After an ugly third round, the Final Pour is set in the Vermont Brew Bracket.
In the marquee matchup, unstoppable force Woodchuck Amber Cider faced off against immovable object the Alchemist Heady Topper, and the double IPA squeaked out a late win in what can only be described as a bar fight. Once again, Woodchuck tapped its sizable social media following for support — we counted eight Facebook posts and 16 tweets — and held a slim lead for much of the voting period, but Heady Topper made a late run to victory last night. Lesson learned: Hell hath no fury like a bunch of beer geeks scorned.
Some of you have reminded us that cider is not beer. We're aware! But we think cider is a spiritual cousin of beer: Cider serves as a substitute for beer for many gluten-free drinkers, and you can find Woodchuck alongside Vermont beers in beverage stores and on tap. That's why we decided to include a cider in our initial 32 selections.
As for the other results...
- Switchback Ale scored a close win over Hill Farmstead Edward. The two brews traded the lead back-and-forth throughout the two days of voting, but Switchback ultimately pulled it off by just three votes.
- Without much hype or fanfare, Lawson's Finest Liquids Double Sunshine IPA is making a nice little Cinderella run, after taking down Trout River Rainbow Red this round. In the previous round, Double Sunshine defeated Magic Hat #9 — it's been a pretty remarkable performance considering a bottle of Lawson's is almost as hard to find as a Target store around here.
- Long Trail Ale beat Shed Mountain Ale by a couple hundred votes. That was the largest margin of victory in this round.
We have one rules change to announce before the next round of voting. There have been allegations of ballot stuffing — and by allegations, I mean people admitting to it on Facebook. Call me naive, but we really didn't expect people to take this bracket seriously enough to circumvent the system in voting! We're tightening the screws (hopefully) this time: only one vote per IP address per hour will be allowed. Keep it honest, people, or we'll call the bouncer over.
With that drama behind us, we're on to the Final Pour. Lawson's Double Sunshine IPA vs. Long Trail Ale. Switchback vs. Heady Topper. Who will win? That's up to you. (We suggest picking up a bottle of each finalist — well, going to a bar for your Switchback fix — and having a Final Pour tasting party.) Click here to cast your votes.
Full results from Round 3:
Lawson's Finest Liquids Double Sunshine IPA - 54.32% (855 votes)
Trout River Rainbow Red - 45.68% (719 votes)
Long Trail Ale - 56.84% (922 votes)
Shed Mountain Ale - 43.16% (700 votes)
Switchback Ale - 50.08% (958 votes)
Hill Farmstead Edward - 49.92% (955 votes)
Woodchuck Amber Cider - 48.11% (2,054 votes)
The Alchemist Heady Topper - 51.89% (2,215 votes)