Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Beer >
Jul 4, 2006 05:18 PM

Where is Goose Island Prevalent?

A post on the Los Angeles board yielded almost nothing, so I'm wondering if it's regional.

Where in the country is Goose Island easy to find, or is it just a tough beer to find in general? I had it in Chicago and would love to source it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Brewery/brewpubs are in Chicago, and according to their website, distributed in 8 states in the mid-west. Their distribution may widen soon with their selling off a piece (30-35%)of the brewery to Widmer which included a distribution agreement with Anheuser-Busch.

    Personally, I think there is better beer to be found on the west coast that would be easy for you to find. But if you must have it, try this place - they ship to CA.

    4 Replies
    1. re: LStaff

      Thanks for the links. Do you know of a beer that is close in quality to the Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat? My boyfriend loves its distinct fruity notes, and we haven't had anything quite like it in SF or LA.

      1. re: Pei

        Have you tried Widmer Hefeweizen or Pyramid Hefeweizen?

        1. re: Jim Dorsch

          Yes, I've tried both and they're not nearly as fruit forward.

        2. re: Pei

          Have you had Bells Oberon? I realize it's probably not in LA (we get in Chicago). It's not as lemony as 312 but it definitely has a citrus flavor that you might be after.

      2. In the 4 years that I have lived in Brooklyn after moving from Chicago, Goose Island has definitely established a presence here. Honkers is on tap at several bars, and many grocery stores and specialty beer stores have started carrying different types of Goose Island beers as well. So, for what it's worth, they seem to be branching out.

        1. I know that this post is VERY old, but if you have found what you're looking for, I would love to know. I'm a Chicagoan who practically lived off of 312, Demolition, and Honkers. (all Goose Island brews) and after moving to LA (just like everything else from Chicago) there is NO substitution. (for beer or food) So if you have found it out here I would LOVE to know about it. Thank you!

          8 Replies
          1. re: GunVsTeeth

            As late as 2010, you could find Bourbon County Stout shortly after it was released, and it would hang around the stores for a little while. Last year, it never showed up - too much demand closer to home, I guess. No idea how their being bought by InBev will change things.

            1. re: RB Hound

              I believe they have additional capacity for these beers, although i don't know how that will translate into additional supply, given their expanded sales footprint.

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                Don't worry now that Budweiser bought Goose Island, I am sure it will be crowding out legitimate micros at a bar near you. Don't know if its going national or not, but it is very prevalent in the Philadelphia area. Clearly the distributors are bundling it with bud and stella...

                1. re: cwdonald

                  Okay. Now tell me what's wrong with Goose Island doing well, as they seem to make pretty good beer.

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                    It's not that they're "doing well" it's that now their good beer will mass produced and watered down. It's more that they sold out. The redeye (Chicago local paper) told us of ALL master brewers abandoning ship because they were scared of where the recipe will end up and what it would taste like and what people would then make of the brand. So I really hope that if I do find some out here it tastes like the beer I remember!

                    1. re: GunVsTeeth

                      That's not the story told in this recent article:


                      I doubt Goose Island employed that many "Master Brewers" (if any at all) to be able to say "ALL" of them left - the only notable brewer who quit at the time of the purchase was the former owner's son, Greg Hall, who has gone on to start with own cider company.

                      1. re: GunVsTeeth

                        I get it. Just because a company is successful and has the chance to expand, it's no good any more? Lost some of it's "snob appeal"?

                        Just because it is going to be "mass produced" (as you say) doesn't automatically mean they are or will be "watering it down". That's just silly.
                        Besides, there are plenty of "mass produced" beers that exhibit as much character as the the beers from smaller brewers...and there are a few mass produced beers that may even do it better. Many of the new small breweries coming on line are proving quite adequately that smaller is _not_ always automatically better.

                        Nice thing is, now I can get the G.I. brews here in NJ. And the ones I've tasted were pretty darned good.

                        As far as the Goose Island brewmasters, I doubt very highly that they had ANY 'master brewers' to begin with. The irony is that with the acquisition, they may actually have some now. LOL.

                        1. re: The Professor

                          I appreciate your last point, although the term "Master Brewer" seems to be ill-defined in the US. (some discussion, albeit dated, here:


                          I recall Sam Calagione tearing into the Beer Advocate crowd when they started dumping on breweries that committed the sin of being too successful.

            2. We can get some of them at Whole Foods in the Bay Area. Matilda is one of my favorite beers and I haven't noticed any drop off in quality. Does anyone know when they stopped making Stockyard Stout for Trader Joes?

              1. Had it last night in a small strip mall restaurant in Farmington, CT. Not a bad brew. Just takes a bit getting used to.

                3 Replies
                1. re: njmarshall55

                  Which beer? Goose Island makes a lot of them.

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                    All I saw on the goose-head tap was Goose Island, Chicago, ILL. At least that's all I remember.