2019 Chicago Brewery Bracket:
West – 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:   NORTH  |  


Revolution Brewing (1) vs. All Rise Brewing Co. (16)

Revolution got the bump to the 1-slot this year, after their impressive growth and fawned over barrel-aged releases. West Loop’s All Rise sneaks into the bracket after taking down neighbors, Finch, in the play-in matchup. It’s a battle of anti-establishment brewers/brewpubs in this one.  


These polls have closed. Cheers!

Goose Island Beer Co. (2) vs. Burnt City Brewing (15)

Goose sees the 2-line for the first time, where they’ll lineup against new neighbors, Burnt City. Both of these breweries looked for new life in 2018, with Goose Island abandoning several longtime beers in their latest brand refresh, while BC made the move across town to a new space in an effort to reposition their brand. Whose year is it in the West Loop?


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Pipeworks Brewing Co. (3) vs. Twisted Hippo (14)

Pipeworks continues their stronghold as Chicago craft beer favorites, and are coming off of a runner-up finish in 2018’s bracket. Many are hoping their Logan Square brewpub plans come to fruition sooner than later. Meanwhile, Twisted Hippo sees the bracket for the first time, after making the move from the ‘burbs into an impressively well-branded (and somewhat notorious) brew space on Montrose Ave. Which loyal following will prevail?


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Maplewood Brewery & Distillery (4) vs. Piece Pizzeria & Brewery (13)

Maplewood’s Logan Square lounge continues to draw folks en masse, as folks flock to drink their Pants off and down hearty pub grub. Just south, one of the Chicago’s oldest breweries continues to crank out solid to-style beers under the watch of Jonathan Cutler, alongside some of the city’s best pizza. Are ya in the mood for a juicy pale or an altbier?


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Hopewell Brewing Co. (5) vs. On Tour Brewing Co. (12)

Hopewell had a fine 2017, but it’s safe to say their 2018 was their best yet, with a bevvy of new beers in package, a refreshed look, and a second place finish at FoBAB. They’ll face off with the Brewing District’s On Tour who has a hardware cabinet of their own and is releasing a similarly impressive lineup of taproom offerings. Logan Square vs. West Town.


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Middle Brow Beer Co. (6) vs. Great Central Brewing Co. (11)

Middle Brow powered through the bracket last year as an 8-seed to take home the title, and just recently opened their “Bungalow” brewpub in Logan Square to much praise. Their opponent is contract brewing behemoth, Great Central, who has expanded their client list as well as their lineup of house-brewed beers in West Town. Who ya got?


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Off Color Brewing Co. (7) vs. Old Irving Brewing Co. (10)

This 7- versus 10-seed is another matchup of loyally followed breweries. Off Color’s ‘Mouse Trap’ taproom has wooed many Lincoln Park-ers, while the space over on Montrose in Irving Park has filled a void for many on the Northwest side, and shown up again on USA Today’s “10 Best Brewpubs’ list. Are you a Dino S’mores or Krampus Cookies drinker?


These polls have closed. Cheers!


Forbidden Root (8) vs. Cruz Blanca Cervecería (9)

Here’s a helluva strong 8- vs. 9-seed battle, as West Town’s Forbidden Root’s hazy buzz has died down slightly, but not enough to keep fans from all over from flocking to their brewpub. Meanwhile, West Loop’s Cruz Blanca is fresh off of their first canned beer releases, alongside an already impressive barrel-aged lineup that wow’d many in ‘18. This ought be a close one…


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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