Hoplinks – The Right Direction
In this week's Hoplinks, a barrel-aged Midwestern staple gets a new format, liquor laws take a step in the right direction, harvest season is all wrapped up, and Chinese beer steps up on the world stage.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Late March usually means one thing for Midwestern fans of barrel-aged beers — Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS). Next year's iteration will mark the 13th appearance of the venerable stout, and will be the first time the beer will appear in the more than one format. According to a label filing with the TTB, KBS will be available in 750 mL bottles, in addition to the regular 12 oz 4-pack. [Tenemu]
OKLAHOMA — Lost in the election aftermath are the positive changes to various local liquor laws around the country. For Oklahoma, one of the state's with the most backward liquor retail laws, last week was a step in the right direction. Laws separating weaker 3.2 % beer and "strong" beer, the right for liquor stores to refrigerate beer, and other manufacturing constraints were all amended. Unfortunately the changed will not go into effect until October 2018. [Tulsa World]
INDEPENDENCE, OR — As we recently discovered, harvest season is a beautiful time on any hop farm. That certainly holds true at Rogue Farms, where the brewery sent out a summary of their most recent harvest. While the hop harvest itself underperformed, the multitude of other crops certainly didn't disappoint. Also check out our interview with Rogue brewmaster John Maier. [THR Wire]
SHANGRI-LA CITY, CHINA — China isn't usually the first country that comes to mind when thinking about craft beer. The scene looks to be evolving quickly however, as Shangri-La Beer just became the first Chinese brewery to place at the prestigious European Beer Star competition — winning silver for their Black Yak Dark Lager. Learn more about the brewery in the video below. [THR Wire]
Photo from our Fall 2016 visit to Goose Island's Elk Mountain Farms in Bonners Ferry, Idaho — by Jack Muldowney.