Goose Island has had two big announcements today. First is the announcement of a new head brewer, Brett Porter. He has quite the impressive background. From the press release:
Before joining Goose Island as Head Brewer in May 2010, Porter worked from 2005 to 2010 as Head Brewer at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Ore., where his beers earned more than 150 awards. Previously, Porter was Head Brewer of Portland Brewing, a position he held from 1993 to 2005. His resume also includes brewing apprenticeships in England at Bunces Brewery and Holden’s Brewery.
The exiting head brewer, Greg Hall, had nothing but good things to say about the new brewmaster and Goose Island goes on to say that Hall will continue to serve in a consultant roll in the directions the business and beers will take.
Most interesting today is the news that Anheuser-Busch is now the majority stake holder in the company. Citing increased demand and explosive growth as the reasoning behind this decision. Anheuser-Busch were already distributing Goose Island since 2006. A fact that had at least a few of my beer friends turn their nose up at them so I can’t wait to hear how this news will go over. However, reading the press release makes it sound like things should not really change for the consumer and this deal will help Goose Island keep creating fantastic beers while getting them out to more people and more markets. The marketing for Goose Island should be stepped up too which will help in getting their beer into more hands. What does Anheuser-Busch get out of all of this? It’s no secret that the big players want to get their hands on this “craft beer movement” and purchasing Goose Island is going to help them do that and assuredly help to line their pockets a bit more. Let’s just hope this was the best decision and the excellent brews that Goose Island turn out won’t suffer in the long run.