There’s a time for relaxing with a good craft beer, but this year’s Malted Madness tournament was not one of them. It took a great deal of humility, but we shelved our self-proclaimed beer snobbery for the sake of a single question: what’s the best mass market beer available? It wasn’t easy, but we got an answer, and some other cool articles, besides. Check out the full series here.

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malted-madness-mass-market-beers-gear-patrol-lead Introducing the Mass-Market Beer Tournament
We got down from our high horse, if only for a second, to judge the best of the generic, watery and cheap mass market beers. How exactly? It has to do with seeding a total of 34 beers into four divisions and holding an NCAA-style tournament of blind tastings in order to declare a winner. Read on for all the details and a preview of next week’s madness. Read the Story »
Domestic-Beer-GEAR-PATROL-LEAD Mass-Market Beer Tournament: Domestic Division
We kick off the Mass-Market Beer Tournament with the Domestic Division. It’s a blind tasting fight to the finish (and a Final Four berth) between Budweiser, Sam Adams, Yuengling, PBR, Miller High Life, Blue Moon, Coors Banquet and PBR. Read the Story »
Imports-Gear-Patrol-Lead Mass Market Beer Tournament: Imported Division
In the Imported Division of the Mass Market Beer Tournament, our blind tasters pick the their favorites and grant a Final Four berth to the best in the division. This round, it’s between Corona Extra, Guinness, Heineken, Modelo Especial, Labatt Blue, Newcastle Brown Ale, Stella Artois and Sapporo. Read the Story »
Specials-Gear-Patrol-Lead Mass-Market Beer Tournament: The Special Division
The top selling malt liquors, ciders and flavored beers in America meet in an NCAA tournament of blind taste tests to find the best in the business. We’re talking about both Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita and Lime-A-Rita; we’re talking about Bud Light Lime; we’re talking about Colt 45, Steel Reserve, Angry Orchard and Woodchuck. We’re talking about a fiasco. Read the Story »
Lite-Beer-Gear-Patrol-LEAD Mass-Market Beer Tournament: The Light Division
The battle of the lights: Bud, Corona, Natural, Busch, Coors, Keystone, Michelob, Miller. Who will come out on top — and will we even be able to taste the difference? Read the Story »
Final-Four-Gear-Patrol-Lead Mass-Market Beer Tournament: The Final Four
The winners of their respective divisions — Sam Adams, Guinness, Natural Light and Steel Reserve — match up in the Final Four of the Mass Market Beer Tournament, and we crown a champion. Read the Conclusion »
LARGE-CRAFT-BREWERY-GEAR-PATROL-LEAD A Case for the Large Craft Brewery
Put a Heady Topper next to a Busch. One of the beers is craft, and the other is not. Why? When does a beer stop being craft? Who wrote the current definition, and why did they define craft like they did? Part of the answer, it turns out, involves two breweries you know. Read the Story »
Drinking-With-The-Locals-Gear-Patrol-Lead- Drinking with the Locals
We explore drinking culture from around the world to bring you the best five customs and oddities we could find — from beer-chugging Prime Ministers, to drinking and driving (don’t do it), to the biggest party in Iceland and more. Read the Story »
DIVE-BAR-GEAR-PATROL-LEAD Defining the Dive Bar
Dive bars face a tug-of-war: they’re either worshiped or ostracized. This must stop. Dive bars are just like any other bar — plus or minus a few roaches and/or bathroom stall sex stories — in that “good” or “bad” depends on who’s asking. Whatever your cup of tea, we contest simply that “dive” not be used to describe a place that sucks: it should be a place that sucks with vigor, or with style, or with crassness. Here are the sordid watering holes that our staff believes, in their slightly perverse estimations, capture the true spirit of the dive bar. Read the Story »
HISTORY-OF-MILWAUKEE-GEAR-PATROL-LEAD A Quick, Drunk History of Milwaukee
At one time considered the “Beer Capital of the World”, Milwaukee was home to four of the largest brewers in the U.S. Now the city is home to only one: Miller Brewing Co. We examine the rise and fall of the foamy city. Read the History »