Visit MaineToday's profile on Pinterest.

About The Author


Dave Patterson

Dave Patterson is a writer and musician who is thirsty for craft beer. He's been immersed in the New England beer scene for years as a patron and since 2013 as a beer writer. In his attempt to drink all the great beer America has to offer, Dave has become convinced that the Maine beer scene is among the best in the country. He can be spotted throughout the state at breweries, bars, and backyards imbibing brilliant Maine beers. It is his belief that craft beer plays an integral role in bolstering a vibrant local economy, so he urges you do your part by drinking local beer to support your community. Twitter: @PattersonWriter​

Send an email | Read more from Dave

Posted: March 24, 2015

It’s coming! The Maine Madness Beer Tournament begins March 26

Written by: Dave Patterson
Last year’s winner, Rising Tide’s Maine Island Trail Ale

Last year’s winner, Rising Tide’s Maine Island Trail Ale

It’s March and that means daylight savings time, the disappearance of that psychotic snow bank in your yard, and March Madness. I’m not just talking about the NCAA basketball tournament, I’m talking about the bracketed-style competition that is truly as cool as the other side of the pillow: The Maine Madness Beer Tournament.

Vote in round one now! Maine Beer Madness Beer Tournament: Round One

My beer comrade, Tim Ebersold, and I started this beer tournament last year when I was blogging about beer. During the two-week tournament, the voting swelled from less than fifty votes cast in the first round to 403 votes cast in the championship round. As the tournament grew it was clear that Mainers love their brewing scene, and that each Maine brewery has a passionate fan base. Many of the matchups last year came down to one or two votes.

A quick recap of last year’s tournament. We started with a field of 64 Maine beers, placed into four sections on the bracket based on beer styles: IPAs; Ales; Dark Beers and Strong Ales; and Seasonals. The Final Four was whittled down to Maine Beer Company’s Lunch (IPA) vs. Rising Tide Brewing’s Maine Island Trail Ale (Seasonal) and Maine Beer Company’s Peeper (Ale) vs. Allagash’s Curieux (Darks and Strongs). Maine Island Trail Ale and Curieux squeezed through to the championship round, and in a landslide win, Maine Island Trail Ale emerged as the victor of the First Annual Maine Madness Beer Tournament.

Before discussing this year’s bracket, let’s get something clear: this tournament’s purpose isn’t to mark winners and losers in Maine beer. Last year, this year, and every year that we run this tournament there is only one clear purpose: TO CELEBRATE MAINE BEER. During every round, we encourage, implore, nay, demand, that you go out to your local beer bar or beverage warehouse and try a new beer from the bracket that you’ve never had before. Who is the real winner from this tournament? You, the beer drinker. Sixty-four beers compete for beer glory, and we all win.

Now that we have that established, let’s talk about the 2015 tournament. On a Saturday in early March, the Maine Madness Beer Tournament team descended upon a packed Rising Tide tasting room to have our ‘Selection Saturday’ in the space where last year’s winner, Maine Island Trail Ale, is brewed. (Special thanks to the Rising Tide crew for embracing the Madness.)

This year, instead of breaking the bracket into four categories and assigning seeds to each beer, we decided to randomly select the chosen beers from a Rising Tide tip bucket. That way the seeding and the matchups were more democratic.

If you study the resulting bracket as closely as we have, you’ll see that we are in for some wild early round matchups. For instance, we could have a rematch of last year’s championship in the Sweet Sixteen! Also, round one pits one of Maine’s best selling beers, Pumpkinhead, against one of Maine’s most critically acclaimed beers, The Substance.

The voting for the 2015 Maine Madness Beer Tournament begins March 26 and continues until April 6, with our championship matchup coinciding with the men’s NCAA championship basketball game. ‘Like’ the Maine Madness Tournament page on Facebook to receive the voting links.

Our motto at the Maine Madness Beer Tournament is: To Drink ME is to Love ME. So do a lot of ‘research’ each round to discover new Maine beers, and get out the vote for your favorite Maine brews.


Watch the 2015 Maine Madness Beer Tournament draft

Video by Alexander Bertoni


Voting begins on March 26 and continues through April 6 right here on
Vote in round one now! Maine Beer Madness Beer Tournament: Round One

Maine Beer Madness

TWITTER: @mebeermadness
INSTAGRAM: @mainebeermadness

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Aged Beers and Bourbon Dinner
Outliers Eatery, 231 York St., Portland
6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday
If, like most craft beer lovers, you’ve fallen in love with bourbon barrel aged beers, then this one’s for you. This event will feature Allagash’s Curieux, James Bean, Bourbon Barrel Black paired with food courses and bourbon. Expect the beers to be boozy, but balanced and the food to be delicious.

Up Next: