2018 March Madness Bottle Share Tournament

2018 Bottle Share Tournament Summary

Date –  March 10, 2018
Location – The ASIF Compound, aka North Avenue Rub & Chug
Participants – 18
Bottle Entrants – 36
#1 Overall SeedGoose Island Proprietors Bourbon County 2014
ChampionModern Times Modem Tones Vanilla, Alichia Sawitoski
Full Bracket Results –

What is all this?

The 4th annual Bottle Share Tournament occurred once again from Wicker Park, Chicago. We’ll keep the intro short. Every year we pick a theme for the region names. This year we chose our favorite Beer Festivals. This included Mikkeller Beer Celebration from Copenhagen, Festival of Barrel Aged Beers in Chicago, WakeFest in Miami, and Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison.

Goose Island Proprietor’s Bourbon County 2014

Great Taste of the Midwest Region

The Great Taste Region heavily skewed towards a lot of dominant coconut stouts with 4 submissions containing coconut in some form. Leading as the #1 seed was Prop 14. The only upset of the first round was #6 Half Acre Benthic beating #3 Side Project BA Sump. Fremont had a great opening first round with #4 Rusty Nail coming out of the three way match, and #2 Coconut B-Bomb winning. The region ended all chalk with #1 vs #2, and Goose Island Prop 14 triumphing to win the region.

WakeFest Region

This region’s first round brought about one of the more controversial outcomes as one of the heavily loved beers by several judges lost in a surprising 2-1 split decision. In an upset, #3 Omnipollo BA Extra Maple Lorelei lost to J Wakefield/Bottle Logic collab #6 Dark Bier. Both had coconut, but the maple was a turn off to two of the judges. Side Project and Shared snagged a pair of first round wins with #1 Mexican Coffee Shop Vibes advancing, and #5 Pulling Nails batch 4 emerging from the three way match over #8 The Veil’s Double Coconut Hornswoggler and #4 The Bruery Rum Barrel Black Tuesday.

#2 Westbrook Willet Bourbon Mexican Cake moved on easily, before knocking off Cinderella Dark Bier. In some Maplewood, Missouri intercommunity violence, Side Project Pulling Nails B4 moved on over Mexican Coffee Shop Vibes, only to have its run ended by the other Mexican beer, Willet Mexican Cake. Cake moved on to the Final Four.

Judges sizing up Hill Harmstead Works of Love Tired Hands and Cuvee de Wakefield

FoBAB Region

Fruit had its largest presence in the FoBAB Region with 5 wild fruit beers involved, as well as a saison, a triple IPA, and some typical big stouts. This was the most diverse style region. Both of the only Lambic selections were placed in this region as well. #1 Cantillion Fou Foune 15 overcame the Pennsylvaniambic from Pizza Boy. In the biggest upset of the tournament, for the first time, a hoppy beer won a matchup. Previously no hoppy beer had won in any matchup, though those beer entrants are relatively less common. The Veil’s one-off #7 You’re Derek Jeter beat #2 Bruery Chocolate Rain 14 (which has aged fantastically for the record.)

#3 Mikkeller’s BA Vanilla Shake (b2) beat the great expression of raspberries from #6 De Garde’s Special Noir. #4 Hommage ’17 came out of the three way matchup in a wild free for all against #8 Hill Farmstead’s Works of Love Tired Hands and the Guava Dragonfruit Passionfruit assault from #5 J Wakefields Cuvee de Wakefield. This lead to a Lambic v. Lambic quarterfinal of Cantillon vs. Drie Fonteinen.

Lambic on Lambic violence.

#1 Fou Foune won in a split decision over #4 Hommage. BA Vanilla Shake knocked off The Veil nod to the Yankee Shortstop, but was overcome by Fou Foune as Cantillon moved to the Final Four.

Mikkeller Beer Celebration Region

Leading as another strong #1 seed was Modern Times freshly released Modem Tones Vanilla in a matchup with fellow San Diego brewer Mikkeller and BA Cocoa Shake. Another #6/#3 upset happened, with #6 Cycle Brinner beating #3 Weldwerks Medianoche. Holy Mountain’s #7 Empirium was the first entry for the highly touted Pacific Northwest brewer but couldn’t overcome the perennial Midwest favorite #2 Central Waters XX.

In the three way matchup, two fruit forward bottles fell to a big Maple bottle with #4 De Garde Imperial Boysen Bu, and #8 Side Project’s Rose du Ble B2 losing to #5 Hailstorm BA Maple Vlad. Vlad then went on to fall to Modem Tones Vanilla. Brinner proved to be a winner as it beat Central Waters XX.

Judging table for Modem Tones Vanilla vs Cycle Brinner

This set the stage for a huge underdog matchup with the lowest seed to advance to the Elite Eight. BA coffee and maple from Cycle’s Brinner against Modem Tones Vanilla. The #1 seed from the Mikkeller Beer Celebration region Modem Tones would win the region to make it to the Final Four.

Final Four

Stouts comprised the strongest contingent of the Final Four, but as in all previous years, at least one wild beer was present in the Semifinals. Three #1 seeds and one #2 seed comprised the lineup. In the first matchup, Goose Island Prop 14 took on Westbrook Willet Mexican Cake. The coconut cinnamon from Chicago won to make it to the Finals. In the other semifinal, Cantillon Fou Foune 15 took on Modern Times Modem Tones Vanilla. Modem Tones Vanilla captured the match to make it the first appearance for Modern Times in the Finals.

This was now setting up a first in the tourney’s four year history, as in every year previously, the same bottle submitter had managed to get both bottles into the Finals against themselves. This had been a possibility as Mexican Cake and Fou Foune were from the same submitter. For the first time, the Finals featured two different bottle submitters creating an element of surprise and intrigue that had not happened previously.

In a split 2-1 decision, the fresh vanilla of Modem Tones Vanilla eeked out the hugely locally popular Prop 14. Modem Tones Vanilla became the 2018 March Madness Bottle Share Tournament Champion.

Champion submitter Alichia with Modem Tones Vanilla


  • #6 Seeds were heavily poised for upsets winning 3 of the 4 opening round matchups in upsets.
  • 3 of the Final 4 entrants were pastry stouts. 6 of the Elite 8 were also pastry stouts
  • Side Project/Shared had the most bottle submissions from any brewery with 3
  • 7 Breweries had 2 bottle submissions each
All four previous March Madness Bottle Share Tournament winners