Goose Island Sale
Nice piece in the Tribune with John Hall's thoughts on the sale of Goose Island to AB Inbev:
Thanks for the follow up in the other thread. Ill certainly take your word on it since you know the owner but it of course makes me leery. On the one hand I dont think AB really has the nefarious intentions some are assigning to it that its simply an attempt to destroy the craft beer movement from within (by buying it all up). Its too big for that. Im sure their primary motivation is to have a nice foothold with a well respected brewery in the craft beer market since they cant seem to do it on their own merits (like Coors did) but do they really go out of their way to allow absolute control of the product end of the business by the same folks who have been doing it all along? Consistency is so hard to accomplish when there is change at the helm... Especially over time.
re: Insidious Rex
Time will tell if I'm right or wrong!
If you look at how Miller handled Leinenkugel's (unlike their disastrous purchase of Celis), they leave them alone, give them the resources they need and watch sales grow. If AB does this with Goose Island then everyone should win. We'll have to wait and see.
re: Jim Dorsch
I totally agree.
Really, all the ranting on the net that calls Goose Island a 'sellout' or blasts AB as a conspirator bent on bringing down the so called 'craft' beer segment is getting a bit tiresome. The GI owners put a lot of blood sweat and tears into their business to make it successful and I congratulate them on a payday that will probably allow them to grow while maintaining quality and greatly improving distribution. And mark my words, they are not going to be the last "craft" brewer to get 'big'... and getting big should not strip them (or anyone else) of the 'craft' label if quality is maintained. The craft is reflected by what's in the glass, whoever makes it.
Let's hope that AB does indeed take the high road here, as I suspect they will. After all, even if AB's main business is in yellow fizz, they are also very cabable of making quality beer when they want to (they've already proven that with a number of their specialty beers).
If they muck around with trying to cheapen the already great and proven GI products, they're not evil... only stupid.
By the way, will John be staying on in the exact same capacity or is he leaving/figure heading/changing jobs?