Greg Hall

Goose Island and the Domino Effect

Five years ago, Goose Island Beer Company announced that it would be acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev. John Hall, Goose Island’s founder, stayed on as an A-B InBev employee. He was put in charge of the company’s craft and import division. That division, now called High End, followed the Goose Island precedent and began buying craft breweries. There are now eight in High End’s portfolio.

There was another member of the Hall family to Goose Island: John Hall’s son, Greg. He left Goose Island after the sale and opened Virtue Cider on a farm in Michigan. Demand for the cider overwhelmed Virtue’s inefficient packaging equipment. Greg Hall wound up selling a controlling stake in Virtue to A-B InBev. The deal also allows Virtue to save on capital expenses; it uses Goose Island’s bottling and kegging operation in Chicago and thus doesn’t have to buy its own equipment.

Jason Notte of recently spoke with the Halls just a few weeks before the fifth anniversary of the Goose Island sale and discussed “life afterward, the changes that have occurred in both the craft beer and cider markets since and what the sale meant to Virtue Cider and other A-B InBev High End offerings”. The interview is on the lengthy side, but definitely worth reading

The Friday Mash (UN Edition)

Seventy years ago today, representatives of 50 countries meeting in San Francisco signed the Charter of the United Nations. The UN’s original five Security Council members were the U.S., Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the Republic of China (Taiwan)–which shows up in this week’s Mash.

And now…The Mash!

We begin in Chicago, where Goose Island Brewing Company is launching a series of beers brewed by its alumni. First up is Greg Hall, who returned 27 years after his first day on the job.

Duquesne Brewing Company is rolling out a beer honoring Joe Paterno. Part of the proceeds from the Vienna-style lager will go to charities chosen by the late coach’s family.

Carlsberg Brewing, with 8 percent of the world beer market, is pitching a line of grooming products to the men who drink its beer. The product line includes shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion.

Beer has been linked to “man boobs”. But even though hops contain phytoestrogen, it’s found in many other foods. The real culprit is calories, not beer itself.

Chestnuts aren’t just for roasting on an open fire. Dennis Fulbright, professor emeritus at Michigan State University, says they make for sweeter, smoother beers—which are also gluten-free.

A Portland, Oregon, a beer hall that opens next month will pay its workers at least $15 an hour, and will enforce a no-tipping policy. Beers, sandwiches, and sausages will cost $6 apiece.

Finally, the Wunderman Taiwan brewery gave a new meaning to starting a “buzz.” It dressed up drones as bees to deliver its new Honey Beer to office workers.

Greg Hall Moves On

The Internet has been–pun intended–all atwitter over Goose Island Brewing Company’s acquisition by Anheuser-Busch, and most of the commenters have taken a dim view of what’s happening. Time Out Chicago located Goose Island’s brewer, Greg Hall, who explained why the deal is good for the brewery and for himself.

Now Hall is looking forward to a midlife career change. He told Time Out: “I’ve already done the beer stuff. I’ve created a new style in bourbon stout, I’ve brought wild fermentation beers to a food community and the masses, and there’s gotta be at least a dozen Goose brewers working as head brewers around the country and I’m terrifically proud of that. Now it’s time for something else.”

The Friday Mash (Beat the Clock Edition)

On this day in 1908, Bud Collyer was born. He’s perhaps best known for hosting the TV game show “Beat the Clock,” which pitted couples against a loudly ticking clock in a race to perform silly stunts.

Right now, you probably feel like a game show contestant, stressed-out and tired. But hang in there…the weekend is coming and The Mash is up!

We begin in Ontario, which kicks off its Beer Week on Sunday. To mark the occasion, the province’s craft brewers have put together a video entitled “I Am An Ontario Craft Brewer”.

An air of mystery surrounds the collaboration between Boston Beer Company and Weihenstephan. What’s up with the three labels, all marked “For Sample Purposes Only”?

It’s good to see that the Cicerone program is getting attention in the mainstream press. John Stanley of the Arizona Republic explains the program as well as its significance.

Greg Hall, the brewmaster at Goose Island Brewery, sat down with of Esquire magazine and offered tips on the right way to pair beer with food.

Fancy an India pale ale? At, Maggie Hoffman compiled a long list of Midwest-brewed IPAs.

Latrobe beer, Pennsylvania’s best-selling brew half a century ago, returns to the shelves starting next month. It will be brewed in the town for which it’s named.

Finally, it’s time to hit the trail. Bend, Oregon, has seven craft breweries within walking distance of one another, and the city has created a Bend Ale Trail connecting them all.

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