The beer that made New Glarus famous can put another prize in its crowded trophy case: Wisconsin Beer Bracket champion.
Spotted Cow, the ubiquitous farmhouse ale from New Glarus Brewing Co., got the final nod from voters in the closest final in the three-year history of the March Madness-style beer smackdown. Spotted Cow narrowly defeated Bedlam, a Belgian-style India pale ale from two-time defending Beer Bracket champion Ale Asylum, 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent.
Wisconsin Beer Bracket champion is a title that befits Spotted Cow. It's by far the best-selling beer from a brewery with a sterling international reputation, and it can be found in nearly every tavern in a state known for its embrace of taverns. Adding to Cow's mystique, not a single drop of it is sold outside Wisconsin's borders.
In its third year as a No. 1 seed, Spotted Cow's run to the Beer Bracket crown included a blistering run through the Yeast regional in which it knocked off both Ale Asylum beers in the field. Spotted Cow defeated 16th-seeded St. Francis Sloth, 83.9 percent to 16.1 percent; No. 8 Lake Louie Tommy’s Porter, 65.6 percent to 34.4 percent; No. 12 Ale Asylum Mercy Grand Cru, 66.7 percent to 33.3 percent; and No. 3 Tyranena Rocky's Revenge, 67.4 percent to 32.6 percent. In the Final Four it defeated fellow No. 1 seed O'so Night Train, 56 percent to 44 percent.
Voters in the Beer Bracket have been randomly selected to win a host of prizes including a Pelican Pulse 100 X kayak from Fontana Sports; winners will be notified soon.