This is the last of four bracket battles between popular (and locally available, except for one) session beers. Remember, these four beers were randomly poured into four different glasses. I then chose two of the four glasses randomly to drink. I selected which one I liked best. Then, I tasted the other two remaining beers, and picked a winner from those two. I then took the two “winners” and had those beers square off against one another for one overall winner from the four beers.
This may have been the toughest bracket to judge yet. All beers had very little difference in color or clarity, so those factors were more or less eliminated from scrutiny. Here are some pictures of the Cheektowaga regional participants.
The fourth regional battle included the following four beers (Beeradvocate.com rating in parentheses).
- Terrapin RecreationAle: 4.7%, (83)
- Lagunitas DayTime: 4.65%, (90)
- Flying Dog Easy IPA: 4.7% (83)
- Oskar Blues Pinner: 4.9% (85)
The first pairing was between Flying Dog Easy IPA and Terrapin RecreationAle. Flying Flying Dog Easy IPA had a nice head of foam on the pour, and was very pleasant in aroma and taste. Flying Dog Easy IPA contained a “proprietary brewers blend” of hops, so no luck finding out what was contained in this concoction. Terrapin RecreationAle is made with Bravo, Centennial, Zythos, Amarillo, and dry-hopped with Galaxy. I love Galaxy hops, but I really didn’t understand what this beer was trying to accomplish. I felt as if the aroma was a bit over the top for a session, and I detected a bit of sweetness in the taste. Fortunately for Flying Dog Easy IPA , this beer was not matched up against either of the other two beers- for it would have lost against either. But Flying Dog Easy IPA wins this round.
The second pairing was between Oskar Blues Pinner and Lagunitas DayTime. Oskar Blues Pinner was just a tad bit hazy, but not really much at all. This beer had a very pleasant aroma and was very crisp and clean. Lagunitas DayTime was very dank smelling, almost like pot! If you would have asked me which beer should smell like pot, I would have guessed Oskar Blues Pinner. In fact, I predicted that my glass of Lagunitas DayTime was actually Oskar Blues Pinner , but it was not. Lagunitas DayTime was just a wee bit less “sessionable” to me than Oskar Blues Pinner based on name alone (wouldn’t you expect a beer named after pot to smell like pot?). So in a very close matchup I chose the winner of this battle to be Oskar Blues Pinner.
Flying Dog Easy IPA then squared off against Oskar Blues Pinner for the Cheektowaga regional championship. The deciding factor for me was the total sessionability of Oskar Blues Pinner . Oskar Blues Pinner was a crisp, clean, comfortable beer to drink. I wanted to drink another one right then and there (so I did). Shouldn’t that be the criteria of winning this whole competition? A beer you want another one of right then and there. Flying Dog Easy IPA was edged by a nose- literally- as the strong aroma present in this beer actually backfired in this battle against a very balanced foe.
Congratulations to Oskar Blues Pinner, the winner of the Cheektowaga Regional. “Sip, sip, give” will advance to meet Green Flash Citra Session in a battle to determine which beer moves onto the final two.
Here is what the 2015 Session IPA bracket looks like following the Cheektowaga regional battles. We are on to the FINAL FOUR session beers. Check back soon for results.