Goose Island won me back

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

  1. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I was able to get my hands on a Honkers sixpack that was brewed in Chicago and one that was brewed in NY about the time they started switching production over. Tried 2 bottles side-by-side and didn't taste a difference. I think they're matching the recipes pretty well.
    Peter_Wolfe and VictorWisc like this.
  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    What exodus is this? Please link some reference if you can. In the meantime, if you look over the history of Goose Island, it's had a pretty revolving door at the employee entrance for a long time.

    Many brewmasters of other micros and pubs have cut their teeth at Goose Island and gone on to other (sometimes better, sometimes not so) ventures. One example is Jonathan Cutler at Piece Pizza and brew pub in Chicago. Take a look at his portfolio of awards.
    VictorWisc likes this.
  3. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Where are you getting this "information?"

    From the O.P.
    VictorWisc likes this.
  4. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,479) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I guess I am here to play devils advocate. Is there something inherently wrong about the idea that there is a beer that you can't have? I honestly don't see anything wrong with the idea that AB does not need to bring me every beer I have ever heard about. It's ok with me if you have pliny and I don't. All the evils that folks complain about; trade scalping, hoarding, muling, expired beer that is sold to the unwary - all that happens because the value of the beer is in collecting it, in saying that you had it and not really in the beer or the people that make the beer. Osha protects all business great and small.
  5. frazbri

    frazbri Crusader (740) Oct 29, 2003 Ohio

    I've never boycotted Goose Island, but I do have reservations about ABInbev's involvement. In the short term, Inbev has done a good job with GI. Will they continue to do so going forward?
  6. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (409) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I've never been a big fan of the Honkers, 312 and such, so I haven't bought them... Beforemofmafter the buyout. I do like the !matilda, Sophie, Pepe, and of course BCBS. Those I will buy, though I do get a slight pang about supporting AB-InBev, however minimally.
  7. danimalarkey

    danimalarkey Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2008 Illinois

    It's entirely possible that you just don't like Matilda -- but I would also hazard a guess that the airport bar may not clean out its tap lines as often as they should.
  8. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    i have to say, despite my admiration towards many of GI's other beers, that matilda has consistently disappointed me. granted, i've only ever had matilda within the past 3 - 4 years that GI has been available in MA and thus associated with AB-Inbev, but even bottles that i've cellared since then have disappointed. the main problem of course is that i can't get orval out of my head, which it is supposedly inspired by. but every time i give it another go, even aged bottles are just too cloyingly sweet, with little to no brettanomyces to be found.
  9. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Nice to hear something positive from someone who has seen the GI operation first-hand instead of all of the rants about how GI has sold out to InBev and how InBev is going to ruin GI's product from those who are just spouting unfounded opinions out of their pie holes. I'm not surprised that the price of GI beers has not gone up even though InBev has to take their cut; I'm thinking the economies of scale has brought the cost of raw materials down for GI, not to mention the brewers can concentrate on brewing and not so much on the business side.
  10. beenitty

    beenitty Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2010 New Jersey

    I understand the principle of not liking InBev, but if you've been brewing for a lifetime with long hours and modest profits, then someone drops 40 million in your lap, what do you do?

    You take the money Greg Hall and give yourself a better life. You earned it!

    It looks like this situation has been a win for everyone, especially in NY/NJ where BCBS is still on shelves and we dont have to fight like animals over the last 4pk.

    The principle in this matter is kinda bullshit.

    The beer is still ridiculously good and now more available for the ppl who love their products.

  11. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (639) May 11, 2012 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    I can't really hate on InBev at all. Foreign owned company? Yea, but a lot of American people are employed by them
    Prince_Casual, aasher and Soxfan45 like this.
  12. rundownhouse

    rundownhouse Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2005 Tennessee

  13. rundownhouse

    rundownhouse Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2005 Tennessee

    It's crazy to me that it's widely acknowledged that InBev has justified it's purchase of AB by lowering quality and firing people, and their purchase of GI is greeted by, "Nothing to see here!" I appreciate cavedave being honest about not caring how the sausage is made, as long as he likes the taste and it's cheap enough.
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Yah. As said before, there has been a consistent rollover of people learning the craft at GI then moving on to their own work (as is shown in your lazy Google Search -- I thought you may have had real insight). Has nothing to do with the A-B buyout and as someone who's been drinking the beer since the original brewery opened, I can say that I see no quality lowering -- not yet anyway.

    Sorry to report that your perspective and view are pretty unfounded. The Honkers, IPA, and even the Summertime are still top-notch beers to enjoy.
  15. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (870) Jan 8, 2004 California

    Did you read this?

    Now that I think about it, you're right. There is "nothing to see here".
    steveh likes this.
  16. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    Who exactly have they fired?
    steveh likes this.
  17. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Hell, the article about Jared Rouben is so removed from A-B that it's laughable:
    If you've been following along you'd (and not IceAce, but anyone) know that A-B didn't take any ownership of the brew pub -- at all.

    And then there's this one, from this month, that contradicts any scoffing at GI employees not believing in the brewery anymore.

  18. BradenMK

    BradenMK Disciple (321) Sep 24, 2012 Alaska

    Never had any problem with AB/InBev purchasing GI, but if anything, this thread has taught me: If I like Sofie, I had damn well better try Duvel. Can't believe I haven't done so yet. *shame*
  19. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Devotee (463) Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    To echo Steveh here, but did you even look at the results? Every link that mentions a "brewmaster leaving" follows with "to start his own brewery". This is normal OP and not just for Goose Island.

    I had a moment to chat with some Goose Island people (not sure who was who, but it was not regional reps), and, unless I got it completely wrong, they did mention that 1) GI has full control of development and 2) ABI is limited by contract in what influence they can have or they have to walk away from the deal. Someone else said above it was a "bad decision" by GI. I don't even see it that way. They got an influx of cash and a distribution headache removed for some of their (inferior by BA standards) products in exchange for letting them be brewed at regional facilities. I don't see anything sinister in this.
    TastyIsBeer and steveh like this.
  20. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    VictorWisc likes this.
  21. bismarksays

    bismarksays Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2008 Iowa

    Maybe there is not much of a difference if you get them fresh, but most of the GI beer here in their everyday lineup has had a noticeable decline(at least what I get in Iowa). They have all dulled their flavor, like an auto tuned note. Their higher end stuff remains completely world class though.
  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I'd imagine you're getting your Goose Island "top 3" (Honkers, IPA, 312) from Colorado. I've only had the New York brewed "contracts." Can't comment on how the Fort Collins brewery is matching the recipes.
  23. Peter_Wolfe

    Peter_Wolfe Initiate (157) Jul 5, 2013 Oregon

    Yes, yes we will!
    VictorWisc and Soxfan45 like this.
  24. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    We get the NY ones surprisingly so I'm sure Iowa does too.

    Still waiting to here who was fired, rundownhouse
  25. Peter_Wolfe

    Peter_Wolfe Initiate (157) Jul 5, 2013 Oregon

    To BrettHead, in response to:

    [Just to be clear, I am a current employee of Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis. I work and talk with the brewers at Goose Island, and consider them friends.]

    I believe Rundownhouse is referring to the (hostile) takeover of Anheuser-Busch by InBev, not to the voluntary acquisition of Goose Island. While it's true that some people were let go after the 2008 buyout of AB, most chose to exercise a stock buyout option, which, if they'd been with AB for any length of time, was extremely favorable for them. Many were able to take an early retirement because of it. Others went on to start their own craft breweries. With respect to lowering quality following the buyout, that is simply not the case. The day-to-day brewing at AB is essentially the same as before. The day-to-day brewing is essentially the same at Goose Island as well, with the exception that now 312, Honkers, and GI IPA is now also made in Fort Collins and Baldwinsville (under the very close watchful eye of the GI brewmasters, who routinely taste it to make sure nothing is changing or drifting). This off-loading of production allows the Chicago brewery to do more of what you guys love: BCBS, Paradiso, etc.

    The Brewmasters in Chicago were initially (and understandably) leery of allowing any offsite production. However, they've repeatedly told us how impressed they are with the stuff coming out of the two AB breweries; it's as good and occasionally better (their words) as the stuff made in Chicago. The fact that they now have freed-up fermenter space to experiment and have fun is icing on the cake.
    TastyIsBeer, aasher, Highbrow and 4 others like this.
  26. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    If you look at the link he/she (never assume) provided, it's all about brewmasters leaving Goose Island.
    I haven't seen any of the top 3 brewed back in Chicago yet -- I live just north of the city and purchase Goose Island as part of my beer rotation. All the 12 packs and Pub Packs I've seen are from Baldwinsville.
    Good stuff to hear -- now when are they gonna start expanding the big brewery as promised?
  27. taxman

    taxman Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2012 Illinois

    I'm not sure why GI ever lost you. Their quality has not suffered one bit and, therefore, should not have lost you in the first place.
    Andy1010 likes this.
  28. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Devotee (463) Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    Don't forget that this is coming from an ABI guy, but I presume he knows what he's talking about for that very reason, rather than pushing the company line.
  29. buzze40

    buzze40 Aspirant (236) Mar 9, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    My concerns with the "new GI" were with the 2011 BCBS debacle where we were told by GI reps several times more GI was coming and it never came and this season the constant delay of BCBW. These things made me wonder if they can run the joint. But flip side is this last batch of BCBS was plentiful and up to snuff, and I would rather have them not release BCBW than to put out a big barrel aged barleywine that really lacked a good barrel character just to make their time line (not mentioning any barrel aged barleywines by name -- ounders-fay oltcutter-bay) So I am happy with the new GI to date...
  30. crowdedstr

    crowdedstr Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2011 Illinois

    Not to mention, the Goose Brewpubs are cranking out more great beer than ever... the clybourn pub is putting out an average of 3-4 new brews per week right now. Add to that the Fulton & Wood series that the mothership is doing, and you've got a company that is firing on all cylinders right now.

    InBev can have their 312, IPA, Honkers, etc... all that does is free up capacity for the Chicago boys to spend more and more time experimenting and making great beer for the Chicago market. I've never been happier w/ Goose Island than I am right now.
    TastyIsBeer and Soxfan45 like this.
  31. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

  32. crowdedstr

    crowdedstr Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2011 Illinois

    I didn't say they did... I'm saying Goose as a whole (as I made a distinction between pubs and mothership) is better than ever right now.

    Sorry for posting.. I guess I'll have you proofread all posts going forward since you seem to be quite the authority on all things Goose Island.
  33. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Don't go gettin' yer back up just because I'm pointing out what so many don't seem to understand and the fact that this thread was started about the AB ownership debate -- it's just discussion, not a pissing match (jeze, is everyone around here a whiner anymore?).

    And to the point of the Pubs and the AB-owned brewery -- how could one really be effecting the other? Unless you count the salary John Hall is getting and probably putting back into the pubs?

    Not to say that I don't enjoy the pub -- been going to Clybourn since it opened and I'm glad it's still going strong.
  34. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    rozzom likes this.
  35. matttttYCE

    matttttYCE Initiate (0) Jul 15, 2010 Arizona

    They won me back with how wonderful (read: sessionable) 312 is, AND the fact that I can actually get it now, and at gas stations no less. Now, I'm just waiting on that increased BCBS distro... Of course I'd settle for being able to get Night Stalker here.
    ndepriest likes this.
  36. bridad57

    bridad57 Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2016 California

    Can't believe Goose Island sells a watered-down version of their IPA in Colorado grocery stores - at a premium beer price. Not knowing Colorado's 3% law for supermarket beer, bought a six-pack on a recent visit and thought I was drinking Coors Light. Just awful. No longer a Goose Island fan. No way to treat unsuspecting consumers.
  37. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,907) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    It took me two beers out of one sixpack to figure out that Colorado grocery store beer glitch.
    Junior likes this.
  38. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,538) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Ok this is a GI thread, not really an InBev debate. I don't like GIs year round brews, they're not bad by any means just ok. Their ipa is an English style IPA, so take it at that. BcBs is the star as it should be, this years hiccup not withstanding, but traditionally it's an outstanding beer, or set of beers.
    TastyIsBeer likes this.
  39. NJBrews609

    NJBrews609 Initiate (198) Apr 26, 2016 California
    Beer Trader

    I don't know that GI won me back because they never really had me to begin with. Their standard portfolio is marginal at best. Their BC lineup is great but I can find BA stouts that are equally as good (or better) without having to hunt them down at dawn the day after Thanksgiving.
    Chiefy770 and beertunes like this.
  40. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (477) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    as mentioned in other threads, pretty sure they wound up tossing an entire 2011 variant. pretty sure that's where a chunk of the *anticipated* secondary allocations fell short.

    if you're speaking about 2015 BCBW "delays", possibly you aren't aware there were full refunds on those due to spoilage?