As Ken Stout, Goose's Consumer Experience Director puts it: "we're the largest craft brewery I know of that doesn't do tours. It's time to change all that." It's true. While there are ample private events, block parties, and other shindigs that offer a chance to see the Goose Island production facility and barrel warehouse, until now there's been no way to roll up to the somewhat obscure industrial stretch at the corner of Fulton & Wood and get a peak, let alone a taste.
When the Goose team hinted that they had something special they wanted to show me, I figured it was a new coat of paint and some sign-painting. But the plans Ken Stout and the team have secretly been working on for over a year are far more ambitious. A tasting room right off the street, glass garage doors, daily tours and tastings (eventually, just a couple days a week to start). And yeah, that new paint job I imagined is happening, but it'll be a complete facade overhaul with new branding and artwork that'll surely let passersby know where the brewery is. The scale of the project is impressive, if not a little intimidating, for the quiet little industrial corridor they've been hiding in for years.
"We've brought our trade partners is here for years, and held some private events, but we really wanted to let people know where the production really happens in Chicago, and give them a chance to see it and taste it. This is where we call home."
I can't wait to share more as it develops. But for now, here's a little gallery of images of some of the Goose folks doing their best impression of "Office Space" and lining up some long-overdue swings. I'm guessing the rest of the week went pretty chill over there after working out some pent-up aggression. I took a few swings myself.