Trophy Brewing's Best In Show
Host city: Raleigh, N.C.
Yet another great craft beer state makes the list, but there's a whole lot of ground to cover in North Carolina and the NCAA's only in town for so long.
With that in mind, we narrowed our scope to North Carolina's "Triangle" of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill and came up with one beer that lives up to its name. This local take on Belgian farmhouse beer -- which is typically brewed in winter and was once used to help farmworkers through the summer -- is a masterful version of the brawnier modern variety.With 6.7% ABV, this American Saison is far more potent than the 3%-to-3.5% ABV Saisons of yore but right in line with the Belgian beer considered the standard bearer for the style: Saison Dupont. Pale and slightly grassy and yeasty, this particular Saison differs even further from traditional offerings by adding a little citrus to the aroma and malt to the mix. It's mild, but it's a great starter Saison for beer fans weaned on light lager, pale ale and wheat beers. If you're going to take basketball as seriously as this area does, you should give similar consideration to the beer you drink with it. Best In Show may not be the most popular beer in town, but the sum of its parts make it the best.