In this week’s Hoplinks, we plan an event, a much hyped brewery opens to the public, a beer and branding guide is put to print, Maryland takes one step forward and two steps back, the best of best in beer around the country are listed, and the top 50 craft breweries are revealed for 2016.

THE HOP REVIEW — With Chicago Craft Beer Week just a couple months away, we’re in the midst of planning our own event — Ultra Fresh II. Hosted at a very special location in Bucktown, we’re excited to expand on the success of last year’s inaugurial event. Look out for more details in the coming weeks.

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL — The blooming suburban Chicago craft scene can add yet another taproom to it’s lineup as Mikerphone Brewing in Elk Grove opened this weekend. The music themed brewery will open regularly to the public Thursday through Sunday, though we’d recommend waiting a few weeks for the crowds to calm down. [Mikerphone Facebook]

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — CODO Design (previously featured numerous times in our Beer & Branding series) has teamed up with paper company Neenah to publish a Craft Beer Branding Guide. The beautifully put together book is available for free through their website. [THR Wire]

MARYLAND — The Maryland House of Delegates recently passed HB1283, a bill which increases production caps for craft breweries but severely limits the hours they can open to the public. The bill, which was introduced without consulting the brewing community, is being touted as

one step forward, two steps back for Maryland beer and residents are being encouraged to contact their local Senator. []

USA — After weeks of voting, USA Today has announced the winners of their 2017 Craft Beer 10 Best awards. The impressive line up of choices included a number of Chicagoland offerings, including “Best Beer Bar,” The Bavarian Lodge in Lisle. [USA Today]

USA — The Brewers Association released their top 50 craft breweries of 2016. The list sees a few new entries as well as the removal of a number of the largest breweries, mostly as a result of the increasing frequency of buyouts which doesn’t jive with the BA’s definition of “craft.” [Brewers Association]


Photo of the Craft Beer Branding Guide — by CODO Design, Inc.