Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out

While I’m a bit late to the party on talking about this book since it’s release, I still think about it regularly when I’m out and about, especially when grabbing a beer at a restaurant or bar. BASaSO is an incredibly well researched book about the rise of Goose Island Brewing Company out of Chicago, IL, and the changes that have come with it being owned by ABInBev in it’s culture and how it’s brought to market.

The biggest revelations where just how ruthless “big beer” can be in their quest to regain market share. Incentives for distributors, discounting for bars for only carrying their brands on tap, and one of my least favorite – hiding the fact that that you are behind this new “craft beer” brand (i.e. Blue Moon or Shock Top). But in the end, if you can’t beat them, buy them and grow that way!

I really don’t want to spoil too much of the narrative, but you really get the sense that Goose Island had something special, and that it’s culture and brand has been changed forever post buyout. Was it worth it? I’ll let you decide.

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