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Goose Island Outsourcing Some Production to East Coast

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 21, 2011 7:20PM

2011_2_21_goose_IPA.jpg The Chicago Journal had an interesting article in last week's edition about the good growing pains at Goose Island. Craft beer, if you're a reader of this site, is a booming business, and the article reported that Goose Island would move brewing all of its brewing of Honker's Ale and India Pale Ale to a contract brewer in New Hampshire. Contract brewing is a common practice for craft brewers who either wish to keep their beer as fresh as possible for their customers, or to start getting their product out to the masses. Boston Beer Company, the largest American-owned brewery, has contract brewers across the country. Half Acre was criticized by some for initially starting out with a contract brewer. They're now the fastest growing brewery in the city. So we placed a call to Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall to get some clarity on their move to produce Honker's and IPA on contract.

Hall said that they aren't moving all of the production of IPA and Honker's to contract. "IPA has really taken off for us in New York and on the East Coast, so it just makes sense to outsource the brewing so that our customers there have the freshest beer possible," Hall said. As for plans to expand the brewery at home, Hall said that's also in the works. "Right now, the plan is to add capacity in Chicago," Hall said. Might that expansion include moving to a larger facility than their current Fulton Street brewery? "At some point, we may have to look at moving from Fulton," Hall replied. "But that's a decision that we aren't anywhere near right now."