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Pick The Best Chicago Beer In Our 2016 Beer Bracket (Part 1)

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 11, 2016 4:48PM

Illustration by Samantha Abernethy. Photo via Shutterstock.

Welcome to Chicagoist's 2016 Best Beer Bracket Challenge!

Rather than come up with a list of the best craft beers brewed in Chicagoland all by our lonesomes, we decided to put it to you, the beer lovers. Over the next few weeks, we'll be running a single-elimination bracket challenge. In each round, readers will be able to vote on who should win match-ups between their favorite local beers, and after six rounds, we will have the definitive answer about what is the best beer brewed in Chicagoland. Or something. At least we'll have some fun with it.

We tried this back in 2013, but the field encompassed the entire Midwest (Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn was the winner—and yes, that's the name of one beer). In the intervening few years, the local brewing scene has exploded so much that we've limited the field to just Chicago (or Chicago area) beers. Our resident beer expert, Ben Kramer, has come up with a slate of the 32 best brews around, so if your favorite isn't on the list, he's the one you should blame.

The process is pretty simple. Below is the complete bracket, and below that are one-on-one matchups between 16 different beers, the first half of the list. Vote on some or all of them, depending on your level of beer passion and what you've tried. Monday afternoon we posted the other 16, and the first round is now off and running.

This first round poll will remain open until Wednesday, April 13 at Midnight. At that point, the votes will be tallied and the 16 winners will advance to the next round.

May the best beer win!