Pals, Peg Leg and Mac’s Creek Battle in Nebraska Beer Bracket Challenge


March 13, 2023 — Launching today, the third annual Sarah Baker Hansen March Madness-inspired food bracket is this year focused on Nebraska’s craft breweries and is moving from an Omaha-centric format to a statewide format, inviting breweries and residents from across the state to get into the action. Find all the details at

When: Monday, March 13 is the first day of voting, and voting continues through several rounds, culminating in one winner announced on April 3. Users are encouraged to vote for their favorite Nebraska breweries across the state. 

What: Sarah Baker Hansen started an Omaha-focused food bracket in 2021 with the Omaha Pizza Bracket, and came back in 2022 with the Omaha Burger Bracket. This year, thanks in part to a grant from the Nebraska Craft Brewery Board, the contest has grown to a statewide event, including 64 locally owned breweries across the state of Nebraska, divided into four competitive regions. 

How: Starting today, Nebraskans can visit and vote for their favorite Nebraska brewery. Breweries will advance based on individual votes, and similar to how March Madness works, the contest will continue over several weeks. For full dates and rules, read on.

Contest Dates

Bracket Announcement

Sunday, March 12

Round 1 voting

March 13 (noon) – March 16 (midnight)

Round 2

March 17 (1 a.m.) – March 20 (noon)

Sweet 16

March 20 (1 p.m.) – March 22 (noon)

Elite 8

March 22 (1 p.m.) – March 25 (noon)

Final Four

March 25 (1 p.m.) – March 29 (noon)


March 29 (1 p.m.) – April 3 (noon)

Contest Rules & Disclosures

The bracket allows one vote per matchup per round. You can vote for each of the 32 matchups in the first round, for example, but you can’t vote 20 times in a row for your favorite burger place.

You must share your name and a working email address to vote. I won’t give your contact info to anyone else, but I will sign you up for my weekly newsletter. If you enter a fake email address, we’ll delete your votes.


About Sarah Baker Hansen: Sarah Baker Hansen launched her own food website covering the food scene of her hometown, Omaha, Neb., in 2020.  

For eight years, she was the food critic at the Omaha World-Herald. She started the periodic Food Prowl series, wherein she created teams of tasters and found favorites in a number of categories. The series resulted in close to 40 “best of Omaha” winners, including Reuben, fried chicken, ice cream and more. 

In 2021, she debuted a partnership with Grow Omaha and now writes original food criticism every other week. The content appears on her website and at Grow Omaha Eats.

She won a 2015 Great Plains Journalism Award for best review and a 2017 Great Plains Journalism Award for best feature. 

She works as the Director of Public & Media Relations at Emspace + Lovgren, in Omaha, and has written two books: “The Better Half: Nebraska’s Hidden Treasures” and “The Insider’s Guide to Omaha and Lincoln.” 

She is available for media interviews. Email her at