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Lunch on Goose Island

Lunch on Goose Island


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Credit: Kate Kolenda

[From left to right] Goose Island educator Ryan Daley and brewmaster Brian Taylor spoke with The Daily Meal about some of their signature brews and the food they pair best with.

On Tuesday, September 2, a team from Goose Island Brewing Co. in Chicago paid The Daily Meal a visit. They brought with them sandwiches from ‘witchcraft as well as three of their beers to go along with lunch. Some of the sandwiches were roasted turkey with avocado, bacon, onion relish, and aioli on a ciabatta roll; heritage smoked ham with poached pears, dijon mustard, and aged cheddar on grilled cranberry pecan bread, and a vegetable frittata of seasonal vegetables and feta on a ciabatta roll.

“I think this pairs beautifully with pork,” said Goose Island educator Ryan Daley as he helped pour us some of their Sofie Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale. It most certainly did. A few sips and a half a sandwich later, brewmaster Brian Taylor declared: “We take a lot of pride in this brew.” He was referencing their 312 Urban Wheat Ale, which had a distinct flavor, but did not overpower the vegetable sandwich I had just bit into. Finally we were served my personal favorite, their signature IPA, which pairs well with just about every meal. Taylor explained it’s an English-style IPA, so while it’s full-bodied, it’s not a mouthful of hops, like so many of the IPAs from newer American breweries. We greatly appreciated the food and drink they brought with them, but were especially impressed by their pride; as their website says, “We don’t need to be the only beer you drink, we just want to be the best beer you drink.”

Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.


Goose Island’s Tim Faith Spills His Secrets to Creative Brewing and Fast Running

To some, success might mean setting a clear goal, then crushing it. But Tim Faith , research and development brewer at Goose Island here in Chicago, knows sometimes the biggest wins come when you adjust your aims along the way.

Take sports. In high school, Faith thought he’d play football. After two weeks of camp, he realized the complexity of the game didn’t suit him. “I’d rather run in a straight line and call it a day,” he told me at Goose Island’s Fulton Street Tap Room, where we recorded this week’s episode of #WeGotGoals.

So he joined the cross-country team instead. He was fast, and kept speeding up even after he graduated—his personal-best 5K time of 15:25 came after college. He ran his first of three Chicago Marathons in 2015, and his fastest the next year (a 2:44—and while that’s a swift 6:15 per mile, he knows he’s capable of finishing even faster).

More than anything, running became a part of his lifestyle, something that manages stress, connects him with friends, and fuels the creativity required to dream up new brews at one of the country’s most influential breweries.

Brewing itself came about due to a course correction. Originally, Faith planned to go to medical school. A running injury the summer before his junior year of college left him with time on his hands he had a friend who brewed, a process Faith found fascinating. “I realized I was a pretty boring person because all I did was run,” he said. So, he started dabbling in homebrewing, too.

He spent part of the next year working at a medical company in Australia—and drinking his way to a better understanding of lagers and ales. “I ended up spending my life savings on beer,” he said. He pasted labels and scribbled notes into a beer journal, impressions that would inspire his own creations later on.

When he got back, Faith scraped together the cash to buy better equipment, then changed his major to microbiology in hopes of entering the beer industry. He did an internship at Great River Brewery in Iowa and got a job there after graduating. After a stint at New Holland in Michigan, he landed at Goose Island five years ago.

In his role as R&D brewer, Faith helps the company keep pace with the fast-moving world of craft brewing by constantly innovating, whether that means developing new beers or fine-tuning existing ones. Plus, he sees his operation as critical to staff morale.

“Being a part of a production brewery, a lot of the brewers don’t have the opportunity like they would at a brewpub to create new things,” he said. If one of them has an idea—say, a beer made with raspberry juice or coffee beans, or sparked by a song or a conversation—they can bring it to his single-room pilot brewery-within-a-brewery to test it out. “We’re also servicing that engagement aspect. Everybody wants to create that’s why they became brewers in the first place.”

From the time inspiration strikes a Goose Island brewer until you’re poured a frosty glass, each beer must go through a strict process. First, the creator has to figure out how to execute the idea. “Beer is not a single-ingredient beverage,” he said. “You’re working with water, malt, hops, and yeast. Each one of those parameters on top of temperature and other variables will create something completely different. It’s almost like knowing a language and how to speak through each one of those factors.”

After the beverage is analyzed for chemical composition, sensory qualities like aroma, and safety, it reaches the ultimate evaluation of flavor—the tasting panel. At Goose Island, they’re held daily at 11 am and 3 pm. Beer’s rated on a scale of nine and perfection is rare—“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything get eight and a half or nine,” Faith said—and often, there’s a philosophical discussion of its attributes.

There, too, goals sometimes change. “Having everybody together in the same room and discussing the beer in the first place really helps mold your perceptions of what you originally wanted and what improvements you might want to implement,” he said. “But you can still stand your ground too and just be like, ‘This is exactly what I wanted. Nine out of nine.’”

Between tasting panels, evening events, and the tap deck that’s perched above the brewery’s main floor, Faith has plenty of opportunities to imbibe. So how exactly does he keep running so fast while drinking so much?

Early on, he learned how to reduce the impact of intoxication on his training—do workouts early in the morning if he has to, alternate beer and water, cut back the week before a race (in fact, training under the influence while racing sober has led to some of his best performances, he said). He keeps a stash of recovery tools—yoga mats, lacrosse balls—tucked into a walkway of the brewery no one uses, so he can stretch and roll his quads and IT bands during the workday.

He also merges his passions in other ways, including meeting up with a weekly run club that leaves from the brewery and joining Goose Island teams for events like the Shamrock Shuffle, the Ragnar relay from Madison to Chicago, and the marathon.

Oh, and about the marathon—that’s one more instance in which he altered his target en route. This year, he’d planned to run a fast time again, but a calf cramp at mile 16 thwarted his efforts. So he moved on to his B goal—running exactly 3:12, in honor of the brewery’s flagship 312 urban wheat ale (a feat he’d also accomplished in 2015). Combine that with his 312 bib number—a gift from the marathon to Goose Island—and the result is a near-perfect finish-line photo.

Listen to the full episode to hear more about some of the beers Faith has created, his goal for next year’s Shamrock Shuffle, and a preview of what might come to a tap near you soon (including, maybe, an electrolyte beer brewed specifically for runners). And since you can’t taste a podcast, you can also drop by the Goose Island Taproom yourself—it’s at 1800 W Fulton St.

If you like what you hear, please subscribe to #WeGotGoals on Spotify , Apple Podcasts , or any other podcasting app, and while you’re at it, leave us a rating or a review . And if you want to be featured as one of our real-life goal-getters in an upcoming episode, just send a voice memo with a goal you’ve crushed, a goal you’re eyeing, or your best goal-getting tip to me at [email protected] .


Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout

Should give you a good place to start. Then just add bourbon to taste and steep some espresso beans in it before bottling.

Haputanlas

Well-Known Member

I didn't really get very many hints of coffee in this beer. I absolutely love this though.

I'm In the same boat and looking for a recipe. I will play around with some recipes and try to post something tonight for critique.

Oldsock

Well-Known Member

SevenFields

Well-Known Member

Haputanlas

Well-Known Member

What can you trade for that I can't get in Austin?

SevenFields

Well-Known Member

Novafire

Well-Known Member

I have been able to make a decent approximation of the regular BCS with just the information from the web site and aging the beer on oak for about 3 weeks with some bourbon added to taste.

BCS changes from year to year as they change bourbon barrel sources from time to time, so it can be hard to dial things in exactly.

Haputanlas

Well-Known Member

SevenFields

Well-Known Member

I have been able to make a decent approximation of the regular BCS with just the information from the web site and aging the beer on oak for about 3 weeks with some bourbon added to taste.

BCS changes from year to year as they change bourbon barrel sources from time to time, so it can be hard to dial things in exactly.[/QU

Kingjohnh

Active Member

Novafire

Well-Known Member

Here is the first recipe I came up with based on the ingredients listed on Goose Island's web site. I assumed that the malts listed were listed in order of amounts used, which may or may not be accurate, but it seemed to make sense: "2-Row, Munich, Chocolate, Caramel, Roast Barley, Debittered Black".

I took some liberties using a different bittering hop (summit). These hops were a little old, so that is why my IBUs look higher than the 60 IBU stated on the web site. I also did not have any debittered black barley at the time to I just used 2 oz of black barley, but I highly doubt that made much of a difference - such a small amount in such a huge beer.

I think this recipe is a little light on the darker malts, so the next time I made it, I bumped those up. I can post that recipe next.

[size=-1]BeerSmith Recipe Printout - www.beersmith.com[/size]
[size=+2] Recipe: BCS #1 [/size]
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
TYPE: All Grain

Batch Size: 4.50 gal
Boil Size: 5.83 gal
Estimated OG: 1.113 SG
Estimated Color: 48.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 81.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 62.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Aged for 3 weeks on 1oz Maker's Mark soaked american oak chips.

Pitched on a US-05 yeast cake from a

The taste is not as chocolate sweet as real BCS, but it does have a great bourbon/oak flavor.

I always make another beer out of the second and third runnings of a beer this big. I usually cap the mash with a little more chocolate malt and some crystal to add back what seems to disappear after the first runnings are gone.

Haputanlas

Well-Known Member

Why would you use such a low temperature? I would assume a higher temp for a larger body.

I am however, assuming you could still get a decent amount of attenuation for the alcohol level.

Haputanlas

Well-Known Member

The one extreme characteristic to this beer is its insane viscosity level. I have never felt like I was chewing on a beer before this.

There has to be more than just the traditional ingredients to gain this complexity. Or they use a unique fermentation technique.

Novafire

Well-Known Member

Here is the recipe that I have done most recently. It is still aging, so I cannot comment about flavor beyond the fact that it smelled and tasted pretty good when I racked to secondary about a month ago. I increased most of the specialty grains and added more late addition hops. Again I used a higher AA hop for bittering because I did not want to use up a lot of Willamette and maybe lessen trub loss a little. I also used de-bittered black this time, but I am still a little confused why it's included at all. This beer is dark enough either way. I had some pale chocolate malt on hand, so I used both pale and regular chocolate as well.

One more thing, neither of these recipes will get you to the 13% ABV that real BCS comes in at. I tried to keep these recipes a little more manageable for my MLT size while still coming out with 4.5-5 gal of beer. Someday when I am 100% happy with a recipe, I will bump the 2-row up to reach 13% ABV.

I will bottle this batch very soon and will post how it compares to my previous attempt and the real BCS.

I welcome any comments or suggestions.

[size=-1]BeerSmith Recipe Printout - www.beersmith.com[/size]
[size=+2] Recipe: BCS #2 [/size]
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
TYPE: All Grain

Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.41 gal
Estimated OG: 1.122 SG
Estimated Color: 69.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 71.4 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 62.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Goose Island Brewing Company

Goose Island was one of the original craft breweries founded in the Midwest that helped push the boom of craft beers through the area. It all started with John Hall, the founder of Goose Island Brewing Company.

John had been working for a packaging company in which he was able to travel to numerous destinations for work. Europe was one of those destinations, which is where John was able to experience the many different styles and varieties of beer while touring across Europe. It made him wonder why America didn’t have the vast varieties of beer that was found all throughout Europe. So he took his new found passion, spent a couple of years planning, quit his job and opened up Goose Island’s first brewpub in 1988 in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois.

John got the name for Goose Island Brewing Company from a nearby island in the area. After opening in 1988, Goose Island grew quickly in popularity and in size to meet distribution demands. In 1995 they opened the brewery that they still use today. Although, since 1995, they have more than doubled the size of the brewery to allow room for innovation and to keep up with production. The original brewpub is now called the Clybourn, while their second brewpub, that was opened in 1999, is called the Wrigleyville. The Wrigleyville brewpub is located one block away from Wrigley Field and a popular hangout spot for Cubs fans before and after games.

Goose Island’s success and popularity comes from their strive to be innovative. They were the first brewery to bourbon barrel age beer which since, has become a popular segment of the craft beer industry. Goose Island’s Bourbon County is the beer that came out of their bourbon barrel aging process and has been highly coveted by the craft beer drinkers. Unfortunately, it is of very limited quantity when it comes out every year in November, so get it while you can.

Goose Island also has what they call the Vintage Series, or Sisters Series (each beer is the name of a sister) of specialty beers that they age in wine barrels. Most of these beers are aged with fresh fruit in the barrels to give them a fruit forward flavor. Also, some of the Vintage Series are sour beers, created by intentionally adding bacteria to the beer. The Vintage series has a couple of beers like the Matilda and Sofie that are available year round, but most of them are of limited release at certain times of the year like the Lolita and Juliet.

TASTING NOTES

The Matilda is one of Goose Island’s Vintage Series beers, but it is one of the two that are available all year round in either a 4 pack or a 25oz single bomber bottle. It pours out to a burnt orange color with moderate head. Matilda is brewed with wild yeast Brettanomyces which gives it a funky flavor, the good kind of funk. It carries flavors of mango and spice and finishes with a delicate dry bread flavor that hangs around after each sip. Overall Matilda is a great beer that is crisp, clean, and well balanced that would be great to have out on the deck after a warm afternoon. ABV 7.0% IBUs 26

  • World Beer Cup Awards:
  • 2008: Silver – Belgian and French Style Ale
  • 2006: Silver – Belgian and French Style Ale
  • Great American Beer Festival:
  • 2005: Gold – Belgian and French Style Ale

312 Urban Wheat Ale

Goose Island’s Urban Wheat Ale is an American Pale Wheat beer. It is available all year round in 6 packs and 12 packs. It is a light golden in color with a light head that dissipates quickly. Since it is a wheat beer you get the grain flavor with hints of fruit and very minimal bitterness. The Urban Wheat is a perfect summer beer that has flavor but still very easy drinking. It is a perfect beer to have multiple of while having fun under the sun that keeps you refreshed. ABV 4.2% IBUs 18

  • World Beer Cup Awards:
  • 2008: Silver – English-Style Summer Ale
  • Great American Beer Festival:
  • 2010: Gold Medal – English-Style Summer Ale
  • 2008: Bronze Medal – English-Style Summer Ale
  • 2007: Gold Medal– English-Style Summer Ale
  • 2006: Gold Medal – English-Style Summer Ale

The Goose IPA is one of Goose Island’s classic beers that has won plenty of awards over the years. It is available all year round in 6 packs or 12 packs. It is amber in color with a medium head and a citrus smell to it. Its taste is malty and flavorful with hints of caramel and pine, with a little bit of grapefruit on the finish. It’s a very nicely rounded IPA with phenomenal hop character that goes down smooth. ABV 5.9% IBUs 55


Goose Island and AB

Anybody know any more about this. I think they have had some sort of agreement for a while but not sure what it is. And that statement is pretty vague.

Mike_A

Well-Known Member

Motobrewer

I'm no atheist scientist, but.

AB had a minority stake in Goose Island for a few (4/5/6?) years now

woah, bigger news is that Greg Hall is stepping down. That's a shame, what's gonna happen to the belgian line? wonder where he'll go.

Jarod7736

Well-Known Member

Motobrewer

I'm no atheist scientist, but.

FromZwolle

I don't want to be cremated, I want to be malted.

Acoma

Well-Known Member

chicagotribune.com
Goose Island selling to Anheuser-Busch
By Josh Noel

Big shake up on the local beer scene: Goose Island Beer Co., responsible for the delicious (Bourbon Country Brand Stout) and the hugely popular (312 wheat ale) is being bought out by Anheuser-Busch.

The makers of Budweiser will pay a total of $38.8 million for the brewery on Fulton Street that sends its beers across the globe. Though jarring in an industry that prides itself on independence and creativity, the move isn't completely unexpected. Anheuser-Busch has held a minority stake in the company since 2006, and been playing a role in distribution of the company's beer.

Brewmaster Greg Hall, whose father John Hall started the brewery in 1988, will be stepping down and replaced by (the appropriately named) head brewer Brett Porter. Porter was previous head brewer of well-respected Oregon brewery Deschutes Brewery before coming to Goose last year.

I'm told Greg will announce his future plans in the next few weeks.

Goose's two brew pubs in the city, on Clark Street and Clybourn Avenue, are not involved in the deal and will continue to be owned by John Hall and a group of partners.

I just got off the phone with John Hall, who is remaining as the company's chief executive officer. He said Goose's commitment to interesting and creative beer, like the recently released Pepe Nero (a black saison) or the upcoming Big John (a stout aged with cocoa nibs) will not change.

"They didn&#8217t buy us to change what we&#8217re doing," he said.

If AB was going to water down the product, "I wouldn&#8217t have done it. I wouldn&#8217t have worked 23 years to build what I have to (throw) it away in five minutes."

Hall also issued a letter to Goose fans this morning on the company's web site, touting the ability for "growth and innovation" as a result of the deal.

The Stew and the Tribune's business section will be updating the story throughout the day.

GeoGirl

Well-Known Member

HopHead24

Well-Known Member

Drsocc

Well-Known Member


If this is in the wrong forum, could a mod please move it to the appropriate one/ delete if its a repost?

Bgrayson726

Well-Known Member

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

According to John Hall's statement on Goose Island's website they've already been in partnership with them for 5 years.

Over the past five years our partnerships with Craft Brewers Alliance and Anheuser-Busch have enabled Goose Island to reach a growing number of beer drinkers. This has fueled our growth to the point that demand for our beers has outgrown the capacity of our brewery. Recently, we&#8217ve even had to limit production of some classic and medal-winning styles. To keep up with growing demand from drinkers we&#8217ve explored a variety of paths too secure new capital to support our growth.

Today&#8217s agreement to consolidate ownership of Goose Island under Anheuser-Busch will provide us with the best resources available to continue along our path of growth and innovation.

I am more excited than ever about Goose Island&#8217s future. With the support and financial backing of our new partner, we will continue to brew our authentic classic styles, develop new amazing beers, and serve our drinkers.

That might me why we can actually GET goose Island products in stores.

As long as GI gets to maintain control of their product, then all it's gonna really do is expand GI's distribution. So to me that's a good thing.

I just don't get bent out of shape about stuff like this, I just try to look at side of things. But then again I don't buy into the whole AHB is the "evil empire" nonsense.

Heck maybe that will mean their annual bourbon barrel stout will be made in a larger run.

Jaycount

Well-Known Member

According to John Hall's statement on Goose Island's website they've already been in partnership with them for 5 years.

That might me why we can actually GET goose Island products in stores.

As long as GI gets to maintain control of their product, then all it's gonna really do is expand GI's distribution. So to me that's a good thing.

I just don't get bent out of shape about stuff like this, I just try to look at side of things. But then again I don't buy into the whole AHB is the "evil empire" nonsense.

Heck maybe that will mean their annual bourbon barrel stout will be made in a larger run.

WHATEVER YOU COMMIE MONOPOLIST

As long as the quality doesn't diminish, I say more power to em :rockin:

Homercidal

Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.

Crap. I really liked their IPA and several others.

And to think that AB won't change the recipe is absurd. Of course they will do whatever the hell they want once they get in there.

On the positive side, expect someone as talented as Greg Hall to announce his involvement with another, or even his own, brewery. It happens all the time.

Steakandale

Well-Known Member

Motobrewer

I'm no atheist scientist, but.

there has been another thread about this

the biggest bombshell there is Greg Hall is stepping down as brewmaster.

Yeah, AB has owned 30-some-odd percent of them for the past 5 years. this might be different. i wonder how much "control" of the product John Hall will be able to maintain

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Jbrookeiv

Crafted Magazine

EricScott

Well-Known Member

EricScott

Well-Known Member

there has been another thread about this

the biggest bombshell there is Greg Hall is stepping down as brewmaster.

Yeah, AB has owned 30-some-odd percent of them for the past 5 years. this might be different. i wonder how much "control" of the product John Hall will be able to maintain

Bgrayson726

Well-Known Member

What gets me worried about it is that Greg Hall is stepping down. I wonder how much it will change/if it will, in fact, change

Beesy

Well-Known Member

Guess I'll hit up the brewpubs (Clybourn at least - not having them involved in the sale does little to preserve the beers they'll soon be serving IMHO) Dark Lord Weekend for a proper sendoff.

Positives - Deschutes brewer in the Midwest - yea!!

Jbrookeiv

Crafted Magazine

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Olllllo

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Motobrewer

I'm no atheist scientist, but.

this is just way too "f the man!" for me. AB wants to break into the craft beer market?! really?? hm, if you owned AB, what the heck would you do? Lets see, macro beer sales declining, micro beer sales exponentially increasing. ah f it, lets keep doing what we're doing and get some lunch.

of course AB wants to get into the craft beer market!! why wouldn't they??

i don't see how there would be serious changes to their offerings. I do see how their might be quality/consistency issues when they start brewing GI beer at different facilities.

oh, uh, i'm still planning on sending you those hops. eventually. lol.

AZ_IPA

From a business standpoint, I see nothing wrong with what InBev-AB is doing. They are starting to realize that the beer market is ever so slightly changing, and their are trying to cash in on it.

As I've said in all of these posts - as soon as Sam C., Jim K., Ken G., etc. starting operating at a $$ loss in order to provide the voluntarily provide the world with their great craft beer, I have a hard time accepting that InBev is taking over the world so that they can push BMC down our throats even though more are craving IPAs.

Remember - all breweries are in it to make money.

Jbrookeiv

Crafted Magazine

this is just way too "f the man!" for me. AB wants to break into the craft beer market?! really?? hm, if you owned AB, what the heck would you do? Lets see, macro beer sales declining, micro beer sales exponentially increasing. ah f it, lets keep doing what we're doing and get some lunch.

of course AB wants to get into the craft beer market!! why wouldn't they??

i don't see how there would be serious changes to their offerings. I do see how their might be quality/consistency issues when they start brewing GI beer at different facilities.

It seems as though they could come up with something original instead of gobbling up the little guys. That's what makes me sick. I'm not a fan of big businesses destroying the mom & pop businesses. I haven't drank/bought a Bud/Miller/Coors product in almost 2 years, not a fan of the way they run their business.

Also, I'm sure Bud will change whatever they can in the recipes to increase their profit margin and keep the final product similar. I'll pass.

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

this is just way too "f the man!" for me. AB wants to break into the craft beer market?! really?? hm, if you owned AB, what the heck would you do? Lets see, macro beer sales declining, micro beer sales exponentially increasing. ah f it, lets keep doing what we're doing and get some lunch.

of course AB wants to get into the craft beer market!! why wouldn't they??

i don't see how there would be serious changes to their offerings. I do see how their might be quality/consistency issues when they start brewing GI beer at different facilities.

+1 Except one of the articles stated they wouldn't be brewing at AB's facilities, and least not in St Louis. They're probably just going to expand GI's facilities.

I don't see how THIS is breaking the craft beer industry.

March 28, 2011
Dear Friends,


When I first started Goose Island Clybourn in 1988, drinkers were just beginnning to explore new beer styles and "craft beer" was a term that no one had even thought of. I couldn't imagine the explosive growth that craft beer has had in the last few years, or the amazing creativity of so many new brewers, and the discovery of the amazing possibilities of beer by a whole generation of drinkers.

I am very proud of Goose Island's contribution too this craft beer movement, of the many awards won by our brewers, our growing number of employees, our support of the communities and life of Chicago, and the friendship of so many beer lovers in Chicago and elsewhere.

Over the past five years our partnerships with Craft Brewers Alliance and Anheuser-Busch have enabled Goose Island to reach a growing number of beer drinkers. This has fueled our growth to the point that demand for our beers has outgrown the capacity of our brewery. Recently, we&#8217ve even had to limit production of some classic and medal-winning styles. To keep up with growing demand from drinkers we&#8217ve explored a variety of paths too secure new capital to support our growth.

Today&#8217s agreement to consolidate ownership of Goose Island under Anheuser-Busch will provide us with the best resources available to continue along our path of growth and innovation.

I am more excited than ever about Goose Island&#8217s future. With the support and financial backing of our new partner, we will continue to brew our authentic classic styles, develop new amazing beers, and serve our drinkers.

AZ_IPA

Goose Island Light! Coming to a store near you! It's the same as Bud Light, just sells for double because it's "craft" and we can rake in more profits that way! Muah ha ha ha ha.

Motobrewer

I'm no atheist scientist, but.

Incredibly, incredibly expensive to do that. that's not really even a viable option for a macro.

if you wanna be "sick" at something, be sick at John Hall. He's the one who sold the brewery. It's not like this is 1988 and this was a hostile corporate takeover.

Bruin_ale

Well-Known Member

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Good article from Beer Advocate. Note the bold.

Goose Island Selects Current Partner Anheuser-Busch for Growth Strategy


Chicago Small Brewer, Craft Brewers Alliance to Sell Stakes in Goose Island Expansion of Chicago Brewery Planned

CHICAGO (March 28, 2011) - Chicago-based Goose Island, one of the nation's most&#8209respected and fastest-growing small brewers with sales concentrated throughout the Midwest, today announced it had agreed to be acquired by Anheuser&#8209Busch, its current distribution partner, in a move that will bring additional capital into Goose Island's operations to meet growing consumer demand for its brands and deepen its Chicago and Midwest distribution.

Goose Island's legal name is Fulton Street Brewery LLC (FSB). Anheuser-Busch reached an agreement to purchase the majority (58 percent) equity stake in FSB from its founders and investors, held in Goose Holdings Inc. (GHI), for $22.5 million. Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. (CBA), an independent, publicly traded brewer based in Portland, Ore., that operates Widmer Brothers, Redhook and Kona breweries, owns the remaining 42 percent of FSB and reached an agreement in principle to sell its stake in FSB to Anheuser-Busch for $16.3 million in cash. Anheuser&#8209Busch holds a minority stake (32.25 percent) in CBA.

Goose Island sold approximately 127,000 barrels of Honkers Ale, 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Matilda and other brands in 2010. To help meet immediate demand, an additional $1.3 million will be invested to increase Goose Island's Chicago Fulton Street brewery's production as early as this summer.

"Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers, and beer lovers," said Goose Island founder and president John Hall, who will continue as Goose Island chief executive officer. "This partnership between our extraordinary artisanal brewing team and one of the best brewers in the world in Anheuser-Busch will bring resources to brew more beer here in Chicago to reach more beer drinkers, while continuing our development of new beer styles. This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success."

Hall will continue to be responsible for Goose Island beer production and the expansion of Goose Island's Chicago brewery, where production will continue and its business will still be based.

"The new structure will preserve the qualities that make Goose Island's beers unique, strictly maintain our recipes and brewing processes," Hall said. "We had several options, but we decided to go with Anheuser&#8209Busch because it was the best. The transaction is good for our stakeholders, employees and customers."

Anheuser-Busch has distributed Goose Island brands since 2006 as part of an agreement with Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. of Portland, Ore., a co-founder of CBA, that provides Goose Island access to the network of independent wholesalers that distribute Anheuser-Busch beers. Anheuser&#8209Busch also provides logistical support to all Anheuser&#8209Busch wholesalers distributing Goose Island and CBA beers as part of that agreement.

Wholesalers currently servicing retailers with Goose Island beers will continue to do so with no disruption in service.

"These critically acclaimed beers are the hometown pride of Chicagoans," said Dave Peacock, president of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "We are very committed to expanding in the high&#8209end beer segment, and this deal expands our portfolio of brands with high-quality, regional beers. As we share ideas and bring our different strengths and experiences together, we can accelerate the growth of these brands."

Anheuser-Busch's purchase of FSB is subject to customary closing conditions, including obtaining required regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011.

The two Goose Island brew pubs are not part of the deal, but will continue in operation, offering consumers an opportunity to sample Goose Island's award-winning specialty beers and food selections.

As part of CBA's agreement to sell its 42 percent block in FSB to Anheuser-Busch, in addition to cash, Anheuser-Busch will provide enhanced retail selling support for CBA brands, will reduce distribution fees payable by CBA to Anheuser&#8209Busch and will provide CBA additional flexibility with respect to future acquisitions and divestitures.


Cooking Goose Breast Recipes

Place in a saucepan cover with milk and add the bay leaf and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Goose pairs very well with fruit either as a sauce or relish on the side or incorporated into the recipe itself.

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Try Marcus Wareings succulent Goose breast recipe served with kale cranberry relish and a delicious goose leg sausage roll.

Cooking Goose Breast Recipes. Season with mustard and caraway. The recipe I use for this simple smoked Canada goose breast is a very straightforward 3 Step Process. Sliced mushrooms almond milk paprika olive oil goose breast and 7 more.

Meanwhile peel and roughly chop the celeriac into evenly sized pieces. Rosemary Mushroom Goose Breast AllRecipes. Place the goose breasts on the grill and cook them for 8 to 10 minutes.

Place flour in another large shallow dish. This allows the excessive fats to leak outTurn your stove on high heat and drizzle good olive oil in the. Cover the grill and cook the breasts for 8 to 10 minutes.

As a hunter I like to use wild Canada goose breast whenever I get to shoot one. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until meat is tender. Cook until the meat is fork tender which could be anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.

Add the bay leaves cover the pot and put the pot into the oven. In a medium bowl combine orange zest orange juice lemon juice brown sugar garlic and soy sauce. Score meat and rub seasonings into breasts on both sides.

Goose Breasts with Orange Glaze. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring to a boil lower heat to a simmer and skim off and discard any scum.

Place the breasts fat side down over medium heat until golden brown before searing on the meat side for 1 minute. Chopped onion minced garlic dried rosemary olive oil red wine vinegar and 8 more. Red wine and rosemary add to the flavor of the goose in this recipe.

Arrange the bacon-wrapped breasts on the grill so theres at least 1 inch 25 cm of space between them. This is a good sandwich recipe for goose breast. The good news is domestic goose breast works brilliantly well with this easy recipe.

Garlic lemon orange zest and soy sauce lend an exotic flavor to these wild goose breasts. In a large skillet over medium heat brown goose in butter on all sides. Place in a glass dish or ziplock plastic bag and pour beer over.

Rinse the breasts in cold water and place in baking dish. Goose Breast Recipes Roast Goose Breast With Apples And Raisins Cuisine Fiend goose breasts dry red wine apples apples chicken stock salt and 5 more Goose Breast With Goose Leg Sausage Roll Kale And Cranberry Relish Great British Chefs. This is a fairly quick recipe 40 minutes from start to finish.

The optimal cooking method for your goose breast will depend on whether you want it to be medium-rare medium or well done. Bring to the boil and cover with a cartouche. Braising broiling grilling and stewing are all common methods to use in goose breast recipes.

Add the soup water and soup mix. Score the goose breast in a diamond pattern all over the fat layer being careful not to pierce the meat. Slow Cooker Barbecue Goose Sandwich 69 The secret to goose is to cook it until it falls apart - you need a slow cooker.

Splash with vermouth then season with salt. Serve with potatoes noodles or rice. Rosemary Mushroom Goose Breast.

Goose breast can be cooked like any other type of fowl. Return back onto the skin side tip away any excess fat reserving for a later use. When the meat is close to ready add the potatoes cabbage carrots and pearl onions.

Marinade for about 1 hour in refrigerator. Rub the spice mixture onto the goose and stuff the cut oranges from zesting into the inside of the goose. Drain goose discarding marinade.

Grill on barbecue over mediumlow to medium heat or broil in oven until just slightly pink inside. Instant Pot Wild Goose Breast kiss gluten goodbye. Duck breasts or goose breasts for that matter really must be cooked rare-to-medium no matter if you sear your duck breasts bake them or grill them.

Scorch the skin with intersecting lines. Transfer to a 3-qt. 1 goose crown 35 kg in weight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 175 degrees C. Mostly I pan sear my wild duck breasts skin on and serve them with just some salt and pepper celery salt is excellent too or sometimes with a nice pan sauce. Brine your goose breasts.

Get all of the moisture off or the butter wont adhere to the goose. Clean and dry the goose breast. Season the goose with cracked pepper sea salt just prior to cooking.

Heat a heavy based frying pan to a low temperature. Smoke your wild goose breasts. Rinse your goose breast in cool water and blot it dry with paper towels.

Add goose in batches and turn to coat. Spray the rack and bottom of a roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Use tongs to flip them over after theyre halfway cooked.

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Recipes with Goose Eggs

There are many different kinds of eggs available in the supermarket and other farmers’ markets, other than the common hens’ eggs. Have you ever tried cooking goose eggs? If not then here are some recipes that will surely make you grab them the next time you are out shopping for grocery.

Scrambled Eggs

  • 8 goose eggs
  • 8 slices of toast
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 400g fresh girolle mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Dash of double cream
  • Salt and black pepper, for taste
  • Olive oil

In a pot of boiling water, blanch tomatoes and shock them in cold water. Remove the skin and seeds, dice them into small pieces. Take a pan, heat olive oil in it, and add the chopped shallots and garlic in it. Mix couple of times and add the girolle mushrooms to cook. When mushrooms turn soft, add the diced tomatoes and parsley. Stir and remove the pan from heat. Place the pan on the side and season the mixture with salt and pepper. In a heat-proof bowl, break the eggs but don’t whisk them. Place the bowl on a non-stick pan with simmering water. Cook the eggs as you keep mixing them so they can cook properly. As the eggs start to set, remove the pan from heat and stop cooking the scrambled eggs by adding a bit of double cream. Add some salt and pepper to season it. Warm the bread and place them in the center of a plate. Place the fluffly scrambled eggs on the bread followed by the mushroom mixture. Serve hot.

Deviled Eggs

  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 goose eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • Salt and black pepper, for taste
  • Parsley (chopped), for garnish

Take a nonstick pan and boil the eggs in water. You can either set the timer or let them boil for about 10 to 12 minutes. Place a cover on top and let the eggs boil for about 10 minutes (or more). Once the eggs are boiled, turn the stove off and leave the pan on the stove, with the cover on top for another 10 minutes. Next, remove the eggs and let them cool down properly so you can remove the shells with ease. After you have removed the shells, cut the eggs in half (lengthwise).

Take a small bowl, remove the yolks from the halves, and place them in the bowl. Add salt, black pepper, mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar as per your liking. Make sure you don’t make the mixture too salty. Combine the mixture properly and spoon it back into the whites. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top and serve.

Egg and Sausage Omelet

  • 5 goose eggs
  • 1 cup sausages
  • Salt and black pepper, for taste
  • Cilantro and basil leaves
  • Milk, as per requirement
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cooking oil

In a nonstick pan, add a few drops of cooking oil (olive, canola, coconut, or flax seed oil) to cook the sausages properly. You can use any kind of cooking oil or opt for butter, margarine, or cooking spray (whichever you feel is ideal for you and your family). While the sausages are turning brown, take a bowl to mix the rest of the ingredients together. Once the sausages are golden brown from the outside, add the egg batter in.

Mix all the ingredients properly so that the sausages are coated with the egg batter. Make sure that the sausages are completely cooked before you add the egg batter in. You don’t want undercooked sausages in the omelet. Let the omelet set from the bottom and then flip it over. Cook on both sides and serve the omelet with toasted brown bread.

Egg Soufflé

  • 3 goose eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup cheese, grated
  • Salt and black pepper, for taste

In a nonstick pan, warm milk over a medium heat. Once the milk is hot (not boiling), add the grated cheese in and let it melt properly. Keep stirring or you will end up with either lumps. After the cheese has melted thoroughly, remove the pan off the stove and let it cool down. Meanwhile, take a bowl and beat the eggs in. Add the flour, salt, and black pepper in mix well. Slowly, add the egg batter in with the milk and cheese mixture. Place the pan on the stove over low heat. Cook the mixture for about 20 minutes. Once ready, serve the soufflé immediately.

You can easily change this recipe as per your liking. Add diced, thick slices of ham, Parmesan cheese, red peppers, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard, mushrooms, onions, herbs, and prosciutto. Depending on your choices, you can easily make the egg soufflé different every time you cook it.

Chocolate Walnut Brownies

  • 9 oz caster sugar
  • 7 oz plain chocolate
  • 7 oz butter
  • 6 oz chopped walnuts
  • 4 oz plain flour
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 goose egg

Before we begin preparing the brownie recipe, preheat the oven at 350ºF. In a bowl, melt the butter and chocolate by placing over a pan of hot water (low heat). You can also melt it in the microwave. Take a separate bowl, mix the egg and caster sugar properly. A second bowl will be needed to sift the flour in and add to the egg mix. Stir the ingredients completely and make sure there are no crumbs.

Once the chocolate is cool enough, mix it in with the egg and flour, and get a smooth dough. Mix in the chopped walnuts now and beat everything properly. Place the mixture in a pre-lined tin and place in the oven for about half an hour at 350ºF. Once the brownies are ready, let them cool down a bit, and then make small square to serve.

The recipes we’ve discussed in this article are quite easy to make and they don’t really require a lot of prep time. You can conveniently gather all the ingredients whenever you wish, and make the delicious recipes with/for friends and family. And, you can definitely add your own style and flavor of cooking in the recipes.


This isn’t a story about a hop farm — or at least, it’s not just about a hop farm. I’m certainly going to show you how beautiful a first harvest can be on one of the world’s largest pieces of acreage devoted to the cultivation of hops. But I’m mostly going to talk about how it barely exits at all, what that might mean for the future of craft beer in America, and how Goose Island, the brewery that some fans feared was lost forever, might be in a better position to survive a potential hop crisis than almost any other brewery in the country right now.

The agricultural side of beer has always been beautiful, if somewhat niche. Hops have been cultivated in the US since the 19th century, starting in New York and then shifting to the west coast after a disease all but wiped out production. But much like their European counterparts, the industrialization of hops only went so far. It remains, despite some technological and scientific advancements, largely labor-intensive and highly-skilled. It takes continuity, knowledge, and connections with brewers to grow a successful hop program — which is as true for small producers as it is for the world’s largest.

The arrival dinner on the farm with Brett Porter and company

Roderick Read welcomes us to camp. After dinner, the crew from Santé in Spokane starts breaking down a full elk for the next day's meals

So this is a story about how the future of beer is about to get stranger than ever — and how a brewery like Goose Island might be instigating a shift in how hops are produced for a craft brewer with national scale. But they'll have to wake beer's sleeping giant to do it.

“At our lowest point, we were down to 70 acres of hops," says plant manager, Ed Atkins, who’s been with the farm since it first planted in 1987. By the late 90s through the early 2000s, Anheuser-Busch had created a massive stock of cold-stored hops. In response, they decided to strategically reduce their stores and slow the pace of hop farming. Under the Busch Agricultural Resources business, Elk Mountain had become the largest contiguous hop farm in the world. But at 1,700 acres, it still only represented about 15% of AB’s overall need. The rest they get on the open market, competing with other brewers for access to the world’s best and most abundant hops, typically targeting high-alpha acid hops that provide basic bitterness instead of the “flavor” or aromatic hops craft brewers tend to seek out.

An early morning rise at camp

Over 40 varieties on 1,700 acres

Goose Island's brewmaster, Brett Porter inspects the combine

“There’s a lot of risk in hops. A flood, like we had here once. Disease. Market conditions shifting. It’s not an easy business to be in,” explains Ralph Judd, Anheuser-Busch’s Director of Raw Materials. Indeed, much like the US imports oil from other countries, despite drilling, refining, and sometimes exporting our own, the market can create efficiencies and cost-effectiveness in strange ways. It’s easier for a brewing giant like AB to use their market strength to pressure hop farmers all over the world into increase their yields, lowering their prices, and formulating for higher alpha acids (bittering acids) than it would ever be to grow their own. Vertical integration isn’t always a benefit when you’re at the scale of a global brewer.

All that fluctuation made Elk Mountain less of a strategic reserve, and more of a luxury for a company counting every bean it had after the InBev buyout in 2008. In the meantime, American consumers became obsessed with hops, and varieties like Citra became a household name. Almost immediately, innovative hops became scarce and craft brewers had to contract with farmers, or reformulate their recipes, in order to producer the beers by which they had made their names. And for AB, it meant that new beers had to work within the constraints and availability of resources they already had access to. A national IPA with a discernible amarillo hop profile, for example, would be nearly impossible without devastating the market.

Plant Manager, Ed Atkins and his team provide an overview of the hop processing machinery

All this time, Elk Mountain remained nearly dormant. “We were hop farmers, but instead, we were growing canola and wheat under all these trellises,” recalls Atkins as he looks out over the years harvest. He has the look of a man that’s grateful for a sudden change of fortune. “That’s tough for a hop farmer. We’re not wired for that. We were starting to wonder what the future held for us here.” Just as it seemed like the farm was losing its relevance as an agricultural resource in the AB business, the 2012 acquisition of Goose Island was taking place over 1,800 miles east in Chicago.

As the first major craft brewery acquisition in AB’s portfolio, it wasn’t clear what such a move would mean for the overall business. Clearly AB wanted to compete in the craft sector, which was becoming critical as craft’s overall share crested the 10% mark. Many drinkers familiar with the Goose brand were highly skeptical of the small urban brewery's future resting in the hands of the largest corporate brewer in history. Other local fans were cautiously optimistic as most of their favorite beers, such Bourbon County Stout and the Vintage Collection continued uninterrupted, and actually grew in the market. But there was also a major loss of talent in the years following. “Last year was definitely the hardest,” recalls lead brewer Keith Gabbet. “It was hard to lose so many great people. But I hate quitting. I hate giving up on things when I think there’s a chance to make them better. And I saw that chance here.”

Top right, Goose CEO Andy Goeler gets gothic

Gabbet, who started as a weekend brewer and worked his way up, remembers the day he heard about Goose being sold to AB: “I was pretty freaked out. But I decided to take a wait-and-see attitude.” He worked alongside the newly-appointed brewmaster Brett Porter and others to lobby for long-overdue improvements in the brewery’s operations that simply didn’t have the capital behind them until AB bought the brewery. Since then, he’s been happy to see better equipment, more space for barrel-aging, and brands like 312 roll out nationally. “Brett is pretty great at fighting for things he wants,” explains Gabbet. “It felt like my voice was being heard for the first time in awhile.” Shortly after, Gabbet made his first trip to Elk Mountain — “Ed and John were thrilled to have us here.”

Gabbet isn’t worried about talent leaving anymore, in fact, talent is starting to knock on Goose’s door instead. They recently signed on experienced brewers from Flossmoor Station, New Holland, and most recently Quinn Fuechsl from Sun King. Gabbet thinks he knows why they’re coming to Goose: “I think these guys see a chance to brew great beer, not just work themselves to death. We're not just a stop on the way to a career in brewing anymore."

The kilning begins as hops are spread over a mesh floor and slowly heated

A portrait of the hop baler as an old man

So when the time came to start creating new recipes at Goose Island for the national market, there was a bit of a learning curve for AB’s resource managers. “Brett asked if he could have some of our Cascade,” recalls Pete Kraemer, VP of Supply and AB’s brewmaster. “Next time I came back, he had taken all of it. I didn't have enough to make Bud Light!” It was impossible to satiate the Goose brewing team’s desire for hops, and that meant that AB was either going to find what they needed on the open market — competing with every other craft brewer — or find a way to start growing their own again as a strategic resource.

“AB buying Goose Island is what made this place important again,” explains Atkins. The team grows 40-50 hop varietals on Elk Mountain now — hops that are going into beers like Ten Hills pale ale, Endless Summer IPA, and the now-releasing Rambler IPA. It takes an incredible amount of specialty hops to make these beers stand apart at Goose's new national scale. But the other side of directly managing this resource is that it means AB is also able to apply its deep analytical capabilities on the hop chemistry, R&D brewing, and agricultural side to ensure a highly-competitive position for Goose, and eventually their newest acquisition, Blue Point in Long Island. The knowledge that’s being generated here is astounding as they look for ways to breed for disease resistance, alpha acid production, and new-to-the-world varietals.

Only time will tell if all that science will do the industry good. Many newer hop varieties, such as Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic and Warrior remain proprietary, their names registered as trademarks and their genetic profile closely guarded by organizations like Hop Breeding Company and Select Botanicals Group that put in the time and effort to create them. After these hop’s gain relevance, the market often shifts quickly and resources become scarce. In response to these ripple effects, many breweries like Three Floyds, have ceased listing hop profiles for their beers, avoiding criticism when they’re forced to change their recipes, and likely calming the waters for fast-follower breweries who simply try to make a Zombie Dust clone.

Spliced root stock makes it possible to have an all-female farm to produce buds

Last year, AB sold their extra Amarillo production from Elk Mountain into the general market, creating a bit of a temporary windfall for eager brewers around the country. But that’s unlikely to last as Goose ramps up production, Blue Point comes on-line, and AB’s own in-house brands start to get more adventurous. There simply isn’t enough acreage in the US to support the growth of craft beer, and that will only get worse as larger brewers start positioning their products to compete on hop flavor and aroma as well. Small producers should count themselves lucky that the two most popular craft styles from MillerCoors and AB are still Belgian wheat beers and not a hop-forward style.

“Hop farming is still a niche industry,” says Stan Hieronymus, who quite literally wrote the book on hops. “You have 1,700 acres here, about 3,000 total at Kent when you count all the farms. It’s not a lot of land devoted to hops.” At the Craft Brewers Conference in 2008, a brewer asked Hieronymus why there was no futures market for hops, given the rise in demand and limited resources. To put things in perspective for the brewer, Hieronymus compared global hop production to soybeans in Champaign County, Illinois, where he grew up. "In 2013, Champaign County farmers grew 12,774 bushels of soybeans on 243,000 acres. Total worldwide hop acres in 2013 equals just 114,227 acres!"

According to the brewers’ association, craft beer aims to double its market share by 2020, which will require at least a doubling of hop acreage to accommodate the beers they want to make. But to-date, small, regional hop-farming is still unproven from both an agricultural and economic perspective. Hops are being grown in new areas all over the country, from Michigan to Virginia, creating new connections between farmers and brewers, but the resources and expertise required to start up are a major barrier, and the resulting prices make it difficult for small breweries to support these farmers with more than an occasional specialty beer. It’s hard to justify paying 2-4 times or more for hops when the average consumer doesn’t want to pay more that $6 for an IPA.

Skilled labor is the most critical resource for Elk Mountain come harvest time. For just a few months out of the year, Elk Mountain relies on well over 100 migrant farmers, some who have returned for generations, to pick, kiln, bale and transport the hops from northern Idaho to Yakima Valley for processing and cold storage. It’s an intense operation during that time, often running 24hrs a day to bring in the harvest on time. Workers live on-site in barracks with the families, sending the kids to school in nearby Bonners Ferry, Idaho, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border. While migrant farming in the US has historically been exploitative, the modern market creates leverage for workers in a competitive harvest season. “We’re hoping for 120, maybe 140 workers this year,” explains John Solt, a manager at the farm. “But it’s tough. If we can’t provide them with the work and the amenities they want, we lose them to other farmers just like that.” (snaps his fingers).

Some workers are invaluable to the delicate and highly-specialized operation of hop farming. “Our kiln operators are the highest paid on the farm,” explains Atkins. Our main dryer has been coming here for 26 years now. He knows everything there is to know about how theses kilns work, where the wet spots are, where the hot spots are. We use new thermal imaging tools now too, but he can pick hops up with his hands and know how far along they are.”

With such a verdant landscape and intensive operation on display, it’s hard to imagine Elk Mountain lying dormant. But it was only a few years ago that Atkins and company had to replant the entire farm and nurture it back to life. To do that, they had to breed the female rhizomes in small greenhouses on-site, turning a few dozen “babies” into over 100,000 in a single generation. The process of planting the small stems that morph into root structures is somewhat unique to hops, making it possible to accelerate their replication even without male plants, which contain seeds. “The seeds complicate the picking process,” explains Atkins. “We just want the females. So we manually pluck any males we find, which can infiltrate with pollen from as far away as Yakima. You can’t tell me there’s no wild hops out there.”

Each stem structure has to be manually wound around the trellises. Because they’re technically a bine, not a vine, there are no tendrils to accomplish this on their own. “You have to wrap them around by hand in a clockwise direction. If you don’t, their natural growth angle will unravel them all over again,” Atkins observes.

There’s a lot of renewed optimism on the farm as they work their way back to full capacity with a plethora of new hop varieties. AB hop chemist, Peter Wolfe, is working with the farm to derive the right balance between alpha acids for bitterness, and the aromatics that craft brewers want. “We’ve been working to get more bittering alpha acids for so long," explains Wolfe, "that some of the other elements of hop chemistry haven’t been advanced nearly enough. We’re working to change that now.”

Companies as large as AB typically have trouble seeing beyond their own operation, and understanding what’s happening in a market as diverse as craft beer. When the lead-time on a new brand is 18-24 months, there’s little advantage in being a fast, or first-mover with new flavors and recipes — in fact, there’s a lot of risk in being too early. AB has introduced brands previously that barely trickled out of St. Louis, not because they weren’t thoughtful, progressive beers, but because the market wasn’t ready at a scale necessary for AB to put resources behind it. Goose Island, on the other hand, represents a new conduit to the market for AB’s research and development managers.

“You can’t always be first,” admits Jane Killebrew, AB’s director of brewing, quality, and innovation, “but you don’t want to be last.” Killebrew seems to have a new spark in her eye as well, after years of creating brands for AB. Her most recent success was Straw-ber-rita and Lime-a-rita — she loves it when a product nails its intended market. “It’s aways a blend of insights, brewing, and marketing,” she explains. “No one cared about the Ritas when they were in big bottles and called “mixology." But in 8-ounce cans they were unique, cute, sold in convenience stores and branded with Bud Light — it was huge.” These days, even some small craft producers are trying to make their own “Rita clones” on the back of the Radler craze that took over the Midwest the past couple years.

Often, innovation in the beer world starts top-down. Marketing identifies an opportunity to sell a product in a new way, or to new audiences, or to simply keep up with trends, and the brewing side has to create a beer that meets that need, like it did with Michelob Ultra, targeting the health-conscious 45+ crowd that simply didn’t drink much beer anymore. But working with brands like Goose Island, a lot of the conversation is reversed. You have a beer like 312, and you have to figure out how to adjust the larger system to accommodate the beer instead. “We did 20 trials of 312,” claims Killebrew. The trials involved constant tasting and debate with Brett Porter and the Goose team as AB tried to match the flavors and aromas in their Baldwinsville, New York brewery. “It’s usually way easier to invent a new brand than to try and copy an existing brand,” says Killebrew.

Lower left, chef Jeremy Hansen of Santé top-right, Pete Kraemer, VP of Supply and AB’s brewmaster.

We spent our last afternoon dry-hopping and wet-hopping some Budweiser and Goose Island 312 Pale Ale with hops fresh-picked and kilned at the farm. You could see the immediate emotional and intellectual effects of the process on folks from St. Louis who rarely have the time or incentive to explore such hands-on, sensory-driven trials this far away from home. “We should brew a wet-hop ale!” yelled Andy Goeler, Goose’s new CEO, grinning at the AB team as they all realized the logistical challenges involved in a national roll-out of a time-sensitive process like wet-hopping. But that’s sort of the point of these kinds of experiences being driven by Goose — ideas first, problem-solving later. “That’s delicious,” said Pete Kraemer, VP of supply and head brewmaster as he swirled a 312 Pale randalled with fresh-picked Amarillo. Roderick Read, the Anheuser-Busch Research Pilot Brewery manager, and the others from St. Louis went home with ziplock bags packed with wet hops the next morning.

Goose Island's West Coast educator, Christina Perozzi

Now that innovation at AB also involves newly acquired craft brands like Goose Island and Blue Point, there seems to be a lot of eagerness to put AB’s incredible resources to work in craft beer recipe development, looking for flavor and aroma from ingredients that grow on a bine instead of in a lab. And when the process is closer to the product and the people behind it, it seemingly becomes personal again. When asked what the future held for Killebrew’s relationship with Goose Island, she excitedly proclaimed “I think we need a stout!” When asked why, she paused, and without a more technical or analytical answer coming to her in the moment, she admitted “because I really want to drink one!”

A huge thanks to the teams from Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch, rEvolution, Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie, and of course, the team at Elk Mountain for their generosity in helping make this trip possible, as well as memorable.


Women in Beer: Emily Kosmal, Brewer at Goose Island Brewing

We had the pleasure of meeting Emily Kosmal of Goose Island and getting to know her during their Migration week in San Diego, CA. Emily’s passion for beer and awesome personality definitely left an impression on us. She is one of the brewers in Chicago and has worked hard with the company’s team to help create delicious beers that satisfy a wide range of palates.

One of the things we love most about Emily is how happy she is to share with others the many awesome experiences she’s had while brewing at Goose Island. In an industry that is perceived to be male dominant, it’s rare to hear about a female Brewer. We are so excited that she agreed to be featured in our “Women in Beer” series to help us spotlight the amazing women in beer and help change that perception. We really enjoyed our conversation with her and we know that you will to.

How long have you been a professional brewer?

Since May 4th (May the fourth haha!) 2015. So only one year and some change.

What is your favorite part about being a brewer?

I love being able to directly interact with consumers/beer lovers. I toil in the brewery sometimes late at night, while the rest of the world is sleeping. To be able to talk beer and share a beer with someone either in our Goose Tap Room after my shift, on the road during a Migration Week, or simply stopping into a new craft brewery while I’m travelling, is what keeps me working hard. Crafting a product that brings so many people together has been my dream ever since I can remember.

Least favorite?

This is tricky to answer, as I love everything about my job. I’m living my dream and even though sometimes there are frustrating machinery woes or the work is labor intensive, sticky, hot, and more often than not janitorial, it is all worth it in the end. If you do what you love, there is little to complain about.

What’s your favorite style of beer to brew?

I love making beer with fresh fruit inclusions. There is something oddly satisfying about squishing cherries through a bunghole. Yes, I went there…

How did you get started/what interested you about brewing initially?

The short answer is that I love beer, science, and creating things.
The long answer: I worked as a food technologist for 6 years prior to becoming a brewer. I have always loved science and making things. I wanted to be a food scientist ever since I was in the 7th grade. I attended a Women’s Science conference in California where several professional women working in the industry came to speak. The Food Scientist who spoke really interested my young mind and I started pursuing that dream. Several years later I met a pretty cool dude in Chicago and ended up moving out there (I am a Southern California native!). I ended up marrying that dude. He was the one who first introduced me to Goose Island beers actually. They became instant favorites of mine. So, a seed was planted in my mind and I knew one day I would make beer for Goose Island. I didn’t land the job the first time I interviewed with them, but I stuck with it, and here I am.

Share an interesting brewing experience?

I am still learning this whole thing called “brewing” and I don’t know what I am doing all the time, there is no shame in admitting that. The people that I have met and learned from in this industry contribute to the best experiences I have had thus far. Everyone I work with is a wonderful fount of knowledge and recommendations. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

What was the first thing you brewed?

I brewed an illegal beer in college. I was in a food processing lab class and we needed to make a fermented product. I wanted to make beer, but that was not allowed…school rules or something. So instead I made root beer. Only, I actually made beer, sneakily adding root beer extract. It was rather terrible, but it was more about the rebellious act than flavor. It was so bad my professor had no idea what I had done. Well, if she reads this blog, my big secret is revealed. Oh no, what have I done…

If you could give one piece of advice to new home brewers trying to break into the industry, what would it be?

If you want to brew, make it happen. I had zero, ZERO, brewing experience before working for Goose Island (unless you count my “illegal” college rootbeer beer haha). When applying to Goose Island, I wrote a lengthy, passionate cover letter justifying why I wanted to be a brewer, related my Food/Beverage industry experiences to the Brewing industry, and I flew my “freak flag.” I cannot express how important that last part is. Be yourself don’t be afraid to be a little different. Hasn’t history taught us that some of the most celebrated inventors were actually quite odd people? Embrace your oddities. Beer is a creative science.

On your days away from the brewery, what activities do you indulge in?

I am very outdoorsy. I enjoy hiking, exploring (and catching Pokemon haha), playing hockey, and I am trying to get back into skateboarding (as my bruised knees could tell you). I also enjoy drawing cartoons. I have an eclectic collection of stuffed animals and plushes too. I like to set up ridiculous photos of them. Here is an example.

Do you have an experience that stands out above all others during your time as a professional brewer?

For me one of the most exciting, humbling, and crazy experiences I get to partake in as a professional brewer is working at a craft beer event (ie: FoBab (Festival of Barrel Aged Beers) or Great Taste of the Midwest). I used to be on the other side of the booth as a consumer, asking for beer, hoping for a taste of something new and exciting. Now, I get to serve that excitement to people. I have so much fun pouring, joking, and being a part of someone’s best day ever. I once lost my voice after pouring at FoBab. I couldn’t stop talking about the beers!

Did you ever home brew before you became a professional brewer? If yes, do you still home brew and how has your opinion of brewing beer changed from when you were a home brewer to now being a professional brewer?

I have never actually home brewed. I had lofty dreams of home brewing and acquiring shiny equipment, but it never manifested. I had a busy life as a Food Scientist, travelling a lot and working on strange creations. Have you ever had Peeps Flavored Milk?…that was just one of my crazy creations haha!

What advice would you give women who want to break into the craft beer industry?

Do it. Don’t ever think that you can’t. I am 5’2” and tiny. Often when I tell people I work for Goose Island, their first question is “Oh, what do you do for them?” I tell them I brew and the response is always taken aback surprise. “Oh, you don’t look like a brewer!” If you want to do something, you can make it happen, don’t ever focus on a preconceived notion of what something is. If someone knocks you down because you are a woman, then simply keep doing your thing. Let your work speak for you. Work hard and respect your coworkers. I have worked in generally male dominated careers my whole professional life, and it has never been an issue, because I don’t allow it to be. I do my job. I want my work to speak for who I am, not my appearance. It is true, I do not look like a brewer, but I am one. Don’t ever judge a book by its cover. The pages inside might hold a whirlwind of awesome.

Check out some the work that Emily took part in on Goose Island’s website. Be sure to give them some love by checking out their Facebook | Twitter | Instagram (@gooseisland)

Be sure to follow us on our social media and join the conversation with great people around great beers.


Controversial, acclaimed Goose Island beers head to L.A.

Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery, one of the most acclaimed and controversial breweries in the Midwest, is heading to Los Angeles with events this week to showcase some of its most sought-after brews.

Goose Island Brewery has been making renowned beers since 1988, and its barrel-aging program is considered one of the biggest and best in the beer business. Bourbon County Stout -- a potent and viscous imperial stout aged in a variety of bourbon barrels -- is not only the most well-known beer that it makes, it is widely considered to be one of the best barrel-aged stouts in the world.

In 2011 the beer world was shocked (and many were worried) when Goose Island became one of the first large craft breweries to be acquired by the multinational beer giants when it was purchased by AB-InBev (parent company of Budweiser and many other brands) for nearly 40 million dollars. While many craft beer fans blackballed the Chicago brewery because of the new corporate owners, the brewers stuck to their craft roots and the extra resources provided by their new parent’s deep pockets provided them with more time and equipment to focus on Goose Island’s famed specialty beers (like Bourbon County Stout).

On Wednesday you can get a taste of these rare brews when Goose Island stops in K-Town at craft beer destination Beer Belly (Facebook event link). The Goose Island team will not only be taking over the Beer Belly taps, they’ll also be pouring a limited amount of the acclaimed Bourbon County Stout variant that’s been aged in Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels for two years. The event begins at 6 p.m., and the Bourbon County Rare Stout won’t last long.

Can’t make K-Town on Wednesday? You’ll have another shot at a sample of Bourbon County Rare Stout on Thursday at 6 p.m., at West Hollywood’s Surly Goat Bar (Facebook event link). There will be eight other Goose Island taps (including three additional variations of its Bourbon County Stout) pouring until 9 p.m.

Goose Island has become somewhat of a black sheep among craft breweries because of the new corporate ownership, but it’s really the beer that should matter the most. These events are a great way to sample the best that the brewery has to offer before you decide if you’ll continue to support the brewery or to lump its beers in with the Blue Moons and Shock Tops as craft beer imitators.


Watch the video: Goose Island Brewers


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