WBEZ | Anheuser-Busch http://www.wbez.org/tags/anheuser-busch Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Why Anheuser-Busch bought Goose Island beer http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-29/why-anheuser-busch-bought-goose-island-beer-84396 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-March/2011-03-29/goose-island-pic1.jpg" alt="" /><p><!--StartFragment--><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-29/goose-island-pic1.jpg" title="" width="400" height="326"></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="">Some fans of craft beers are foaming over the news that industry giant <a href="http://www.anheuser-busch.com/">Anheuser-Busch</a> plans to buy 23 year-old Chicago-based, brewing powerhouse <a href="http://www.gooseisland.com/">Goose Island Beer Co.</a>&nbsp; The $38.8 million deal was announced Monday, but is set to close in June.<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="">On the surface, the two brewers couldn't be more different:&nbsp; One is known for mass-marketed and mass appeal brands like Budweiser and Busch; the other is known for microbrews and specialty ales like 312 and Matilda.</p><p class="MsoNormal" style=""><strong>So why would Anheuser-Busch gobble up Goose Island?&nbsp;</strong> Two words: craft brews.</p><p>“These critically acclaimed beers are the hometown pride of Chicagoans,” said Dave Peacock, president of the St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch in a statement. “We are very committed to expanding in the high-end 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.”<o:p></o:p></p><p>As overall U.S. beer sales have fallen in recent years, the fast-growing craft brew market is expected to make up 11 percent of total beer consumption this year. “We just need to be more competitive there,” Peacock said. Led by its signature brew, <a href="http://www.gooseisland.com/pages/honker_s_ale/17.php">Honkers Ale</a>, last year sales of Goose Island grew 24 percent, selling $4.2 million in beer up from $3.4 million in 2004. Goose Island sold approximately 127,000 barrels of beer in 2010.<o:p></o:p></p><p>“Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers, and beer lovers,” said Goose Island CEO John Hall in a statement. “This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success.”&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p><p><strong>So what's next for Goose Island beer?</strong></p><p>Goose Island’s beer will continue to be brewed in Chicago, and A-B plans to invest $1.3 million by this summer to boost production capacity by 10 percent, said Peacock. The deal does not include the acquisition of two Goose Island <a href="http://www.gooseisland.com/pages/our_brewpubs/4.php">brewpubs</a>, which will remain open, and no disruption to supply will occur in current markets.</p><p>Hall, who will stay on as CEO, added that the “new structure will preserve the qualities that make Goose Island’s beers unique, strictly maintaining our recipes and brewing processes.” Effective May 1st, Brewmaster Greg Hall will be step down, and will be replaced by Brett Porter, Head Brewer at <a href="http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/splash/default.aspx">Deschutes Brewery</a> in Bend, Oregon where his beers have earned more than 150 awards.</p><p><o:p></o:p>As one of the Midwest’s first craft breweries creating acclaimed ales including 312 Urban Wheat Ale, India Pale Ale, Matilda, Pere Jacques and Sofie, as well as a wide variety of seasonal, draft-only and barrel-aged releases including Bourbon County Brand Stout - the original bourbon barrel-aged beer – followers who fear for the future of Goose Island Beer should rest easy.<o:p></o:p></p><p>"The beers will not change," said Goose Island Brand Ambassador, Ken Hunnemeder on <a href="http://twitter.com/hopcastken#">Twitter</a>. Calling the deal, “inevitable," he added, “it will allow us to make great beers that got bumped from the lineup."&nbsp;</p><p><o:p></o:p>Even more beer? Cheers to that.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></p><!--EndFragment--></p> Tue, 29 Mar 2011 21:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-29/why-anheuser-busch-bought-goose-island-beer-84396 Chicago bar owners wonder about Goose Island's future http://www.wbez.org/story/anheuser-busch/chicago-bar-owners-wonder-about-goose-islands-future-84371 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-28/73048402.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Bar owners around Chicago are trying to figure out what the acquisition of Goose Island will mean to them.</p><p>Anheuser-Busch purchased Chicago-based Goose Island in a deal worth $38.8 million. Goose Island's CEO John Hall said the acquisition doesn't mean the recipes are going to change.</p><p>&quot;If you've got problems with the quality or anything like that, you can call me up,&quot;&nbsp;Hall said.</p><p>Hall said the brewery will keep operating in Chicago.</p><p>Goose Island has earned a reputation for its craft brews as much as for its more popular drinks like Honkers Ale or 312. But bar owners like Phil McFarland, who runs Small Bar in Chicago's Ukranian Village neighborhood, said he's conflicted about the merger.</p><p>&quot;I don't guess that Anheuser has bought them to make Budweiser knock offs and part of the appeal of a brewery like Goose Island is that they have the recipes they do that have the, sort of, respect in the market that they have and from a business point of view, I would have to think they'd be sort of crazy to mess with that too much, but time will tell,&quot;&nbsp;McFarland said.</p><p>Meanwhile, Chris Staten, the Beer Editor of Draft Magazine, said the acquisition shows Anheuser's further commitment to the craft brew market.</p><p>Hall said the company couldn't brew some of its specialty beers fast enough to keep up with demand and the deal with Anheuser-Busch will help with that.</p><p>&quot;Chicago is going to continue to be our principle market,&quot;&nbsp;Hall said. &quot;We will probably expand into some new markets, but we're not going to do any of those things until we supply the markets we're in right now.&quot;</p><p>Hall said Goose Island's roughly 120 employees will still operate in Chicago.</p><p>The deal still needs the approval of regulators, which is expected to come later this year.</p></p> Tue, 29 Mar 2011 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/anheuser-busch/chicago-bar-owners-wonder-about-goose-islands-future-84371 Anheuser-Busch buys Goose Island beer company http://www.wbez.org/story/anheuser-busch/anheuser-busch-buys-goose-island-beer-company-84359 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-28/4884354198_5012a3b9ee_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago-based Goose Island has agreed to be acquired by Anheuser-Busch in a deal worth $38.8 million. The companies announced the acquisition on Monday.</p><p>In a statement, the head of Goose Island, John&nbsp;Hall, said the Chicago company has grown so rapidly in the last five years that demand for Goose Island beers has outgrown the capacity of its brewery. Hall said the company has had to limit production of some of the beers. Hall said the deal with Anheuser-Busch will help Goose Island continue to grow.</p><p>&quot;Chicago is going to continue to be our principle market,&quot;&nbsp;Hall said. &quot;We will probably expand into some new markets, but we're not going to do any of those things until we supply the markets we're in right now.&quot;</p><p>Hall said Goose Island's roughly 120 employees will still operate in Chicago. Hall also said the beers will remain the same and that he wouldn't have agreed to the deal if it involved changing the recipes.</p><p>In announcing the acquisition, Goose Island said Hall will continue to be responsible for the Chicago brewery, which the company says will remain in operation.</p><p>Some of the beers Goose Island brews include Honkers Ale, 312 Urban Wheat Ale and Matlida.</p><p>The deal still needs the approval of regulators, which is expected to come later this year.</p></p> Mon, 28 Mar 2011 14:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/anheuser-busch/anheuser-busch-buys-goose-island-beer-company-84359