Saturday, April 6th, 2024

Peaks and Pints Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers Day Two

Peaks & Pints bartender Mathrandir announces the winners of day one of the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers.

Peaks and Pints Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers Day Two

MATHRANDIR: Welcome to Peaks and Pints Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers Day Two from the historic Proctor District in beautiful Tacoma, Washington. I’m Peaks & Pints bartender Mathrandir. You might recognize me donning this year’s Tournament of Beer brackets and posters, or as a grey wanderer in the hinter lands of Eriador. I have the sole honor or announcing yesterday’s Tournament of Beer action.

To recap yesterday’s J.R.R. Tolkien novel-length explanation of this year’s beer competition, sixty-four Washington and Oregon brewed amber and red ales were chosen by the public for the Tournament of Beer, which kicked off yesterday with two games in the Northern Washington region and two games in the Southern Oregon region. Brackets don Minas Tirith bulletin boards, Mordor break rooms, Middle-Northwest brewery hallways and reveal parties in the Shire. IBU now means International Bitterness Units rather than Iarwain Ben-Adar’s unitard in conversations. Amber Baggins, the daughter of Bilbo Baggins and Rose Proudfoot, received the honor of lighting the mountaintop beacons. It was a fun opening day I can tell you.

OK, without further ado, let’s take a gander at yesterday’s results. Remember, the next Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers First Round action goes live at 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 8, right here on the Peaks & Pints website.

Friday, April 5, First Round Northwest Pale Ales Games Results

Mathrandir explains how Stemma Brewing’s First Amber beat Mac & Jack’s African Amber.


1. Mac & Jack’s African Amber vs. 16. Stemma Brewing First Amber

The Tournament of Beer Fellowship’s projection had the Redmond brewery winning this game. I’m mean, African Amber with its long history had a ton of public nominations placing it as a number one seed in the Northern Washington region. What’s happened? Where were the Mac & Jack’s fans? Sure, African Amber dominated the morning votes, but I suspect Stemma Brewing owners Kim and Jason Harper let the brewery kittens into the taproom — and Bellingham reacted. Stemma’s First Amber is the first amber to score a major upset. First Amber received 71 percent of the vote and a spot in the Second Round.


8. Hellbent Brewing Red Patina vs. 9. Reuben’s Brews Little Fox

Reuben’s Brews’ Irish red ale was a sly Little Fox yesterday. After the horn of Boromir sounded, Reuben’s Little Fox jumped to a big lead. It was as if Hellbent Brewing was just cold coolin’ at a bar lookin’ for some action and feeling like, as Mick Jagger says, can’t get no satisfaction. Then, around noon, Hellbent remembered, the audience nominated the toffee forward red ale a winner, so the brewery took its longtime supporters to the Hilton for Red Patinas and some dinner. It worked. Hellbent squeaked out a win in the last few hours with 53% of the vote and a slot in the Second Round.


Mathrandir thinks Block 15’s Ridgeback Red has what it takes to go far in the Tournament.

7. Claim 52 Admiral Red vs. 10. Crux Mountain Traffic Red

Mountain Traffic was busy yesterday — busy racing for votes. The Crux Fermentation Project’s hoppy red ale raced to the front the pack and never looked in the rear view mirror. The 12-year-old Bend, Oregon, brewery beat Eugene’s Centennial hop driven Admiral Red from Claim 52 Brewing with 70 percent of the vote and a parking spot in the Second Round.


2. Block 15 Ridgeback Red vs. 15. Cascade Lakes Red Thump

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a superb hunter. This dog not only tracks their prey but can hold also quarry at bay. The breed is also known as the African Lion Hound due to their history of helping to hunt lions in the Savannah. It’s not a shock then that Block 15 Brewing’s Ridgeback Red Ale with a Ridgeback dog on the can thumped Cascade Lakes Red Thump by the largest margin of the day, 73 percent. The other breweries might consider hiring a dogcatcher.

Let’s weed through the malts. The following are advancing to the Second Round:

Stemma Brewing First Amber

Hellbent Brewing Red Patina

Crux Fermentation Project Mountain Traffic Red

Block 15 Brewing Ridgeback Red

Congrats to the winners! See everyone back here early Monday morning for more Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers First Round action. Cheers!

Monday, April 8 Tournament of Northwest Ambers action …

Game 1: Heathen Brewing Arson Red Ale (sixth seed) vs. Barrel Mountain Brewing Ash Cloud (11th seed)

Game 2: Wet Coast Brewing Hi Jack! Red Ale (third seed) vs. Sig Brewing Amber Rambler (14th seed)

Game 3: Migration Brewing Cannonball Red (fifth seed) vs. Ancestry Brewing Irish Red Ale (12th seed)

Game 4: Pelican Brewing Sea ’N Red (fourth seed) vs. McMenamins Red Rhino (13th Seed)

LINK: Tournament of Beers: Northwest Ambers explained

LINK: Tournament of Beer Headquarters

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