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Best B1G Brewery Challenge, State Finals: Ohio and Minnesota

Great Lakes or Fat Head's? Surly or Summit?


Welcome back to the Best B1G Brewery Challenge! If you're new here (and judging by the Twitter response we got this weekend, there are plenty of first-time voters joining us), here's a quick refresher:

  • Through a combination of distribution maps, Beer Advocate ratings, suggestions from the commentariat, and executive decisions by me, we narrowed each state down to the best 4-6 breweries. Since then, we've been voting on best brewery across the Big Ten footprint.
  • That awesome brewery in your town doesn't can/bottle? Sorry, it's probably not up for voting. We, various football fans from various states, want to find beer we can bring to a tailgate quickly and easily.
Fully updated bracket (spoilers on the other state finals found there) can be found here, and be sure to vote on the best breweries in Iowa, Indiana, and New Jersey, Nebraska and Pennsylvania, and Maryland and Michigan!

This vote will only feature the remaining two states from the...

Dilly Bar Dan Bracket

Do you not know the Legend of Dilly Bar Dan? How do you not know the legend of Dilly Bar Dan?! Read this at once.

This bracket now holds a personal meaning to me, given that I received a bit of email the other day. It was from a member of our Gopher readership, letting me know that he worked with Dilly Bar Dan's daughter, and while she was mortified at the legend her dad has become, she's also amused that we've named a bracket after him and said she'd pass it along.

That's right.

Rarefied air.

Dilly Bar Dan himself might be reading this article.

We salute you, Dan.


I'm not going to lie -- I'm pretty salty with the commentariat for voting Summit through to the finals and leaving the Pride of New Ulm and oldest brewery in Minnesota, Schell's, out. But that's how things go! It'll be a heated Saint Paul-versus-Minneapolis final, as Surly crushed Indeed to move on.

#1 Surly Brewing Co. vs. #3 Summit Brewing Co.

MNW's Hot Taek: It says it in my profile, and I'll rep it all day: #TeamStPaul. Summit, for commitment to excellence in brewing lasting 30 years.


Our first big, big upset, as Fat Head's mobilized its voting bloc and eased past Rhinegeist comfortably. If Great Lakes isn't careful, the big boys of Ohio could be bounced early.

#1 Great Lakes Brewing Co. vs. #6 Fat Head's Brewery

MNW's Hot Taek: Can't vote against the King. Also, have you had Alberta Clipper? Stop what you're doing and go have Alberta Clipper.


Just four states (MN, OH, WI, and IL) to go in the voting, and there are upsets galore across that quarter of brewing powerhouses! Stay tuned, and be sure to vote in the other states in the meantime:

Iowa, Indiana, and New Jersey

Nebraska and Pennsylvania

Maryland and Michigan

Thanks as always for reading and voting! Be sure to let us know your vote and your favorites in the comments.