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.

Reviews, Interviews & Press



A "briskly written narrative ... accessible introduction to the business of brewing ... On the one hand, as Mr. Noel spells out, craft won the war by forcing the world’s largest brewer to change. On the other, it lost by being commandeered by that very same company. How one feels about that odd state of affairs seems these days to have more to do with one’s values than drinking preferences." — The Wall Street Journal

• "Beat writers spend a lifetime hoping to create a book only half as good as this one, and drinkers will finish reading with a deeper appreciation for beer history, business, and the future. Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out is the masterful result that happens when a proper newspaperman gets his teeth into a story." — Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

• "Josh Noel has spent seven years working on a complex and spiky narrative: the transition of Goose Island from indie champion to corporate hood ornament ... and delivers the most interesting industry book I can remember reading." — Beervana

• "Noel’s is a shockingly honest book about an industry where actual journalism is rare — especially given the beverage business’s $350 billion economic footprint ... that an objective, warts-and-all retelling of a beer-business tale exists at all warms my heart. Anecdotes as simple as an employee pitching a Goose-branded cell phone case into the trash on the day of the sale speak to the heart of Noel’s book. He covers tons of ground, but keeps enough of an eye on the humanity of Goose’s story ..." — Chicago Magazine

• "What makes the book imminently readable is that Mr. Noel combines an interest in gripping personal stories with astute business analysis. Moreover, he provides his readers with perceptive descriptions of craft beer’s culture: the dope smoking, the leisurely and congenial ways, the flip-flops and short trousers. Goose Island was no exception. Hence the changes in practices at the brewery instigated by AB-InBev after the takeover — drugs tests, safety regulations etc — serve as powerful examples of the far bigger changes Goose Island underwent after it became corporate." — Brauwelt International/Dr. Ina Verstl

• "Noel's focus is Goose Island, but he provides a broad and meticulously researched look at the big picture, including a history of Anheuser-Busch and its gradually evolving attitude toward craft beer. ... One of his greatest feats is organizing the book in such a way that it delivers a ton of information (including one of the best explanations I've read of the three-tier system of beverage distribution) without being dense or dry. Especially compelling is Noel's account of John Hall announcing to his employees that he's sold the brewery to Anheuser-Busch and the stunned, angry reactions that followed." — Chicago Reader

• "Noel’s book is a must-read for any craft beer fan, beer media personnel and of course anyone in beer — macro or craft. I learned a lot about an industry I’ve been writing about for nearly six years and have found myself using what I’ve learned from the book in my conversations about beer that I have on a daily basis. A 300-plus page book reads incredibly quickly as you keep telling yourself 'just one more chapter tonight.' — PorchDrinking

• "Fans of good beer will enjoy Noel’s explorations, which make for a useful cautionary tale ..." — Kirkus Review

• "The book reads easily and allows you to feel as if you’re privy to exclusive information about the internal workings of Goose Island and the deal that was made to make them part of the largest beer company in the world ... recommended reading for anyone who wants to know more about how the craft beer industry has grown and what we’re likely to see more of, as buyouts become more common." — Craft Beer Time

"At times I rooted for Goose Island. Then, a few pages later I found myself rooting against it. Same for Anheuser-Busch, if you can believe it ... Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out is a fascinating read. Craft-beer enthusiasts and beer history buffs will find a lot to like in this book." — Utah Beer News



• ”Talking craft beer sellouts' with the guy who wrote the book on them” — The Takeout (food site of The Onion) 

“The globalization of local craft beer” — Worldview, WBEZ 91.5 FM (Chicago NPR affiliate)

“Chicago Is Now The Nation’s Brewing Capital” — Morning Shift, WBEZ 91.5 FM (Chicago NPR affiliate)

• Guest appearance on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Chicago Stories” podcast (SoundCloud link; press release)

Discussing Anheuser-Busch's march to the top of the craft beer industry (based on an article in the Chicago Tribune) — WGN 720 AM Chicago

“Does 'Selling Out' Make a Difference You Can Taste?” — Interview with public radio program To the Best of Our Knowledge

"Chicago Tonight" television interview — WTTW-Channel 11

• Two-part podcast interview with The Full Pint website — Part I and Part II

"'Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out' is the beer version of the Bible story of David vs. Goliath — if David gave up the fight and joined the board of Goliath, Inc." — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Interview with a Danish beer blogand the review.

Chatting with the legendary Rick Kogan on WGN 720 AM Chicago

"‘Craft beer is a smokey, fowl mouthed teenager’ — an interview with craft beer writer Josh Noel” — The New Chicagoan

Interview with WDCB, 90.9 FM (DuPage County)

• Having a Beer with ... Josh Noel — October (a website owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev!)

• Chatting about Goose Island and Bourbon County Stout — ABV Chicago podcast

• "Is big business taking over craft beer?" — WLS 890 AM

• "Josh Noel on his new book, Goose Island, and 'selling out' in the craft beer world" — Wisconsin State Journal

A chat with Come and Brew It Radio, a Texas craft beer podcast 

Interview with the Smokin' & Toastin' podcast dedicated to "craft beers, distinctive distilled spirits and fine cigars."

• Interview with AM 970, NYC


Other coverage

• Beer Me Anything: An ongoing discussion thread with Josh Noel at BeerAdvocate

• "Five Things I Learned About AB-InBev While Reading 'Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out'" — Paste Magazine

• "Craft beer made in Bud Light tanks: The story of 'Selling Out'" — Detroit Free Press

• "... an incredibly detailed, intricately woven story few readers, beer fan or not, will want to put down." — The Manual 

"... a long overdue examination of the 'selling-out' phenomenon that annoys so many craft beer fans." — Toronto Star

• "... a fascinating history of the brewery and the craft beer revolution it helped foment." — Chicago Magazine

• "How Goose Island sale to Anheuser-Busch changed craft beer is detailed in new book by Tribune beer writer Josh Noel" — Chicago Tribune