When the first Goose Island Brewpub opened its doors in 1988, domestic, mass-produced beer was deeply ingrained in Midwestern culture. The craft beer industry was still in its infancy, with only a handful of brewpubs in existence in the Midwest. In his travels across Europe, beer-lover John Hall had enjoyed a distinctive local brew in each region he visited. Hall was convinced that Midwesterners could produce beers as good or better than those he’d tasted in his travels. Living on the shore of the largest system of fresh water on the planet Earth, in a city with rapidly evolving tastes – John decided that his hometown, Chicago, would be the ideal place to do just that.
The key to building interest in craft beer, Hall decided, was to allow consumers to watch the brewing process – while providing them with the then-novel experience of enjoying a wide variety of distinctive beers that had been produced on-site. Hall wanted to not only cater to his customers’ tastes, but to challenge them as well. Goose Island’s brewers set to work crafting a diverse selection of unique beers – and on Friday, May 13, 1988 the Goose Island Brewpub was born.
It turned out that John was right; Chicagoans palates evolved rapidly once Goose Island’s Brewpub opened its doors and introduced the city to distinctive craft beer. By 1995, the brewpub had become so popular that John Hall decided to open a larger brewery and bottling plant to keep up with demand. Finding still more room for growth, in 1999 Hall opened a second Goose Island Brewpub just a stone’s throw away from historic Wrigley Field.
Today, Goose Island continues to brew an innovative selection of over 50 craft beers at the brewpub, the best of which are then bottled at our Fulton Street brewery. Goose Island beers are now enjoyed in 36 states and Europe.