Everyone in Chicago may have been shocked by the news recently that Goose Island had been bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev for a cool $39 million, but the deal - according to the family who started the local craft brewer - makes a lot of sense. While local beer drinkers were writing the epitaph for yet another local brand, the company's current (and soon to be former) Brewmaster says if they wanted to continue to meet demand for their specialty brands like Matilda and Pere Jacques, they had to either take on a huge amount of debt, or let A-B help them do it. The Hall family will retain ownership of their two local brewpubs, and while the purchase means the end of an already successful career for Greg Hall, it just might lead to something exciting in the future as well. I spoke with Hall last week at length about what the purchase means for the company and for its legions of loyal beer drinkers.
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