It pays not to be greedy.
A lengthy lawsuit against Goose Island Beer has finally ended in Goose Island’s favor. The plaintiffs rejected the brewery’s $8,000 peace offering for infected Bourbon County Brand beers sold in 2015, Chicago Tribune reports.
In November 2015, Goose Island suffered a bad batch fiasco when its annual release of Bourbon County Brand Stout, Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, and Bourbon County Brand Barleywine were found to be infected with Lactobacillus acetotolerans, a harmless but flavor-changing bacteria. (Lacto is the same bug you’ll find in many sour beer styles, like gose and Berliner weisse).
Goose Island swiftly offered refunds to consumers for the funked-up barrel-aged beauties, but two Massachusettes men, Jeff Roach and Scott Kaplan, claimed they were unable to get the refunds, and sued Goose Island. The brewery responded by offering checks of $5,000 for Roach and $3,000 for Kaplan, the “maximum amount possible” (they had spent a fraction on their Bourbon County bounty, by the way). The men deemed this insufficient. Their lawyers pressed on, returning the checks and demanding more.
Goose Island’s lawyers said the mens’ claims were “moot,” because Goose Island had offered the plaintiffs all it could provide, and the judge agreed. Case: dismissed. Checks: gone. Guys: good job.
Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune writer and author of “Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch and How Craft Beer Became Big Business,” sums it up quite nicely on Twitter:
Beer bros buy a bunch of Bourbon County.
Beer is bad.
Goose Island sends them a lot of money.
Bros want more money.
— Josh Noel (@hopnotes) June 15, 2018