Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch, and How Craft Beer Became Big Business
Goose Island opened as a family-owned Chicago brewpub in the late 1980s, and it soon became one of the most inventive breweries in the world. In the golden age of light, bland and cheap beers, John Hall and his son Greg brought European flavors to America. With distribution in two dozen states, two brewpubs and status as ...more
Roughly divided in two equal parts the first part, ‘Barrel-Aged Stout’ deals about Goose Island, AB InBev and beer in general pre-takeover, the second part, ‘Selling Out’ post-takeover. While the focus in part one lies on the origin story of Goose Island, the rise of this iconic brewery didn’t happen in a vacuum. The author provides a lot of context about the history of craft beer in ...more
An engrossing read about the birth of the craft beer revolution and the way in which "Big Beer" dealt with that market disruption. A must-read for any craft beer enthusiast who is interested in the history and business side of beer in the United States.
I have been fascinated with craft breweries since frequenting and falling in love with Imminent Brewing (Northfield, MN) since shortly after my 21st birthday. I always found the community spirit at that brewery to be so uplifting and loved discovering beers that I truly loved (I personally have always thought Budweiser, Coors, and Miller all taste like garbage) brewed by people with a love and talent for the craft. In all aspects of my life, shopping local is one of my top priorities, ...more
This book focuses on the story of John and Gary Hall, the leaders behind Goose Island Brewery. John Hall was an executive at Container Corporation of America – a corrugated box manufacturer. While he liked beer, he started the brewery because he saw a market opportunity (unlike many of his brewer contemporaries of the late 1980s/early 1990s who expanded from ho ...more
The title is carefully written and I sense can be read to appeal to various factions in the contentious argument between 'craft brewers' and 'big beer' around the world. What does 'craft' really mean? How big is big beer? Is the question of quantity versus quality? Who m ...more
My small town has a long tradition of craft beer, and as I read this book, I overlaid that history on the timeline of Goose Island's launch, development, and sale. In my town, the annual fall beer festival started in 1998, and the winter festival began in 2014. In the intervening years, so much happened in the world of craft beer, and this book is a clear, interesting take on those events. I appreciated the hometown spin from Chicago Tribune wri ...more
The reason I'm only giving this three stars is that occasionally the timeline here gets confusing. Noel takes us through the founding of a brewery called Goose Island that is eventually sold to InBev (by way of Anheuse ...more
I'm in the habit of reading several books at once, and g ...more
Well... this book is actually one giant case study:) It is a very good description in how the “craft beer” segment grew and how AB Inbev reacted on it by buying out individual micro breweries. In this book, a detailed description is given on how Goose Island grew from nothing to an individual brand generating over 70M USD annualy.
It als ...more
I have been into "better beer" since 1985 & my first overseas liberty port of Barcelona, Spain. I was 20 y/o, a young enlisted sailor in the U.S. Navy & this was the moment that I had been awaiting since Boot Camp graduation. We rarely got underway & when we did, it was to head south to the Carib ...more
Applause rises from the tightly packed crowd, punctured with a few boots and hollers. But there is also a curious sound: a smattering of boos.
Gosh, this one took a while to read.
Look, there is a lot that is really good about this book. It's stunningly written. It's well-balanced. The storytelling is pretty good. The self-aware drama of Josh Noel's writing is kind of perfect.
Greg admired the artists who made beautiful things accessible to an urban lifestyle—the food of Paul Kahan, the music ...more
(1) an economic history of how the beer industry grew in the 19th and early 20th century, consolidated in the 30s-80s, fragmented a bit in the 90s - 2000s, and has begun consolidating again as craft brewers ultimately sell to well fin ...more
This is more than just the history of Goose Island Beer Company; this is the history of how Anheuser-Busch went from ignoring craft beer to trying to kill craft beer to (somewhat) embracing craft beer.
Goose Island was founded in 1988 and fairly quickly established themselves as a solid brewer in Chicago. In 1992 they basically invented the bourbon barrel-aged movement with their Bourbon County Stout and placed themselves among the leaders of the growing craft beer movement. Around this sam
Craft-beer enthusiasts and beer history buffs will find a lot to like in this book. As a seasoned beer j ...more
The book is well-written, well-researched, and tells a pretty good tale of the recent history of American beer through the lens of John and Greg Hall ...more
I could never figure out if Noel was making fun of the Hall family or not. John Hall is...well, he's a Hinsdale executive who found out he could make a lot of money selling beer. There aren't a lot of heroes, ...more