In this week’s Hoplinks, we turn five(!), River North and the south side get craftier, the best brewery tours are highlighted, Dark Days are ahead of us, a border town sees a renaissance, Beer City USA gets more beer, and a major brand sees a refresh.

THE HOP REVIEW — We turned five years old on Friday. Happy Birthday to us! Take a stroll through our interview archive to see what we’ve been up to over the last half decade and look out for a big event announcement from us in the coming weeks. Cheers!

RIVER NORTH, CHICAGO — A neighborhood that could use a craft beer boost received one this week with the opening of Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery. Named after the famous Founders IPA of the same name, the new location will feature 36 draft lines and is intended as “a place in River North for the craft beer community.” [Eater Chicago]

MORGAN PARK, CHICAGO — Morgan Park will welcome a new addition to the ever increasing list of breweries south of Madison as Open Outcry Brewing Co. is set to open late spring. The former Board of Trade and Merc trader is looking to bring something new to a neighborhood that has so far been overlooked by the city’s craft boom. [Chicago Magazine]

CHICAGO — Everyone enjoys a good brewery tour and the Windy City is home to many great examples. Chicago Reader put together a list of the best Chicagoland brewery tours depending on what you’re looking for in your day out. What’s your favorite tour around town? [Chicago Reader]

MUNSTER, IN — Details for the annual insanity in northwest Indiana known as

Dark Lord Day have been announced. Your chance to compete (and we do mean compete) for the $180 tickets begins March 18th at noon. Expect your chance to end at around 12:02 that day. []

KENOSHA, WI — The previously craft barren city of Kenosha, Wisconsin is seeing something of small beer renaissance. The city’s three craft breweries are even host to their own Kenosha Craft Beer Week. Considering its location halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee, this might make for an ideal pitstop on the next trip north. [Chicago Tribune]

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — It may seem odd that “Beer City USA” didn’t have a bottle shop downtown, but that was the case until this weekend’s opening of Craft Beer Cellar. The new shop will also feature 20 draft lines pouring beers from around the country. [M Live]

NEW YORK, NY — AB operated Shock Top is looking to “shake things up” and reconnect with craft drinkers with a complete brand refresh. The brand, which also competes directly with Miller owned Blue Moon, will also see a new marketing campaign focused on the “freedom of summer,” abandoning their previous cringe worthy bro-centric ads. [THR Wire]


Photo of the horizontal fermentors at Northcenter’s Dovetail Brewing, home of one of our favorite Chicago brewery tours — by Jack Muldowney.