By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 24, 2023 at 11:04 AM

We’ve reached the pinnacle of the Merriment Madness Burger Competition at Merriment Social, 240 E. Pittsburgh Ave. That means that this week (and next) two breweries will be duking it out to see who brings home the championship.

Your votes have been counted, and two breweries remain. Starting on Wednesday, April 26,  Lakefront Brewery and Central Waters Brewing Milwaukee will go head to head with the hope of taking home the gold for their local charity partner.

In case you’ve somehow managed to sleep through the past six weeks of burger deliciousness, Merriment Madness is a March Madness-esque competition featuring burgers designed by eight local breweries. Each week, two breweries have faced off in a weekly battle with the hope of getting to the finals. Burger fans (like you) have voted for their favorites and decided who comes out on top. 

But it gets even better. A portion of the proceeds from every burger purchased has accumulated in a “pot” which will be awarded to the nonprofit partner of the winning brewery. Guests have also been raising funds for each brewery’s charitable partner by purchasing one of eight local brews on tap. One dollar ($1) from each beer sold is given directly to the nonprofit chosen by that brewery at the end of the competition. [Read all the deets & get the full schedule here]

And here they are: The finalists

Only two burgers could make it to the Merriment Madness championship round. And here they are in all of their glory

Lakefront Brewery is battling it out for funding for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, an organization that works daily to eliminate hunger.

Curd is the Word burgerX

They'll be heading into battle with their The Curd is the Word Burger, which features a certified Angus beef patty, cheese curd skirt (shredded curds melted on the flattop), dill ranch, fried avocado, hot honey bacon, chive cream cheese and pickled jalapenos on a brioche bun.

Meanwhile, Central Waters is raising funds for Milwaukee Riverkeeper, which works to keep our local waterways clean. 

Hot in Herre-ger burgerX

They hope to win the jackpot with their Hot in Herre-ger Burger features a blackened certified Angus beef patty, hot honey bacon, ranch cream cheese, frizzled shallots and Buffalo drizzle on a brioche bun.

Get yours

Both brewery burgers will be available at Merriment Social for five short days: Wednesday, April 26 through Sunday, May 7 (cost is $18 and includes fries).  Be sure to grab a beer from your brewery of choice. Remember, one dollar ($1) from each beer sold will go directly to the nonprofit chosen by that brewery.

Still hungry?  Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., guests can also partake in Merriment Social’s happy hour featuring half price slushies, wine or taps for $2 off. Additional happy hour food specials will include BBQ chips and poblano ranch ($4); Merriment's famous brussels sprouts ($10); fries and aioli ($6); cheese curds and ranch ($9) or Fast Cheetah Chicken sandwiches for $13.

Merriment Social is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (brunch) and 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (brunch) and 5 to 9 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.