The end is nigh for our brewery patio bracket-style tournament. After splitting up the state into a dozen regions based upon geography and location status (primary brewery or offsite taproom), we now have a dozen bracket winners who can claim the title of the best in their area.
Oh, but it is not over yet. Now those 12 winners get to finally square off against one another, as north meets south, taprooms face breweries, and we call upon everyone to vote in just two more sets of polls. Today we will begin to narrow down those 12 regional winners into four finalists, with that final poll to run Thursday, and the champion of champions will be announced Monday.
First, let us recap the regional finals, with photos of each of the winners either from the Crew archives our courtesy of the breweries themselves.
Southeast: 1. Cloudcroft Brewing 498 votes, 2. Sierra Blanca 50
This ended up being the most lopsided result, a real stunner. Sierra Blanca has a lovely beer garden out in Moriarty, but in the end, those mountain views in Cloudcroft were simply too much to overcome.
Southwest: 1. 575 Brewing 505 votes, 2. Spotted Dog Brewery 274
The little brewery in Mesilla gave all it could, but the loyal citizens of Alamogordo would not let their new brewery be denied.
ABQ Offsite Taprooms West: 1. Boxing Bear West Downtown 121, 2. El Vado Taproom by Ponderosa 92
These two West Central spots finished in the same order in all three rounds.
ABQ Offsite Taprooms East: 1. Canteen Taproom on Tramway 128, 2. Santa Fe Green Jeans 101
After coming in fourth in the first round, Canteen caught fire en route to beating out both SFBC taprooms.
Offsite Taprooms Beyond ABQ: 1. Drylands Hobbs 83, 2. Truth or Consequences Las Cruces 57
After TorC had closed the gap in the second round, Drylands reasserted itself with a commanding victory for the southeasternmost craft beer outpost in New Mexico.
Northwest: 1. Lauter Haus Brewing 786, 2. Bathtub Row Brewing 549
OK, we get it, you all love your patios in the north. This region consistently racked up the most votes total, and Lauter Haus needed all it could get to hold off a spirited challenge by the ‘Tub. Heck, Los Alamos’ brewery would have won any other region with that voting total. The rules are the rules, however, and its impressive run ends here.
Northeast: 1. Red River Brewing 310, 2. Comanche Creek 249
Small-town charm beats out alpine vistas in this region. Red River led in all three rounds and will look to carry that momentum forward.
ABQ Metro: 1. Casa Vieja Brewery 277, 2. Ex Novo Brewing 206
The battle of Corrales Road went back and forth for two rounds before Casa Vieja finally pulled away. The best part about these two patios? They are easy to visit on the same day. Just keep it to 30 MPH, please.
ABQ Northwest: 1. Steel Bender Brewyard 332, 2. Red Door Brewing 118
This one seemed inevitable, as Steel Bender increased its margin of victory in every round (from 38 to 57 to 213). Red Door operations manager Ali Cattin compared this to a battle between David and Goliath. It ended up more like the Japanese Self Defense Forces versus Godzilla.
ABQ Northeast: 1. Canteen Brewhouse 231, 2. La Cumbre Brewing 219
After a pair of comfortable wins, Canteen had to sweat this one out before claiming victory in the closest regional final result. All those recent seasonal releases at LC must have fired up its fans again, but it was not quite enough.
ABQ Southeast: 1. Differential Brewing 282, 2. Quarter Celtic Brewpub 231
This went back and forth for several days before Differential reasserted itself as the dominant patio in this region. It’s good to see the brewery still enjoying such support even without the boost from nearby New Mexico United and Albuquerque Isotopes games this year.
ABQ Southwest: 1. Sidetrack Brewing 215, 2. Bow & Arrow Brewing 162
Look, if you had told us before this all started that any brewery but Marble was going to come out of this region, we would have taken that bet. And now, we would have less money. Which is bad. Anyway, congrats to one of the smallest in size, but biggest in heart (aw!) breweries to advance.
As before, what makes a brewery patio the best is totally up to each and every one of you. It can the be the view, the physical setup, the beer itself, the food, the front-of-house staff, or anything. This is all purely for fun and bragging rights, so there are no wrong answers. Voting will close for this round Thursday at noon, so do not procrastinate picking the final four to advance for the shot at top honors.
We listed everyone in alphabetical order. There are no rankings or anything of the sort. Good luck to everyone.
See you all back here for the results and the final poll Thursday.
Keep supporting local!