MP3 Audio Sample
In 2011 Goose Island, a family-owned Chicago brewpub, was sold to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the biggest beer company in the world. The sale forced the craft beer industry to reckon with its growing mainstream appeal and a popularity few envisioned.
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 one of the twenty biggest breweries in the United States, Goose Island became an American success story and was a champion of craft beer. Then, on March 28, 2011, the Halls sold the brewery to Anheuser-Busch InBev, maker of Budweiser, the least craft-like beer imaginable. The sale forced the industry to reckon with craft beer's mainstream appeal and a popularity few envisioned.
Josh Noel broke the news of the sale in the Chicago Tribune, and he covered the resulting backlash from Chicagoans and beer fanatics across the country as the discussion escalated into an intellectual craft beer war. Anheuser-Busch has since bought four other craft breweries, and from among the outcry rises a question that Noel addresses through personal anecdotes from industry leaders: how should a brewery grow?
Running time 12 hrs 19 min