The Battle of Belgium Sweet Sixteen tonight was even more riveting than the night before. 2 tie breakers were no surprise to this reviewer this round, as every pairing she witnessed went hit for hit. There were no landslide votes tonight. It was a true competition, our tasting crowd and their tastebuds in the hot seat.
Even though things were close, there are still a few #1 seed beers entering the top 8 tomorrow that should be no surprise to past attendees. Don de Dieu and Leffe Brune will be vying for a position in the top 4, beating out Goose Island Sofie and La Chouffe respectively. Surprisingly enough, it was not a sure thing for Leffe Brune tonight.
It was the first of 2 deciding tie-breakers that had to occur tonight in order to have a clear winner for the competition. The second also involving a Goose Island beer, with Pere Jacques riding neck and neck with the Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor. In both cases, the tide turned away from Goose Island, with Gouden Carolus also emerging triumphant from the final vote.
The middle seeds became even more competitive. As we saw them go head to head tonight, it could have been any brew’s game. Bottom seeds like Unibroue Terrible, Boulevard Long Strange, and Local 2 all enter the top 8 by the skin of their bottle cages. The one exception is the battle between Schlafly Quadrupel and competitor Three Philosophers. Schlafly crushed the beer from Ommegang with a vengeance. It was no contest.
The last beer continuing forward won in what had to have been the most shocking overturn tonight. Delirium Tremens, a #5 seed, beating out #1 seed Rochefort 10 in the match up tonight. This light, phenolic wonder put the brass in brasserie tonight. A big bet, for those who voted it forward on the bracket challenge, but one that paid off, as it slid forward by a mere 3 votes.
And there you have it, the top 8!
Look for my next blog post, or check out our Twitter and Facebook pages, to find out how the leaderboard is looking for the bracket challenge going into tomorrow. And high fives all around to everyone who has participated in the event so far.
And remember to rest up, drink plenty of water, and start doing your reps early tomorrow morning. The last 2 rounds are tomorrow at 6pm sharp at our Keystone location, shape the fate of these beers, decide who will stand, and who will ffall.