By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 10, 2023 at 11:02 AM

After four weeks of head-to-head burger competition, we’ve entered week one of the semi-finals of the Merriment Madness Burger Competition, which is taking place at Merriment Social, 240 E. Pittsburgh Ave. 

That means the competition is down from eight breweries to the Final Four:  Central Waters Brewing Milwaukee, 1840 Brewing Company, Lakefront Brewery and... either Gathering Place Brewing Company OR Eagle Park Brewing Company.

The latter two breweries tied during their one-week  burger run, so they will be going head to head in a rock-paper-scissors style tie-breaker to determine a winner.  Watch @MerrimentSocial for a peek at the video!

During the March Madness-esque competition, burgers designed by eight local breweries will face off in a series of weekly battles. Burger fans (like you) will vote on their favorites and decide who comes out on top. 

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

Feast your eyes on the competition

The first week of the Merriment Madness semi-finals will pit two local breweries against one another: Central Waters Brewing Milwaukee and 1840 Brewing Company.

Central Waters is raising funds for Milwaukee Riverkeeper, which works to keep our local waterways clean. Meanwhile, 1840 Brewing is raising money for Project Bubaloo, an organization which is working to advance care for congenital heart disease.

Central Waters burgerX

The Hot in Herre-ger Burger for Milwaukee Riverkeeper: The Central Waters burger features a blackened certified Angus beef patty, hot honey bacon, ranch cream cheese, frizzled shallots and Buffalo drizzle on a brioche bun.

1840 Brewing burgerX

The Style Burger for Project Bubaloo: The 1840 Brewing burger features a certified Angus beef patty, charred pepperoni, crispy jalapenos, pickled pineapple, vodka sauce and cream cheese on a “garlic bread” brioche bun.

Get yours

Both competing brewery burgers will be available at Merriment Social Wednesday, April 12 through Sunday, April 16 for for $18 (includes fries).  Be sure to grab a beer from your brewery of choice. One dollar ($1) from each beer sold will go directly to the nonprofit chosen by that brewery.

Merriment Social is also bringing back their awesome happy hour just for the occasion! So fans can stop by Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. for special pre-dinner pricing on featured burgers ($14 with fries). 

Guests can also partake in 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.