Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout is arguably one of the most coveted Imperial Stouts out there right now. Even after the controversial acquisition from Anheuser-Busch InBev last year, people still go crazy for the beer that is is affectionately called BCBS. You may have even seen my review for the 2009 vintage of this beer.
According to Chicagoist, the black elixir will soon be available year round
The calculated risk of innovation has been a hallmark of Goose Island throughout its tenure as Chicago’s largest brewery, and was the driving force behind the development of the brewery’s coveted Bourbon County Stout. The recent lease of a new barrel warehouse on AB’s dime has allowed Goose Island to double the size of its barrel program and will soon lead to Bourbon County Stout being made available available year-round. This news will be received well by beer enthusiasts who sometimes wait in lines for hours just for the privilege of purchasing a bottle.
This is good news for many fans of the beer as BCBS will be more widely available. However, there is still a layer of uncertainty in regards to the AB Goliath
Looking ahead, Laffler remains uncertain about his expectations.
“If I was a large company purchasing a smaller company in a controversial realm,” he posited, “I wouldn’t change it in the first year. I would keep my hands off, let things die down, then start to do little things. I’m going to have an AB name tag. I have a badge card to open the door to the brewery. I think phone calls are being routed through a call center. It feels like we’re losing some of the family-owned, local, independent part of the business. Is that balanced out by our ability to do things we want to do that we weren’t able to do before? We’ll see. Nothing’s forever and change is inevitable.”
Porter has a more optimistic outlook.
“What we want to have happen at Goose Island is to make so much of this special product that people can’t or won’t or don’t want to make at other breweries that we can build a great big new brewery right here in Chicago,” he said. “One of the first things that happened when I came here was that John Hall took me down to the river and showed the spot where he wants to build a brewery. That was exciting. What we really want is a big new brewery here in Chicago that is a cultural destination, which is what a lot of breweries have become. Damn it, I want people to know where we are. I want there to be a big beer garden on the river. I want people to come from far and wide to get beer they can perhaps only get in our beer garden and have a great time in this amazing place that I’m so happy to be living in.”
What do you think about this? Is Goose Island making the right business decision? Or are they “selling out” to the man? Let me know in the comments section.