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John Laffler is leaving Goose Island to start Off Color Brewing

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by jdhende, Nov 27, 2012.

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  1. jdhende

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    Just read this article. Pretty big news.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/featu...brewery-john-laffler-20121127,0,6788177.story
     
    sholle, BreakingBad, Squidly and 2 others like this.
  2. MasterSki

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    I've had a chance to try the gose and it's pretty tasty! All aboard the hype train!
     
  3. TotallyHosed

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    Not really surprised. It was just a matter of time.

    And I'm already in line. :D
     
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  4. MarcatGSB

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    Here's my ticket MasterSki...
     
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  5. Zach136

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    I give wheat beers alot of love. Hope these make it to GA!
     
  6. jdhende

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    I'm quite interested to see what they create as well. I guess in any creative field like brewing you always want to try new things and constantly evolve. Loved his work for GI, but excited to see what this new brewery is capable of.
     
  7. ravot

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    well i wish the other thread was merged and not deleted from the great lakes area. was submitting a post and then POOF.

    anyway where was i? oh yeah
    good god. living down the street from lagunitas and now the gf living down the street from off color. iso: fresh liver and kidney FT aged liver and kidney
     
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  8. Vav

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    That would have made sense, though.

    And this is not surprising in the least, John's never been one to rest on his laurels.
     
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  9. Squidly

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    Cellar those 2012 BCS's now.
     
  10. ravot

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    the great lakes needs to be shut down for a day because (insert brace yourself meme picture) a ton of new threads will be submitted. temp mods will be needed to shoot down those bogeys.
     
  11. burica2020

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    vav how much rare, vanilla and king henry are left in that cellar. Rare just got a whole lot more rare.
     
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  12. Tnudish

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    Though gose as a style doesnt really excite me, I am more than ok trying just about anything these guys will put out.
     
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  13. nogidrew86

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    Gose in six packs I'm stoked!
     
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  14. jRocco2021

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    I have this Odd combination of Fear For GI's BA program and excitement for the future of what Off Color can bring. For a long time I've wondered how long brewery's can coast off of BA beers. I've always leaned more towards the rarer styles more than I have been towards BA stuff. Craft beer is supposed to be innovative but how is it innovative if everyone is just arbitrarily Barrel aging everything. It gives me hope to see that especially from someone who was one of the people who arguably started that whole thing.
     
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  15. ravot

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    which is why i love pipeworks. i can't keep up on their sku's.
     
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  16. eyemustard

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    FTFY
     
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  17. averagejake872

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    Anyone know if they had any kind of succession plan in place?

    Hopefully there has been an apprentice(s) in house that can take over the barrel program and do it right rather than bringing in some AB marketing suit...

    Honestly, this is the first time in this whole Goose Island/AB fiasco that I'm a little worried.
     
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  18. jRocco2021

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    I think some of the most innovative beers come from small brewery's. Limitations can be a great facilitator for creativity. For example if you ever make it north of Milwaukee you should stop in here. Since they don't have the room to go crazy barrel aging stuff they have to get creative. Take a close look at their Mai bock.
     
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  19. tehzachatak

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  20. danimalarkey

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    At least now, no one can berate Laffler via twitter for sending his beer out of state -- I imagine Off Color will be staying local for quite a while!

    And before we get another round of 'Chicken Little/the sky is falling! Goose Island is doomed! I watched Beer Wars!!' type comments, people do leave companies from time to time. It's not like Laffler is the only person at Goose making beer. Time will tell about what's coming from Goose -- and in the meantime, looks like we have another great Chicago upstart to look forward to.

    Having said that, with the recent news about Goose's CEO and COO, not to mention the other John Hall, now at 5 Rabbit, this has got to be causing some morale issues. Hell, my own comments above notwithstanding, I'm wondering what's next for the company and who will be providing a vision. More marketing guys from St. Louis/Leuven? Despite all of my faith in the company, I'm just left wondering, a little more strongly now, what's going to happen next.
     
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  21. DrWalterWhite

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    I wanted to post in the thread that got deleted, but I'll post it here. I don't think people should be freaking out about GI's barrel program. Laffler did a great job, of course, but it's not like AB-InBev is going to bring in one of their accountants to take over. I have almost no knowledge of brewery economics, but my guess is that while a barrel-aging program is far from a cash-cow, it's surely profitable enough that AB-InBev won't let it wither away. They have the money to hire pretty much whoever they want, so I'm sure they'll get someone else good to run it, or promote someone that's already in-house.
     
  22. Anonymous1

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    What's next from GI?

    My prediction: BCBS that's no longer 100% barrel aged and instead blended 50% (or less) with Cook County Stout....you know, so BCBS can be available "year round".
     
  23. burica2020

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    right.... though I dont know who this guy like Laffler but wasn't brett porters name on the back off all those bottles?
     
  24. iadler

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    Not really surprised Laffler is leaving, but this was probably the only individual that made me keep purchasing GI beers. Sure, they are going to bring in somebody and it will continue to succeed, but I'll be putting my money somewhere else...hopefully in Off Color!
     
  25. burica2020

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    Does anyone else from the 2pm session at Goose now find insanely interesting in hindsight when John said 2013 is the year craft beer gets cutthroat?
     
  26. Reinbeck11

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    Yep, they won't mess with anything. Whoever they pay to come in won't look to use cheaper ingriedients, bland the flavor to make it more palatable to a wider audience, cut production time, etc...... because that would get you nowhere at AB-inbev. They only worry about quality of product and customer satisfaction, they don't reward improving bottom line at all cost.

    Just saying.....
     
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  27. DrWalterWhite

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    This is the typical assumption when large corporations take over, but in this scenario I think you are clearly putting a square peg in a round hole. Why would they try to turn BCBS into 312? They already have 312. BCBS is marketed to a much smaller demographic, and they will have to maintain quality to keep us buying their product in an increasingly competitive environment. The way to improve the bottom line on BCBS isn't to cheapen the product, but rather to make it in larger quantities so the cost of production isn't as high. We've already seen that start to happen, and I think we can only assume that production will continue to increase. Larger scale can sometimes lead to a weaker product because there is a lot more product to manage, but production of BCBS has increased every year and we haven't seen a decline in quality yet. I'm not worried one bit about BCBS.
     
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  28. Levitation

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    is that a real concern? the target market for bcbs is the uber-beer-geek, the kind who posts here to complain that celebration isn't as hoppy as last year, hopslam has fallen off in 2 days, and pliny the elder is completely forgettable.

    you really think that cutting the quality of bcbs isn't going to alienate these people?

    i am not worried - if gi goes down the shitter, it will do several things:
    1) kill their bottom line, making it an unprofitable property in ab's portfolio
    2) (consequently) cause gi to spin off into a separate entity
    3) convince other craft breweries not to sell out, to see their work/legacy shuttered 10 years later

    this isn't always a one-directional move. you better believe there are a number of craft breweries watching to see what happens to gi. and they will learn from it. it may be the sacrificial goose (HAR!) for now, but that doesn't mean every other brewery will go on the chopping block in 5 years.
     
  29. mdomask

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    If this year is any indication, the way to keep their prestige beers profitable is by increasing the wholesale price. Hence $20+ BCBCS and BCBCRS bombers.

    I still maintain that GI is trying to move their vintage, reserve, and big beer lines upmarket and break into wine/spirit territories.
     
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  30. DrWalterWhite

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    Fair point, and another good example of how the departure of Laffler and other brewers won't affect the quality of the product. I do think that we are probably five years away from shelf BCBCS, partly due to increased production and partly due to increased prices.
     
  31. MarcatGSB

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    I knew I should have had Laffler sign my BCBS tattoo on my ass at FoBAB, son of a bitch.
     
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  32. immobilisme

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    While everyone was excited about John's barrel program (I have always been), it is obvious that he can brew great beer. The Helles he was involved with for Fulton & Wood was fantastic.

    I will miss the wild barrel experiments for now, but I am sure they will return in some form at Off Color.

    Definitely not sad about supporting another local brewery!
     
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  33. aasher

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    Goose will be fine, Off Color will be fine. More high quality beer will be in the marketplace. Win, win.
     
  34. danimalarkey

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    But I saw Beer Wars!!!

    Look, Laffler said he was going to leave at some point anyway and to assume that the quality is going to plummet on account of his departure is a real slap in the face to all of the other brewers still there.

    Totally agreed, too, that the Old Town Yard was great and if that's the sort of beer we can continue to look forward to, then I don't know why anyone should be complaining.
     
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  35. mdomask

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    Well, we can hope, at least. I'd like to think that a prestige label wouldn't look to increase profits by sacrificing quality, but the InBev management seems to like that strategy. So, we'll see.

    But, there are plenty of examples of large corporations maintaining very distinct lines with distinct pricing and matching quality. Canon, for example, has always had a distinction between consumer-level cameras, a "prosumer" mid-range, and a professional level, all with distinct price levels and quality jumps. Even when they cheap out on the consumer or entry-level stuff, the professional "L" series stuff maintains its quality. After all, it has a reputation to maintain.

    Edit: Matching tenses.
     
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  36. hooliganlife

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    didnt he make the tonic the hedgehog saison for zwanze day last year?
     
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  37. beerandtheghost

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    Ooh, looks like I'll be aging that chili I made with BCBS last week.
     
  38. DrAwkward82

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    Wow. This is much bigger news, with far greater potential consequence, than John Hall stepping down IMO.
     
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  39. Monsone

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    I think the brewing of the beer will be fine. The problem I see (and was trying to post in my thread before it got deleted), is the Laffler was the one BLENDING the beer. To summarize John Hall from the 4p on Saturday, it is Laffler's palate that has helped create and improve these beers. Can the new guy (or promoted same guys) do it to the same level of excellence?

    If you take Armand Debelder away from Drie Fonteinen what would happen?
     
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  40. burica2020

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    that was the first thing i thought off.... weird ass things like tonic the hedgehog I'm lookin forward too being in bottles.

    Maybe now john can buy a pair of jeans that dont fall off his hips and expose his crack every time I see him.
     
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