It’s official: we have a new brewmaster. Starting May 15, 2019, Keith Gabbett will become Goose Island’s fifth-ever brewmaster. Keith is a Chicago-trained brewer who has been part of the Goose team for a decade, most recently holding the position of head brewer, overseeing our Barrel, Brewing and Cellar program. We sat down with Keith to ask all the questions we know you’re dying to ask him:
Where are you from?
KG: I grew up in Warsaw, Indiana and moved to Chicago in 1999.
How long have you been brewing?
KG: I started brewing over 15 years ago, first at home and then professionally in 2007 after receiving my diploma in Brewing Technology from the Siebel Institute of Technology.
How long have you been with Goose Island?
KG: I’ve been with Goose for a little over 10 years and was most recently head brewer overseeing our Barrel, Brewing and Cellar program. I’ve also had a direct hand in sourcing and managing the hops we use for all our beers. Some folks might even accuse me of being a hophead.
What are you most excited about?
KG: Honestly so many things, but having the opportunity to build on the great work done by Jared and the other brewmasters before him. I know I have a lot to bring to the table and I’m excited to work with the team to build on the rock solid foundation we have at Goose.
In your 10 years with Goose, what beers are you most proud of?
KG: Gillian is still one of my favorites. I came up with that recipe within my first year and half with the company. Gillian is a strawberry blonde beer so we got the idea to name it “Skully” after Gillian Anderson from the X-files. Gillian actually worked at the front of house at Clybourn so we had a great connection there. Turns out we couldn’t legally call the beer “Skully,” so Gillian was born!
How does your background impact the philosophy you’re going to bring to Goose Island?
KG: Beer is about community and reaching people where they’re at. That means keeping everything on the table and listening to people whether they’re brewers or fans or anyone else. There’s always been a great, unique culture at Goose Island that sets us apart. Protecting that and helping it continue to grow is mission #1.
What trends do you have your eye on?
KG: Nothing is off the table so I’m really excited to see where that leads us. One thing I’ve been watching in particular is the “better for you” space, so keep your eyes open for innovations in that genre.
Join us in raising a glass to Keith and this new chapter for Goose Island.