Brett Porter, the Brewmaster at Goose Island Beer Co. has had a busy tenure. He came to the company from Deschutes in late 2009 as Head Brewer. Within a couple of months co-founder and former Brewmaster Greg Hall had announced his resignation to go into the cider business and Porter found himself at the helm of one of the Midwest’s largest craft breweries. Shortly thereafter Goose Island was sold to ABInbev, a move that drew heavy criticism from many in the beer world. It was a lot for the new guy to take on.
So far, the ABInbev merger hasn’t changed the beer coming out of Goose Island. It has allowed them to expand production of their Vintage series and invest in equipment to insure better and more consistent results in their Brettanomyces-fermented beers. Porter has instituted an intensive program of research into the workings of this “wild” yeast strain, which to me is fascinating stuff. Porter talks at length about that research in this interview, as well as about his efforts to include the entire staff of the brewery in the creative process. A warning, this one gets pretty geeky.