Behind Goose Island, the Formal End of a Dynasty

If you’re a follower of the beer or business press, or a resident of Chicago or St. Louis, you have by now heard about the Anheuser-Busch InBev acquisition of Goose Island Brewing, the Windy City’s little brewery that could. You may be pleased for Hall père et fils, John and Greg, or outraged that the world’s largest brewing company has taken over the brewer of Matilda and Honkers. Me, I’ll take a drink-and-see approach.

What was missed in all the kerfuffle, however, was another interesting piece of ABIB news, specifically that next month, April of 2011, will mark the formal end of the Busch family in the brewery they created, as August Busch IV will step down from his position as director “for personal and health reasons,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

I have never been the greatest fan of the Busches and their marketplace tactics, which included the “100% state of mind” distributor initiative that sought to quell the craft beer uprising some years back, but one thing you could say about them, from August I to IV, is that they were ultimately all about the beer. The ABIB crew, I’m not so sure.

4 Replies to “Behind Goose Island, the Formal End of a Dynasty”

  1. I’m not sure if August IV was really “all about the beer.” But for his sake I hope his stepping down is a sign that he is going to address various personal issues and perhaps live the rest of his life in some degree of happy normalcy.

  2. I meant with respect to the company, Joe, and while IV may have had a rocky start, he fought for A-B until the very end. Agreed completely on the second part.

  3. Stephen…interesting about the Busch family. I’d like to recommend a good read, “Under the Influence: The Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty.” Have you read this, yet?

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