In this week’s Hoplinks, we dive into the stories surrounding the AB InBev – SABMiller merger, discover two Chicagoland breweries taking big next steps, and explore the wonders of spontaneous fermentation in the USA.

Get caught up with the Hoplinks below and let us know what else we missed in the comments.

USA – Shaking up the world of beer this week was the news that SABMiller had agreed a $104 billion takeover from their biggest competitor Anheuser-Busch InBev. Combined, these two mega-corporations account for one in every three beers sold worldwide. Fortune digs into why this merger may be bad for consumers. Business Insider wonders if this might be a blessing in disguise for craft beer, even while the DOJ probes allegations that AB InBev seeks to curb craft beer distribution. There’s a lot to take in here and we’ll be keeping a close eye on it as more news come out. [Fortune, Business Insider, Reuters]

SOUTH LOOP, CHICAGO – German and Chicago inspired brewery Baderbräu announced they’ve locked up their Head Brewmaster, Nathan Tertell. He joins the soon-to-be South Loop brewery via Lagunitas and Two Brothers. Check out our interview with Founder Rob Sama from way back in March 2014. [THR Wire]

MOKENA, IL – Expect to see a whole lot more Tribes Brewing Company beer around Chicago as the southwest suburban brewery announced they’re doubling production.  They’ve

added three 15-barrel tanks and a 15-barrel brite tank to their lineup. We’re admittedly unfamiliar with most of the Tribes lineup so we look forward to getting hands on more of their hop-forward brews soon. [THR Wire]

CHICAGO, IL – After concluding their commemorative can campaign this fall which payed homage to the firefighters of Chicago, Old Style plans to present $18,000 to The Ende, Menzer, Walsh and Quinn Retirees’s, Widows’ and Children’s Assistant Fund; a charity that assists widows and orphans of members of the CFD. A really great gesture from a brewery brand long associated with this city. [Firehouse]

USA – There’s no doubting the increasing popularity of sours and lambics in the States. Breweries nationwide are looking to perfect the spontaneous fermentation techniques perfected hundreds of years ago in Belgium. Food Republic takes a deep dive into the history of this process and how it’s influenced US breweries. [Food Republic]

And now, your moment of Zen…

Photograph of Cantillon barrels by Tom White