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 Marketwatch.com 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
On this day in 1939, Jim Bouton was born. Bouton, who pitched for the New York Yankees and several other clubs, is best known for Ball Four, a tell-all account of a major leaguer’s life. The book, which infuriated the baseball establishment when it was published, has become a classic.
And now…Play Ball!
We begin in Cleveland, where the Indians are trying to attract fans by rolling back the price of beer for the upcoming season. A 12-ounce domestic brew will cost $4. Want a hot dog with your beer? It’ll cost you $3.
Celebrity chef Rick Bayless plans to create a new, Latin-themed beer. He’s working with Crown Imports, the company that distributes Corona and Negra Modelo in the United States.
It’s never too early to plan your beer travel, and Robin Fuchs, the founder of Beer Tours USA, has some suggestions: the five best small-brewery tours.
The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway, and Portland Timbers fans can cheer their team on with Green & Gold Kolsch brewed by Widmer Brothers.
The Brewers Association has added Adambier and Grätzer to its Style Guidelines. The two newcomers bring the BA’s list of recognized beer styles to 142.
Where is John Hall, the former brewmaster at Goose Island Brewing Company, these days? He owns the Virtue Cider Company in Fennville, Michigan.
Finally, if you’re really lazy, and have $1,150 to blow, GrinOn Industries has something for you: an armchair that refills your beer from the bottom up. You’ll still have to arrange your own trips to the bathroom.
Thirty years ago today, Epic Records released Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the biggest-selling album in history. It was a pioneer in using music videos as a promotional tool, and seven singles from the album reached Billboard’s top ten. If you’re thinking, “hey, wrong Michael Jackson!”, you’re our kind of blog reader.
And now….The Mash!
We begin in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine district, where Christian Moerlein beer will be brewed in a 19th-century brewery building. Before Prohibition, Christian Moerlein was Ohio’s largest-selling brand.
Ry Beville’s love of craft beer has developed into an occupation. Beville, a native of Virginia, publishes Japan’s only bilingual craft beer magazine, the Japan Beer Times.
John Hall is stepping down as CEO of Goose Island Beer Company, along with COO and founding member Tony Bowker. The Chicago-based brewery will continue to brew Goose Island’s “Vintage Series.”
Deb Carey, the president of New Glarus Brewing Company, was invited to the White House to discuss small business-related issues. She traded beer with the president: two bottles of her Serendipity ale for three bottles of White House Honey Ale.
Can you get a couple of sixers in Iraq? Yes, provided you find a shopkeeper who sells it “under the counter”…and leave the store before attracting attention.
Rogue Ales is rolling out a “novel” beer: White Whale Ale, made with a few pages from a copy of Moby Dick. The beer, an IPA, honors Portland, Oregon, bookseller Michael Powell.
Finally, tomorrow is Zwanze Day. Thirty-six select locations around the world–16 in the U.S.–will be pouring Cantillon Zwanze, a rhubarb lambic.