News John Hall steps down as president of Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch Craft Advisory Board established

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Nov 16, 2012.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,551) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    Just in this morning from A-B, who also confirmed shortly after that John Hall is stepping down as president of Goose Island to take a new role as founder of the Anheuser-Busch Craft Advisory Board. Tony Bowker (Goose Island’s COO) and John Guerra (A-B) will be joining Hall on the board. Andy Goeler (A-B) will be taking over day-to-Day operations at Goose Island.


    Our company’s role in the high-end beer segment is growing and enabling us to reach a new and growing consumer base that has wide-ranging beer tastes and interests.

    To help guide this growth, we are proud to announce the establishment of the Anheuser-Busch Craft Advisory Board, with John Hall, founder and president of Goose Island, and Tony Bowker, Goose Island chief operating officer, as its founding members. John Guerra, vice president of North America finance for AB InBev, also will sit on the board, along with both of us.

    As John and Tony assume these new roles, they have announced they will move out of their positions at Goose Island. John and Tony have been a team for years, working from the small beginnings of Goose Island to launch an unknown, but well-crafted beer. Seen as trailblazers in the craft beer industry, John, Tony and the Goose Island team have won legions of fans with their distinctive beers, and the admiration and respect of many in the industry. They are at the center of the Goose Island story, and these brands will carry their mark forever. The Goose Island team is well-prepared to carry on Goose Island’s mission and long-standing tradition of fine-crafted beers.

    We will continue to benefit from John’s advice on the brands, as he shares his passion for innovative, creative beer styles. Tony will continue to advise us on the business aspects of Goose Island, tapping his wealth of experience with the operation. We are grateful to have their continuing imprint on Goose Island.

    Stepping into a new role at Goose Island will be Andy Goeler, who has served as vice president of Import, Craft and Specialty for the past five years at Anheuser-Busch. Andy becomes president and CEO of Goose Island reporting to Paul, effective Jan. 1,

    Andy is a seasoned veteran with 30 years in the beer business at Anheuser-Busch, leading brands small and large and with broad experience in sales. Andy has been working with the Goose Island team for the past year to help expand the brands, satisfying the demands for Chicago’s favorite beer among beer drinkers in the Midwest and Northeast. Now, he will take on further expansion of the brand nationally, growing the brands the right

    Andy has led the growth of Shock Top from its infancy, while taking established global brands, such as Stella Artois and Beck’s, and bringing them to new levels in the United States, carefully maintaining a consistent, quality brand position. Before the Goose Island partnership in 2011, Andy served on the board of the Craft Brew Alliance, owner of Kona Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewing, giving him great insights into the craft beer segment. Andy holds two masters’ degrees, one in marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford, N.J., and one in international business from Webster University in St. Louis. He also completed the advanced marketing program at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

    Replacing Andy as Anheuser-Busch vice president of Import, Craft and Specialty will be Adam Oakley, reporting to Paul, also

    Adam most recently served as director of Mission 6 brands. He joined Anheuser-Busch in the United States in 2010 from the UK team of AB InBev, where he led the resurgence of the Stella Artois brand. Adam managed a broad portfolio of brands and a team of marketers in Western Europe. He brings creative brand-building expertise and extensive brand management experience, having held positions at Diageo, Colgate-Palmolive and News International Newspapers. Adam holds a post-graduate marketing diploma from Bristol Polytechnic and a degree in mechanical engineering from Leeds University.

    We are pleased to use the great talents and knowledge of all these colleagues for the further growth of our beers. Please join us in congratulating and supporting John, Tony, Andy and Adam as they move into their new roles.

  2. firesign3000

    firesign3000 Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2010 Ohio

    This is the end of Goose Island as we know it. Soon A-B will tamper with the recipes and it'll become just another crappy A-B brand like everything else they touch. Sad.
  3. Brew33

    Brew33 Crusader (748) Oct 24, 2007 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Doesn't matter. BAs will piss and moan about this and talk about how GI has sold a little bit more of their soul and I still won't be able to get a single bottle of BCBS this year because those same people will be chasing those AB trucks they claim to hate so much....
  4. bugdoc

    bugdoc Aspirant (208) Apr 4, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    And so it begins...
  5. danimalarkey

    danimalarkey Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2008 Illinois

    What begins, exactly?
  6. mdomask

    mdomask Aspirant (274) May 27, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Just a guess, but the fear is that what supposedly happened to Becks will happen to GI now.
    neophilus and Centennial like this.
  7. Franch

    Franch Devotee (451) Mar 22, 2011 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    i don't exactly buy into the hysteria of "AB takeover of GI is going to make everything mediocre and in 5 years BCBS will use artificial bourbon flavor and be 7%" but damn if that wasn't the first thing i thought of.
    avenuepub, kemoarps and ChicagoThor like this.
  8. Auror

    Auror Defender (642) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Would love it if the press release actually said what the "Craft Advisory Board" is.
    pixieskid and Gash like this.
  9. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    you guys have a big batch of "big companies don't buy up little companies because they believe the littler companies' strategies are better than their own," i-told-you-so's coming to you.

    re: people complaining but you can't buy bourbon county stout because those same people bought it all, 1) you're imagining it, 2) get better at the simple task of buying beer.
    ShogoKawada likes this.
  10. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (958) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Am I reading news about a brewery or a corporation?
  11. CBlack85

    CBlack85 Crusader (703) Jul 12, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    an advertising corporation that happens to make beer...
    zrbeer1579, Lantern, JulianB and 11 others like this.
  12. Goosey

    Goosey Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2012 Missouri

    I could probably live off of Founders, Bells, Great Divide, Odell, Deschutes, Fantome, Pannepot, Stone, Boulevard, Firestone Walker, Unibroque, all of the trappist brews, Evil twin and Mikkeller, and a handfull of others that are readily avaliable to me, and not changing anytime soon. If GI goes down in quality, I will be sad, but also, will maybe spend less money on beer, but as of now I am still ISO BCBS variants, as well as the new Night Stalker, and Big John releases when they come out. On a positive note, looking at Anheuser-Busch's financial's, in 2011, they paid out $3,088,000 in dividends, and stock is currently trading for $82 per share, so maybe now is a good time to invest???
  13. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Wait and see what the future holds.

    If I get my hands on a pack of BCBS this year, I will enjoy it just the same.
  14. Brettlovesbeer

    Brettlovesbeer Initiate (133) Feb 7, 2011 Massachusetts

    The guy may have multiple business degrees but he doesn't have a single brewing degree. Treating beer as more of a business and less of a culinary art is what made BMC. I hope craft brewers never lose sight that great beer is an art and science, not money.
  15. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    like we didn't see this coming? I don't see what the big deal is.
  16. dpjosuns

    dpjosuns Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2009 Illinois

  17. Holmes698

    Holmes698 Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader this really a suprise? *toilet flush noise*
  18. sukwonee

    sukwonee Crusader (740) Dec 13, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Maybe they will start upping the ABV on GI beers like they're doing to their bud light-variants... BCBS Platinum...
  19. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (958) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    That's what it looks like. Toss me a cold goose, brah.
    JxExM and RochefortChris like this.
  20. mechamifune

    mechamifune Devotee (431) Jan 26, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    In the end, for me Goose Island is one of dozens of great breweries whose beer I enjoy. If we *lose* Goose Island (so to speak) I won't mourn it but so much. As it stands I think it will be an interesting test case to see what happens. With the press release itself it is kind of interesting and ultimately telling that they talk up so much of Andy Goeler's training in business and marketing. Not to imply that someone taking over Goose Island shouldn't have a good deal of training and experience in these areas, but it would seem to be relatively clear what the point of emphasis is going to be going forward for the company. That being said, I certainly find it within the realm of possibility that Goose Island will continue to make good beer going forward with little to no change in quality.
  21. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    And followed by a vile stink.
  22. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    I guess the big deal to me is them moving forward with this "craft advisory board." I couldn't give two shits if they completely ruin GI or not. What I do care about is them buying more craft and other big craft or macros having to acquire craft just to keep up. The end result is a less diverse ownership in the industry and that, in my opinion, is a bad thing.

    More breweries, owned by many, with beer being brewed by people one degree of separation or less from the people who own the brewery. That's my ideal.
    kemoarps, Duff27, Bitter_Echo and 4 others like this.
  23. epk

    epk Initiate (146) Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    Could look on the bright side I suppose - two major players in a craft brewery are now sitting on a board who's purpose I assume is to oversee AB-InBev's craft segment. Perhaps they can have a positive impact. Of course it also makes me think that they will be looking for more AB-InBev craft breweries to acquire to grow said segment.
    JxExM and Shagtastic like this.
  24. gregmoscetti

    gregmoscetti Initiate (0) Mar 9, 2009 California

    FT:Shocktop ISO: BCBS... Honestly, if the beer tastes the same, I can only benefit from BCBS being more available and hopefully coming back our way. On the other hand, it sounds like "we'll pay you boys a ton of money and you can "consult", " while we send in the guy that professionally makes other peoples beer cheaper and faster at cost to the consumer.
    printer1, atone315 and gigaknight like this.
  25. epk

    epk Initiate (146) Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    I agree, I've always been a fan of brewpubs. If I was a commercial brewer, I'd want to see actual people enjoying my craft, not just looking at statistics about profit margins yadda yadda. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in.
    kemoarps likes this.
  26. Icarus

    Icarus Initiate (175) Oct 6, 2012 Minnesota

    Generally when company's buyout others they do usually go through a 1 year "grace" period if you will, where they don't change anything and they say all the right things. Unfortunately after the grace period they start to bring in "their" people and start to tinker with things. I'm not at all saying they will mess with GI but it wouldn't surprise me either. Their bottom line, right or wrong, is what large corporations care about.
  27. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I mean it seems pretty clear though that the GI people were getting out one way or another.

    Someone's gotta sell these businesses to the big boys. I don't think that's gonna be a standard for most micros.
  28. chefkevlar

    chefkevlar Disciple (336) Apr 17, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    How many times can they possibly use the word brand in one press release? I think that is what concerns a lot of people: that GI isn't seen by ABInbev as a brewery but as a brand. A logo they can slap on a bottle, can, keg, t-shirt or whatever they want to give the appearance of quality.
  29. broodog

    broodog Aspirant (222) Jul 18, 2009 Illinois

    The press release mentions the word "GROWTH" 3 times and "QUALITY" once. I think we know what their priorities are...
    chinabeergeek, Duff27 and SatlyMalty like this.
  30. fatmcb1

    fatmcb1 Disciple (332) Nov 12, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    $3 million in dividends is meaningless for a company that has a market cap of over $132 billion.
    In May of this year they paid out a one time dividend valued at just shy of $2.5 billion.
  31. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    To some degree. But we also live in a world where brewers meet with other brewers in the community to share ideas. Some of them don't want to expand anytime soon; they want to go home and play Yahtzee with their kids. They want to shoot the shit with the regulars in their tasting room. They ask people what kind of beer they want to see on tap and then they brew that beer because they can. They give aspiring brewers advice on opening their own brewery and tell them they wish 20 more breweries would open in their city.

    This is not some hipster blogger fantasy. It's a reality that I want to preserve and grow.
    oldp0rt, omnigrits, alexipa and 5 others like this.
  32. sliverX

    sliverX Initiate (0) Oct 5, 2007 S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

    I read an article somewhere saying the only way AB-InBev's director has continued to make money after they buy some other big company is to find yet another big company to buy, I'd stay away from investing.
    Note: I'm no financial adviser.
    libbey likes this.
  33. trixdout

    trixdout Initiate (0) Aug 12, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I'm pretty sure states that have been overrun with bcbs like new jersey and new york, possible have ba's that are willing to trade for not much. Just trade for it. There has got to be a BA somewhere that isn't looking for an arm and a leg for some bcbs. Based on how much was shipped places it's not that rare anymore.
  34. PaulMcConnell

    PaulMcConnell Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2011 Colorado

    Not to mention the 13 instances of the word "BRAND".

    It is what it is though, beer, if it still tastes good I'll still drink it.
  35. cruzmissile72

    cruzmissile72 Initiate (0) Jul 26, 2012 Connecticut

    Diversity in any system is a strength. I hope someone on their "craft beer board" recognizes this.
  36. JohnB87

    JohnB87 Initiate (108) Mar 14, 2011 Michigan

    I've already stopped buying most of GI's products.

    I will only purchase their product if it is exceptional, as is the case with BCBS. I'm not going to be the one on here that says "I'll never buy from AB ever again!", but I certainly make an effort not to support this beast of a corporation.
    Holmes698 likes this.
  37. jdoncbus

    jdoncbus Disciple (335) Jun 17, 2006 Ohio

    Good for Goose Island's former owners. I wonder if they envisioned this kind of scenario when they first opened their business? They achieved the American dream through beer, nothing finer then that.
    bhir likes this.
  38. neophilus

    neophilus Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    Won't ever buy Goose Island again. Had BCBS twice, was good, don't care anymore. I know what's happened to every other brand InBev has consumed. I know how the quality has plummeted. I've seen with my own eyes after the Goose Island acquisition how local beer stores have suddenly devoted tons more shelf space to GI products for seemingly no reason (hint: AB owns the distributors). It's a race to the bottom and I won't be part of it no matter how many douchebag hipsters want to be contrarians and argue how the owner of the company has nothing to do with the quality of the beer. I've read too much and seen too much to believe that.
    jbeezification likes this.
  39. MagillaGriller

    MagillaGriller Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2012

    Nail..... Meet coffin.
    smutty33 and creepinjeeper like this.
  40. JohnB87

    JohnB87 Initiate (108) Mar 14, 2011 Michigan

    The American dream? Really?!?

    I don't know about you, but sitting on a board of directors isn't my dream.
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