What's Brewing: Beer Wars

Good news, beer drinkers: The Beer Wars dinner series at McCormick and Schmick’s is upon us. This equates to 16 craft-beer dinners between now and May. Each five-course meal showcases two East Coast breweries competing to serve a more superlative selection. The rules are simple: One beer per brewery per course, and diners mark their choices on a paper ballot after each plate. The brewery with the majority vote wins the round.

This year’s brackets are set, and contenders include 2010 winner Peak Organic, as well as Clown Shoes, Magic Hat, Troegs, Mayflower, Wormtown Brewery, Victory, Stoudts Brewing Company, Woodchuck, Sam Adams, Otter Creek, Offshore Ale Co., Olde Burnside Brewing Company, Saranac, Newport Storm, and McNeill’s.

The list, I’m happy to note, includes a new selection of sudsmakers — but it remains to be seen whether the organizers have also found an answer to the major problem I noticed at last year’s final dinner: Many of the guests (a number of whom were employed by the industry) were brazenly biased toward one brewer or the other, which made the voting system seem nothing short of flawed. I mean, you probably shouldn’t be allowed to fill out your entire ballot before you’ve even tried the food, right? Here’s to hoping they’ve devised a solution for that sort of nonsensical behavior.

The first dinner takes place this Friday, September 16, between Massachusetts’ Clown Shoes (whose labels stirred up some recent controversy) and Vermont’s Otter Creek, and the menu will pair the brews with dishes such as warm Bavarian pretzels with assorted mustards, pan-seared sea scallops with hazelnut beurre blanc, and butternut squash risotto.

$50 per person including tax and gratuity, One Faneuil Hall Market Place, North Market Building, Boston, 617-720-5522, mccormickandschmicks.com.