2019 Chicago Brewery Bracket
Sweet 16”

The first two rounds of our Readers’ Choice Chicago Brewery Bracket saw more than 125,000 total votes. And upsets were the name of the game in each region, as a few breweries had late weekend pushes to advance in their matchups. The West saw the largest margin of victory, as Maplewood took 81% of the vote, while The South saw the closest matchup, as Illuminated snagged three down-to-the-wire votes to pass Haymarket, in a 1,056 to 1,053 win over Haymarket. The Suburbs continue to intrigue as well, with the four remaining breweries all bringing out voters in droves. The battle for Chicago brewing’s ‘Elite 8’ is about to get interesting.

Vote for your favorite breweries below, and we will tally the votes in order to select an “Elite 8” for the next round. Voting for the Sweet 16 concludes Sunday, 3/24 at 5:00pm.



(1) Half Acre Beer Co. vs. (4) Spiteful Brewing

The top half of the northern bracket has gone all chalk thus far with two of the city’s powerhouses facing off in the Sweet 16. Former Northcenter, now Bowmanville neighbors Half Acre and Spiteful often brew similar styles, and you can bet the folks frequenting both their taprooms are going to find this a tough choice. Can the small team at Spiteful take down one of the most beloved breweries in Chicago?



(3) Begyle Brewing Co. vs. (7) Corridor Brewery & Provisions

Our second Sweet 16 matchup features two breweries taking wildly different approaches to their beer. Begyle has established itself as as local powerhouse of clean, crisp IPA’s and the occasional creative bomber or limited can release. Corridor, while distribution is extremely limited, has built themselves a reputation for hyped styles after pivoting from their original Saison approach. While Begyle is certainly the household name, will the hype surrounding Corridor win out?





(8) Open Outcry Brewing Co. vs. (5) Illuminated Brew Works

The South region is the wild west of this year’s bracket with Open Outcry already taking down one of the favorites to win it all. The little known Beverly brewery has garnered quite the cult following and the neighborhood has clearly come out in support of their go-to spot. Illuminated squeaked through by the thinnest of margins (3 votes) in the previous round. They’ll be hoping their truely unique takes on established styles are enough to get them through to the Elite 8.



(6) Moody Tongue Brewing Co. vs. (7) Horse Thief Hollow

Two of the most respected names in South Side brewing square off in a pivotal 6-7 matchup. Culinary brewery, Moody Tongue, approaches their beer in a manner completely unique in the Chicago scene, featuring foodie ingredients most wouldn’t dare put in their beer. Horse Thief Hollow (the original bracket champion), has garnered more medals in recent years than many other breweries in this bracket… Which do Chicago drinkers prefer? Cast your votes to help decide a winner in this tough matchup.





(1) Revolution Brewing vs. (4) Maplewood Brewery & Distillery

In this 1- versus 4-seed matchup, we see the top two vote-getting breweries from the last round battle it out. Revolution is, well, Revolution–ahem, ‘Rev’ as they’re known around town. They’re the benchmark in the state as to what a balanced and consistent brewery should be. On the other side of the matchup is Maplewood who has made impressive growth of their own in the past year and change, with a focus on the decadent and the juicy. A battle for Logan Square.



(3) Pipeworks Brewing Co. vs. (10) Old Irving Brewing Co.

Pipeworks continues their campaign for a Final 4 repeat, after taking down last year’s bracket champs, Middle Brow. Folks are still eagerly anticipating their Logan Square taproom-to-be, all the while guzzling down their wide array of packaged offerings. They’ll line up against Old Irving Brewing, of the namesake neighborhood on the Northwest Side. They surprised many by taking down 2-seed behemoth Goose Island to get here. Will their streak continue…?





(8) Mikerphone Brewing vs. (5) Hop Butcher For The World

Mikerphone, who many will argue has been seeded too low, made their case by taking down the ‘burbs 1-seed, Solemn Oath. In this battle of the uber-hyped, the Elk Grove Village brewery will matchup against haze machine, Hop Butcher. They made the move to suburban Darien nearly two years ago now, to brew out of Miskatonic’s space (see below). Who’ll advance to represent the ‘buzz-worthiest’ brewery?



(3) Noon Whistle Brewing vs. (15) Miskatonic Brewing Co.

Noon Whistle took the crown in the bracket two years ago, and consistently brings out the votes. And with the recent announcement of their big shiny new production facility, things don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon… Their opponent, Miskatonic, has done nothing but win a contested play-in matchup and take down More Brewing and Pollyanna to make the Sweet 16. Will their Cinderella run continue?



For a PDF of the bracket, please click here.

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VOTING to determine The Elite 8 CONCLUDES, SUNDAY, 3/24 AT 5:00PM CST.