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Drinking the NCAA Tournament: West Regional voting

Will Xavier’s beer outlast Xavier’s basketball team?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Maryland vs Xavier Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As mentioned earlier, we’re changing up our annual “Drinking the NCAA Tournament” feature this year to give the voting power to our Syracuse Orange fan community (and other likely visitors).

To refresh everyone: We provide selections for every NCAA Tournament team’s best brewery (in the actual city they play in) and keep them in the corresponding seeds. Voting will last three days per round. So after round one, we’ll be behind the real bracket, but catch up early next week. You’ll get it pretty quickly, trust me.

The bracket is below. Additionally, we’re honing in on the West region here, with posts for the South, East, and Midwest as well.

(1) Rhinegeist Truth (Xavier) vs. (16) Saint Arnold Endeavour (Texas Southern)

Rhinegeist’s fruity, dry-hopped IPA is an absolute monster when fresh, and has made it a staple of the Cincinnati-area beer scene. Quietly (to outsiders) down in Houston, Saint Archer cranks out excellent beers of all varieties, including Endeavour, an award-winning malty and citrusy double IPA.

Poll

Which beer advances to the round of 32?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Rhinegeist Truth
    (10 votes)
  • 47%
    Saint Arnold Endeavour
    (9 votes)
19 votes total Vote Now

(8) Flat Branch Zee Beaned Coffee Stout (Missouri) vs. (9) Proof Creatures in the Dark (Florida State)

Zee Beaned Coffee Stout is about as coffee-forward as the style comes, with pounds and pounds of beans added to the brewing process. Proof’s Creatures in the Dark takes stouts in a different direction, however. The beer is rich, chocolatey and sweet, providing a strong thickness that translates to both flavor and feel.

Poll

Which beer advances to the round of 32?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Flat Branch Zee Beaned Coffee Stout
    (4 votes)
  • 71%
    Proof Creatures in the Dark
    (10 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

(5) Wolf’s Ridge Dire Wolf Canis Mexicanus (Ohio State) vs. (12) Wooden Legs Farmhouse Ale (South Dakota State)

Dire Wolf Canis Mexicanus is a Russian Imperial Stout packed with adjuncts reminiscent of other “Mexican hot chocolate”-stylized beers (chiles, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon). While saisons aren’t an earth-shattering style, Wooden Legs finds its own approach on the old design. It’s a spicy, floral mix of (only) U.S.-grown ingredients.

Poll

Which beer advances to the round of 32?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Wolf’s Ridge Dire Wolf Canis Mexicanus
    (6 votes)
  • 60%
    Wooden Legs Farmhouse Ale
    (9 votes)
15 votes total Vote Now

(4) Bellweather Fernweh (Gonzaga) vs. (13) Gibb’s Hundred Cherchez La Femme (UNC Greensboro)

Bellweather’s Baltic Porter, Fernweh, is dry rather than sweet which can bring out some of the subtler flavors a bit more. Cherchez La Femme is also on the darker side, but the milk stout takes things in the complete opposite direction. A wide variety of malts bring together chocolate, coffee, caramel and toasted flavors and textures under a sweet umbrella.

Poll

Which beer advances to the round of 32?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Bellweather Fernweh
    (5 votes)
  • 61%
    Gibb’s Hundred Cherchez La Femme
    (8 votes)
13 votes total Vote Now

(6) Karbach BA Hellfighter (Houston) vs. (11) Modern Times Dinosaur World (San Diego State)

Aged for at least five months in bourbon barrels, Karbach’s Hellfighter is a powerful and boozy brew that burns (in a good way) with chocolate and rich whiskey flavors. Modern Times has grown some of its footprint beyond San Diego with hazy IPAs, and Dinosaur World (a double) tops them all.

Poll

Which beer advances to the round of 32?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Karbach BA Hellfighter
    (2 votes)
  • 85%
    Modern Times Dinosaur World
    (12 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

(3) HOMES Same Same Different (Michigan) vs. (14) Big Sky BA Ivan the Terrible (Montana)

HOMES’ Same Same Different is a tropical IPA that balances bitter and “juicy” notes well with the sort of piney aroma you’d expect from many West Coast takes of the style. You may already know Big Sky’s Moose Drool, but the barrel-aged version of Ivan the Terrible far outpaces it in terms of ABV and sheer boozy, chocolatey flavors alone.

Poll

Which beer advances to the round of 32?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    HOMES Same Same Different
    (8 votes)
  • 42%
    Big Sky BA Ivan the Terrible
    (6 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

(7) Blackwater Draw Laika (Texas A&M) vs. (10) Long Live Attitude (Providence)

Cacao nibs and vanilla bean provide some sweet cover for the roasted bitterness of Blackwater Draw’s Laika, a Russian Imperial Stout named for the first dog in space. Long Live’s Attitude is single-hopped with Mosaic and sits on the dank end of New England-brewed IPAs. Works for me.

Poll

Which beer advances to the round of 32?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Blackwater Draw Laika
    (4 votes)
  • 66%
    Long Live Attitude
    (8 votes)
12 votes total Vote Now

(2) Steel String Pretty Polly (North Carolina) vs. (15) Yazoo Sue (Lipscomb)

Yes, it’s in Carrboro, but it’s like RIGHT next to Chapel Hill. Steel String’s Pretty Polly is a brett wild ale blended with pinot noir barrel fermented ales, creating a nice bit of funk. Sue, Yazoo’s smoked beer, is a toasted and charred ode to Southern cooking with some gravity to it as well.

Poll

Which beer advances to the round of 32?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Steel String Pretty Polly
    (6 votes)
  • 57%
    Yazoo Sue
    (8 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

Polls close for these first round matchups at midnight on Sunday evening, while the East and South regions end on Saturday night.