Yesterday’s news (Anheuser-Busch InBev to take over Goose Island) caused a huge stir in the craft brew world, and in Chicago. “Goose Island” was a national trending topic on Twitter for part of yesterday. Beer blogs and comment boards were lit up with worry and speculation (and accusations that Goose Island is “selling out”).
Well, finally last night, came word via Goose Island’s Twitter feed on their side of the story:
In response to today’s deal with AB…This will allow us to make more beer as opposed to discontinuing medal winning brands due to capacity.
We will continue to be a Chicago brewery, to invest in Chicago brewing facilities/jobs, & support Chicago’s cultural and environmental orgs.
We will always be driven by the art of beer. Our team of brewers, led by Brett Porter is the same as it has been for some time.
Our innovation will be expanded, including new styles, as a result of not having as much limitation on capacity.
Our brew pubs are not a part of this deal and the pub brewers will continue as usual.
I take that as good news. One of the things that’s bothered me with Goose Island recently is they’ve stopped releasing beers like their Oatmeal Stout, and the Hex-Nut Brown so that they could pump out more and more or the 312. If this deal allows them to ramp up production, to keep up with demand, of the 312, but still produce things like Oatmeal Stout and Hex-Nut Brown, then that’s good.
Also, the fact that the brewpubs are independent and not part of the deal is great news.
Again, I’m taking a “wait and see” approach. I haven’t already written them off, like some people. If this deal simply means AB taking over production of 312 (and, honestly, who really cares if they cut corners on that one?), but the Fulton Street brewery continues to produce quality beers, and return old favorites to the shelves, I’m all for it.