Goose Island

Local makes it big


Protect the brand’s soul as it scales.

In the world of craft beers, being seen as big can be a liability. So when Chicago’s neighborhood brewery, Goose Island, grew out of its early success to become acquired by AB InBev, its primary brand concern became how to retain authenticity in its home market and maintain credibility and loyalty among craft beer aficionados. VSA needed to keep Goose Island rooted locally while it scaled nationally—and to nurture a system of brands that enabled both.

Goose Island brewery exterior


Ground the brand system in local authenticity.

We captured the urban heritage of Goose Island and reframed the brewery’s hierarchy of brands through the unique nature of Chicago neighborhoods—with customer experiences defined for different occasions and corresponding beer styles. This inspired an updated brand expression system and a new generation of packaging for multiple product lines, providing logic and a “reason for being” for each. This led to national and local campaigns to introduce Goose Island and its brands to new consumers—including international markets—while staying grounded in its home market. Authentic urban heritage put Goose Island on the map, and helped the brand scale without losing its soul.

Our work included

  • Brand strategy
  • Architecture
  • Visual identity
  • Packaging
  • Expression system
  • Point of purchase
  • Broadcast advertising
  • Digital marketing
  • Out-of-home
  • Campaign activation
  • Environmental branding
  • Facility tours and brewpub design
  • Brand video
Goose Island interior bar