The Des Moines Register and Iowa Taproom have teamed up for the second year for Beer Brackets, a 64-beer tournament highlight beer crafted in the Hawkeye state. Beer lovers can vote once a day, every day throughout the tournament, which concludes March 28. No registration is required; vote at


The race for Iowa’s favorite came down to a difference of less than one percent in the final round.

Confluence Brewing Company’s Capital Gold Lager narrowly defeated the 10 Day Scottish Ale from Flix Brewhouse to take home the top prize in the 2017 Des Moines Register's Beer Brackets, presented by the Iowa Taproom. Capital Gold took home 50.82 percent of the final round votes, which closed Tuesday morning, with 10 Day Scottish Ale receiving 49.18 percent

Capital Gold is a flagship beer at Confluence that co-founder John Martin said has been made since the brewery opened its doors in 2011. The Des Moines-based brewery is located on the south side of Gray's Lake (1235 Thomas Beck Rd.) and features four year-round beers as well as a number of seasonal brews.

CATCH UP: Voters can view the full results from the Beer Brackets at

“(Capital Gold is) a beer a lot of people can enjoy but it's underappreciated so I’m happy to see it get some success,” Martin said.

The golden lager is described on the Confluence website as having a “slightly sweet, bready, malty flavor” that’s “balanced perfectly by traditional German noble hops with medium-low hop bitterness.” It registers at 5.1 percent alcohol-by-volume and can be found in draft at restaurants or bars or in growlers where local craft beer is sold.

Confluence hopes to start canning Capital Gold by the end of the year. The brewery began releasing canned version of the popular Des Moines IPA and Farmer John’s Ale earlier this year. Martin said Capital Gold is different from most lagers because of the full flavor the beer offers.

“It’s not a light, golden lager,” Martin said. “It's full-bodied golden lager. You get a little more flavor than you would in the traditional mega-beer, if you will.”

About the Beer Brackets: The Des Moines Register and Iowa Taproom Beer Brackets launched on March 1 with 64 Iowa beers. Around 175,000 votes were cast in the 2017 Beer Brackets, where craft beer fans voted daily between four brackets: light, dark and malty, strong, sour or fruity and hoppy. The winner of the first Beer Brackets, in 2016, went to West O Beer’s CocO Stout.

BREW NEWS: Here are the breweries opening in Iowa this year

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