THE GOOSE ISLAND BLADDER EMPTIES

Except, you know, in a pint glass.

Only a few hours after Brother Barley, Slouch Sixpack and Herr Hordeum posted an All Beers Considered finally putting to bed the Goose Island buyout by Anheuser Busch, the Goose explodes into the news again. Except this time, it’s in a much weirder way.

These are the facts, as reported by the Chicago Tribune: On Friday night, when I was coincidentally in Chicago as well, former Goose Island brewmaster who just stepped down, Greg Hall, was enjoying a few frosty beverages at one of Chicago’s new beer hotspots, Bangers and Lace.

Everything was fine. At least, everything was fine until Hall pulled out his wang and started pissing into empty beer glasses. One may presume that Hall had drunk quite a bit this evening–he reportedly filled two 8 oz glasses, which he then placed on the bar.

Matty Eggleston, a bartender at the bar, then apparently asked Hall what was in the glass. To quote the article:

“I said, ‘Hey what’s this?’” Eggleston said. “He said, ‘Beer.’ I said, ‘Perfect, let’s have a toast before you go.’”

Hall declined, Eggleston said, took the glasses and set them on a ledge near the door. Eggleston said he offered Hall a few choice words and then Hall left.

Minutes later, Eggleston said, he went outside to throw out the glasses – “They were done at that point in my mind,” he said – and saw Hall sitting in a car parked on Paulina Street.

“I tapped on the glass, he rolled down the window and I just said that I wanted to introduce myself as they guy who had to clean your urine off the bar,” Eggleston said. “I told him to enjoy his newfound fortune and have a great night.”

Pretty unbelievable, right? Hall, apparently not a total douchebag, apologized pretty much immediately the next day, sending a message to Eggleston via his snazzy Facebook profile that reads “I apologize for my outlandish behavior last night. I enjoyed myself at Bangers and Lace very much, the beer selection is tops as was our service … I’m very sorry to have ruined the night as I did. No excuses, just sincere apology.”

He also apparently had a case of Goose Island’s new imperial stout, Big John, delivered to Bangers and Lace. Eggleston, though, was having none of it, saying “It was disgusting, vile and revolting. We all do dumb things; that went to a level that was pure insult.”

In this, I can partially agree with him–I wouldn’t tolerate people pissing in my bar, nor would I welcome that person back later. In terms of apologies, though, Hall couldn’t really do much more. As far as “I’m sorry I peed on your shit” goes, how can you say it any nicer?

The question I really wonder about the most is what was driving Hall this particular night to such a despondent-sounding level of drinking? Is it regret or remorse about possibly having been forced out as Goose Island’s brewmaster? Perhaps he’s not as eager to leave and “do other things” as he previously claimed. Is this a guy with a previous history of public nudity? We don’t know. All we know is that this is one weird story, and in curious timing to the Anheuser Busch buyout. I personally think the bartender could have come off as a little bit more sympathetic, but I have a feeling I might react the same way.

What do ya’ll think? How would you react to a local beer celebrity pissing on your bar?

EDIT: I posted this story on the Goose Island facebook page. It was deleted/removed within five minutes, which is unsurprising, I suppose. Perhaps Anheuser has put its media team in charge, over there.

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7 comments

  1. Mike HG · ·

    I’m happy to see that Greg has “manned-up” by apologizing to the bar and bartender, along with a nice gesture of good will with the free beer. He could have pulled the old card of “I was wasted, don’t really remember what happened, and sorry to bother you.” But if he was coherent enough to drop drawer and nail 16 ounces of piss in two different beer glasses without much notice, then he must have been still somewhat aware of his actions. If that’s the case, the man may want to lay off the booze for a while and figure out why he’s such a bitter drunk. As for the bar, bartender, and bouncer, Greg better stay the hell out unless he is looking for an ass-whooping. But hey, keep sending them free beer because the bar might throw a special on goose this weekend, and I’ll be dragging my sorry ass up to Wicker Park if that’s the case.

  2. I enjoyed that comment, Mike. It reads like a pre-fight interview with Mike Tyson, when he’s threatening to eat people’s children.

  3. Jaydles · ·

    Dear Commander Chug,

    I read this post to suggest that protocol would dictate that you owe me one case of beer, plus the 13ish years of interest accumulated since college.

    Your fake big brother.

  4. Aha, it’s a metaphor! That’s why he chose the 8 ounce glasses, to symbolize the 8oz of piss that’s in every 12oz can of Bud (The rest I assume is just filler).

  5. Kid Carboy Jr. · ·

    As I understand it, the beechwood aging takes most of the piss flavor out.

  6. CZAR VLADIBEER S. BOOTIN' · ·

    In my country, urinating in club is compliment to ladies working there. I have trough at one of my cabarets in estonia and is most popular places!

  7. [...] hotspot Bangers and Lace. I learned of the incident Monday when our Johnny-On-The-Spot Kid Carboy recounted the episode in his usual humorous but measured tone. As one who has made some questionable (OK, awful) decisions [...]

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