Vote in the second round of our Malt Madness beer bracket

Time for another round.

After more than 23,000 votes in the first round of Malt Madness, the Sweet 16 of Sacramento-area craft breweries is set.

The first round saw a couple of “upsets” – matchups where a lower seed beat a higher seed. But most of the region’s bigger, well-known brewers survived.

The most interesting action came in the Porter Bracket, where Crooked Lane Brewing of Auburn beat Moksa Brewing Company from Rocklin. Nearly 3,400 votes were cast in that matchup and the outcome was decided by just 29 votes.

There was also huge voter interest over in the IPA Bracket, where long-time Sacramento brewer Hoppy – which recently announced it’s moving to midtown after nearly two decades in East Sacramento – defeated Fieldwork. Some objected to Fieldwork being in the bracket in the first place because it is based in the East Bay. But its midtown tasting room has made it a popular part in the local scene.

While we’re on the topic of who did and did not make the bracket, this seems like a good opportunity to issue a major palm-in-the-face apology to Knee Deep Brewing Company. It was an oversight on our part – and a big one at that – to leave the Auburn brewery off the list.

To solve that, we’ve decided to have Knee Deep tap into the tournament. They’ll take the place of New Helvetia, whose founder, David Gull, asked to be removed from the bracket over concerns it would pit local craft brewers against one another. Fair enough, David.

So with that, off to the Sweet 16.

[Download a printable bracket of the Sweet 16 round]

Voting for this round will run from Tuesday through midnight Wednesday, narrowing the Sweet 16 to an Elite 8. 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.

Three more rounds of voting will culminate with a champion April 2. Watch for the next round Friday, March 23.


No. 1 Track 7 vs. No. 5 Knee Deep

A lot of people rightfully took issue with us leaving Knee Deep out of the first round. We’ve put them here, replacing New Helvetia, which asked to be taken out. Now Knee Deep takes on one of the region’s best known shops.

No. 6 Hoppy Brewing vs. No. 2 Device Brewing

Hoppy received more than 2,300 votes in the first round, by far the most of any brewer. They’ve been around nearly two decades and are moving to midtown soon. They’ll take on Device, the growing and acclaimed brewery out of Sacramento.


No. 1 Moonraker vs. No. 4 Tilted Mash

Critics love Moonraker, so its win isn’t a shock. Tilted Mash, which started brewing its craft in one its founder’s garages, is out of Elk Grove.

No. 3 Claimstake vs. No. 7 Crooked Lane

There’s a lot of buzz around Rancho Cordova’s Claimstake. They’ll take on Crooked Lane out of Auburn, which “upset” second-seeded Moksa in the first round by just 29 votes.


No. 1 Bike Dog vs. No. 4 Yolo

This is a match-up of brewers with roots in West Sacramento. Bike Dog recently expanded with a tasting room on Broadway in Sacramento. Yolo’s tasting room is a great spot for live music.

No. 3 Auburn Alehouse vs. No. 2 New Glory

A tough match-up between two brewers with large followings. Auburn’s home is a 162-year-old building in its historic downtown. New Glory brews in the Power Inn Road area of Sacramento.


No. 1 Berryessa vs. No. 4 Flatland

Berryessa is widely considered one of the best producers in the region and has been around since 2011. Flatland has a solid following and brews in Elk Grove.

No. 3 Mraz vs. No. 2 Sactown Union

Mraz operates out of a cool tap room in El Dorado Hills and has been around for nearly five years. Sactown Union’s tasting room in East Sacramento is always packed.

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