Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch, and How Craft Beer Became Big Business

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Chicago Review Press, Jun 1, 2018 - Business & Economics - 400 pages
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 20 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 nine 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?

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You are an idiot. All companies are in business to make money, just like you trying to sell this pathetic book.


Not Fuck It Up
It Doesnt Count as a Sell Out Until You Hit 40 Million
Im Never Going to Buy It Now Because I Dont Consider It a Craft Brewery
People Are Looking for Us to Fuck It Up
Trust Us a Little Bit
St Louisand Belgium and BrazilWe Have a Problem
AnheuserBusch Is Letting Us Do Our Own Thing
A Betrayal of the Spirit in Which We Started the Company

St Louis We Still Have a Problem
We Have to Look Like We Have Been Here Before
They Are One of the Greatest Companies in the World but DamnTheyre Bullies
Shrinking but Free
Theyre Ready to Take It to the Next Level
They Are the King of Beers
If You Tell Me Ima Pay FortyFive Dollars for a Beer Ima Tell You Kiss My Beep and to Get Beep Out of My Face Before I Beat Beep
We Have to Do Something and Weve Looked at All the Possibilities
No Matter What Happens Monday Well Still Clean the Kettle
I Was the Creative Hallthe Ambitious Hall
We Are Very Happy with Our Future as a Family Owned Company and Not Looking at Any Partnerships
Corporate Beer Still Sucks
If People Do the Work to Find Out That We Own These Craft Brands God Bless Em
Buttery Tart End Undeniably Infected Sad
You Sold Out to Big BeerAgain
Selected Bibliography
Index Photos Insert

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About the author (2018)

Josh Noel writes about beer and travel for the Chicago Tribune; he has also contributed to This American Life and to the New York Times and other publications. He has become one of the nation's most recognizable beer journalists, winning multiple awards from the North American Guild of Beer Writers. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children.

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