Cheap-Ass Regional Beers Bracketpalooza: The Championship Round
At long last, the day has come. After a grueling, month-long tournament, we’re down to the championship to determine the cheapest, assiest, greatest, most American beer you can find in this great nation of ours.
It’s been a well-fought tournament by all beers involved, and after a brutal Final Four, two titans of the Midwest — Old Style and Pabst Blue Ribbon — outlasted all others to compete for the ultimate title.
Here’s what our bracket looks like, following the bloodletting and beer-swilling of the Final Four:
We’ve got a recap of the Final Four and a preview of the championship round below, but if you want to get straight to the championship voting, you can do so HERE.
Final Four Results
#3 Old Style (Lower Midwest Division Champion) defeats #1 Yuengling (East Division Champion)
As shocking as it’s been to see a beer most known for its association with the Chicago Cubs continue to advance in post-season play, the biggest surprise as yet came from its commanding victory over eastern stalwart Yuengling in the semifinals. To be fair, Old Style is everything a cheap-ass regional beer should be: it’s dirt cheap, can really only be found in the I-94 corridor between Chicago and Milwaukee, and tastes like the fermented ass-sweat from an overweight fan in the Wrigley bleachers.
These were two good competitors who embodied everything we treasure in our affordable, local brews, and it’s sad to see Yuengling left by the wayside, but such is life.
As always, the best part of this bracket has been hearing from the hardened livers of our readers. Here’s what you had to say:
Because Ive never gotten a handie in a Cracker Barrel Bathroom after drinking Yuengling for an entire weekend.
They serve Yuengling at Disney’s Epcot. They serve Old Style to horses they’re about to send to the glue factory.
Yuengling is America’s oldest brewing company, which makes it older than Old Style but younger than the respectable brewing houses of Europe which it has twice now saved from the scourge of total war.
Despite the manipulative ploy in the banner to vote for Old Style, Yuengling has my heart. Yuengling is a delight and a beer that, based on the bar, I will actually self-select to drink. Can’t say the same for Old Style.
Yuengling isn’t even a cheap-ass beer yo. My parents literally buy that shit.
Because until I met Minnesotans who were hoarding Yeungling in 2009, *I thought it was a national beer.* And by reputation it is.
It would mean a lot to the Cubs for something that is tangentially associated with them to win something for once.
#1 PBR (Upper Midwest Division Champion) defeats #1 Coors Banquet (West Division Champion)
Another hard fought battle, and another tight victory for Pabst Blue Ribbon as it continued its march through the bracket by knocking off the West Division Champion Coors Banquet. In a matchup between two widely-distributed and well-known beers, PBR got the nod because apparently a majority of our readers are filthy midwesterners with at least a little bit of hipster flair hanging on inside of them.
Here’s what you degenerates thought:
Hipsters have made PBR, if not taste better, at least more prevalent than something aspirationally named “banquet.”
Because I support LGBT rights and you should, too.
Coors can suck a dick.
This is a tough one, while the blue ribbon has more brand appeal and looks ‘cool’ to carry around while wearing suspenders, Coors has a better malty flavor and decent head when poured. Also a higher ABV never hurts.
When I was 17 years old, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the one and only Pete Coors in person. He was, unsurprisingly, an enormous figure in Colorado, even representing the Republican party as a senatorial candidate in 2004. It was St. Patrick’s Day when we met, and I introduced myself, and the first thing he said to me was, “Pleasure. Where’s your beer?” I explained to him that I was only 17, and he gave me this kind of ambivalent “ehhh” look, the kind of look someone might give when you ask them if a hot dog is a sandwich. If I had asked him to rip a shot of Jame-o with me then and there, I’m sure he would have done it. On that day, I vowed to devote myself to the Coors brand, and all the rugged individualism and stingy refusal to give a fuck contained therein. Coors Banquet is the perfect manifestation of the perfect brand.
PBR tastes like Wheaties, and thus it’s the fermented breakfast of champions.
#1 PBR (Upper Midwest Division Champion) vs. #3 Old Style (Lower Midwest Division Champion)
It all comes down to this. Of course, after almost six weeks of brutal competition to determine the best cheap, local beer you can find in the lower 48, two Wisconsin beers would remain at the top. Could it be any other way?
In one corner stands Pabst Blue Ribbon, a compound of alcohol, water, and true American grit that’s been brewed since 1844 and that may or may not have actually been named “America’s Best” beer in 1893, something that they just refuse to fucking let go.
PBR is not good. It’s not a beer that’s ‘enjoyable’ or ‘fun’ or even going to get you ‘that drunk’ unless you really try. It tastes like George Washington going down your throat, or the residue of mustache wax dripping off a hipster’s facial hair in their un-air conditioned dive bar in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. But it is cheap, and at least nominally regional, and likely a 30-rack is chilling in the fridge at the house parties of the artistically-inclined right this very instant.
In the other corner is Old Style, the beer of the perpetual losers, the barflies up and down Western Avenue, the beer of the greatest city in the world according to people who have very hard and definite feelings about the relative value of alleyways or the 46 defense or pizza crusts.
Chicago is a beer drinking city, and Old Style continues to be Chicago’s beer. For better or worse the two are handcuffed together — there’s even the ‘Chicago handshake,’ the name for a shot of Malört chased by an Old Style, which tastes like what it must feel like to sip gasoline out of a burnt condom and then washing it all down with e coli infested Lake Michigan water. Like the city itself, Old Style probably isn’t as relatively great as it once was, but that won’t stop men who have been developmentally, economically, and socially stunted since 1985 from insisting that it’s still the greatest.
The choice is yours. Choose wisely — nothing short of the future of the republic rests on your decision. Vote HERE!