Hoplinks — Playing Catch Up
Chicago Craft Beer Week is upon us and that means we're going full tilt planning our event, Ultra Fresh II. The rest of the craft beer world never rests, however, so there's plenty to catch up on in the latest edition of the Hoplinks.
This week, a Chicago institution serves its last pint, a culinary brewery goes abroad, a much maligned building is set to house another brewery, a Michigan stalwart heads to the D, a craft beer favorite sells out, the struggles of starting a small business are detailed, and there's yet more lists to disagree with.
BRIDGEPORT, CHICAGO — Sad news from the city's southwest side as Schaller's Pub, the oldest bar in Chicago, closed its doors last week. The bar reportedly closed due to the death of longtime owner Jack Schaller, whos passing saw the end of the senior citizen business owner tax exemption, results in mounting taxes. The bar had been open for 136 years. [Eater Chicago]
PILSEN, CHICAGO — The world's most populous country recently became the world's biggest beer market, and one Chicago brewer is looking to cash in. Moody Tongue announced plans to begin distribution in China, as well as a collaboration with Hangzhou-based craft brewery Midtown Brewery. [THR Wire]
ALBANY PARK, CHICAGO — Is the third time a charm for the Albany Park brewing space previously home to Breakroom and Finch's? Ravinia Brewing aims to make the space their own, at the same they're opening another brewpub in Ravinia. One major positive for the new brewery is they've purchased the building outright, meaning the rumored issues with the previous owners will no longer be a problem. [Eater Chicago]
DETROIT, MI — Last week, Founders Brewing announced their intent to open an Detroit taproom in the city's Midtown neighborhood. MLive got a look inside the raw space that's set to see a $4 million inside and out renovation. The new space is sure to be a hotspot before and after Red Wing and Pistons games due its proximity to their new stadium. [MLive]
ASHEVILLE, NC — The biggest news in beer over the last couple weeks has undoubtedly been the sale of the much acclaimed Wicked Weed to AB InBev. Following the massive and often over the top reaction from some in the beer community, the brewery postponed their annual Funkatorium festival and now the owners are offering a counter perspective to their actions. [BrewBound, Wicked Weed, Business Insider]
MAUI, HI — Maui Brewing is one of the fastest growing craft brands in the world and that's no fluke. Co-founder Garrett Marrero speaks to the blood, sweat, and tears that went into building the brand to where it is today. There's a lot to learn here for potential future business owners. [CNBC]
USA — There's nothing the beer industry enjoys more than making lists, so here's two more to argue about. Men's Journal ranks the 101 best beers in America while Paste Magazine dives into the rankings again, this time blind tasting 52 of the best session IPAs in America. There's no doubt some fine brews on this list, but which of your favorites were left out? [Men's Journal, Paste Magazine]
Photo of Moody Tongue founder Jared Rouben pouring a pint in their then incomplete taproom from our 2015 interview — by Jack Muldowney.