THR's 2017 Chicago Brewery Bracket: Elite8

THR's 2017 Chicago Brewery Bracket: Elite 8

Round 3 saw another 40,000 votes, with plenty of intriguing outcomes, including a few surprise upsets. Of our original 64 breweries, only 8 remain. In the North, traditional brewing styles went down as both Dovetail and Metropolitan lost their bouts. Down South, Horse Thief Hollow continued their roll to a repeat and are faced with a rematch with Lagunitas, last year's biggest upset. The West saw four juggernauts face off, with neighbors Off Color and Pipeworks surviving the battle. And in the Suburbs, we saw two double-digit seeds take down some big players, when Noon Whistle knocked off Two Brothers, and Hailstorm got the 'W' over Penrose. We're coming down to the wire and we can't wait to see who makes the Brewery Bracket Final 4.

Vote for your favorite breweries across Chicago, below, and we will tally the votes in order to select an 'Elite 8' for the next round. Voting for the "Elite 8" concludes, Monday, 3/27 at 9pm.


 
 

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Burnt City Brewing (5) vs. Spiteful Brewing (2)

I'm not sure we would've predicted the North region without staple Half Acre at this point–but after fellow Northcenter neighbor Dovetail took them down in votes, we were eyeing new front-runners. Then, Dovetail fell to Lincoln Park's Burnt City, who's done nothing but garner the most votes of any of the breweries in the city thus far. Their lineup of pale ales, stouts and radlers will square off against cult-favorite, Spiteful Brewing. When you have beers like Malevolence Chocolate Caliente and Alley Time in your repertoire,it's understandable why a brewery like Spiteful gets the accolades its does. So, will BC take down its third Northcenter oppenent, or will Spiteful hold its claim on the North Side? 

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

 
 

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Lagunitas Brewing (1) vs. Horse Thief Hollow (3)

Last year, Lagunitas fell quickly, in the opening round...to Horse Thief Hollow. From there, HTH gained steam as they powered through the bracket and into the winner's circle. There's no denying the approachability, breadth and quirkiness of behemoth brewer, Lagunitas. Their presence on the South Side is undeniable (just visit their Douglas Park facility). Since opening in Petaluma, CA in 1993, they've ramped up production and opened their Chicago outpost in 2012. Horse Thief Hollow, meanwhile, hadn't even opened its doors in Beverly until 2013 (their name is a nod to the neighborhood's roots as a location where horses stolen from Missouri were hidden while awaiting sale on the Chicago market, FYI...) Quickly, though, they staked their claim on the beer scene winning GABF medals, and folks' attention. Who'll win this rematch? David, or Goliath?

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

 
 

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Off Color Brewing (4) vs. Pipeworks Brewing Co. (3)

It was only fitting that this matchup came to be. When you literally share a brewery wall between facilities–in West Side Hermosa–a friendly rivalry is assumed. That wall might be where the similarities end, however. While both breweries have gained cult followings (not just in Chicago, but country-wide), their styles and approaches couldn't be more different. Off Color focuses on farmhouse and funky styles, while Pipeworks has a lineup full of juicy hoppy stuff. And while each have their niche in style, they also both have produced incredible collaborations, executed barrel-aged explorations, and carry don't-take-yourself-too-seriously approaches. The battle for Hermosa commences... 

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

 
 

Noon Whistle Brewing (12) vs. Hailstorm Brewing Co. (10)

Now who could've seen this coming? We knew that Noon Whistle and Hailstorm had loyal followings, respectively, but with so many great suburban options to get past, it seemed unlikely that a 12 and a 10 seed would matchup. Well, we were wrong. These two outfits have had their fan's support come out en masse, as their votes have helped them take out major players like Pollyanna, 5 Rabbit & Two Brothers (Noon Whistle)–and Une Année, Solemn Oath and Penrose (Hailstorm). Now, they'll face off as a showdown between west suburban Lombard and southwest side Tinley Park. So what'll ya have–a Fancy Swanky Smack Red Sour or a Porn Stache Stout? Decisions decisions... 

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

Current bracket: Rd. 4 (8 Breweries). Last updated: 3/22/17


Best of luck to all 8 remaining 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 the "Final 4." 

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VOTING FOR THE 'ELITE 8' CONCLUDES, MONDAY, 3/27 AT 9PM.

CHEERS!