(Chicago, IL) – Goose Island Beer Company Founder, John Hall, announced at the company’s quarterly meeting on Thursday that he is stepping down from his role as CEO.
According to a source, Hall will be part of a newly-formed “craft advisory board” at A-B InBev along with Chief Operating Officer, Tony Bowker. The source also says that Bowker is vacating the COO position. Neither Hall or Bowker have responded to a request for comment.
The source also says that A-B InBev has appointed a new CEO to take over Hall’s post, Vice President of Import, Craft and Specialties, Andy Goeler.
Hall’s decision to step down comes twenty months after Goose Island announced that it would be sold to A-B InBev for $39 million. At the time, he wrote of the sale:
“Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers, and beer lovers. This partnership between our extraordinary artisanal brewing team and one of the best brewers in the world in Anheuser-Busch will bring resources to brew more beer here in Chicago to reach more beer drinkers, while continuing our development of new beer styles. This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success.”
Hall reflected on the sale back in July during an interview with The Brewing Network.
Sales have soared in the time since the acquisition and Goose Island has outsourced production of core brands to A-B InBev facilities, allowing the company to focus on the production of high-end beers at its primary facility on Fulton Street.
In September, the company began reorganizing and let go of some salespeople and other staff.
As that was happening, Goose Island was in the midst of an ambitious national rollout through the Anheuser-Busch network to all 50 states. That process will wrap up toward the end of this year.
What some craft loyalists are already dubbing as the beginning of the end is just another life milestone for Hall who recently turned 70 years of age. He began his undergraduate education at the University of Northern Iowa in 1962. He didn’t start Goose Island until 26 years later in 1988.
All the same, news of Hall’s move comes on the same day that Fortune Magazine posted a feature piece on big brewers entering the craft beer segment. Earlier in the week, Lagunitas founder and CEO, Tony Magee, publicly called out the company and later said that craft beer is at a “precarious inflection point.”
Fasten your seatbelts.
Update: more on Goeler, who recently turned 55, via a Forbes profile:
Since 1995, Mr. Goeler has held various positions in the Sales and Marketing Divisions at A-B, including responsibility for managing the marketing efforts behind A-B’s flagship brands, Budweiser and Bud Light. Mr. Goeler earned a Master’s Degree in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Master’s Degree in International Business from Webster University. On June 28, 2011, Andrew Goeler submitted his written resignation from the Board of Directors of Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc., effective June 29, 2011.