In this week’s Hoplinks, a botanical brewery goes international for inspiration, a local vegan mainstay sets their sites on craft beer, a Michigan stalwart appoints a new leader, a legendary Irish brewer crosses the pond, and we take a look at an illustrated intro to craft beer.

WEST TOWN, CHICAGO — You may have heard of one of the more unique beers to come out of the Chicago scene in recent times — Fernetic from botanical brewery Forbidden Root. Created in partnership with the famous and world’s best selling amaro Fernet-Branca, the herbal beer almost immediately sold out. Head Brewer BJ Pichman (read our feature interview) plans to release another batch within the next couple months. [Eater]

LAKEVIEW, CHICAGO — Kitchen 17, a tiny lakeview all-vegan restaurant specializing in dairy free deep dish, is aiming to open a nano-brewery when they move to a larger location later this year. No word on styles or brewing inspiration as yet, but we’ll be keeping an eye on this one. [Eater]

KALAMAZOO, MI — Bell’s named their first ever CEO and they’re keeping it in the family.

Laura Bell, daughter of founder Larry Bell, will take over leadership of the seventh largest craft brewery in the US. Larry Bell plans to stay on as company president and will remain as a driving force in the company’s overall direction. [MLive]

RELAY, MD — Guinness is returning to the US after a 63 year absence after announcing plans to build a mid-size brewery and visitor experience in Maryland. The brewery aims to begin construction in the spring with a goal of opening the site by the 200th Anniversary of Guinness being first imported into the US. While production of the iconic Guinness Stout will remain in Ireland, the new facility would brew beers created for the American market. [Beer Street Journal]

BEER — While beer has always been an approachable beverage that anyone can enjoy, getting into the nuances of makeup and styles of your favorite brew can be intimidating. For the aspiring craft beer geek in your life, take a look at this illustrated intro to craft beer and what makes it so special. [Fix Lifestyle Blog]


Photo of Forbidden Root’s BJ Pichman selecting botanical ingredients during our early 2016 interview — by Jack Muldowney.