Beer

Hops or hoops? Why not both? Vote in our Malt Madness beer bracket challenge

California craft beer by the numbers

The number of craft breweries in California keeps growing. Here are some key statistics on the one of the state's most popular beverages.
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The number of craft breweries in California keeps growing. Here are some key statistics on the one of the state's most popular beverages.

Voting for the first round has closed. You can see the results and vote in the second round here.

The local colleges all missed out on the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. Of course, that’s how it is most years.

In an attempt to bring some local flavor – big, tasty favor – to March Madness, we bring you Malt Madness, an NCAA-bracket inspired playoff of 32 craft breweries from the Sacramento region.

Let’s get something out of the way right off the top: We do not pretend to be the ultimate experts on which of the area’s fine collection of craft breweries are the best. There are so many great brewers in the region these days – and it seems a new spot jumps on the scene every week.

So we apologize in advance for omissions, ask you to overlook our arbitrary bracket names and hope you ignore the seedings as much as possible.

That leaves you to play the role of beer critic. Over the next three weeks, you can vote on a series of head-to-head matchups of the region’s best producers of IPAs, lagers, stouts and saisons. Breweries from Winters to Auburn and from Placerville to Elk Grove are on the list.

[Download a printable version of our Malt Madness bracket]

Voting for the first round will run from Thursday through midnight Sunday, narrowing the field of 32 to a Sweet 16. You’re welcome to share Malt Madness and each head-to-head poll on Facebook and Twitter, but you can’t vote more than once from this device.

Four more rounds of voting will culminate with a champion April 2. Watch for the Sweet 16 round Tuesday, March 20.

For now, dive in and let your taste buds guide you through Malt Madness.

IPA BRACKET

Track 7 vs. Oak Park Brewing

Device Brewing vs. Big Stump Brewing

Fieldwork vs. Hoppy Brewing Co.

Ruhstaller vs. New Helvetia

PORTER BRACKET

Moonraker vs. Red Bus Brewing

Moksa Brewing Co. vs. Crooked Lane Brewing Co.

Claimstake Brewing Co. vs. Goat House Brewing

Tilted Mash Brewing vs. Fountainhead

LAGER BRACKET

Bike Dog vs. Jackrabbit

New Glory vs. Sudwerk

Auburn Alehouse vs. The Monk’s Cellar

Yolo Brewing vs. Outbreak Brewing

PILSNER BRACKET

Berryessa vs. River City Brewing

SacTown Union vs. Blue Note Brewing Co.

Mraz Brewing Co. vs. Out of Bounds Brewing Co.

Flatland Brewing Co. vs. Big Sexy Brewing Co.

If you can’t see the bracket or polls in our mobile app, please click here.

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