SUMMER SIPS EDITION
Welcome to the third edition of Charlotte magazine’s Beer Bracket: Summer Sips! As always, the primary goal here is to celebrate and explore our region’s ever-expanding brewery scene via friendly match-ups. For those that have participated in the past, the basic rules remain the same: Pick your favorite in each of the match-ups in different “regions” below, and the bracket will eventually come down to two. Like previous years, our beer selections do not repeat any brews from past brackets.
We have made a few changes, though. First is the theme: Summer Sips. We’ve previously had an array of year-round styles in play. This time around, we’re focused on warm-weather beers, which means we’ve adjusted our “regions” to include categories that shine during the hottest months of the year: Lagers, Kölsch, Wheats, and IPAs (Tropical or Hazy). (No stouts this year, folks.) Does this comprise all summer styles? Not at all, but the goal is to simply create a line-up of fun and competitive styles to pit against one another. Kölsch is its own region because Charlotte is currently prolific and is excelling in that field, with a majority of ones selected being major award-winners.
Another alteration this year is a geographic one: This being focused on dog-day brews, we’re bringing in Lake Norman breweries for the first time—as these creations are just as ideal out on the water as they are on land. You’ll see those LKN spots scattered throughout our four “regions.”
Lastly, we have adjusted our rounds to be completed in 48 hours. Here’s the schedule for this year:
Round 1 (Original 32): Monday, May 23-Tuesday, May 24
Round 2 (Sweet 16): Thursday, May 26-Friday, May 27
Round 3 (Elite Eight): Monday, May 30-Tuesday, May 31
Round 4 (Final Four): Thursday, June 2-Friday, June 3
Round 5: (Championship Bout): Monday, June 6-Tuesday, June 7
So get sippin’ and selectin’, Charlotte! The winning beers and runners-up will be featured in our August issue.
Further Selection Criteria:
- No beer from our first Beer Bracket in 2020 or 2021 was eligible this year.
- Breweries had to be either contained inside or within three miles of the I-485 loop. Businesses originating outside of Charlotte were eligible, as long as they actually brew beer in Charlotte.
- Beers were selected and seeded based on rating on Beer Advocate and Untappd; national awards; and general availability. Only one beer per brewery this year.