When Goose Island Brewing Co.'s John Hall sold his brewing business to Anheuser-Busch InBev back in 2011, its venerable Lincoln Park brewpub was left unaffected by the deal. Now five years later, the makers of Budweiser have returned for the leftovers, as Goose Island announced the sale of the brewpub to A-B InBev. The Tribune's got all the bittersweet details.
Terms weren't disclosed. Hall told the Trib that A-B InBev wasn't interested in buying the brewpub and restaurant back in 2011 and that state law prohibited the sale. Now they see its value, and for a company that spends a lot of money on advertising that thumbs their nose at the craft beer industry, A-B InBev sure does pay a lot of attention to craft beer.
Hall said that besides equipment upgrades, guests won't see a ton of changes immediately at the brewpub, which in addition to standout craft brews that are only available there, is also known for burgers, Sriracha wings and fish tacos. Back in December, Goose Island finally pulled the plug on its Wrigleyville location.
The brewpub remained independent after the 2011 sale, and it also stayed popular, particularly during Black Friday, when the pub hosts its Bourbon County Brand Stout tastings. For a brewpub that's seen changes through since opening in 1988, brace for more. There's probably little chance they'll offer free pub chips again, like in the 1990s, but drinkers can dream.
Between Goose Island and Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicagoans await the next company to swoop in and purchase a civic icon. Goose Island and A-B InBev reps didn't immediately return a request for comment.