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Goose Island won me back

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ZDub, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. ZDub

    ZDub Mar 12, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Last night I was lucky enough be part of an invite-only tour of Goose Island's Fulton Street brewery. Like a lot of craft beer enthusiasts, I was a bit turned off by GI after they were bought out by AB. Outside of picking up a bottle of BCBS when I could find it, I completely stopped purchasing GI's regular beers.

    That will change now though. Talking with employees and getting to see the R&D GI is still doing to create amazing beer has earned them back a ton of respect in my book. I guess on some level I expected to find AB's fingerprints on everything, but that wasn't the case. Aside from a few AB safety signs, the only mention of them referred to the millions of dollars they had put into GI, allowing them to make more beer and continue innovating. Our guide, an actual GI employee and not just a tour guide, had a passion for beer and was extremely knowledgeable about everything craft beer.

    I walked away from the experience thinking that GI may be funded by the MAN, but they're still run by fellow Beer Geeks. How this will affect my purchasing in the future as the big boys snatch up other craft breweries remains to be seen, but for now, I can't wait to see Matilda and Sofie back in my cellar.
  2. RichD

    RichD Mar 18, 2012 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    While I completely understand supporting the little guys; Matilda, Sofie & BCBS are way too damn delicious to not buy. I've also read about how their product shouldn't be compromised, but funded to make it more widely available. AND, they upped the sizes of their bombers and charged the same price!
    Loops, LuskusDelph, CJNAPS and 13 others like this.
  3. Keffa

    Keffa Jan 8, 2009 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    But, but, but, but, but, AB Inbev!


    Edit: Sarcasm, for those who don't have a sarcasm detector.
    Loops, LuskusDelph, Echoes26 and 16 others like this.
  4. boilermakerbrew

    boilermakerbrew Aug 13, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I've said it once, I'll say it again...

    Drink the beer that you think tastes good.

    Unless it's the 60's and everyone is high again, we ain't here to "fight the man."
    Loops, LuskusDelph, aasher and 14 others like this.
  5. Nachojon

    Nachojon Sep 17, 2011 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    But, Matilda and Sophie aren't very good.
  6. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    My philosophy: If the beer is good, I'll buy it.

    I buy plenty of other products that are produced by large corporations. Why should beer be any different? Occasionally buying beer from a BMC brewer doesn't seem to be putting my favorite craft breweries out of business.
  7. ESHBG

    ESHBG Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I agree and I buy what I like, regardless of who makes it...a good product is a good product to me. I think Goose Island is a solid brewery and almost every single thing I have had from them thus far I have really enjoyed. Case in point I tried their 25th Anniversary Ale last night and thought that it was great!
  8. gyberic

    gyberic Oct 6, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Goose Island never lost me. The AB/InBev ownership is weird, but BCBS still tastes like it did when it became my favorite beer and will probably remain in that slot until it tastes different.
  9. mani

    mani Jun 16, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I agree with the if its good buy it.

    When reading posts about not buying it b/c of AB, I always think how many of the people that don't buy say GI anymore, shop at Home Depot, eat TGI Fridays, shop at the chain grocery store and not at the local hardware store, the farmers market or the local burger place....
    Loops, dictator, peteboiler and 14 others like this.
  10. trh70

    trh70 Dec 31, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Although I am dissipointed that GI sold out to Inbev, GI still makes its own beers. While Inbev handles the marketing and distribution. This does two things, gets the beer down here to florida and still make some damn good beer. If and when Inbev takes over the brewing process as well, then I will tell them to piss off.
    Loops, gyberic and jreindl like this.
  11. jreindl

    jreindl Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    I personally was never worried just because AB got involved. Goose is still great. Oh yeah, and what mani said.
    Loops likes this.
  12. GennyCreamAle

    GennyCreamAle Feb 25, 2009 New York

    You are incorrect
  13. Nachojon

    Nachojon Sep 17, 2011 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Sorry, in my opinion... previous remark.
    OldRickSputin and Pecan like this.
  14. shnsajax

    shnsajax Jul 2, 2013 Idaho
    Beer Trader

    Going to Wrigley then heading to Goose Island will always be a great day.
  15. Keffa

    Keffa Jan 8, 2009 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

    And I personally feel it's wrong. Both with a year on them are sublime.
  16. mtomlins

    mtomlins Mar 12, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    not trying to get into the whole, "my opinion is more correct than yours" argument, but I though Sofie was awesome! I also hope that with a bit of extra funding, the BCBS won't be as hard to find or trade for.
  17. jeevo

    jeevo Nov 1, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Subtle boast at being invited to a private Goose Island event.
  18. Immortale25

    Immortale25 May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Matilda, very good. Sofie, eh.
    Givemebeer likes this.
  19. Tomhet

    Tomhet Dec 20, 2010 Illinois

    It could very well be due to my ignorance of the nuances of the acquisition, but this interview seems to point at nothing but good things for the barrel-aged program and other assorted specialty beers that everyone cares about.
  20. Brenden

    Brenden Feb 25, 2008 Ohio
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Or are they?
  21. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Take it from the guy who quite some time ago said he would publicly apologize for bad things said about ABInbev and thank them if they ever made BCBS easily available. Then had to do it right here on this forum, haha. Life is too short not to drink Sofie, BCBS, and especially the coffee variant, and so many other of their beers.
  22. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Jan 31, 2005 California
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I buy what I like, however I do factor in a compay's practices/philosophy/ethics..etc. IFor example, I have been watching the Goose Island debates here on BA, and as of now, I'm no boycotter (<--new word:oops:). But I have and will boycot products from companies who I have reason to do so.
  23. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Jan 31, 2005 California
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    ^^^ Again with well-said wisdom cavedave. I like reading your posts.
    The-Adjunct-Hippie and Uncleserg like this.
  24. Cyrion

    Cyrion Mar 1, 2013 Virginia

    I'm a big fan of Franziskaner hefeweizen, also bought by InBev. While I'm not thrilled that the dollars I spend on hefes and Honker's Ale are Bud money (blood money?), I am glad that InBev is smart enough to leave good-tasting, profitable beers the hell alone. At least in these two cases.
  25. Thirstygoat

    Thirstygoat Nov 22, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    One good thing about Inbev is that distribution works out well for me. Every medium sized town has one package store that sells a lot of Bud/Busch. If you have been on a first name basis with the owner of such an establishment since the 1990s it is pretty easy to have them see what they can do about BCBS. I missed the boat on Rare and he couldn't get Cherry but I've got my share, and more, of regular, Coffee & Bramble, about a mile from my house.
    I also muddled into King Henry about a half hour away. Coulda had the case, but only took four.
    Contrast that with the distribution of numerous great breweries that only sell north of I-80 or only send their more common stuff downstate.
    Corrado42 and The-Adjunct-Hippie like this.
  26. Soxfan45

    Soxfan45 Jun 28, 2013 Connecticut

  27. ziggyzoggy

    ziggyzoggy Apr 30, 2013 Ohio

    I'm sipping on a Honkers Ale right now.......:D
  28. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Sep 21, 2012 Texas

    We finally get Goose Island in our area thanks to the ABInBev purchase. I'm happy about that. We haven't seen BCBS yet but I'm hopeful. I'm happy to see Matilda, Sophie, etc. in the market.
    Soxfan45 likes this.
  29. templar316

    templar316 Apr 6, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I've decided to stick with stuffbrewed in Chicago rather then at the Bud factory. After all we can't expect a huge multinational corperation to change for the better if we treat them like public enemy #1. Also I noticed a distinct difference between the IPA, Mild, and Honker's that I used to get from OH then the stuff I get now in PA.
  30. frankthetank86

    frankthetank86 Dec 24, 2012 New York

    let's just hope for the best mmmkaay
  31. Dupage25

    Dupage25 Jul 4, 2013 Antarctica

    Was never worried. Bud already had a huge (albeit indirect) stake in Goose for years prior to the buyout by way of their membership in the Craft Brewers Alliance, and the only big things that changed in that four/five year period were these:

    1. Introduction of Sofie as seasonal and then year-round
    2. Introduction of Juliet
    3. Introduction of Pere Jacques (original recipe)
    4. Changing Pere Jacques' recipe and making it year-round
    5. Slow but steady expansion of Matilda, eventually making it year-round instead of seasonal
    6. Slow but steady expansion of Bourbon County
    7. Introduction of Bourbon County Coffee
    8. Bourbon County Rare
    9. Bourbon County Vanilla
    10. Cancellation of Imperial IPA
    11. Cancellation of Demolition 1800
    12. Cancellation of Nut Brown Ale
    13. Cancellation of Oatmeal Stout
    14. Introduction of Fleur
    15. Introduction of Night Stalker

    Since they bought them outright this is what has happened:

    1. Have not cancelled Sofie
    2. Have not cancelled Juliet
    3. Have not cancelled Matilda
    4. Have not cancelled Pere Jacques
    5. Have not cancelled Bourbon County
    6. Have not cancelled Bourbon County Coffee
    7. Introduced Madame Rose
    8. Introduced Lolita
    9. Dramatic expansion of Sofie
    10. Dramatic expansion of Matilda
    11. Dramatic expansion of Pere Jacques
    12. Dramatic expansion of Bourbon County
    13. Dramatic expansion of Bourbon County Coffee
    14. re-introduction of Nut Brown Ale
    15. Cancellation of Fleur
    16. Bourbon County Bramble Rye
    17. Bourbon County Cherry Rye
    18. King Henry
    19. Big John

    Looks pretty good to me.

    Interesting. I pretty much never have Honker's or the IPA, but 312 tastes the same to me when I have it (decent fall-back warm weather beer). Nut Brown also tastes the same when I can find it fresh (which isn't often unfortunately :(), but then I think that's still brewed in Chicago so it shouldn't be different.
  32. Soxfan45

    Soxfan45 Jun 28, 2013 Connecticut

    I hope they buy Bell's next!!!!!! I have read ( never tried) about that beer for years and would love to see it in Connecticut... I think AB/InBev has proven they can make buying a small craft brewery work.
    aasher likes this.
  33. Shoo65

    Shoo65 Oct 23, 2011 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    templar316, funhog, litheum94 and 4 others like this.
  34. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    We should have a craft-brew version of Monopoly. Then we can have Bud-Money...
  35. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, they make most of their own beer, and...

  36. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I really don't think he is. Sofie is average at best and Matilda has nothing to offer at all. The average Pale Ale, IPA, or Belgian PA lover is typically turned away from the profile of that beer, which in my opinion is one of the worst beers I've ever tasted. The only good beer that GI makes is the BCS series and Paradisi, because it actually gives substance to an otherwise EXTREMELY bland Sofie.
    This has nothing to do with InBev.
    Pecan and westcoastbeerlvr like this.
  37. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I don't know. I had a chance to take home 3 growlers of Sofie after judging at a local fest, really had a chance to get to know that beer. Really came to enjoy it. At the end of the day a Saison is supposed to be refreshing first, everything else after that. Very refreshing.

    Easy drinking, some nice yeastiness that stays pretty clean, not a lot of spice, not complex but some brightness to an interesting taste. Is it Duvel, Dupont, or Fantome caliber? No. But what is? It sorta straddles Belgian Pale and Saison to me, and I think folks ding it for that.
    Corrado42 likes this.
  38. BlueRogue

    BlueRogue May 1, 2011 Maine

    If it tastes good to me I'll but it. 'Nuff said.
  39. Thirstygoat

    Thirstygoat Nov 22, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    And the Christmas Ale 2011 ( at least) was a decent cold day take 4 pk to a party and drink 2-3 beer.
  40. Keepmywitbieraboutme

    Keepmywitbieraboutme Apr 24, 2013 New York

    InBev also owns the distribution rights to monster energy drinks. And i love finding so many varieties at the stores. I'm just saying it's not a bad thing to make life more convenient for folks. Plus, love me some 312 and dogs at any ball game.
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