Goose Island sale 10 years later: Anheuser-Busch got what it needed from the deal, but...

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by thebeers, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,471) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Lots of interesting insights in this “10 years later” piece on the Goose Island sale from Josh Noel at the Chicago Tribune...

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dini...0210327-iqtmifpjlnh3vbjjg5r3wg2t74-story.html

    What do you think?
     
  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    What do I think? I miss Honker's Ale, I miss the original recipe Summertime, I miss the Oatmeal Stout and Brown Ale.

    Yeah, they petered away over the years, but I still point my accusing finger to the head offices.
     
  3. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,471) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Before I knew about BCBS, Honker’s was my favorite Goose Island beer. What do you think about the claim that the big production volume A-B brewed beers are not as good as they used to be?

     
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  4. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (652) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I think I am pay-walled.
     
  5. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,471) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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  6. TomFoley

    TomFoley Aspirant (221) Mar 19, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Wow, ten years already?
     
  7. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    312 and IPA are the only 2 left I could really compare, I believe. Early on the IPA was still pretty good, but slowly became sort of blah. I haven't had it in a while, though.

    I've tried some of the one-offs that have come out and about 40% are good, but the rest are just meh.

    I haven't had Bourbon County in years due to the hype and inflated prices, but people still seem happy with it.

    But as said -- I miss the beers that built the brand.
     
  8. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Funny, because I was yesterday when the link came up on my news feed, but TB's link worked for me. The Tribe is a shadow of its 10 year-old self, too. :rolling_eyes:
     
  9. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone Initiate (83) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey
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  10. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Forgot about Goose's addition to the "session trend," So-Lo was pretty good.
     
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  11. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Have I mentioned how much I hate auto-correct?

    TRIB -- as in TRIBune, not as in that team in northern Ohio. :confused:
     
  12. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,830) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    Sometimes copying and pasting the link into an incognito or private browser will work.
     
  13. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Savant (953) May 3, 2016 Illinois
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    I think the article is fluff. Goose doesn’t suffer from being owned by InBev, it suffers from being a 30 year old brewery in an era when local, nimble breweries are a dime a dozen and each one is developing some new crazy shit style that somehow draws a following. Given that they are expanding globally, they probably will be the fall back craft macro for most of the worlds for countries with nascent craft breweries. Goose still makes good beer at their brewpubs and some countries have barriers to small breweries so GI can make solid craft in roads in those countries with Inbevs political weight.
     
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,007) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    The only Goose Island beer I buy regularly is Sofie. I have a six-pack in my basement aging right now; I prefer that beer with a minimum of 6 months in the bottle. That brand still tastes great for me.

    Cheers!
     
  15. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,087) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    I was thinking pretty much the same thing.

    How many threads have been on this forum griping about this and that beer that got "them" started no longer being brewed by several of the large national and regional craft breweries? There's one or two on-going right now like that.

    How many threads have been on this forum griping about how this and that highly rated beer is now a shadow of its former self?

    Lazy writing. Easy target.
     
    #15 MNAle, Mar 28, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  16. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,582) Dec 10, 2015 France
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    We get 312, IPA and honkers ale fairly easily here at supermarkets. Has been for a number of years even and it’s of course no mystery that AB buyout made that possible. Same with Lagunitas/Heineken.

    Out of the obvious BCBS and variants and like @JackHorzempa I have enjoyed Sofie and Matilda on many occasions. Their other beers are more meh, these days anyway.
     
  17. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Really? Honker's? Where is it brewed? And how do they market 312 in France?
     
  18. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,582) Dec 10, 2015 France
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    You’d have to ask AB or GI :grinning:

    I don’t have a bottle of either in my hands at the moment, but I assure you we have them, prolly just as import. Have no idea if they sell well.
     
  19. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Don't forget that it's from a local reporter and newspaper. Noel has a soft spot for Goose.

    As to those "shadows of former self" threads, I rarely participate in them, but I practically cut my micro-brewed teeth on Goose Island beers, so I have my own soft spot -- if not a more ingrained perspective of the brewery.

    I wanted to give AB-InBev a chance when they first bought into Goose, and it seemed like they were doing okay... then they moved the regular brands to be brewed out of town, then they started culling the herd, then old beers didn't taste as good, then the weird labels started showing up...

    Yeah, I'm probably jaded by proximity, doesn't make me wrong. :wink:
     
  20. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (1,907) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey
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    I overheard a conversation in the store yesterday about the guava beer they have. I don’t even know what it is myself but it’s a double dry hopped guava thing and the guy was saying he grabbed it for somebody who said they liked Goose IPA. And when asked about it later was told the guava ipa was the best beer he’s ever tasted and the other guy in the same sentence said it was horrendous.

    I suppose that there will always be people who enjoy something. It’s been interesting to see things come and go in the beer world.
     
  21. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Well, Honker's isn't brewed anywhere for sale in the U.S. except draft on premises at the Chicago pub and large brewery, so I'm curious now.
     
  22. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (1,907) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey
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    When I worked in a specialty liquor store our beer section was about 40% of sales. Of that info I do not have an exact number I no longer work there but the 15 packs of goose island ipa were one of the top 3 selling bulk packs. Among 12 and 15s we sold total. The other two being all day ipa and double nickel ( the brewery is literally next door) weekend warrior dry hopped pale.
     
  23. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,582) Dec 10, 2015 France
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    Ah. Maybe they sell old beers? Or as you said it’s brewed somewhere else?

    Okay I’ll buy one and report back to be sure.
     
  24. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,264) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
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    What do I think?

    I think I used to wake up early the day after Thanksgiving and wait in line to get 1-2 bottles of regular BCBS and if I was super lucky a single bottle of a single variant. Today, 4 months after the release, I could walk into a bottle shop and buy as much BCBS as a want, and even still pick up a couple of the variants.

    I never cared much for the GI standard (non-BCBS) lineup, so truthfully don’t really care about any GI other than Bourbon County.

    I get the general gripes with AB In Bev but if I said their acquisition of Goose Island has been negative for me I would just be flat out lying.
     
  25. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,830) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    Thats one way to put it ...
     
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  26. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    What are the *other* ways... you may be "suggesting?" :wink:
     
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  27. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,830) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    I have a lot of thoughts but frankly @HouseofWortship (!!) and @MNAle made the point I was going to make much more succinctly. Goose Island is just another large brewery fighting for relevance in today's market. It has far less to do with who owns them than their size and market share.

    In the article Noel wrote:
    He made this point as if the buyout by ABinBev is why Goose Island has lost its relevance, but honestly, try it this way:

    "For years, [______] was the biggest story in [_____] craft beer. Now it’s just another face in a competitive crowd."

    and start substituting the other older, bigger craft breweries and honestly how many other breweries could you put in that sentence and have it make complete sense ... Sam Adams (Boston Beer)? Sierra Nevada? Deschutes? Oskar Blues? Stone?

    And to this point, these are all beers styles that have been phased out across the board brother big breweries. Its not just GI. I agree with the sentiment, and miss those beers too ... but its not like ABinBev ultimately killed those beers off - the market did and ABinBev and GI (and every other craft brewery) is a business and they ultimately will end up seeking what sells.

    I think Noel sees in GI's plight ("a national brand, but hardly a healthy brand") something about the current craft beer scene that is totally true ... big craft breweries are struggling to stay relevant. They have to churn out new things to keep people's attention and plenty fail. But does GI have that much worse of a track record with "new" stuff than say Sierra Nevada with their "new" beers. I love SN, its an OG, but man their recent run of new beers over the last few years have been ... well, I couldn't care less to ever drink more than one single can. and Frankly most of them are released once and then quietly disappear.

    Noel is obsessed with the sellout of GI to ABinBev ... he's made his name off the book he wrote about it ... but in this case its causing him to be unable to see the bigger picture as he crams a legitimate phenomenon in today's craft beer scene into his pet narrative about GI and ABinBEv.
     
  28. ZebulonXZogg

    ZebulonXZogg Zealot (587) May 5, 2015 Illinois

    I never cared for much of anything in the GI lineup except Honkers and BCBS. It seems odd to still see BCBS and its varieties several months after Black Friday.
     
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  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,007) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Firstly, I wish I could "like" your post more than once.

    Now, back to specifically comment on your comparison of Goose Island to Sierra Nevada. IMO you are spot on here. It seems to me that ever since Jeff White was named CEO of Sierra Nevada in 2019 the trajectory of that brewery has notably changed. As a long term (multiple decades) consumer of Sierra Nevada beers I am not a fan of Jeff White. It seems like Jeff White is constantly looking for a 'shiny new thing' to produce, whether it be a Sierra Nevada Brut IPA (which just an OK product) or whatever. It seem that for 2020/2021 he wants Sierra Nevada to be principally an IPA factory and I personally think the branding of their new product: Big Little Thing IPA to be an oxymoron but it would seem that the Marketing & Sales folks at Sierra Nevada thinks contrasting the words "big" with "little" is clever? Oh well...?

    As long as Sierra Nevada continues to produce Celebration Ale as a fall seasonal I will still support then financially. Also, I am a fan of Dankful IPA but all of my local beer retailers only have product that was canned last November so perhaps I will never purchase this beer ever again but if I ever luck out and find this beer fresh I will buy that brand too.

    I miss the 'old' Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Especially the seasonal (spring, fall) mix-packs they used to produce annually.

    Cheers!
     
  30. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,471) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    One word: Oktoberfest
     
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,007) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I have not purchased a Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest beer in many years. It seems like every year my local Retail Beer Distributors receive shipments in July and the one Retail Beer Distributor is not air-conditioned. Those beers 'bake' in high heat for the remainder of July and all of August. I have zero interest in drinking July packaged Oktoberfest (and 'baked') beers.

    Instead I await the arrival of Sly Fox Oktoberfest beers and purchase them in September. Last year I purchased multiple 12-packs (three I think) of this tasty and 'unbaked' beer.

    Cheers!
     
  32. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Sounds like you've been following him a lot closer than I have, I've only really skimmed his articles here and there (and not always agreed with him).
    I'm not so sure of this, there are still Oatmeal Stouts and Brown Ales out there and it seemed like GI dropped their labels long before others did.

    So where did the consumer guide the market, and where did the marketing guide the market?

    All questions with complicated answers.
     
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  33. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Haven't been a big fan of their rendition in a few years, then again -- it's the Americanized Okto now and I've never really been a big fan of those all around.
     
  34. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    Can’t get past the big pop up ads, I’d be interested in reading it though.
     
  35. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    But.... remember the days when BCBS was a Chicago only area release, and a tough get, and very hard to trade for? Nice that it’s a shelf turd now, available in many places year round. The distro was in place, the upping of the beer production not a problem, even that infection couldn’t completely knock them off stride. Still being independent would have been a disaster, but they still thrived. No complaints from me, just progress.
     
  36. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,830) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Maybe I wasn't clear enough, I was more speaking to the larger craft breweries, not all craft breweries. I mean look at what SN has been doing - phasing out pretty much any non-IPA beer in favor of (not) new IPAs. And I don't mean to harp on SN so much, but I think they are a good example of how this trend is not a GI specific one.

    As to your second point - isn't that a bit of a chicken and an egg conundrum? IPA sales go up, breweries brew more IPAs, which makes IPA sales go up, which means more breweries start brewing IPAs, which means the sales go up ... and on it goes.
     
  37. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,830) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    I agree with you here - this is one of the last things about them that really draws me in. but honestly, if they do not go back to the German brewery collaboration format next year, I doubt I would even pick up their Oktoberfest.
     
  38. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Exactly my point of the complication.

    As to comparing Goose to SN, it seems Goose has been making big portfolio alterations -- ebbing and flowing -- for a lot longer than SN. It seems they have no real direction as they used to... yes, before AB-InBev.
     
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  39. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,963) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    See, I thought he was talking about Goose Island's Okto... following the thread, and all.

    @thebeers -- what sez youse?
     
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  40. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,087) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    Don't you mean a bit of a goose and an egg? :grin::stuck_out_tongue:
     
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