Tavern Time: Mass Madness Malt Matchup Week 1 Coverage!

Welcome back to another Tavern Time where Christy ( a craft beer connoisseur) and I (a craft beer noob and trash beer drinker) review random craft beers that catch our eye! Our Beer Bracket of Champions, Mass Madness Malt Matchup began Monday and the Western Conference just finished the first round brawls, so this entry will be dedicated to our coverage on each matchup. In this coverage, we at Tavern of Tales, did a blind taste test for each contest (in which one beer was labelled AA and the other one, A) and talked about which one we favored more. Unfortunately though, some tastes we considered superior did not make it to the next round. Anyways, here’s our commentary!

Matchup 1: Night Shift- Santili (A) VS. Harpoon IPA (AA)
Nick: Have you guys had Harpoon IPA before?
JP: Mhm.
Nick: Do you think you can drink it and tell? Shall we make an additional test? Can you identify which one is the Harpoon IPA?
Christy: Yes. I had Harpoon just yesterday.
JP: Well I had High Life yesterday, so zero promises.
Christy: All right, let’s smell. They smell surprisingly similar. All right, A is Harpoon and AA is Santili.
JP: I agree, cause AA has a different taste that I’m used to and I like AA more.
Nick: Well, you’re both wrong.
Christy: What?
JP: Wow.
Christy: Harpoon is AA?
Nick: Harpoon is AA. You guys don’t know what you’re drinking apparently.
Christy: Apparently!
Nick: So which one do you like better?
Christy: I like the Harpoon better. The Santili’s kinda bland. That’s why I thought it was Harpoon. Everything I thought I knew about beer is wrong.
JP: Yeah there is a dryness to the Santili that I enjoy. I’m about it.
Christy: Don’t get me wrong. I still like both.
JP: Yeah, it’s one of those cases where there isn’t a clear favorite.
Commentator Victor: Harpoon IPA
Mass Madness Malt Matchup Winner: Nightshift Santili

Matchup 2: Small Change- a little rain (AA) VS. Winter Hill- Suburban Home (A)
Christy: AA is definitely more bitter than A. A is sweeter.
Nick: So which one do you like better?
Christy: I mean they both have completely different applications. I mean this one’s (A) nice, dry, very drinkable.
JP: Ew…
Christy: Okay, you really don’t like one of them.
JP: I like A more than AA.
Christy: I think I like A more than AA too. AA is definitely hoppy-er
Nick: So for today’s matchup, Winter Hill- Suburban Home was A. And Small Change was AA.
JP: What?
Christy: Woah. Small Change for the lose, but I still like the can design more.
JP: I know. It’s such a nice can. Poor AA, we were all rooting for you to taste good.
Commentator Victor: Winter Hill- Suburban Home
Mass Madness Malt Matchup Winner: Small Change- a little rain

Matchup 3: Jack’s Abby House Lager (AA) VS. Sam Adams Boston Lager (A)
Christy: So let’s smell!
JP: Well A smells like Sam Adams, and surprisingly, AA also smells like Sam Adams.
Christy: Based on the appearance, I think A is Sam Adams. And based on the taste, I still think A is Sam Adams.
Nick: Which one do you like better?
Christy: Oh. They kind of taste the same.
JP: They taste pretty similar, but I think I like AA more.
Christy: Yeah I agree with that.
Nick: So you guys are both voting AA?
JP: Yeah.
Nick: Well you were right. A is Sam Adams and AA is Jack’s Abby.
Commentator Victor: Jack’s Abby House Lager
Mass Madness Malt Matchup Winner: Jack’s Abby House Lager.

Matchup 4: Slumbrew- Raising Helles VS. Castle Island American Lager (ft. guest: Sophia Sun)
Christy: All right, so A is lighter, slightly lighter, than AA.
JP: Yes.
Christy: Okay, smell?
*the two beer coverage veterans sniff their red solo cups for an obscene amount of time*
Sophia: All right. Let’s drink.
Christy: Um, they’re both pretty good and kinda similar.
JP: Yeah…
Nick: Again?
Christy: Again. I’m not really sure which I like better.
Sophia: I like A better.
Christy: But A’s a little lighter.
Sophia: That’s why I like A better. AA has more of a strong taste.
JP: A is light and refreshing. It’s like a summer day.
Nick: I like the lighter taste also. Although I don’t think I’d want to drink too much of this, or else I’d be drinking calories, as they say.
Sophia: It’s like drinking water a little bit.
Christy: Well the Helles is almost six percent.
JP: You know what, I’m about the AA.
Nick: So one for AA.
Sophia: One for A.
Christy: I think I like AA better.
Nick: Okay. Well, Slumbrew was AA. Castle Island was A.
Christy: So Castle Island’s a little bit lighter.
Commentator Victor: Slumbrew- Raising Helles
Mass Madness Malt Matchup Winner: Castle Island American Lager

If you want to participate in the Mass Madness Malt Matchup, remember to check our Instagram Monday-Friday and vote on our Insta-story! We’ll be back next week with our Week 2 coverage!