In this week’s Hoplinks, a brewery opens a shop, the Great Lakes get beers named after them, we help pick the best of the best, there are oysters in the suburbs, a festival goes to the museum, and a brewery celebrates with a beer…

HERMOSA, CHICAGO – Much lauded west side brewery Off Color will be opening their very own bottle shop at the brewery on Friday, February 12th at 2 PM. Pro-tip for future visits: head there on Friday afternoons as they’ll be selling uber-fresh bottles right off their morning bottling session. [Chicagoist]

OLD IRVING PARK, CHICAGO – In a move that makes us wonder how no brewery has done this before, Lake Effect Brewing has announced their “Inland Seas Series” of beer, premiering in late February. The series kicks off with the Lake Nipigon, sometimes called the “6th Great Lake” and ends with St. Lawrence River. All the beers look to be fairly unique and use a wide range of ingredients. [Lake Effect Brewing]

USA – The Hop Review was happy to help curate USA Today’s list of top beers, breweries, and destinations. Voting is now open for each category and quite a few of our picks (guess which ones!) made the cut. Vote now through the end of February, as many times as you can, to see your favorite reach the top. [USA Today]

MOKENA, IL – If you’re a fan of oysters, there’s no better place to be than Mokena, Illinois, February 11-13th.

Tribes Brewing Company will be hosting their 7th annual Oyster Fest, complete with eight varieties of fresh oysters, flown in from the coasts. Oh, and there will be beer. [THR Wire]

CHICAGO – The Chicago Beer Festival, one of our first real adventures into the Chicago brewing scene, is changing locations. Previously hosted at the beautiful Union Station Great Hall, this year’s event has moved to the Field Museum. As far as larger festivals go, this has always been a solid option and we’re excited to see what the new venue brings. [THR Wire]

DOWNINGTOWN, PA – Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, Victory Brewing is celebrating by releasing a limited edition XX Imperial Pilsner. The beer promises to be an amped up version of the established Prima Pils. 750 ml bottles will hit shelves in April, retailing at $9.99. [THR Wire]


Photo by Nicholas White, from Brimley, Michigan—looking across Lake Superior to Ontario