Brewmaster Exodus Means Rebirth and Regeneration on Chicago Craft Beer Scene


For the past several months, Goose Island has been losing many of its pre-Anheuser Busch employees. The exodus has reached its climax with the loss of one of Goose’s most prominent figures – Brew Master, Jared Rouben.

Rouben was with the brewery for four years.  For three of the four years he has been creating beers inspired by food and chefs from the Chicago area. He has worked with Rick Bayless, Stephanie Izard and Mindy Segal.

Many of the brews that he and others have created used ingredients that are typically not used in beer making.  His more interesting beers included a green strawberry India pale ale and a baby carrot Belgian wit.

He is leaving the Goose to create his own taproom and brewery.  He plans on continuing to create beers inspired by foods and with the help of chef collaborations.

This will be profound addition to the craft scene in Chicago.


John Laffler and Dave Bleitner of Off Color Brewery. (Photo from Chicago Tribune)

A couple months earlier, John Laffler – who also worked at Goose Island with barrel-aged beers – announced the opening of a brewery with a Two Brothers brewer, Dave Bleitner.  Their project is called “Off Color Brewing”, which is inspired by 500 years of beer craftmanship.

Old German recipes that disappeared when the German government began regulating the way beer was made inspired them to begin this project. The duo hope to have beer ready to serve by March.

For those who love Chicago craft beer, keep eyes and ears tuned to this brewery; these guys know what they are doing!