Malt Madness 2019: Round 2 Begins

Thirty-two breweries remain, and the competition is fierce.

Photo by Toan Trinh

The votes are in, beer fans. Round 1 of Boston magazine’s New England Malt Madness bracket ended at midnight, with 32 breweries remaining. Voting in Round 2 continues through Tuesday, March 12. We tallied about 1,200 votes per head-to-head brewery matchup in the first round, with some very close races.

Weymouth’s brand-new Vitamin Sea Brewing Co. bested Rhode Island icon Narragansett with 59 percent of your votes to move ahead in the South Conference; and Backlash Beer narrowly edged out Turtle Swamp Brewery (55 to 45 percent) in a Boston-based battle from that league. A West Conference race between Honest Weight Artisan Ales of Orange, Mass., and Connecticut’s Kent Falls Brewing Co. was even tighter, with Honest Weight pulling ahead as time ran out with 51 percent.

It’s only going to get tougher, beer fans. Expect fireworks this round in the North Conference: That league is stacked with Lawson’s Finest Liquids of Sip of Sunshine fame; Maine Beer Co. (perhaps best known for Dinner DIPA); Hill Farmstead—after prevailing over Portland’s Rising Tide, the Greensboro, Vt., beer-makers now face another exceptional Maine contender, the brewery and bottler Oxbow Beer. The Alchemist of Stowe, Vt., bested Salem’s Notch Brewing in Round 1, but it now faces the intimidating Allagash Brewing Co. to stay in the game. It goes without saying, beer fans: Your vote counts!

Pour one out for every New England brewery that has fizzled out of this competition early—including all seven contenders from the state of New Hampshire. Which local beer makers will make it to the Sudsy 16? Time will tell, and pints will clink. Vote early and often to make sure your favorite breweries have a shot—but this friendly, people’s-choice competition celebrates the New England beer scene. We’re hopeful that beer fans might discover some new favorites as the tournament continues. And remember: When the malt dust settles, one voter will win a gift card to Craft Beer Cellar-Fenway.

Check out the Round 2 matchups below, and click on the bracket graphic and scroll down on the new page to vote in this fresh round. Cheers!

Click bracket to go to the voting portal. Click here to view bracket larger.

Click here to vote in Malt Madness Round 2