This past September, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) hosted its annual Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest. Almost 150 businesses and their products were nominated to compete in this year’s event. On September 11th, the Popular Vote Round closed with nearly 32,000 votes and you helped place Briess Specialty Malts at seed #6.

But the fight for Coolest Thing was just beginning, as 16 products competed against each other in a bracket-style tournament called Manufacturing Madness. It was a single elimination bracket and contenders in the top 16 include large industry names like Mercury Marine, Generac, Sargento, Tran and Oshkosh Corporation.

More than 91,000 votes over eight days determined who would move on to round two of the Manufacturing Madness bracket. In the end, Briess came short 137 votes of moving forward in the competition. As a small, B2B competitor in the Manufacturing Madness Bracket, Briess had tough odds to beat. But our spirit was never fleeting and we came out as a strong contender with 5,851 votes in favor for Briess.

We would like to thank everyone who voted for Briess over the last month.  Ryan O’Toole, President and COO of Briess, commented:

“Being a champion is not about winning or losing, it is about seeing the big picture and working hard in our daily jobs. It is about embracing the pain you experience at the end of a race and thriving through the defeat. We may have lost this round, but I see us succeeding every day with our customers and with our internal teams. While we did not win the title of Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin this year, we put forth our best effort and fought like champions. We had many successes along the way, increasing awareness of Briess Specialty Malts to individuals throughout Wisconsin and across the country. We engaged with our local communities in new ways and when the final votes came in, we were just shy of a hundred votes to advance to the next round out of 91,000 total votes submitted. What is even more impressive, is when you look back and see we were placed in the top 16 businesses and products out of 150 nominees. That’s something to be proud of.”

Round One Of Voting Final Out Come

In a bracket-style tournament, each company was matched up in round one to see who would come out on top. Names in bold were winners of each matchup, numbers in parentheses are rankings based on the popular vote round. Briess was seeded at #6 during the Popular vote round.

(1) Uncle Mikes’s Bake Shoppe – 11,162v.(16)  Bassett Mechanical – 3,541
(2) Generac – 6,097v.(15)  JW Speaker – 5,479
(3) Exciting Events/FX in Motion – 2,636v.(14)  Mercury Marine – 6,472
(4) Trane – 5,534v.(13)  Caged Crow Fabrication – 5,202
(5) Oshkosh Corporation – 7,780v.(12)  Taylor Dynamometer – 2,934
(6) Briess Malt & Ingredients – 5,851v.(11)  Sargento – 5,987
(7) Bradley Corporation – 4,894v.(10)  Kraft Heinz Company – 5,931
(8) Ariens Company – 6,053v.(9)  Waupaca Foundry – 5,558


Employee Videos for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin

Check out some of these cool videos that were made by employees during the voting competition.