2021 Bottle Share Tournament Summary
Date – May 22, 2021
Location – The ASIF Compound, aka Rudy Whalzano School
Participants – 18
Bottle Entrants – 36
#1 Overall Seed – Side Project – Beer Barrel Time 2020
Champion – Side Project – Continuance blend 1, Ed Novak
Full Bracket Results
After a pandemic related delay that saw us forego the 2020 edition, we reconvened for the 6th Madness event. It was pushed back to May as we finally were able to get people together after being vaccinated, and feeling confident being in a room full of great people, sharing pours once again. This edition brought some big hitters from St Louis, and one of the best arrays of lambic we’ve ever seen.
Lead by overall #1 seed, BBT 2020, this region featured 2 unadjuncted stouts, 2 pastry stouts, 4 wilds, and Cuvee de Grace from Revolution that kind of fit in between. The upsets got underway early as #8 Maple Cuppa PB Stufff won the 3-way matchup vs The Kriekenblosem and Zenne y Frontera blend 92, followed by a split judge decision of 2-1 for Hill Farmstead Anna going over Shared BA Ambiente. This was the second time the popular shelfie Anna was entered into the tournament as it was in the very first tournament back in 2015. It was a stunning upset that sent BA Ambiente to the community table following the surprising L.
The often underwhelming Lou Pepe Geuze began an enthusiastic march beating Cuvee de Grace, and Hill Farmstead Anna, before dispatching the #1 overall seed BBT. The well aged bottle of LPG 2010 punched the first ticket to the Final Four.
The AstraZeneca region was the most pastry heavy region featuring 6 of the 9 entries in this region. The opening round matchups went mostly to the chalk (higher ranked seed,) as Coconut Vibes and Zenne y Frontera blend 20 pulled off wins. The big upset was #7 Modern Times Chaos Grid Breakfast Lord going over the #2 DB VSOD Apple Brandy.
First time brewery entrant from Whiskey Hill BA TFTI (Thanks For The Invite) emerged out of the difficult 4-5-8 three way matchup. It would go on to knock out the #1 seed Coco Vibes before succumbing to sherry barrel excellence from 3 Fonteinen with Zenne y Frontera blend 20 making it to the Final Four. This would guarantee that a Lambic entry would be in the Championship.
johnson & Johnson Region
A well balanced out region, J&J included 2 Lambic entries, 3 pastries, 2 wilds and the #1 seed for the region, the barleywine/stout blend from Side Project, Continuance blend 1. The #1 and #2 seeds won their opening matches. This was the first time legendary whale Perennial BA Abraxas had been entered, which got the opening round win over Half Acre’s collab with The Veil Soak in Shadow.
Upsets happened in the other first round match-ups as Cantillon’s Magic Lambic won the 3/6 match, and another #8 seed The Waves from The Referend knocked out the 4/5 grouping which included a 3rd Zenne y Frontra blend (21.) Much like the Pfizer region this region resulted in a Side Project vs Cantillon matchup. This time Continuance blend 1 overcame Cantillon’s Magic and the illusion was over.
The last region featured another powerhouse pastry stout in the #1 slot, and my personal favorite to win it all, Half Acre XTRA DUBL Benthic. XTRA DUBL Benthic was the only seeded favorite to win its first round match as underdogs won the other 3 opening round matches. This included #8 seed Maple Shade, #6 BA Cosmic Entity, and #7 Signs Following from Holy Mountain. The biggest upset of the tourney followed as #8 Parish Maple Shade beat the #1 XTRA DUBL Benthic, in a stunning knockout. Maple Shade would go on to knock out Modern Times entry BA Cosmic Entity.
After the regional finals, we were left with 4 beers from 4 different categories. Present we had a Gueuze blend from Cantillon, a sherry barrel Lambic blend from 3 Fonteinen, a Barleywine/Stout blend from Side Project, and a Pastry stout from Parish (Louisiana of course known for its abundance of maple trees.)
The Zenne y Frontera blend 20 overcame LPG 2010 in a matchup of original 3 seeds to make it to the Finals. On the other side, the cleaner intricate blend of Side Project’s barrel aged program beat out the maple stout from the Mississippi Delta.
In a split 2-1 decision, Side Project Continuance blend 1 won the 2021 May Madness event. This was Side Project’s first champion in the 6 years of the event. It also was won by a first time participant, Ed Novak.
- 3 Fonteinen had the most submissions with 4 beers. Side Project, Revolution, and Modern Times all had 3.
- In the 6 years of the Bottle Share Tournament there have been 106 breweries with beers in the competition.
- The Bruery still has the most submissions with 13 total over the history of the tournament. De Garde and Goose Island have the second most with 10.