Hoplinks – New Beginnings
In this week's Hoplinks, a long awaited bottle shop is finally set to open, another shop makes the push for a re-concepted opening, the rocky story of a much maligned local brewer continues, a famous dinosaur beer will be available first at a famous dinosaur museum, breweries once again shuffle ownership, and a stout is distilled in West Town.
HERMOSA, CHICAGO — After being rumored for nearly three years, Pipeworks is finally set to open their bottle shop. Located at their huge Hermosa brewery, the shop will feature eight taps and six to eight of it's limited run bottled beers for to-go sale. Those visiting the area for the first time should note Pipeworks is located directly behind Off Color, who also run a to-go only bottle shop. Be sure to check out our feature with Mike Schallau, Master of Barrels at Pipeworks from just last month. [Chicago Tribune]
PORTAGE PARK, CHICAGO — After shuttering unexpectedly back in July, Fischman's Liquors is well on the way to opening their new home in Portage Park. With a completely new pub concept, long time patrons can expect a cleaner, more modern feel with shareable food options. The owners aim to open the new space in March of 2017. [DNA Info]
ALBANY PARK, CHICAGO — The rocky story of Finch Beer continued this week after announcing they've permanently closed the short lived Finch Kitchen (opened this past summer) and shuttered their original Elston brewery. The brewery plans to move forward with an unnamed existing brewing partner (Great Central?) and is auctioning off their entire brew house and canning line. We should get official updates on their future plans in the coming days. [Chicago Tribune]
MUSEUM CAMPUS, CHICAGO — The first Iowa brewery to distribute beer to Illinois (how is this possible?) will officially be Toppling Goliath as they announced a partnership with The Field Museum. Psuedo Sue, the much hyped APA featuring the museum's famous T-Rex on its label, will be exclusively available at the museum starting January 25th. Here's hoping this is another sign TG is looking to expand production into Illinois. [ABV Chicago]
GLOBAL — Japanese brewing conglomerate Asahi has agreed to buy five brands from ABV InBev, including Pilsner Urquell. The purchase is AB's effort to appease competition regulators for its $100bn takeover of SABMiller. Find out more on the 175 year history of the famed Czech brewer in our interview with brewmaster Vaclav Berka. [BBC News]
WEST TOWN, CHICAGO — Rhine Hall will release their first distilled beer this Friday — the appropriately called Bierschnaps. Distilled from a stout from "a brewery neighbor" on nearby Fulton Street, the final product came out as a clear, 80-proof spirit. [THR Wire]
Photo of the Pipeworks team at work canning Lizard King from our November 2016 chat with Mike Schallau, Master of Barrels — by Jack Muldowney.