In this week’s Hoplinks, beer labels are soon to get more informative, “Beer City” gets more beer, a botanical brewery offers another option, a local bakery brings local beer, a new bar owner reveres Chicago’s bar scene, and a local liquor store gets a speakeasy style bar.

USA — The Beer Institute announced the largest breweries in the country will soon begin voluntarily participating in better nutrition labeling across their portfolio. While this isn’t required for any brewer, it remains to be seen how this will affect small craft brewers. We tend to think more information on beverage labels is a good thing, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on this as more breweries update their labels. [THR Wire]

MILWAUKEE, WI — We already knew about Milwaukee’s long beer history, but the Wisconsin city nicknamed “beer city” is set to experience another wave of breweries with at least eight new locations opening this summer. Looks like it’s time for another beer-centric trip up I-94 as a sequel to our visit there in the very early days of The Hop Review.

WEST TOWN, CHICAGO — Botanical brewery Forbidden Root announced a new year-round beer with the release of Money on My Rind, a Belgian-inspired witbier brewed with juniper berries and grapefruit peel. The brewery is also moving from 4-packs to newly designed and cohesively branded 6-packs. Be sure to check out our interview with Head Brewer BJ Pichman following their opening earlier this year. [THR Wire]

PILSEN, CHICAGO — After closing their Three Oaks, Michigan and Bridgeport locations, bakery and brewery Pleasant House opened their second location in Pilsen, taking over the former Nightwood spot. Their “pub beers” will be brewed by fellow South Siders, Whiner Beer Co. If the quality of the beer is anywhere close to the pies at the former location, we’ll be big fans. [Chicago Tribune]

LINCOLN PARK, CHICAGO — Long rumored to be in the works, HopCat Chicago opens to the public on September 3rd. Mark Sellers, founder of the now 10 location chain, speaks to his connections with Chicago after living in the city and developing an appreciation for the local bar scene. HopCat Chicago will feature 130 beers on tap with over 50% of them made in-state. The new location also announced it’s hiring for all positions[]

LOGAN SQUARE, CHICAGO — Originally opened in 1991, Red Star Liquor in Logan Square is expanding with a new attached taproom called The Walk-In. The expansion also features a small patio and is only accessible through a walk-in cooler, speakeasy style. [THR Wire]

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indianapolis brewery Flat12 Bierwerks announced they’ve released Pinko!, their Russian Imperial Stout, in 8 oz stubby cans — an industry first. While some may be disappointed to find such a small quantity in their can, moderation is probably best for the big 10.5%, 86 IBU brew. [THR Wire]


Photograph by Jack Muldowney from our February 2016 interview with Forbidden Root.