I guess no one calls up and suggests going out for “a quick Manhattan.”
Or if they do, they don’t do it with 12 of their friends from college. Or you don’t bring the whole workforce down to have champagne after work. You go grab a beer.
Sometimes, I think some people in the brewing community get a little too passionate about one brewery versus another brewery. It’s all beer, and beer’s good. Michael Jackson taught me a very valuable lesson the very first time I saw him. He was doing a beer tasting, and he had a list of seven or eight beers. One of the ones I had not had before was from a Midwestern brewer that was not distributed in Chicago, so I was super-excited to try it. It was so cool to see Michael Jackson for the first time. But he skipped the beer that I wanted to taste the most, didn’t say one thing about it. Afterwards, I said “Michael”―no, I probably called him “Mr. Jackson” back then―“what happened to the porter you were going to pour?” He said, “Well, I tasted it, and it didn’t taste the way it’s supposed to.” And I said “Why didn’t you let everybody else try it?” and he said “I knew the brewer wouldn’t want us to taste it that way, so I skipped it.” He was the original advocate for beer. He rarely said anything cross about anybody’s beers.
There were too many good things to say.
Absolutely. There are so many good things to say about beer, why bother talking about the things you don’t like, when there are so many things to like?
Ten or 15 years from now, what will be going on with Goose Island and with you―replacement knees permitting?
Hopefully, I will have the same knees in 15 years. I’m quite sure that craft beer as a category will continue to grow. The most exciting thing is, what will come next? Beer’s gotten hoppier than anyone ever expected it would get, then barrel-aging goes nuts, and Belgians are going nuts. Now sour is the new hoppy, as I tweet about once a week. What else does beer have to conquer? I don’t know. But it’s going to keep going.
America is full of entrepreneurs who want to do something different: it’s why people got on the boat in the first place. Nowhere is that more true than in the craft beer industry, and it’s thrilling to be a part of it.
We were working on a saison brewed with lavender, and we’re like, that’s cool, I don’t think anyone’s brewed with lavender. Then somebody I know from Europe calls me up, and he says, “I just had a beer from the Bruery in California brewed with lavender.” Damn. They beat us. But that’s great, too. Is wine coming up with anything like this? No, not at all.