We end this hot and steamy July with news from our own back yard in Chicago to a status update on the incredible growth of the beer industry country wide. When you crack open your favourite brew this weekend remember, you’re helping the economy!

In this week’s Hoplinks, people will line up for beers, a brewery gets some big new shiny fermentors, the mitten state love it’s beer, and America does too. Let us know what else we missed and enjoy the weekend!

CHICAGO, IL – Goose Island revealed new designs for their highly sought after Bourbon County lineup. Those willing to brave the cold and hoards of people on Black Friday will aim to get their hands the original and five variants, including the return of Rare, BCBS aged for two years in 35-year old Heaven Hill barrels.

ESCANABA, MI – Bell’s owned Upper Hand Brewery announced a logo redesign last week that places a greater emphasis on the part of the state they call home. Larry Bell said he wants to represent the entire U.P in their new packaging. [Upper Hand Brewery]

COMSTOCK, MI – Sticking with the Bell’s theme, watch the absolutely gigantic and sparkling

new 800 barrel fermentors getting installed at Bell’s Brewery. Expect to see a who lot more of your favourite Bell’s brew around the country as result of these beauties. [Bell’s Brewery YouTube]

MICHIGAN – We already know beer is a big deal, but to a state like Michigan who’s economy can use all the help it can get, beer is huge. A recent study attributes a $6.6 billion impact from the industry on the state’s economy, generating more than 35,000 jobs. [The Detroit News]

USA – Speaking of impact, we’re now approaching an astounding 4,000 operating breweries in the US, selling 12.2 million barrels of beer. Showing absolutely no sign of slowing down, there are an additional 1,755 breweries in planning. Take a look at our map for the closest one to your neck of the woods. [Beer Street Journal]

Photo of Bell’s from our trip to their Comstock facility last year.