get started with the voting HERE:

EAST DIVISION

Round 2 Results

#1 Yuengling defeats #4 Genesee

This match-up — seemingly a breeze for Yuengling at the outset — turned out to be something of a barnburner. In fact, it was in many ways a microcosm for the 2016 Democratic primary.

Think about it: a much-maligned East Coast mainstay was expected to take the title in spite of many, many visible faults, but was almost dethroned by an underdog New York product with a huge grassroots following. The only thing missing was a bunch of obnoxious liberal arts majors filling up your newsfeed with strident praises of Genny Cream, and Yuengling being questioned for 11 hours by the House Select Committee on Three-Mile Island.

Here’s what you said:

“Yuengling is like the William & Mary of beers. It thinks everyone respects the fact that it’s old as shit, when in reality, nobody gives a fuck how old it is, because it’s trash. Sure, Yuengling is a really good beer to have when I’ve just fucking given up on everything, which is admittedly fairly often. But Genesee Cream? That’s something special. It’s like a special treat for yourself, but one that you don’t have to feel like you’ve earned.”

“It’s like picking between Donald Trump’s hair and Donald Trump’s hairy asshole.”

“Makes open mic nights more tolerable”

#3 Natty Boh defeats #2 Narragansett

These two beers are comparable in many ways — both being particularly hyper-regional beers taht rarely consumed outside of their own small market — and you all seemed to agree, giving the W to Natty Boh by only a slim margin.

What is it that made the difference? Nobody knows. Perhaps it’s the slight advantage Baltimore has over Providence in being identified with cheap-ass things. Perhaps it’s the fact that “Boh,” in some strange way one can’t quite explain, feels like an onomatopoeia. Or perhaps it’s just the fact that Natty Boh’s mascot is almost impossible to describe in a way that wouldn’t also describe a penis.

For a bit more insight, here’s what you said:

“Somehow, Natty Boh tells the whole history of Baltimore in each sip. It has the distinct character of the birth of our national anthem. It boasts the consistent mundaneness of Cal Ripken Jr’s personality and the proud mediocrity of Joe Flacco’s career. It fills you with the heinousness of being an accomplice to two murders, but the local pride to feel that you still deserve to be immortalized in a statue outside M&T Bank Stadium.”

“Neither, but sometimes when your eyes are closed and your finger is out, it hits Gansett.”

Elite 8 Matchup: #1 Yuengling vs. #3 Natty Boh

Who should represent the East? Vote HERE.

WEST DIVISION

Round 2 Results

#1 Coors Banquet defeats #4 Rainier

I doubt anyone actually thought Rainier stood a chance against The Taste of the Rockies. But if there are any of you who did? Wow, you guys were fucking wrong.

Coors Banquet manhandled its Pacific foe with the iciness of a snowy mountain brook, the unstoppable momentum of a Silver Bullet Party Train inexplicably barreling through the mountains, and the deep power of Sam Elliott’s vocal range. Rainier didn’t even put up a fight. You could say that the whole affair, on the part of Coors Banquet, was…*takes off glasses*…frost-rude.

Okay, I’ll show myself out now. Here’s what you said:

“Coors’ character and branding has captured the optimism of the American spirit for decades. It’s like manifest destiny in a fucking can.”

“Since the Russians will rule the world one day anyway, here we go.”

“The choice of my alcoholic uncles every GADAMN night. And the reasons for their mother’s tears thereafter.”

#3 Hamm’s defeats #2 Grain Belt

In a bracket that looks to be preferencing cheap-ass regional beers who have experienced some nominal levels of success outside their region, Hamm’s continues to stand out as a purist: A preposterously shitty beer available exclusively in a regional market, and a trash beer for the trash beer lover. As a product, it really is wildly shitty. And yet, when it’s in the dead of summer and you need to binge-drink in a rural Midwestern barn, it will never, ever fail you.

Here’s what you said:

“What I love about Hamm’s is that there is literally nothing good about it. No distinguishing characteristics. Nothing colorful about its packaging or branding. Its value proposition is literally, “We’re cheap as fuck, and you’re an alcoholic. Let’s do this.” It is the quintessential shit beer.”

“MINNESOTA HYPE TRAIN CAN’T BE STOPPED!!!1!!!!” ed. note Every NFL playoffs in the history of ever begs to differ.

Elite 8 Matchup: #1 Coors Banquet vs. #3 Hamm’s

Who should represent the majestic West? Vote HERE.

UPPER MIDWEST DIVISION

Round 2 Results

#1 PBR defeats #4 Old Milwaukee

This might just sum things up better than anything we can write:

Here’s what you said:


“This is just unfair. Would it be more hipster to choose OM?”

“It has already won one blue ribbon! How many blue ribbons has Old Milwaukee won?!?”

“Because I’m a dirty, dirty hipster from five years ago.”

#2 Schlitz defeats #3 Point

Schlitz is quickly becoming the dark horse candidate to emerge from the Wisconsin battle ground of the Upper Midwest Division. Which makes sense — is there a shittier, cheaper, or crappier beer that can be legally manufactured, sold, and consumed in the United States?

And, when it comes down to it, how can you ever hope to compete with this:

Here’s what you said:

“B/C a 30 can suitcase of Schlitz for $5.99 was better than a case of not quite clean returnable bottles of Point.”

“Schlitz is on Point (get it, GET IT!)”

“As John Cleese might say, it tastes of nearly frozen gnat’s urine.”

Elite 8 Matchup: #1 PBR vs. #2 Schlitz

Who should represent the clogged arteries of the Upper Midwest? Vote HERE.

LOWER MIDWEST DIVISION

Round 2 Results

#1 Rolling Rock defeats #4 Hudepohl

Look, Hudepohl never really stood a chance here. Not only is it unknown outside of its small market (Cincinnati), it also has the misfortune of hailing from a city that refuses to acknowledge the overwhelming body of evidence pointing to the shortcomings of their local products (see: Cincinnati Bengals, Pete Rose, Skyline Chili). Rolling Rock, however, is known far and wide across the flyover states (for better or worse), giving it the bump into the quarterfinal round.

Here’s what you said:

“Are we pretending it’s a coincidence that Rolling Rock comes from the same state whose senator lent his surname to “a frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex”? Spoiler alert: Rolling Rock is Santorum.”

And the greatest of all responses:

“Completely nostalgic and anecdotal answer, but one hot, humid DC-summer day when I was nine or ten, my dad came in from working in the yard super hot, super sweaty, and super tired. I was in the kitchen, and he reached into the fridge, pulled out a bottle of Rolling Rock and straight chugged it right then and there with the fridge open. When he was done, he let out a commercial-worthy, post-drink, satisfied “Aaahh,” turned to me and said, “Son, there is *nothing* like a cold beer on a fucking hot day.” Fast forward about a decade, I’m living in New Orleans – about the only place hotter and more humid than DC – and I get back from a run (don’t ask me why I decided to go on a run in August in New Orleans…I don’t know), open the fridge, and the only thing in it is an ice cold Rolling Rock long neck. I chugged it right there with the fridge open, instantly transported back to that hot, humid DC-summer day. And I finally – and fully – understood what my dad was talking about. *That’s* why Rolling Rock will always be the better (cheap) beer (to me).”

#3 Old Style defeats #2 Lone Star

In the most competitive matchup of the second round, something mostly associated with the Cubs somehow emerged victorious. Both beers are iconic representations of two proud geographic areas (Texas vs. Chicago), and both remain surprisingly drinkable while maintaining their affordability. In the end it was sad to see one of the beers leave the bracket, although our livers will cherish both of them in loving memory.

Here’s what you said:

“No disrespect to McConaughey, but Old Style is life, Old Style is love.”

“Because when you listen to Joel Daley and the Sundowners at the Double R Bar (sadly torn down in favor of another nondescript Loop office building) while drinking a Lone Star to wash down your chili cheese perch bowl.”

“The Alamo can suck it.”

Elite 8 Matchup: #1 Rolling Rock vs. #3 Old Style

What should be the final beer to advance to the Final Four? Vote HERE.