Southern Tier Brewing Company Crowned National Champion in USA Today “For The Win” Ultimate Craft Beer Bracket Contest

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Customer support and social media buzz propels Upstate New York brewery to victory amongst 32 national craft breweries

The outpouring of support from our many devoted Southern Tier fans was unbelievable and drove us to victory over some pretty daunting competition.

Southern Tier Brewing Company (STBC) today celebrated its first-ever USA Today “For The Win” Ultimate Craft Beer Bracket championship, following an impressive string of online voting tournament wins, including a nail-biter finale versus Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Founders Brewing Company. Of the 4,500 craft breweries in the United States, 32 top-flight breweries competed in a bracket akin to the NCAA March Madness tournament to crown an overall craft beer champion for 2015—Southern Tier Brewing Company.

“It’s always fun to be part of these national craft beer brackets, especially when it involves so many high quality breweries and an entity like USA Today,” said Phin DeMink, Founder of STBC. “The outpouring of support from our many devoted Southern Tier fans was unbelievable and drove us to victory over some pretty daunting competition. I think our overall tournament victory speaks to both the passion our customers have for the STBC brand, as well as the quality of the beer we produce.”

Nearly 40,000 votes were cast in the Final Four of the USA Today “For The Win” Ultimate Craft Beer Bracket. STBC was considered an underdog throughout the tournament; first winning against regional No. 4 seed The Alchemist, then moving on to defeat Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, the East Region’s top seed, as well as No. 2 Victory Brewing Company. In the final two rounds, STBC advanced past No. 6 seed Terrapin Beer Company, and finally No. 2 seed Founders Brewing Company. STBC received more than 21,000 votes in the championship game and the final bracket had more than 65,000 social media shares.

“Our success in the Ultimate Craft Beer Bracket was truly an endorsement of the relationship we have with our customers,” said John Coleman, CEO of STBC. “At Southern Tier we are consistently striving to make the highest quality beer and offer exciting new products. At the same time our future outlook is focused on maintaining this standard of excellence, while growing our production capacity and distribution capabilities, so folks throughout the United States and beyond can experience our world-class brews.”

Votes for breweries were based on popularity, expert ratings and personal experience. A No. 5 seed in the East Region, STBC was ranked by its year-round standards: India Pale Ale, 2X IPA, Live Pale Ale, Right-O-Way IPA, Porter, PMX, and 2X Double Stout Milk Stout.

To view the online bracket, visit

Southern Tier was founded in 2003 by Phin and Sara DeMink in Lakewood, N.Y. and is one of the fastest-growing craft brewers in the U.S., with average annual volume growth of 48 percent since inception. It is known for its diverse portfolio of innovative beers that embodies the spirit of American craft brewing. Southern Tier constructed a new brewery in 2009 and has since undergone a series of expansions, increasing annual capacity to over 200,000 barrels. A close look at our logo reveals a brewers star. It may be just one diminutive graphic, but it plays a huge role in our brewery. The star represents purity in six crucial facets of our work; water, hops, grain, malt, yeast and brewer. We believe that by maintaining the highest quality possible in these areas, we will produce world-class beverages.

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Matthew Davison
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