PORTLAND, Ore. — After two contentious rounds of the 2021 Oregon Beer Showdown with more than 1,300 ballots cast in each, the March Madness-style online tournament moved on to Round 3.
This Showdown, co-presented by KGW and its media partner the Portland Business Journal, has proven that it's good to be a 3-seeded brewery. All four of them survived into the "Tasty 8" round of voting, including Portland-based Ecliptic Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers of Hood River, Bend's Boneyard Beer Co. and Breakside Brewery with operations in Milwaukie, Portland and soon in Gresham. They all brewed between 20,000 and 25,000 barrels of beer last year, apparently a sweet spot for the Business Journal audience.
Click here to see the current bracket for Round 4
If you voted, you may have noticed that Astoria's renowned Fort George Brewery seemed to have the upper hand on Breakside, but after repeat voters were tossed out (as is custom in each round), Breakside emerged with a narrow 187-181 victory over Fort George. Bend-based Crux Fermentation Project takes on Breakside next.
In addition to Breakside's planned expansion, Ecliptic has recently opened a second location in Portland, the "Moon Room" complete with craters on the walls in Base Camp Brewing's former digs. The astronomical-themed ale-maker now faces Portland's Wayfinder Beer, the smallest brewer still standing at the lucky 13 seed.
Boneyard Beer Co. — acquired in March by Deschutes Brewing (the final No. 1-seed knocked out in Round 3) — is now pitted against Portland's Migration Brewing, a 5 seed, which has been true to its name, branching out from its original brewpub on Northeast Glisan to new locations in North Portland, Gresham and a downtown rooftop.
The final fourth seed, award-winning pFriem faces Buoy Beer Co. of Astoria, a two-time winner of past Oregon Beer Showdowns with a popular brewpub literally on the water where the Columbia empties into the Pacific.