2019 Chicago Brewery Bracket:
North – Rd. 1

March is here. And that means it’s time for our annual Readers’ Choice Chicago Brewery Bracket. For 2019, we are back with 64 of Chicagoland’s top breweries, with seeds not-so-scientifically-based on production, reputation, years in operation, and recent growth.

Vote for your favorite breweries below, and we will tally the votes in order to select 32 winners for the next round. Voting for Round 1 concludes, Sunday, 3/10 at 5:00pm CST.

And be sure to vote for the other regions here:   SOUTH  |  


Half Acre Beer Co. (1) vs. LaGrow Beer (16)

HABC has been a Chicago favorite for over 10 years now, mastering everything from the pale to the sour. LaGrow is a relatively new, family-run outfit brewing organic beers just down the street. Who’ll ya have, David or Goliath?


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Metropolitan Brewing (2) vs. Urban Renewal Brewery (15)

Metropolitan is another 10+ year-old brewery–and the city’s lager stalwart–that recently moved into a shiny new riverside location. Urban Renewal is the city’s newest production brewery…that took over Metropolitan’s old Ravenswood space. It’s old vs. new.


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Begyle Brewing Co. (3) vs. Empirical (14)

Anchoring each end of Ravenswood Avenue’s Malt Row, these two breweries both act as true neighborhood go-to’s. Begyle continues to grow its menu and production, both pale and barrel-aged…while Empirical took home a FoBAB Bronze for it’s Scotch barrel-aged stout. Malt Row South vs. Malt Row North.


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Spiteful Brewing (4) vs. Lake Effect (13)

Spiteful’s first full year in their new taproom has proven successful for longtime fans of the quirky brewery, as well as for production scale. Lake Effect recently announced plans for a taproom of their own in Jefferson Park. Alley Time or Falcon Dive?


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Dovetail Brewery (5) vs. Band of Bohemia (12)

Another pair from Malt Row battle it out. Dovetail had a banner year, finally releasing its Lambic-style ales to great fanfare (as well as canning it’s Lager, and even brewing an IPA…). Band of Bohemia has continued their exploratory styles, as the country’s only Michelin starred brewery. A matchup of two award-winning breweries on Ravenswood Ave.


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Alarmist Brewing (6) vs. Saint Errant Brewing (11)

Alarmist–the brewery that once vowed against NEIPAs–took home the first ever Gold Medal for the style at GABF in ‘18, upping the buzz in Sauganash. Meanwhile, Saint Errant has been releasing an impressive amount of 16- (& 8oz) cans, via their co-op out of Begyle, and have quietly been building their own loyal following. A battle of the haze…


These polls have closed. Cheers!

Corridor Brewery & Provisions (7) vs. Eris Brewery & Cider House (10)

Another battle of GABF-winning brewpubs has Southport’s farmhouse-turned-hazy destination, Corridor (Silver in the ‘Hazy Imperial IPA’ category), lined up against newly opened and impressively large Eris Brewery & Cider House (Bronze in the ‘Hazy IPA’ category). Another matchup of ‘Who’s hazier?’


These polls have closed. Cheers!


DryHop Brewers (8) vs. Aleman (9)

The final matchup is between two tried and true North Side brewers. DryHop released their first packaged beer in 2018, on the heels of their 5-year mark, while Aleman continues to slowly release their lineup of ale “man” beers in cans around town (The Man, Strong Man, Soul Man), after charging into the Elite 8 of last year’s bracket. Will another seed from this matchup make a run this year?


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Best of luck to all 64 breweries. It’s hard to pick a favorite Chicago beer maker as we all know, but hey, here’s your chance. Stay tuned as we tally the votes in order to select a “Round of 32.” 

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