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Cheap-Ass Regional Beers Bracketpalooza: The Final Four

August 09, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

After a grueling Elite 8, it’s time for the semifinals of our Cheap-Ass Regional Beers Bracketpalooza. At long last we’ve come to the Final Four, where we as a nation will determine what beers should content for the title as the most affordable, local beer you can find in America.

After a spirited round of voting, the calamitous voices of the people rose up as one and proclaimed which beer from each region should advance to represent their division in the Final Four. Here’s what the bracket looks like following the Elite 8:

Cheap beer bracket

We’ve got matchups and analyses of both the round of 8 and the upcoming Final Four matchups below, but if you want to get straight to the voting, you can do so here. Let’s get to it!


#1 Yuengling defeats #3 Natty Boh

Although both beers have an undeniably local flair at a cheap price point, in the end the wide distribution of Yuengling prevailed over its more parochial east coast brethren Natty Boh.

Here’s what you had to say about it:

This really tore at my heartstrings. But while Natty Boh’s drinkability puts it leagues ahead of its other primarily-canned light beer brethren, it remains a cheap-ass canned beer. Yuengling, however, approaches respectability–it is like Jupiter, too small to be a star, but so much larger than the other planets.

In the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner” in Baltimore to commemorate the opening of the first Natty Boh brewery.

Yuengling is the worst good beer, Natty Boh is a slightly passable bad beer.

I’ve convinced folds on the West Coast that Yuengling is a craft beer. Say ‘Yuengling’ enough and it sounds fancy.

I think of [Natty Boh, presumably] as being a combination of what I imagine the water in the Inner Harbor tastes like and all my college shame if it was expelled at one time in the form of tears. Oh, and crabs.


#3 Old Style defeats #1 Rolling Rock

In this brutal Chicago vs. Latrobe, PA matchup, the two beers actually tied in our standard voting, but Old Style pulled away with vociferous Twitter support — turns out that Chicago fans are just as delusional when it comes to the shitty beer they guzzle while getting sunburned in the Wrigley bleachers as they are about their sports teams. In the end a beer from Wisconsin that’s most closely associated with the city of Chicago is advancing to the Final Four to represent the Lower Midwest.

Here’s what you said:

Rolling Rock is goat piss.

Because I’m falling in love with my boyfriend boatracing Rolling Rock, and if that isn’t a true American love story, I don’t know what is.

I don’t want to choose either and hope that the Lower Midwest Division crashes and burns in this beer bracketpalooza.

I don’t even know what Old Style is but I know that Rolling Rock is glorified toilet water.

Rolling Rock tastes pre-skunked, which isn’t great, but Old Style tastes like dishwater mixed with gasoline.



#1 Yuengling (East Division Champion) vs. #3 Old Style (Lower Midwest Division Champion)

What’s it going to be, the established, entrenched interests of the East Coast gentry, or the hardscrabble beer of the broad-shouldered denizens of a city that continues to worship a jackass lizard in decaying human form? Do your hobbies include lawn games and furthering social stratification, or are you more the kind of mustachio’d guy who runs numbers on the side while drumming up union support for your local alderman? The choice is yours.



West Division

#1 Coors Banquet defeats #3 Hamm’s

Another tight one, this time between the undeniably shitty Hamm’s and a beer that’s best known for generating a lighter version of itself that sponsored parties where sexy people made questionable decisions while rocketing forth across the country on a goddamn train.

You guys had some thoughts on this matter. Here’s our favorites:

How can something with “Banquet” in its name *not* be the better choice?

Adolph Coors had every intention of making it to the California coast, following the popular idea to “Go west, young man.” He then got drunk in Golden, Colorado and ran out of money to make it to San Francisco, and decided to drink more beer.

Because ‘Banquet’ makes it a fancy beer.

Hamm’s is fine but any place that serves it serves other good cheap beer. Coors is harder to find and tastes a little smoother.

I actually just like the fucking bottle. It’s similar to the red stripe ones. By proxy, I can convince myself I’m drinking red stripe.

Because Banquet makes it sound fancy and I am nothing if not a fancy motherfucker.

Upper Midwest Division

#1 PBR defeats #2 Schlitz

In a matchup between your father’s beer that you sometimes drink at parties thrown by the more artistically inclined and your father’s beer that you sometimes drink but only because it’s part of a $4 beer-and-a-shot deal, Pabst Blue Ribbon proved why it was named the world’s greatest beer at a time (1893) when the Ottoman Empire was still a functioning nation state struggling to adjust to modernization, and pulled out the victory. Although many observers thought that Schlitz was truly the shittier and more regional beer, not to mention the 3rd most compelling character in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!, it just wasn’t enough to overcome the power PBR holds over the urban professional class.

Here’s what you said:

I’m not nouveau-hipster enough to choose the next generation of hipster beer, Schlitz, so I’m stuck with drinking PBR from mason jars.

Schlitz should win this whole tournament. I think it legitimately tastes good.

PBR is the best beer ever made.

My dad’s college fridge was filled with PBR and Schlitz. I’ve only seen my dad drink PBR (once) in the 25 years I’ve known him.

It fits perfectly into the water bottle holder on my fixed gear bike. Also Schlitz tastes like James Franco’s asshole. Am I speaking from experience? Time will tell.


#1 Coors Banquet (West Division Champion) vs. #1 PBR (Upper Midwest Division)

Although Coors and PBR are equally, irredeemably crappy, both have some of the widest distribution and best name recognition among the field. In the end only one can advance to try and be crowned the cheapest, shittiest beer that a small amount of money can buy. Choose wisely.