Underdog may be the wrong adjective for Schlafly when it comes to this bracket, though. Despite strong support in Louisville for Bluegrass Brewing's Dark Star Porter, Schlafly fans came in and crushed their competition with a surge of votes at the end of the first round. What should've been a clash of rabid fan bases in the second round became a laugher for Schlafly as neither Cleveland, Dayton nor Great Lakes Brewing showed up to support Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.
Nothing -- not even Schlafly's beer bracket campaign posters -- compares with what happened during the last round. We're willing to take the blame for the first poll imploding and doling out 18,000 votes to one side in an hour. When the replacement poll started clocking a vote per second for Schlafly and Four Peaks Brewing's Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale, though, we just threw up our hands. The last thing we wanted was for half the workforce in Phoenix and St. Louis to spend its Friday workday hitting the vote button for its favorite brewery and only taking breaks to hit the boss button when a supervisor strolled by. What we really didn't want was for the poll to be turned into a big game of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots, with bots for each side trading blows on our poll.
With nearly 800,000 votes by the poll deadline and more than 1 million votes overall, the Schlafly/Four Peaks matchup seemed a bit bloated for a craft beer poll. That said, though, both breweries' Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and fan posts lit up by Friday. For the first time in The Beer Dance, we had smack talk in the comments fields. That's passion, and it's part of a formula of do-it-yourself marketing and quality product that helps a craft brewer succeed. Schlafly won and Four Peaks put up a valiant fight because their supporters willed them toward the championship. That loyalty is what makes a good brewer great and can turn a beer from a regional success to a nationwide and global force.Samuel Adams Boston Lager made that leap. Schlafly Double Hopped APA has the support to get there. Enough with the buildup. Let's see who wants it more.
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