Beers from AB-owned Goose Island are growing even bigger in China.
When Goose Island sold to Anheuser-Busch in 2011, many of us expected that their beers would soon be brewed out of A-B plants in places like Baldwinsville, NY and Fort Collins, CO — which they were.
Nearly seven years later, reports have emerged in the last couple days about a new craft-focused brewing facility from ZX Ventures — the venture capital arm of AB InBev — opening in Wuhan, China. That brewery is reportedly going to brew three A-B owned brands — two Chinese labels along with Goose Island beer.
Per this story from China Daily:
A new brewery opened in China by Anheuser-Busch InBev looks set to bring the art of craft beer making even closer to Chinese consumers.
The central city of Wuhan, Hubei province, was selected by the world’s largest brewer as the site for its new brewery dedicated solely to making craft beer, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region.
ZX Ventures, the craft beer division of AB InBev, opened the doors to the new facility in Wuhan last week, where it began to produce tipples from three of its leading breweries – Goose Island, Boxing Cat and Kaiba.
Food Navigator Asia adds that this is the second brewing facility for A-B in just three months, with the opening of a larger plant in Putian in early December, capable of producing “1.5 million metric tonnes of beer.”
We’ve reached out to High End representatives for clarification/confirmation on which beers will be brewed abroad at this new plant. They were unable to confirm by press time. but based on the photo accompanying the China Daily story (shown above) the initial beers will likely be their core offerings: Goose IPA, Honkers Ale and 312 Urban Wheat.
UPDATE (12:30pm, 2/9): A High End representative confirms that the Wuhan facility will be brewing IPA and 312 “for starters, probably more to come.”
Goose beers being brewed in China and elsewhere around the world actually isn’t that new — though until now, their beers have only been produced in limited amounts at their brewpub like this one in Shanghai, (which also offers a “Temple Golden Ale” and a “Wujiang Porter”). Other international Goose Island brewpubs include locations in London, Sao Paolo and Seoul.
Given the aggressive nature of A-B’s expansion into China, we’d expect other High End brands to begin coming out of the Wuhan facility as well. With the ever-expanding reach of Goose Island’s beers, it’s possible that Honkers and 312 could eventually be the biggest international cultural export from Chicago since Barack Obama and Michael Jordan.