A-B InBev is stepping up its focus on craft beer

A-B InBev is stepping up its focus on craft beer

Goose Island founder & CEO John Hall is stepping down at the brewer to help establish a craft beer advisory board at parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev).

The move, confirmed to just-drinks today (19 November), sees A-B InBev focus greater attention on the craft beer category in the US. The global brewer bought Chicago-based Goose Island for US$38.8m last year.

Tony Bowker, Goose's COO is also leaving the company, along with Hall, to sit on the advisory board. The board will be led by A-B InBev's North America president Luiz Edmond and Paul Chibe, the group's US chief marketing officer.  

“Our company’s role in the high-end beer segment is growing and enabling us to reach a new and growing consumer base that has wide-ranging beer tastes and interests,” Edmond and Chibe said in an internal company notice, seen by just-drinks. 

“To help guide this growth, we are proud to announce the establishment of the Anheuser-Busch Craft Advisory Board.” 

Earlier this month, the company confirmed the launch of Budweiser Black Crown - a 6% dark variant of its flagship beer. 

Meanwhile, Andy Goeler will take the role of president & CEO at Goose Island, starting on 1 January. Goeler, currently A-B InBev's Import, Craft and Specialty VP, will report to Chibe.

He has been working with the Goose Island team for the past year, according to the announcement. Goeler, a 30-year A-B veteran, will take on expansion of the brand nationally, “growing the brands the right way”, the statement said. 

Adam Oakley will replace Goeler as Import, Craft and Specialty VP, also effective from 1 January.

Oakley is currently director of Mission 6 brands and transferred to Anheuser-Busch in the US in 2010 from the UK team of A-B InBev.