Hoplinks - Looking Back, Moving Forward

Hoplinks  Looking Back, Moving Forward

In this week's Hoplinks, beer helps raise money for a zoo, Taco Bell has its own beer, Founders hypes 2018, canned beers band together, Stone collabs in Berlin, the BA looks back at 2017, and another ridiculous blind tasting is ranked.


LINCOLN PARK, CHICAGO — Louis Glunz Beer and the Lincoln Park Zoo announced they raised more than $225,000 at last week's BrewLights. The beer festival beneath the holiday lights has now raised more than $675,000 in its four years. [THR Wire]

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — You know what's really been missing at Taco Bell? Their own beer, obviously. The Taco Bell Cantina in Newport Beach has collaborated with Four Sons Brewing to bring us all Beach Bell, a Mexican-style amber lager. So this got us thinking — which Chicago brewery should collab with the Wicker Park TB? Oh the possibilities.... [Eater]

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Founders is already looking to the new year with the announcement of their 2018 release calendar. Of note is Breakfast Stout and Backwoods Bastard going year round, the return of some old stand-bys (Red's Rye!), and a few crowd favorites taking a year off. Oh, and keep an eye out for future announcements on the always highly anticpated barrel-aged series. [Founders Brewing]

LONGMONT, CO — The craft canning group previously known as Oskar Blues Holdings is now known CANarchy. The group exists to provide smaller craft breweries with the platform to grow while maintaining independence. Something is going right as members Oskar Blues, Cigar City, and Perrin are experiencing huge growth year over year. [THR Wire]

BERLIN, GERMANY — Stone Brewing announced the next seven beers as part of their 14-part Berlin Groundbreaking Collaboration series. Featuring some of the most respected breweries from around the world, these bottles are sure to gain a following. With some on store shelves already, look for the rest to release throughout early 2018. [THR Wire]

USA — The Brewer's Association published their 2017 Craft Beer In Review report, wrapping up all the biggest numbers from the past year. Of note is the US passing yet another major milestone of more than 6,000 breweries. Another mind blowing stat is that 83% of drinking age adults now live within 10 miles of a brewery. Check the rest of the report for all the 2017 craft beer goodness. [Brewer's Association]

USA — Another month, another ridiculously large beer tasting from Paste Magazine. This time, they blindly work their way through 103 of the best Christmas/Winter beers. As usual, some results are predictable, others are surprising, and all are full of holiday cheer. Enjoy your holiday vacation everyone! [Paste Magazine]

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Photo of Chicago's flag hanging in the rafters of the Garfield Park Conservatory from Beer Under Glass 2017 in May — by Jack Muldowney.