The Craft Beer MVP of the NBA Finals

The NBA Finals return to Cleveland Tuesday night for Game 6 after league MVP Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors took down the Cavaliers on Sunday 104 to 91. While Curry has played well in his team’s wins this series, many people believe that it is LeBron James who will add the 2015 Finals MVP to his already loaded trophy case regardless if the Cavs win or lose the title this year.

James would be only the second player in NBA history to win the honors while playing on a losing team (Jerry West in 1969). It’s hard to argue against the fact that James deserves the award. He’s posted inhuman numbers of 36.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game all while playing on an injury-ridden team full of role players. Things did not go as planned this postseason for the Cavaliers when All-Star Power Forward Kevin Love was ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs in the first round against the Boston Celtics and then again during overtime of Game 1 of the NBA Finals when Superstar Point Guard Kyrie Irving also went down with a season ending injury. Despite these setbacks, James has played up to his reputation of best player in the world and kept his team in the hunt for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Whether or not his performance will be enough to earn his city a championship will be interesting to watch, but one thing is for sure, LeBron is most deserving of Finals MVP no matter what outcome the series has.

While TV analysts and fans in sports bars around the country will debate which player should have won MVP long after the Finals are over, they should instead take a look at the other MVP race at hand.

In a showdown of heavyweights along the coast of Northern California and the shores of Lake Erie, ten craft beers battle for the title Craft Beer Finals MVP. Here we took five of the best crafts from San Francisco and the Bay Area as well as five from Northeast Ohio and looked at how they stacked up against each other. Their position in the list is based on average scores from RateBeer.com as well as the Pros and Bros of BeerAdvocate.com.

  1. Anchor Steam Beer
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Steam Beer
  • ABV – 4.9%
  • IBU – 35
  • RateBeer Score – 74
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 87
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – 94
  • Overall Score – 85
  1. 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • ABV – 7.0%
  • IBU – 78
  • RateBeer Score – 95
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 86
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – N/A
  • Overall Score – 90.5
  1. Lagunitas IPA
  • Petaluma, CA
  • India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • ABV – 6.2%
  • IBU – 51
  • RateBeer Score – 94
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 87
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – N/A
  • Overall Score – 90.5
  1. Thirsty Dog Siberian Night
  • Akron, OH
  • Imperial Stout
  • ABV – 9.7%
  • IBU – 58
  • RateBeer Score – 100
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 92
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – 81
  • Overall Score – 91
  1. Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Imperial IPA
  • ABV – 9.1%
  • IBU – 72
  • RateBeer Score – 97
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 90
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – N/A
  • Overall Score – 93.5

5 Baller Craft Beer Options for Your Summer Picnic or BBQ here


 

  1. Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher
  • Akron, OH
  • Imperial Stout
  • ABV – 9.4%
  • IBU – 60
  • RateBeer Score – 100
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 94
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – 93
  • Overall Score – 95.7
  1. North Coast Old Rasputin
  • Fort Bragg, CA
  • Russian Imperial Stout
  • ABV – 9.0%
  • IBU – 75
  • RateBeer Score – 100
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 96
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – 97
  • Overall Score – 97.7
  1. Fat Heads Head Hunter
  • Cleveland, OH
  • India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • ABV – 7.5%
  • IBU – 87
  • RateBeer Score – 100
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 96
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – N/A
  • Overall Score – 98
  1. Columbus Bodhi
  • Columbus, OH
  • Double IPA
  • ABV – 8.5%
  • IBU – 94
  • RateBeer Score – 100
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 100
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – N/A
  • Overall Score – 100
  1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • Imperial IPA
  • ABV – 8.0%
  • IBU – 100
  • RateBeer Score – 100
  • BeerAdvocate Pros Score – 100
  • BeerAdvocate Bros Score – 100
  • Overall Score – 100

With Russian River’s Pliny the Elder and Columbus Bodhi tied with perfect scores I went to Untappd for the tiebreaker. Columbus Bodhi had a 4.25 score on 9,391 ratings while Pliny the Elder takes the crown with a 4.59 score on over 93,000 ratings.

Pliny the Elder easily seemed the most deserving with its absurdly high ratings all across the board. Will King James also take home his own MVP honors? We can only wait and see.

Regardless of which team you’re rooting for in the Finals tonight, both areas are great contributors to the craft beer world every day. Show us what you’re drinkin’ on for the game tonight by tweeting a picture with the hashtag #TopBrewsTues.

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College Student. Writer. Yinzer. Lover of Beer, Sports, and Entertainment.

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