Four years after starting a distribution deal, Goose Island Brewery announced today that they've sold out completely to the megabrewery:
Goose Island Beer Co., the Chicago-based brewing powerhouse, announced this morning that it will be taken over by Anheuser-Busch.
Brewmaster Greg Hall will be stepping down.
Can't imagine why:
Anheuser-Busch reached an agreement to purchase the majority (58 percent) equity stake in FSB from its founders and investors, held in Goose Holdings Inc. (GHI), for $22.5 million. Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. (CBA), an independent, publicly traded brewer based in Portland, Ore., that operates Widmer Brothers, Redhook and Kona breweries, owns the remaining 42 percent of FSB and reached an agreement in principle to sell its stake in FSB to Anheuser-Busch for $16.3 million in cash. Anheuser Busch holds a minority stake (32.25 percent) in CBA.
Goose Island sold approximately 127,000 barrels of Honkers Ale, 312 Urban Wheat Ale. Matilda and other brands in 2010. To help meet immediate demand, an additional $1.3 million will be invested to increase Goose Island’s Chicago Fulton Street brewery’s production as early as this summer.
"Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers, and beer lovers," said Goose Island founder and president John Hall, who will continue as Goose Island chief executive officer. "This partnership between our extraordinary artisanal brewing team and one of the best brewers in the world in Anheuser-Busch will bring resources to brew more beer here in Chicago to reach more beer drinkers, while continuing our development of new beer styles. This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success."
This means the Goose Island brewpubs will become Applebee's but brew Bud Light on-site. And with increased production, Goose Island beers will have to lose complexity and quality to compensate for larger batch sizes. But hey, $16.3m is a fair pile of cash. And Tyranena isn't too far.
Still, I'll miss the great beers.