Home Plate survived a challenge in the final head-to-head match from upstart Slow Boat Brewery, whose burgers did not even make the Round of 64 in 2013 but has shown some real mettle on the back of their innovatively gluttonous Fryburger, a burger stuffed with beer-battered French fries.
It’s been a long ride for Home Plate, which once again made its way into the finals via hard-fought victories over bracketmates Domain (#16), Burgers & Beer (#9), Temple Bar (#4) and Union Bar and Grille (#3), before going on to meet and defeat Bracket A’s top seed Great Leap Brewing and then besting Slow Boat.
Home Plate fans consistently praised the juiciness of their burgers as well as the value and the atmosphere of its two locations, the original behind the Hilton Hotel and its more recent venue in Sanlitun.
In the Third Place Match, Great Leap bounded by The Big Smoke to take slot #3 on the strength of its burgers, craft beer and atmosphere.
And with this, we now have our conclusionary rankings in the 2014 Cup, and you just may want to use the October 1 holiday to work off those extra pounds, as a full 68 percent of you reported eating more burgers than usual over the Burger Cup period, while 55 percent said you’ve consumed more beer.
As we wrap up, let’s take a look back at a tumultuous year in the rankings, with new entrants in the Top 10, others taking steep falls and a new fleet of contenders making the rankings.
Biggest Jumps: Stuff’d rose 24 spots, from #38 to #14; Temple Bar rose 23 spots to move from #36 to #13; The Cut jumped 14 spots to go from #44 to #30; The Big Smoke climbed 13 spots to make it to #4 from its previous perch at #17; Paddy O’Shea’s went from #31 to 19; 4corners jumped from #22 to 11; and Pentalounge moved up 8 spots from #55 to #47.
Welcome to the Jungle: Slow Boat tops the list of contestants that didn’t make the cut in last year’s tourney to place in this year’s, coming in at #2. Others that made their debut this year include #17 Katchup; #20 Burger Bar; #22 Q Mex; #23 Beer Mania; #25 Morton’s of Chicago; #27 Windy City; #28 The Irish Volunteer and #31 The Kro’s Nest.
Biggest Drops: It wasn’t a great cup for several venues who saw their rankings drop as competition heated up. Cafe Flatwhite dropped 33 slots from #16 last year to #49 this year; Chef Too plummeted 25 spaces to go from #12 to #37; Peter’s Tex-Mex dropped from #23 to #44; Grandma’s Kitchen went from #19 to 39; and The Bookworm went from #42 to barely making the grate at #62.
Farewell: After charting in 2013, #30 Burger Counter, #32 The Corner and #36 The James Joyce all fell out of the rankings entirely.
Here, in a brief chart, is our field of 64 for 2014 and how they did vs 2013:
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on September 28, 2014.
Photos: the Beijinger