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Chicago’s Goose Island Ramping Up Production By Nearly 50%

July 6, 2012

Goose Island Beer Co., the Chicago craft brewer acquired by Anheuser-Busch last year in a $39 million deal, tells Shanken News Daily it’s increasing production for 2012 by nearly 50%. Goose Island’s volume was up 20% to 2.1 million (2.25-gallon) cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

As part of its expansion initiative, Goose Island has begun outsourcing a portion of its production to both an A-B plant in Baldwinsville, New York and New Hampshire’s Redhook Ale Brewery. Additionally, the company plans to boost capacity at its Fulton Street brewery in Chicago, with a new 750-ml. bottle packaging line (for the brewer’s Vintage Ales range) and several 400-barrel fermenters set to be installed this year. Other craft brewers like Dogfish Head, Brooklyn Brewery and Boston Beer have also pursued the 750-ml. bottle segment of late, crafting beers that are meant to be shared and consumed alongside food.

Goose Island is increasing focus on its Bourbon County Brand Stout in particular this year, with plans to double production of the popular Bourbon barrel-aged beer. It’s also prepping the launch of Gillian, a new strawberry saison-style ale, for early 2013.

The expansion drive is part of Goose Island’s effort to meet rising demand, as the company begins to ramp up its presence in both new and existing markets. Now available in 36 states, the brewer entered California, Colorado and several Mid-Atlantic markets for the first time this year.

Founded in 1988, Goose Island was acquired by A-B last March. The brewery’s core labels include its 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Honkers Ale, India Pale Ale, Matilda, Pere Jacques and Sofie labels, as well as a range of seasonal and barrel-aged releases.

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