March Madness is still a couple months away, but if you're itching to stretch your bracket muscles you may want to check out the inaugural Ashley's Invitational Brewery Throwdown beginning January 4 at 6 p.m. at Ashley's Beer & Grill in Westland.
From the somewhat awkwardly worded official press release:
Michigan craft beer brewers Short's Brewing will face Dark Horse Brewing in the first match of the first round of the inaugural Ashley's Invitational Brewery Throwdown on January 4th at Ashley's Beer and Grill in Westland, Michigan. The Throwdown is a head-to-head competition among eight (8) craft brewers open to the public.
Ashley's co-owner Jeff More reported, “This is the first such tournament of its kind. Three rounds of head to head competition leading to a tournament champion. There have been individual matches and beer throwdowns but not a bracketed, multi-round brewery tournament that we could find.”
The first match of the competition starts at 6pm Wednesday January 4th at Ashley's Beer and Grill, 7525 Wayne Rd., Westland, Michigan. Over forty brewers were considered for the competition. Ashley's chose these eight as each having something special to bring to Ashley's customers. “Each brewer is a winner just by being good enough to get into the tournament,” said More. “Brewers were chosen to compete based upon what they could bring to our guests.”
In the first round each brewer must offer four (4) different draft beers. First round matches occur each Wednesday in January, 2012. Winners go on to the second round in February and March where they have to offer six (6) draft beers. The finals will be in April where each brewer must offer eight (8) draft beers. Brewer representatives will be present at each round to answer guests' questions about their beers.
Click on the image below for the bracket (seven Michigan breweries and one Pennsylvania one) and more details on how the competition works. And click here to read the full press release.