Is Goose Island Clybourn Flying the Coop?

In Beer News by Karl

Yesterday, Chicago Real Estate Daily reported on the rent troubles being had by the Goose Island Clybourn brewpub. Back in 2008 (three years before Anheuser-Busch bought the brand, but not the brewpubs) they went through a similar debacle but managed to come to a solution that allowed the brewpub to continue to operate on the site. We have to assume that was a five-year deal, because CRED says that the brewpub might be on the way out once again.

It’s been a busy year for the Goose Island family — they’re celebrating their 25th anniversary and you may have seen their Anniversary Beer on tap handles around Chicago — and earlier this year they brought former Flossmoor Station brewer Nick Barron on as Brewmaster for the two brewpubs to take over for Jared Rouben, who departed to start his own brewery. They even made an anniversary video feature, which you can view here:

We reached out to Goose Island directly to see what they had to say. While the rental dispute remains ongoing, they tell us that the brewpub will live on, even if it’s in a different location. In a statement from the company, attributed to Goose Island Clybourn owner John Hall, they said:

“We know how much this brewpub location means to the community and all of its employees, that is why we are working diligently with CRM to settle in a mutually agreed upon lease. Therefore, at this moment no decisions have been made, however, if a lease agreement is not settled soon we will keep our brewpub open, just in a different location.”

Goose Island also tells us that the company hopes to reach a resolution in the next few weeks, and have not begun looking for a new location. So don’t start salivating just yet, real-estate-agents-who-are-also-beer-fans.

Too bad the city knocked down the old Brand Brewery site north of the brewpub on the similarly-slanted-in-direction street of Elston. It could have been useful yet; instead it’s going to be another big-box retailer.

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About the Author


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Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Draft Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, comes out in early 2017, and if you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.