Posted on Friday, September 4, 2015 by Goose Island
CHICAGO and FENNVILLE, Mich. (September 4th, 2015) – Goose Island Beer Company of Chicago and Virtue Cider Company of Fennville, Michigan, announced a partnership today in which Goose Island will become the majority shareholder in Virtue Cider. Founders Gregory Hall and Stephen Schmakel will continue to be the creative and operational force behind the business. Virtue will utilize the facilities at Goose Island’s Fulton Street brewery for production needs – including bottling and packaging.
“For the past four years, we’ve worked hard to master European-style ciders made from fresh heirloom apples pressed in Fennville Michigan,” said Gregory Hall, Virtue Cider founder. “After mastering sought after ciders, we opened the tasting room and bottling shop in 2013 and we’ve continued to grow. With the support of Goose Island, we will expand production capabilities and distribution opportunities to enable further sharing of our award winning craft ciders with more cider drinkers.”
Since its inception in 2011, Virtue Cider has created an award-winning portfolio of craft ciders, including their flagship brand Red Streak and The Mitten, one of six traditional farmhouse blends that Virtue ages in one of the largest barrel programs in North American cider. Virtue Cider sold about 15,500 cases of cider in 2014, with Red Streak accounting for 34% of total production.
“We’re excited to welcome Greg Hall back into the Goose Island family,” said Ken Stout, General Manager, Goose Island. “Virtue Cider produces amazing award winning ciders and with our combined resources we look forward to innovating and growing the business together. ”
About Virtue Cider
Virtue is the hard cider venture launched in June 2011 by Gregory Hall, former brewmaster at Goose Island, and co-founder Stephen Schmakel. The company’s mission is to make European-style ciders from fresh heirloom apples—never from concentrate—and employ traditional farmhouse production methods that include native and secondary fermentation, use of wild yeasts, and an expansive barrel-aging program. For more information about Virtue Cider, head to www.virtuecider.com and find them on Facebook and Twitter.