What a night!
Battle of Belgium 2014 was unlike any event we’ve ever had before! While a quiet crowd, the event was as fiercely competitive as ever, with as many upsets and triumphs as you have come to expect in years past.
The final match-ups with seeding were revealed tonight. This year’s tasting completely revolutionizing the event. Not only were the beers and seeding completely secret beforehand, but the beers were served at 100% cellar temperature, which turned the game for several beers.
First let’s take a look at our 1 and 8 match-ups. A 50-50 toss up between 4 pairings and 8 beers, 2 were close, and 2 were decided by a landslide vote! In a huge upset Unibroue Terrible did it’s worst, and beat out St. Bernardus Abt 12, with Leffe Brune sitting pretty in its usual spot at the top, in another landslide match. Don de Dieu and Rochefort moved forward as expected, but after a surprising struggle, both squeaking by with only 3 additional votes.
Second seeds are up next, with a 2 surprise upstart, seed 7 Brooklyn Local 2 (new to the game) beating out a seasoned veteran in Rochefort 8, and Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor Brune beating out Chimay Blue. The other two moving forward are less of a surprise, Three Philosophers beating out Brooklyn Local 1, and Long Strange (sadly, in this comentater’s mind) beating out North Coast’s Brother Thelonius.
We had a few usurpers enter the game when it came to the 3 vs 6 seeds. Belgian IPA’s busted their way in to the game, Le Freak making it weird, and Cali-Belgique trying to prove their place in a world without hops. Unfortunately, it was definitely the end for Cali-Belgique when it met it’s match in La Fin du Monde, and the traditional Belgian-style quadrupel from Schlafly beat down Le Freak, in all it’s hybrid-weirdness.
The most competitive game was on, not unsurprisingly, when the middle seeds went head to head. Style on style action got heated as saison on saison and tripel on tripel action powerhoused Goose Island Sofie and Chimay White up for wins against Tank 7 and Westmalle Tripel. Although not quiet as riveting a battle, La Chouffe won out over De Struise Pannepeut in the end, as did Delirium Tremens over Chimay red, joining seasoned veterans as well as youthful faced hopefuls in top 16 for round 2 tomorrow night.
We’ll see you at Keystone again tomorrow night Battle fans, for Round 2 of the Tasting and Round 2 of the Beerocracy raffles (that’s right, PLURAL!) JOIN US! We’ll see you there, brackets in hand, glasses at the ready, and ready to drink one (or two , or three, or four , or as many as you have to!) for the team!
Now go rest up for round 2 you kids, high fives and butt slaps all around!