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2's Brews brewery bracket crowns a winner

Three weeks, 32 breweries and more than 100,000 votes later, Pearl Street and First Line Brewing met in the final round.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Three weeks. Thirty-two breweries. More than 104,600 votes. The inaugural "2's Brews: WNY Brewery Bracket" has come to an end.

The final round came down to 16-seed Pearl Street Brewery in downtown Buffalo and 10-seed First Line Brewing in Orchard Park. Over 24,000 votes were cast in the final round of the brewery bracket and First Line Brewing came out on top with 13,933 votes.

Daybreak's Lauren Hall presented the 2's Brews trophy to First Line Brewing owners Michael Maiorana and Shane Stewart Monday morning on Daybreak.

"We were just excited to be in the bracket," Stewart said. 

"And it was such a cool experience to see people vote and to see the matchups and everything. It just really goes to show the craft beer quality in Western New York."

According to Maiorana, First Line Brewing opened on South Buffalo Street in Orchard Park almost two years ago.

"We opened up in August of 2020, kind of in the middle of the pandemic," Maiorana said. We really rally around first responders and the community. And we're very patriotic. So we have a really good fan base that stand with us. And I think we have good beer too."

Here's a look back at some of the biggest moments of the tournament:

Upset City

The field started with 32 Western New York breweries. Viewers voted for their top five favorites, which helped us narrow it down to 16 for the opening bracket. 

There were many upsets, but the biggest was in the first round, when No. 15 seed Windy Brew out of Strykersville knocked off No. 2 seed Ellicottville Brewing Company. Windy Brew racked up 2,197 votes to EBC's 1,549.

Narrow Matchups 

The bracket had its fair share of close matchups, too. During the second round, Flying Bison won by just three votes, beating Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2,897 to 2,894. 

Despite Owner Tim Herzog's social media blitz, Flying Bison was eliminated in the final four by First Line Brewing.