Goose Island Appoints New Brewmaster

CHICAGO – Earlier this morning it was announced that Anheuser-Busch will be acquiring the Goose Island Brewery in Chicago. It was also reported that current Brewmaster Greg Hall would be stepping down.

Goose Island has released an official press release introducing their new Brewmaster, Brett Porter.

Goose Island Beer Company is excited to announce the appointment of Brett Porter as Brewmaster of the company’s Fulton Street brewery, effective May 1, 2011. Taking over the reins from long-term Brewmaster Greg Hall, Porter will oversee the creative and technical development of Goose Island’s award-winning portfolio of beers.

Before joining Goose Island as Head Brewer in May 2010, Porter worked from 2005 to 2010 as Head Brewer at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Ore., where his beers earned more than 150 awards. Previously, Porter was Head Brewer of Portland Brewing, a position he held from 1993 to 2005. His resume also includes brewing apprenticeships in England at Bunces Brewery and Holden’s Brewery.

Porter graduated with a B.A. from University of Oregon in 1988, continuing on to do graduate work in biology, chemistry and English. A lifelong student of beer, Porter studied brewing at University of California at Davis and has served as Secretary/Treasurer of District Northwest Master Brewers Association of America from 2008 to 2010.

Renowned in beer circles for his technical mastery, Porter’s experience at Goose Island has allowed him to focus on creativity and innovation. He says, “Goose Island has somehow retained an approach to beer that you often only find at brewpubs, an ultimate respect for the craft of brewing. John Hall is always encouraging brewers to first do what is best for the beer. It is the kind of environment where a brewer can focus on the craft and be creative to explore.”

In taking over the reins from Greg Hall, Porter says he intends to carry on Hall’s open-mindedness and innovative spirit. “When it comes to creative ideas, I have not heard Greg say ‘no’ even once. It is a philosophy that inspires a brewing team to think anything is possible, and I can tell you from experience that it makes for some pretty exciting discoveries.” Porter also admires Hall’s culinary connections in the Chicago community. “Greg is an integral and respected member of the great food town that is Chicago. The best way to tell you my desire to carry on this tradition is: I am hungry.”

Greg Hall is excited that Brett Porter will continue Goose Island’s legacy of innovation and growth. “Brett is a fantastic brewer,” Hall says. “His years brewing in the Northwest made him a perfect choice for Head Brewer last year and a natural choice for the next Goose Island Brewmaster. I’m certain under Brett’s watch, Goose Island will continue to brew outstanding, innovative beers.” Hall will serve as Consultant to the company, advising Goose Island on strategic direction, beer styles, marketing and brand positioning.

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