2017 Bottle Share Tournament Summary
Date – March 25, 2017
Location – The ASIF Compound, aka North Avenue Rub & Chug
Participants – 18
Bottle Entrants – 36
#1 Overall Seed – Cycle – Rare Scooop
Champion – Grimm Sumi Ink, Jett Robinson
Full Bracket Link – 2017 MMBST Bracket WINNER
In the 3rd annual Bottle Share Tournament, the event finally originated from the venue of its creators. After the event being hosted at external sites by gracious hosts who allowed us to run a beer share in their homes, we finally had an apartment suitable for this event. The depth of the field for the 3rd event certainly improved over the previous iterations. The grouping of participants brought about the return of the 3 way matchup, with 4 first round 3-way matchups.
While the 2017 lineup lacked some of the diversity other years may have had, the quality was on a level of its own. So how did an unlikely #6 seed from Grimm manage to squeak into the Finals and win the whole damn thing?
As has become an unintentional tradition, we renamed the tournament regions, this time for some of our favorite prominent Facebook beer groups.
The Karma region played host to the #1 overall seed and prohibitive tournament favorite Rare Scooop from Cycle and 3 Sons. The #2 seed for this region was Vanilla Rye making it’s surprising first entry into the March Madness Tournament. This bracket consisted of 6 stouts/porters and 3 wilds, including Rare Barrel There Are Rules, Spon Flor, and new Michigan brewer Speciation with Incipient Black Currant.
In a cheeky 3-way matchup Cigar City Good Nightmare Mekong faced There Are Rules and Perrin’s No Rules, the latter putting in a stunning run in 2016 beating Tree House Good Morning in an Elite 8 matchup. In the battle of Big Lebowski beers, There Are Rules moved on. The most lauded of the Jester King Spon series, Flor beat another first time brewing entrant, Speciation. Both #1 and #2 seeds moved on with Rare Scooop beating another Cycle beer Pallet 5, and Bourbon County Vanilla Rye beating Westbrook Tequila Mexican Cake. In the second round, both remaining wild beers were eliminated by the vanilla led pastry stouts setting up Rare Scoop Vs. Vanilla Rye.
In a surprise decision, the marshmallowy Vanilla Rye somehow the multifacted neopolitan stout, Rare Scooop. Vanilla Rye took the Karma Region.
Rare Bear Region
In this region, the top seeds were composed of Ram Chaos, and Pipeworks The Hyper Dog ’16. In the lone 3-way matchup this round, it was filled with a Bruery 2 on 1 with Grey Monday vs Peanut Butter Thursday vs the emerging Great Notion with Double Stack. The hazelnut Grey Monday beat the trending Double Stack crowler to move on.
Much like the Karma region, Rare Bear also had 3 wilds and 6 stouts/porters. The wilds in this region included Heavy Gem Virga, an offshoot from Half Acre and Tired Hands, Side Project Pulling Nails batch 6 (Sour quad,) and a Black Currant Saison from Boiler. Both top seeds advanced setting up The Hyper Dog vs Black Currant Saison, in which the Chicago favorite Pipeworks moved on. Chaos was up against the slightly faded Grey Monday and also won setting up a Chicago v. Chicago match. Chaos triumphed to book their safe passage to the Final Four
This ISO:FT Region was similarly rounded out with the others as having 3 wilds and 6 other barrel aged stouts. The region was lead by Bourbon County Prop 14 making it’s second March Madness Tournament appearance after its first in year 1, and Oddside Ales Rye Hipster Brunch with the #2 seed.
The opening 3 way matchup of the region included the coconut laden Half Acre Benthic, Tired Hands Roomarak, and Bruery Chocolate Rain ’13. The Chocolate barrel from Placentia beat the coconut Half Acre to move on. The two top seeds Prop 14 and Rye Hipster also won their first round matchups, which included Rye Hipster beating the first and only entrant from Monkish, Kiss The Sky. In an interesting matchup, the much vaunted new version of Three Floyds Rue’d Floyd (uninfected not notable at the time of the event) went against the first Grimm beer in the tournament, the bourbon barrel aged vanilla stout, Sumi Ink. Sumi Ink as a #6 seed defeated Rue d’Floyd. Immediately after, Grimm continued it’s upset streak beating Oddside Rye Hipster Brunch. In another second round upset, Chocolate Rain ’13 beat the routinely highly touted Prop 14.
In the Regional Final, #6 Grimm Sumi Ink beat the Bruery #4 seed Chocolate Rain to arrive in the Final 4 as the lowest seeded beer to make the Final 4
Glass Whales Region
The Glass Whales Region was headed up by #1 seed Bruery Black Tuesday Reserve, and a version of 2015 March Madness Bottle Share Tournament winner Fremont Coffee Cinnamon Bourbon Barrel Abominable (2016.) This region featured the only hoppy entrant of the tournament, Tree House Bright. This region also had the highest quantity of wild beers with 4, which included American blender Casey, Belgian Drie Fontanein, Southwest Michigan’s Arclight, and Peach Bound & Down from Pizza Boy.
In the 3-way matchup, Casey Apricot Family Preserves beat Cigar City Hunahpu, and Solemn Oath Limousine of the Damned. Wild’s had a big first round as 3F Framboos ’14 knocked out Tree House, and Pizza Boy pulled the biggest upset of the tournament from the #8 seed to beat the #1 Black Tuesday Reserve with Peach Bound & Down. Only 3 of the 4 wilds ended up advancing as Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb won to make it into the 2nd round.
In a battle of stone fruits, Casey’s Family Preserves Apricot moved on over Pizza Boy ending the cinderella’s run. In the bottom half of the bracket Drie’s Framboos overcame the 2015 Champion Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb. This left the region to the age old battle of Lambic Vs. Not Lambic. You can guess how that turned out. Framboos beat the Casey Apricot to make it to the Final 4 as the old wild remaining.
The Semifinals were set. All 4 beers barrel aged, with 2 stouts in bourbon, and 1 rye. Chaos entered with the large grouping of adjuncts and a lot of Chicago hometown love, and beat the marshmallowy Vanilla Rye to make it to the Final. In a surprise, the #6 underdog seed beat the Raspberry Framboos from Drie, setting up a stout vs stout final match for the first time. The previous years had both a BA stout Vs. an AWA (American Wild Ale) in the Championship match. This marked the 3rd year in a row in which both beers in the finals were submitted by the same individual person.
In the matchup of Ram Brewing’s Chaos vs. Grimm Sumi Ink, in a 2-1 split decision, the winner of the 2017 March Madness Bottle Share Tournament was shockingly won by Sumi Ink, pulling off the biggest upset in Tournment history to win the 3rd annual March Madness Bottle Share Tournament.
- Number of Black Currant beers in the field: 2
- All four #1’s, #2’s and 3 out of 4 #3 seeds were barrel aged
- Number of beers from The Bruery: 5
- Framboos was the best finish a Lambic beer has had in the tournament’s history