March Madness Bracket Pits Philly Craft Breweries Against National Ones

craft beer philly march madness bracket

Beer Madness voting begins March 13th.

On Monday, Philly Loves Beer (PLB) will unveil the official bracket for Philly Loves Beer Madness, a voter-based public tournament seeking to crown America’s best brewery. Patterned after the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, and presented in conjunction with media partner Billy Penn, Beer Madness will feature 32 total breweries from around the Philadelphia region and country, all seeded by their years in business and separated into four geographical regions, including: Philadelphia Suburbs Region, Philadelphia Region, Northeast Region and “Rest of United States” Region.

A beer-savvy Selection Committee, including PLB Board Members, local bar owners and managers, PR and marketing professionals, writers and editors and head brewers, selected the ultra-competitive Field of 32, with individuals taking into consideration all factors of what makes a successful brewery and where to position them on the bracket. The committee meticulously researched each brewery chosen, without bias or prejudice.

“We wanted the bracket to highlight a strong and diverse mixture of up-and-coming local breweries, along with well-established national breweries that have supported Philly Loves Beer and Philly Beer Week during our 10-year run,” said Executive Director Kristine Kennedy. “The talent in each region is immense, and whittling the list down to only 32 breweries was extremely difficult.”

“Billy Penn has been running fun bracket competitions for a couple of years now, and narrowing down the field is always the toughest part,” agreed Billy Penn Culture Editor Danya Henninger.


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Voting begins at 10 a.m., March 13 (on both PhillyLovesBeer.com and BillyPenn.com) and includes six rounds, taking the field down from 32 breweries to an eventual champion announced on April 7, or National Beer Day. The Field of 32 will include the following (listed here in their respective regions, with seeds in parentheses):

Northeast Region

  • Boston Beer Company (1)
  • Brooklyn Brewery (2)
  • Dogfish Head (3)
  • Allagash (4)
  • Flying Fish (5)
  • Brewery Ommegang (6)
  • River Horse Brewing (7)
  • Evolution Brewing (8)

“Rest of United States” Region

  • Sierra Nevada (1)
  • Great Lakes (2)
  • Deschutes Brewery (3)
  • New Belgium (4)
  • Firestone Walker (5)
  • Oskar Blues (6)
  • Fat Head’s Brewery (7)
  • Coppertail Brewing (8)

Philadelphia Region

  • Dock Street (1)
  • Yards (2)
  • Manayunk Brewing (3)
  • Iron Hill Brewery (4)
  • Philadelphia Brewing Company (5)
  • Evil Genius (6)
  • Saint Benjamin (7)
  • Second District (8)

Philadelphia Suburbs Region

  • Weyerbacher (1)
  • Sly Fox (2)
  • Victory (3)
  • Troegs (4)
  • Free Will (5)
  • Naked Brewing (6)
  • Sole Artisan Ales (7)
  • 2SP Brewing (8)

Established by Philly Beer Week in 2014, this marks the 4th annual edition of Beer Madness. During that span, a local brewery has won the event each and every year, including: Yards, in 2014; Dogfish Head, in 2015; and Evil Genius, in 2016. In previous years, the Beer Madness bracket has pitted flagship and seasonal styles against one another, instead of the brewery as a whole. Please check social media often for updates.

About Philly Loves Beer

Established in 2017, Philly Loves Beer is a non-profit 501 (c)(6) organization overseen by a community of like-minded beer professionals seeking to grow the pie and promote the whole Philadelphia region. Through a membership network, PLB works to promote and educate consumers about beer for 365 days a year, while celebrating Philly’s proud brewing culture by highlighting local brewers and progressive national trends.

About Billy Penn

Billy Penn, Philadelphia’s source for local news, is a mobile-first platform designed to connect citizens with relevant information about their communities and drive civic engagement via social conversations and in-person events. Since Billy Penn’s launch in 2014, parent company Spirited Media has expanded to Pittsburgh (The Incline) and Denver (Denverite).

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