Anheuser-Busch buys Goose Island Brewery

Beer giant Anheuseur-Busch buys Goose Island, Chicago's premier craft brewery, for $38.8 million.

Photograph: Erica Gannett

Photograph: Erica Gannett

Monumental changes were announced this morning for Goose Island Brewery, Chicago's much-loved local brewery. Beer giant Anheuser-Busch, Goose's current distributor, has acquired the craft brewery for $38.8 million, "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," according to the press release.

Goose Island founder John Hall will continue as the CEO, while in a tandem piece of news, the company has announced that Brett Porter, who has spent the last five years at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon, will take over for Greg Hall as head brewmaster. Hall will remain with the company as a consultant "on strategic direction, beer styles, marketing and brand positioning," according to the release.

The acquisition means nothing for the two brewpubs (which were not a part of the sale), and Goose Island production will remain Chicago-based. In the immediate future, the Fulton Street brewery will receive $1.3 million in improvements early this summer. And no doubt this is a huge coup for Busch, which now has a coveted piece of the growing craft-beer market.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)