How do you say “We only want to be the best beer you drink” in Mandarin?
According to a recently-published report in the Shanghai-based English-language lifestyle publication CityWeekend, Goose Island is planning to open a brewpub in a new complex in central Shanghai.
“The biggest news we’ve landed is that Goose Island will be opening their own brewhouse at the end of 2016, housed in a two-story 1,200sqm space located in new development Fengsheng Li on Maoming Bei Lu and Nanjing Xi Lu. Goose Island beer will be brewed on site and they’ll introduce a barrel aging program. In addition to select craft brews, a dedicated chef will be presenting a menu of dry aged steaks, grilled in an imported Josper oven from Spain, along with pickled items and cold cuts.”
Also apparently opening in the same complex: A White Castle outlet, “a couple doors down from the Goose Island brewhouse.” (Honkers Ale and sliders probably pair fairly well together, actually.)
We reached out to Goose Island to confirm or deny the report, and their response was decidedly non-committal, with a representative simply telling us that “unfortunately there’s nothing to share at this time.”
Even prior to this report, Goose has been making strong recent inroads to Shanghai — their Migration team spent two weeks in China this year, spending a week in Shanghai before moving on to Beijing with a pop-up bar, beer dinners and tasting events in both cities, along with Goose Island Block Parties. Goose also recently made the 2015 version of Bourbon County Stout available in China as well.
If the reporting is correct, it would be the first venture outside North America for the nearly-30-year-old Chicago-based brewery. We also believe it would be the first brewing operation from an American brewery to open in China.
However, this wouldn’t be the first non-Chicago based outlet for the brewery, nor would it even be the first international Goose Island outlet — The ownership at A-B has announced plans to build Goose-branded brewpubs in both Philadelphia and Toronto, and Goose recently rebranded a bar at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas as a Goose Island Pub.
Other American breweries have targeted Europe for some time — Brooklyn runs the Brooklyn-Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie) brewery in Stockholm, Stone Brewing recently opened their facility in Berlin, and Three Floyds has their Warpigs brewpub in partnership with Mikeller in Copenhagen. Many breweries also ship American craft beers to China.
Beyond Goose? A-B doesn’t just have plans for GI brewpubs. In addition to the ongoing expansion of Goose’s brewpub program ,the unit in charge of running their many craft acquisitions, A-B’s High End division, is also currently working 10 Barrel brewpubs in San Diego and Denver.
If you’re wondering if it’s just a matter of time before other High End breweries including Elysian, Four Peaks, Breckenridge and Blue Point have far-flung brewpub locations of their own…you’re not alone.