It’s that time of year again so eloquently referred to as “March Madness”: three weekends of alma mater disappointments, busted office pool brackets, and Cinderella stories. For 2017 we are going all out with 64 breweries from the city and surrounding suburbs. We’ve divided the city into four regions: NorthSouthWest and Suburbs, and seeded them 1–16. Seeds are not-so-scientifically-based on size, reputation, years of operation, and current hype. With Round 1 already offering some intriguing matchups, will this year produce another underdog champion or will the 1 seeds steamroll the smaller guys all the way to the Final Four? 

The South Region has as many sure things as it has question marks. No one expected Horse Thief Hollow to take the crown last year, and they will have their work cut out for them in 2017 battling a giant–in Lagunitas–and some of the hottest names in Chicago beer with Marz, Moody Tongue and exciting newcomer Whiner. The South also has one of the most anticipated match-ups, as South Loop neighbors, Vice District and Motor Row fight for their claim of Michigan Avenue.

So, there ya have it, vote for your favorite breweries across Chicago, below, and we will tally the votes in order to select 32 winners for the next round. Voting for Round 1 concludes, Monday, 3/13 at 9pm.

Vote for the other regions here:  NORTH  |  WEST  |  SUBURBS

Lagunitas Brewing (1) vs. Mad Mouse Brewing (16)

Last year, the Douglas Park juggernaut suffered a stunning first round upset to eventual champion, Horse Thief Hollow. But, the pale ale OGs are back with a vengeance. Standing in their way is Mad Mouse Brewing, another small brewpub just off UIC’s campus. Will history repeat itself, or will the big dog finally get its bone?


Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.


Marz Community Brewing (2) vs. Present Tense Fine Ales (15)

Marz has risen to a number 2 seed this year and hopes to amend last year’s first round exit. The Bridgeport brewery is still cranking out some of the most unique brews in the state, and expects a big year in 2017 with their new taproom and brewery. Present Tense may not be known in all corners of the Second City, but are quietly delivering cask-conditioned ales for a small crowd at festivals and elsewhere, to great reception for those wanting ‘real ale.’


Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.


Horse Thief Hollow (3) vs. Sullers Past (14)

Horse Thief Hollow shocked all of us when they took home the crown last year, let’s be honest. But with a 3 seed and a deeper field–not to mention another GABF medal in their back pocket–their path to the later rounds should be a little easier even. Sullers Past, the rustic farmhouse brewery with a single beer in the market, is sure to have its hands full.


Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.


Moody Tongue Brewing Co. (4) vs. Argus Brewery (13)

2016 saw Moody Tongue open one of the most beautiful taprooms in the city–or anywhere else for that matter–with a menu full of culinary inspired brews, oysters, and that German chocolate cake… Argus is keeping busy brewing for their own brand and house brews for bars and restaurants around Chicago. They also make frozen pizzas, if that’s your jam.


Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.


Haymarket Pub & Brewery (5) vs. Lo Rez Brewing (12)

With the opening of their production brewery in Southwest Michigan, we couldn’t be more excited to drink one of the many solid Haymarket beers that exists, outside of their West Loop pub. In Pilsen, Lo Rez may not’ve opened their doors just yet, but you oughta keep your eyes out for kegs that have sprung up around the city.


Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.


Whiner Beer Co. (6) vs. Berghoff Beer (11)

One year of experience versus 120, that’s the matchup differential here. Whiner is quickly making noise on the South Side with its green brewing practices and approachable barrel-aged beers (mostly of the funky variety). But, can their innovative processes and unique flavors take down Chicago classic, Berghoff’s, time-tested ales and lagers?


Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.


Baderbräu (7) vs. Around the Bend Beer Co. (10)

Baderbräu was founded with the intention of reviving Chicago’s ‘original’ craft beer, but now–with a 4,000 square foot taproom–there’s quite a bit more to offer. Around the Bend has big plans of their own in 2017, with a new facility and a shift from bottles to cans. 


Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.


Vice District Brewing Co. (8) vs. Motor Row Brewing (9)

A battle for the South Loop, this 8 versus 9 matchup couldn’t be harder to pick. The Michigan Avenue neighbors will trade blows–and beers–to determine who’s worthy enough of calling the stretch of South Michigan their turf. Clean lagers and ales pit it out against hearty stouts and other traditional styles in this battle for the Near South Side.


Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.


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.” 

Vote for the other regions below: