THR's 2017 Chicago Brewery Bracket: Sweet 16

THR's 2017 Chicago Brewery Bracket: Sweet 16

Round 2 saw over 46,000 votes, with plenty of intriguing outcomes, including a few surprise upsets. Of our original 64 breweries, only 16 remain. In the North, Northcenter staples Half Acre and Begyle both went down to lower seeds. Horse Thief Hollow ousted a popular new brewery to keep hopes alive for a repeat of last year's title, keeping the attention of the South. The top four seeds have advanced out of the West region, for an exciting showdown of the city's behemoths. And in the Suburbs, we saw a "tie" when voting closed (each earning 1,355 votes), forcing a reader poll tiebreaker. Our first effective overtime, and in turn our closest ever margin of victory saw Two Brothers just barely nudge BuckleDown by two votes in the end. We also saw two double-digit seeds take down some big suburban players, when Noon Whistle knocked off 5 Rabbit, and Hailstorm got the 'W' over Solemn Oath. Needless to say, things are starting to shake up. And we except more of the same this round...

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 Round 3's "Sweet 16" concludes, Wednesday, 3/22 at 9pm.


 
 

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Dovetail Brewery (8) vs. Burnt City Brewing (5)

Fresh off their nod as the No. 5 Best New Brewery in America by USA Today, Dovetail continued to impress by taking down the No. 1 seed in the North and citywide favorite, Half Acre. They're lack of hop-forward brews clearly isn't deterring voters. They'll have their hands full when they lineup against Lincoln Park's Burnt City, who has steadily garnered some of the most votes per match up of any brewery in the bracket thus far. Their range of popular styles will face off against Dovetail's classics. 

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

Metropolitan Brewing (3) vs. Spiteful Brewing (2)

Another traditional-inspired brewery advanced over a buzz-worthy outfit, when Metropolitan moved past Hop Butcher. Lagers are the name of the game at the nearly decade-old brewery in Ravenswood. They'll face off against new-favorite-in-the-North, Spiteful Brewing, and fellow Ravenswood Avenue neighbors. Both breweries are keeping a relatively low profile on the North Side, while each of their bigger new facilities await opening. Expect to see much more from both of them as the months pass.

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

 
 

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Lagunitas Brewing (1) vs. Haymarket Pub & Brewery (5)

After getting bounced early in last year's bracket, Lagunitas has returned to claim its dominance of the South region. There's no denying their presence in Chicago, since the opening of their Land Of Oz-esque plant in Douglas Park. Their opponent is West Loop OG, Haymarket. Since they opened at the now trendy intersection of Halsted and Randolph, they've grown substantially and just recently opened a second outpost of their own, in Southwest Michigan's Bridgman. Both show no signs of slowing down...

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

Horse Thief Hollow (3) vs. Marz Community Brewing (2)

Horse Thief Hollow is to Beverly as Marz Community Brewing is to Bridgeport. Both breweries have embraced their respective neighborhoods as an integral part of their identity. That should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with either 'hood: They're a prideful bunch. So, this matchup of loyal breweries might be the most intriguing this round. Will HTH advance to keep their repeat hopes alive, or will the uber creative recipes of Marz reign supreme? 

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

 
 

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Goose Island Beer Co. (1) vs. Off Color Brewing (4)

Last year, folks showed early that they didn't mind voting off Goose. This year, however, they've managed to hold on to the Sweet 16, recently ousting popular Logan Square newbie, Hopewell. Are folks starting to show their appreciation for the original Chicago craft brewers? We'll find out when they battle it out with Hermosa's Off Color–makers of the quirky and funky. Off Color boasts a legion of loyalists who drool over their creations, and rightfully so. 2017 will be a big year of growth for both, with renovations and new taprooms slotted for each of these West Side favorites. 

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

Pipeworks Brewing (3) vs. Revolution Brewing (2)

You'd be hard-pressed to find many folks across Chicagoland who don't like either of these two breweries. Pipeworks is one of the city's fastest growing breweries ever, while Revolution is the state's fastest growing. What's come out of both of these breweries in just the last few years has made folks across the Midwest fawn over their creativity and consistency. And they just keep growing. Whether its super approachable and juicy IPAs or supremely balanced and mellow barrel-aged beers, both are masterful. This is definitely a matchup we'll be eyeing.

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

 
 

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Two Brothers Artisan Brewing (1) vs. Noon Whistle Brewing (12)

Two Brothers gave us a 'first' in the last round, when they took opponent, BuckleDown, to OT. Their tie after nearly a week of voting put them into extra time, and eventually gave Tow Brothers a 2-vote edge by way of reader poll. They've had little competition in terms of suburban presence, since their opening in 1996. But, they'll be given a run for their money when they lineup against Noon Whistle, this year's bracket Cinderella and vote-garnering master. They've received the most votes of any brewery, and it's hardly even close. Will they have what it takes to take down Goliath?

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

Penrose Brewing (6) vs. Hailstorm Brewing Co. (10)

The crown jewel of Geneva faces off against Tinley Park's buzzed about new-ish brewery. Both have done some pretty incredible stuff with barrels, but it might be their pale ales that really have made each a force to be reckoned with. Aside from their Wild series, Penrose's Belgian-inspired pales have brought out the masses to their far west taproom, while Hailstorm's big juicy NE and West Coast IPAs have built a cult following on the southwest side.  So, what'll ya have?

 

Voting is closed, stay tuned for results.

 

Current bracket: Rd. 3 (16 Breweries). Last updated: 3/19/17


Best of luck to all 16 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 an "Elite 8." 

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VOTING FOR ROUND 3 CONCLUDES, WEDNESDAY, 3/22 AT 9PM.

CHEERS!