TuffGnarl.com presents… The Beer Bracket Challenge!

With all of the March madness and bracket challenges going on, I thought it only appropriate that TuffGnarl.com get in on it too, so I decided to create a Beer Bracket Challenge to determine what style of beer is America’s favorite.

As I mentioned in a previous piece, there are two types of beer: ales and lagers, and from those two types we get all of the different styles that we’ve grown to love.

I setup a 16-beer single-elimination bracket with the eight most popular styles of lagers and the eight most popular styles of ales. The winner was crowned the TuffGnarl.com champion and America’s favorite beer style.

On the lager side, the following popular eight styles were chosen: Pale Lager, Märzen/Oktoberfest, Malt Liquor, Pilsner, Dunkel, Helles, Euro Pale Lager and Light Lager.

As for the ales, I chose the following eight styles: Stout, Porter, Pale Ale, IPA, Belgian Tripel, Hefeweizen, Blonde Ale and Kölsch.

For this competition I viewed sales data on beer sales from around the country and polled both beer and non-beer drinkers on their knowledge of and preference of those styles of beer.

The results are as follows…

The TuffGnarl Beer Bracket Challenge
The TuffGnarl Beer Bracket Challenge

TuffGnarl.com’s champion American beer champion is the Light Lager! Obviously hailing from the lager family, this beer is an American take on the American Lager, or Pale Lager style. It is normally marketed as light, but essentially it’s just a diet beer–less calories not less alcohol by volume. This style of beer is rather mild, with little-to-no notes of hoppy bitterness, nor any sweet taste of malt. These beers tend to pour out a bright and almost transparent shade of gold with a white head.

This result is not so shocking, as these are some of the most heavily advertised brands, including Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, Miller 64, Amstel Light and Budweiser Select.

A few Light Lagers (Photo credit: gear patrol.com)
A few Light Lagers (Photo credit: gear patrol.com)

One of the interesting things, and something I personally was surprised by, was the amount of people polled who admitted to drinking Malt Liquor! Sheesh! Also, I was surprised by the discrepancy that individuals had with knowing what kind of beer styles they drank. For instance, almost everybody polled had heard of or drank a Heineken before, but they were not familiar with its style of beer.

Until next year, fans, cheers!

(Slider image credit: avenuecalgary.com)

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Creator and host of the podcast Beer, Bros & BS, teller of stories, drinker of beers, reader of (comic) books, watcher of sports, devourer of food, mostly entertaining. From Miami. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @thebiglibrarian.

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