Goose Island has been full of news lately. First, news that they're killing distribution of their Nut Brown & Oatmeal Stout. While I think both of those are good beers, I can't think of the last time I had either of them. I think Bell's Best Brown is a better option for an English Brown Ale (though is only available seasonally), but also quite enjoy Samuel Smith's Nut Brown as well. Regardless, I was initially surprised to see the brewery put an end to the distribution of beers that provide 40% of its year-round selection. But with such a heavy focus now by beer enthusiasts on limited and seasonal releases, it makes sense to focus on more lucrative and marketable products.
Additionally, Goose Island explained on Facebook that "in the competition for fermentation capacity, tap handles, and shelf space, Nut Brown and Oatmeal Stout have been disadvantaged by the increasing popularity of hoppy, wheat, sour, and barrel aged beer styles. We are grateful for the few loyal aficionados who have enjoyed our old friends until the end. To you, we can offer only assurance that the Goose Island brewpubs will continue to brew regular batches of both beers and offer them by the pint and by the growler to enjoy at home."
If you're interested in the evolution of Goose Island, you may want to attend Barleys' next Beer School this coming Monday (April 19th) at 6pm. It'll be held at the Overland Park location and costs $8 per person. To get your tickets, call 913-663-4099.