Goose Island to close Balham site ahead of London brewpub launch

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Perfect location: Goose Island founder John Hall said the Shoreditch site was where the company's first venue should have been
Perfect location: Goose Island founder John Hall said the Shoreditch site was where the company's first venue should have been
Chicago-based brewery Goose Island is to close its South London Balham pub, ahead of the opening of its new brewpub in Shoreditch later this year.

The Goose Island Tap House, which originally operated under the title of The Vintage Ale House when it opened in 2016, will officially close on 13 May, according to a post on its Facebook page.

“The Goose Island Tap House will be closing its doors in Balham [south London] on 13 May,” the post read.  “Fret not though! We’re opening up a brewpub in Shoreditch so we can brew fresh beer here in London.”

In a statement, Goose Island Beer Co international president Ken Stout said that focusing on scaling up operations in Shoreditch was the primary reason for the closure of the Balham site.

Focus on Shoreditch

“This is definitely not ‘goodbye’, it’s just a ‘see you soon’,” he said. “Balham was our first 'home' in the UK, but this year we’re scaling up our operations and opening our brand new brewpub in the heart of Shoreditch, where we’ll be living out our dream of brewing on-site.

“Our team will be making small batch beers right in front of your eyes, and serving-up pints from our classic and award-winning range too. We’re pumped!

“A big thanks to everyone who shared in the good times with us in Balham over the past year and a half. We can’t wait to see you at our new Brewpub opening in late summer!”

In an interview​ with The Morning Advertiser​ earlier this year, Goose Island founder John Hall admitted the brewery “had been a little bit ahead of ourselves” in opening The Vintage Ale House, and insisted that Shoreditch was “where we should have been in the first place”

Brewpub details revealed

“We opened the Vintage Ale House in Balham a year and a half ago, and it wasn’t exactly the place I would have picked, and I told them that,” Hall said. “But we opened it and I think we may have been ahead of ourselves a little bit.”

“When it comes to Vintage Ales and Sour Sisters, London isn’t the place to start doing stuff like that. That has to start smaller. So what we are doing in Shoreditch makes all the sense in the world. That is where we should have been in the first place.”

Goose Island’s first brewpub in the UK will open in Shoredtich in late summer 2018, and will have its own dedicated brewer producing small batch Goose Island beers exclusively for the venue.

The venue will operate at a limited capacity, with nearly all of the beer being brewed for consumption on site. Goose Island’s core range of beers will be available, but the focus will be on the recipes brewed on-site.

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