In this week’s Hoplinks, a brewpub gets a gold star, pay-to-play gets put under the microscope, barrel-aged gingerbread is a thing, and have you made those Black Friday plans yet?

RAVENSWOOD, CHICAGO — Culinary Brewhouse Band of Bohemia became the first brewery in the United States to win a coveted Michelin Star. We can attest to the incredible commitment to partnering beer and food as we spoke to co-Founders Michael Carroll and Craig Sindelar just before they opened last year. [Chicago Sun-Times]

CHICAGO — For many a Chicago beer geek, Thanksgiving means more than just a ton of food with family and cramming yourself into a department store to get those sweet deals. As always, this Friday signals the release of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout. Check out our impressions of this year’s crop and look for special tappings throughout the week. [Lakeshore Beverage]

USA — The Federal government has finally decided to crack down on distributor’s “pay-to-play” tactics that have plagued many markets around the country for decades. Following a record breaking case in Massachusetts where a distributor settled for $750,000 rather than use their license, the US Alcohol Bureau has promised further investigation to other instances around the country. [Boston Globe]

PILSEN, CHICAGO — Keeping with other barrel-aged Black Friday Chicago traditions, Moody Tongue is premiering their Bourbon Barrel-Aged Gingerbread Imperial Stout in their shiny new taproom. It’s only available until it’s gone so if you’re in town this holiday weekend, check out the new digs for the culinary brewer. [THR Wire]


Photo from our Fall 2015 interview with Band of Bohemia co-Founders Michael Carroll and Craig Sindelar — by Jack Muldowney.