Goose Island is reuniting with the best of its brewing alumni for the release of a series of beers that are reminiscent of its humble craft-brewing beginnings. The first collaboration is with Greg Hall, son of Goose Island founder John Hall, and the brewmaster of the company for 20 years prior to Anheuser-Busch InBev's purchase of the brand.
Hall, who now owns Virtue Cider in Fennville, Michigan, returned to Goose Island headquarters on the 27th anniversary of his first day of work at the brewery — May 13 — to create a new recipe of his choice. His new beer is the first Goose Island he has brewed since 2011, and it's an English-style mild ale. Appropriately called Mild, the beer is dark and heavy on barley flavors, but light-bodied and highly sessionable.
The next reunion in the alumni series will be announced and released periodically, but no other partnerships have solidified. With more than two dozen breweries across the country now employing, or being run by, former Goose Islanders, the next collaboration could be a partnership with anyone from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. to Bell's Brewery. "A lot of former Goose brewers we're still friends with, whether they've opened their own businesses or taken a bigger position somewhere else," Mike Siegel, Goose Island's head of brewing innovation, told the Chicago Tribune. "This is an opportunity to work with some of them again and have some fun."