Josh Noel

Josh Noel is the author of "Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch and How Craft Beer Became Big Business" and writes about travel and beer for the Chicago Tribune.

The back cover

Wrangling quotes for the back cover of a book — blurbs, as they’re called — is a wrinkle of book writing that strays far from what inspired the project. It's more akin to marketing. But it becomes hugely necessary, an orgy of praise to hopefully gleam a little brighter in a torrent of 21st century distractions.

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A 25-year-old (or so) Goose Island menu

Step into the craft beer time machine and a house salad costs a mere $2.50. Nachos come with "Goose Island's own salsa of chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and cilantro." And the hamburger ($5.95 then; $16 now) is "Pure Angus beef topped with your choice of cheese (Wisconsin cheddar, blue, Swiss, jalapeño, jack or American), bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions and anything else you can think of, all on an onion roll." Of course, most interesting was the beer …

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John Reading

John Hall, founder of Goose Island Beer Co., on the porch behind his Chicago townhouse on a warm September afternoon, reading a draft of "Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out" for the first time, for fact checking purposes.

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