Craft Beer Bracket Challenge 2019

Welcome to the information center for the Craft Beer Bracket Challenge 2019.  

Here you will access information for breweries, event hosts, and sponsors.  Applications can be found here for both breweries and event hosts.

UPDATE 10/6/18 — Only space for 12 additional beers (20 of 32 slots filled)

–HOST SITE APPLICATION

–BREWERY APPLICATION

–EVENT SPONSORSHIP

OVERVIEW: A fun and interactive Northeast Wisconsin craft beer bracket challenge with 32 regional craft beers and at least 8 challenge sites.  Beers face off head to head, with patrons deciding who moves forward. Four “Regions” each feature different styles of beer placed in the bracket from light to dark, with the goal of advancing to the next round and to become the champion.  The event will benefit the Oshkosh Area Habitat for Humanity.  Brought to you by the Oshkosh Independent, The Society of Oshkosh Brewers, Oshkosh Beer, Offbeat Press, and the Oshkosh Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

2019 DATES: January 31 – March 30, 2019

— SAMPLE BRACKET

BREWERIES:  Any craft brewery located within the NEW NORTH region can submit 1-4 different beers for the competition.  The total number of beers included in the 2019 competition is 32. NEW NORTH Region:  Includes the counties of Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Waupaca, Brown, Shawano, Oconto, Marinette, Door, Kewaunee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Florence, Menominee and Waushara, as well as an extension to Plover County. Craft beer from outside of this region but within Wisconsin will only be accepted if space permits.

CONFIRMED BREWERIES (updated daily):  Knuth Brewing (Ripon), Badger State Brewing (Green Bay), Ahnapee Brewing (Algoma),  Bare Bones Brewery (Oshkosh), Fifth Ward Brewery (Oshkosh), Fox River Brewing (Oshkosh)

SITES and VOTING:  Oshkosh Host Sites will host the official voting for a head to head match, with sites simultaneously hosting two matches during a weekend until the finals.  The craft beers facing off will be available at the site for purchase. Each beverage purchase at the site, including purchases of the competing craft beers and others, includes one vote for the patron (min $3).  Voting begins at 4pm on day 1 and concludes at 10:30pm on each Saturday.

CONFIRMED HOST SITES (updated daily):  Beckets, Fifth Ward Brewery, The Ground Round @ Rivers Edge, Dublins, The Granary, Fox River Brewing

SCHEDULE:

  • Round 1: 8 sites each hosting two matches  sample sites
        • Jan 31 – Feb 2 (2 sites) (CONFIRMED @ Fox River Brewing & OPEN)
        • Feb 7-9 (2 sites) (CONFIRMED @ Barley & Hops & OPEN)
        • Feb 14-16 (2 sites) 
        • Feb 21-23 (2 sites)
  • Round 2: 4 sites each hosting two matches
        • Feb 28 – Mar 2 (2 sites)  (CONFIRMED @ Dublins & OPEN)
        • Mar 7-9 (2 sites)  (CONFIRMED @ Ground Round at Rivers Edge & The Granary)
  • Quarterfinals: 2 sites each hosting two matches (CONFIRMED @ The Granary & Fox River Brewing)
        • Mar 14-16 (2 sites)
  • Semifinals: 1 site hosting two matches and live music
        • Mar 22-23 (1 site, live music Mar 23)
  • Finals: 1 site hosting the final match and live music  (CONFIRMED @ Beckets)
        • Mar 29-30 (1 site, live music on Mar 30) 

ADVANCING TO THE NEXT ROUND:  The craft beer with the highest vote total concluding at 10:30pm on the Saturday evening of the contest will advance to the next round.

BRACKET CATEGORIES:

  • Section 1:  Light / Pale Lagers / Pilsners
  • Section 2:  Pale Ales / Ambers / Brown Ales
  • Section 3:  IPA
  • Section 4:  Dark / Stouts / Porters

WINNING BEER:  The winning beer and brewery will receive a place in the Contest’s Craft Beer Hall of Fame as well as an honorary plaque.  In addition, the winning beer will have a minimum quarter barrel served on a tap line over the next 12 months at each host site (guaranteed minimum 8 sites).  The winner will be profiled in a story at the Oshkosh Independent, as well as on local TV and radio. The winning party will also receive a free 30 day ad at www.oshkoshindependent.com to coincide with EACH placement of their beer at host sites (guaranteed minimum 8 ads).

SECOND PLACE BEER:  The second place beer will receive mention in the NEW Craft Beer Hall of Fame as well as an honorary plaque.  In addition, the 2nd place beer will will have a minimum quarter barrel served on a tap line over the next 12 months at the two quarterfinals host sites and the semi finals host site (guaranteed minimum 3 sites).  The 2nd place finisher will be recognized in post event media. The 2nd place beer will also receive a free 30 day ad at www.oshkoshindependent.com to coincide with EACH placement of their beer at quarterfinals host sites (guaranteed minimum 3 ads).

THIRD PLACE BEERS (2): Both beers will have a minimum quarter barrel served on a tap line over the next 12 months at one host site. The brewery will receive a free 30 day sidebar ad at www.oshkoshindependent.com.

LEADERSHIP TEAM:  Justin R. Mitchell, Oshkosh Independent; Lee Reiherzer, Oshkosh Beer; Amy Albright, Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau; Kris Larson, Beckets; Jeff Potts, Habitat for Humanity Oshkosh; Drew Mueske, Offbeat Press; Janet Wissink, Society of Oshkosh Brewers; Mike Engel, Society of Oshkosh Brewers; Kris Larson, Beckets.

EVENT MARKETING: The Oshkosh Independent (OI) will host a website dedicated to the event.  Digital marketing by the OI will include at www.oshkoshindependent.com and social media.  The OI Magazine will include a full page ad in the November 2018 print edition. Print posters will be present at all sponsor locations and host sites. Offbeat Press will coordinate all design work.  The Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau will facility local inclusion in calendars and regional promotions.  We will partner with the Oshkosh Downtown Business Improvement District for marketing. The event will collaborate with a local radio station for sponsorship and promotion.  The event will be featured in regional television.  The total number of medial outreach opportunities will exceed 150.

NORTHEAST WI BREWERY POTENTIAL CANDIDATES:

  1. Fox River Brewing, Oshkosh
  2. Bare Bones Brewing, Oshkosh
  3. Fifth Ware Brewing, Oshkosh
  4. HighHolder Brewing, Oshkosh
  5. Knuth Brewing, Ripon
  6. Lion’s Tale Brewing, Neenah
  7. Appleton Beer Factory, Appleton
  8. McFleshman’s Brewing, Appleton
  9. Stone Arch Brewing, Appleton
  10. Ob’s Brau Haus, Appleton
  11. Badger State Brewing, Green Bay
  12. Copper State Brewing, Green Bay
  13. Hinterland Brewing, Green Bay
  14. Titletown Brewing, Green Bay
  15. Noble Roots Brewing, Green Bay
  16. Stillmank Brewing, Green Bay
  17. Zambaldi Beer, Allouez
  18. Rowland’s Calumet Brewing, Chilton
  19. Thumb Knuckle Brewing, Luxemburg
  20. Ahnapee Brewing, Algoma
  21. Starboard Brewing, Sturgeon Bay
  22. Shipwrecked Brewery, Egg Harbor
  23. Door County Brewing, Baileys Harbor
  24. Railhouse Brewery, Marinette
  25. 3 Sheeps Brewing, Sheboygan
  26. 8th Street Ale Haus, Sheboygan
  27. Courthouse Pub, Manitowoc
  28. PetSkull Brewing, Manitowoc
  29. Plymouth Brewing, Plymouth
  30. SwitchGear Brewing, Elkhart Lake
  31. Stevens Point Brewing, Stevens Point
  32. Central Waters Brewing, Amherst
  33. Oso Brewing, Amherst
  34. Kozy Yak Brewing, Rosholt
  35. Mecan River Brewing, Coloma
  36. Pigeon River Brewing, Marian
  37. Omega Brewing Experience, Omro

Brewery must be fully licensed to both produce AND sell beer in the U.S. / Wisconsin. Brewery must have a Basic Permit/Brewers Notice on file with the TTB (U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau). Brewery must be currently open and operating with at least one beer that is currently commercially available for sale at retail to the public (tap room, bar, restaurant, or store).

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  1. Will the brewery be giving away the beer?  Nope.  We will work with the brewery and distributor to assist the host site with purchasing the 1/4 barrel (or more), which will be on sale at the host site.
  2. Can the brewery send a representative?  Absolutely.  In fact, we require it for the semis and final. Let us know who and when and we’ll help promote that.  The SOBs (Society of Oshkosh Brewers) love to meet craft beer folk.
  3. Can an Oshkosh brewery host their own beer for a matchup?  Not initially. We will structure this to try and avoid this.  However, if a beer advances, it is possible that a brewery may host their own beer.
  4. Is this an annual event?  Maybe.  We’re starting with this event and will see how things go.  We are at a minimum planning on doing this every other year.
  5. How much will the beer cost?  It will vary based upon the submitted beers and the venue’s pricing.  You should expect anywhere from $3-$7.
  6. How does voting take place?  Host venues will be provided Craft Beer Bracket Challenge wooden nickels that are issued to patrons with each beverage purchase ($3+) during dates of competition.  Patrons can vote on their preferred beer by submitting their wooden nickel into the voting container for their preferred beer.
  7. How is the winner determined?  The Craft Beer Bracket Challenge will have a representative present at each venue from 8:30pm – 10:30pm each Saturday.  A vote tally will be made at 8:00pm to update voters on the score, with the updates posted online.  At 10:30pm (on Saturday), voting will conclude and the representative will complete a final vote count. The beer with the highest vote total advances.
  8. My brewery doesn’t serve 1/4 barrels, so how does that work?  The host site agrees to host a minimum 1/4 barrel, and if not available they agree to host 1/2 barrel.

Have other questions?  Email oshkoshindependent@gmail.com