Welcome to March, home of lots of bracketed tournaments in the name of Madness.

The Edge has created one to determine the best Buffalo brewery. We’ve been put against 42 North in round one. You may have voted for one or the other! But we feel a little… weird about it.

See, other tournaments tend to pit beers against each other. Directly asking you if you think Community Beer Works is “better” than 42 North seems a little more problematic, both because it goes against the spirit of comraderie somewhat and also because I’m still a strident believer in E-Prime: define “best”. Define “better”.

But: the tournament exists and the your friendly local brewers have decided to turn competition into collaboration: this will result in not a winner and a loser, but a collaboration beer. The “winner” will host the collaboration and the “loser” will bring a special ingredient to toss in.

Collaboration, not competition. Make beer, not war. From each according to their abeerity, to each according to their thirst.

We don’t mean to cancel the bracket, just subvert it. You still have agency: who should host and who should provide the twist? Who lives, who dies, who brews your story?

As excited as I am for this, our corner of the bracket neither came up with the idea nor stands alone: that honor goes to Matt Kahn and Big Ditch, who plan to do a collaboration with their mortal enemies (winky emoji) Rusty Nickel. You can read Matt’s take.

So basically, no matter who wins, we all win. Because more beer will have entered the world.

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