For more than three decades Chicago's Goose Island has been synonymous with inventive brewing, most famously for pioneering bourbon barrel aged beer in the early 1990s. Since joining the AB InBev family in 2011, Goose Island has gone on to become one of the world's most beloved craft brands, known for creativity and quality wherever it's made.
Whether in Shanghai or Shoreditch, one beer you're sure to find is Goose, the brand's award-winning flagship IPA. Close behind is lower-alcohol Midway, that was just named the Best Session IPA at the 2021 World Beer Awards.
Both brands are on offer in São Paulo, Brazil, where Goose Island first opened a brewhouse, bar and restaurant in 2017. Dozens of local and seasonal beers are made there by Chicago-trained brewmasters, including head brewer, Marina Pascholati.
“We always aim to innovate and serve the best to our consumers,” she says. “Over the last four years we have brewed more than 200 styles and learned something new from each one.”
Like their Chicago counterparts, Goose Island São Paulo frequently collaborates with local businesses, ranging from chocolatiers to Green Mining, a sustainability-minded startup that collected two million kilograms of waste in the community.
In China, where demand for craft beers continues to rise, it can be difficult to source high-quality, locally grown hops, like Cascade, needed to brew Goose Island's premium IPAs. In response, local teams decided to try something new.
“By combining agricultural innovation with best practices from our partners, we're proud to have created China's first, soilless, indoor premium hop farm,” says Jan Clysner, Vice President of Procurement and Sustainability.
The first harvest from the ultra-modern, 4,400 square meter operation was brewed into a special batch of Goose IPA last month.
“Exploration has been at the heart of Goose Island since its founding, and our brewers in China are proud to carry on the tradition for the growing number of craft beer fans in the region,” says Goose Island Brewmaster Daryl Hoedtke.
It's serendipitous that Goose Island, which was inspired by a trip across Europe by founder John Hall, is now available in the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands. First launched in the UK in 2004, expansion across the continent picked up after 2016, with support from ZX Ventures, the global investment and innovation group of AB InBev.
In addition to Goose and Midway IPAs, UK brewers also make Today's Haze Session IPA and release at least one new small batch IPA each month that uses locally grown hops and is sold via the Goose Island website. The brand is also in pubs and restaurants, and the Shoreditch brewpub in London, where 50 new beers are released each year.
“We aim to brew beers worthy of conversation, debate and celebration,” says European Marketing Manager, Fred Nesbitt. “Just like Chicago, we're always putting beer at the center of the story and ensuring it is fun for consumers to learn about the world of beer.”