Chicago’s Oldest Brewpub Is Back Online

Vintage Ale Bar at the revamped Goose Clybourn

Unbreak My Heart: Goose Island Clybourn is back! It’s a little similar but has a different personality for sure. Both the cellar and loft seating are gone, replacing those are a bigger brewhouse, in fact, 1800 N. Cylbourn is now called Goose Island Brewhouse. After 2 years at Blue Point Brewing in Long Island, NY, Todd Ashmann has also returned and is running operations as President of Goose Island. Craft is always evolving. Goose didn’t need to make changes to stay relevant, but the consensus from Goose staff was that it needed a refresh.

The plan was to make necessary infrastructure updates, give it a contemporary feel and still maintain the soul of the old pub. Since 2014 we’ve seen the closing and reopening of both Goose Wrigley and Clybourn. Here’s a look at the newest changes to the company’s original location.

1800 N. Clybourn

Bourbon County Stout all year up in here

Vintage Ale Bar
It’s elevated more intimate section of the restaurant. Only 6 taps that will focus on barrel aged beers. If you want anything from the menu that isn’t in the Vintage Ale Room a bartender can order it for you from the main bar. Classic posters of Matilda and Sofie were recreated for this room. A leather-etched backdrop adorns the wall with a map of the Fulton production facility, The Barrel Warehouse and The Goose Island Brewhouse. This bar’s focus will be The Sisters (Lolita, Madame Rose, Juliet, Halia) and the Bourbon County Brand Stout lineup. No TVs in this bar, its a conversation bar.


Private Dining Room
Since 2001 this room has probably changed names the most. Once known as The Great Hall, Siebel Hall and the The Karl Strauss Room. The big change is there is no staircase leading to The Loft (because there is no more loft). You can see directly into the new extended brewhouse that has been upgraded from 10 to a 15bbl system. First up is an ESB w American hops, then a Belgian Blonde based on Demolition 1800 called Renovation 1800. An IPA and a dry hopped wheat ale inspired by the Goose Brewhouse in Seoul Korea will follow that.

President Todd Ashmann, Pub Brewmaster Jon Naghski


Main Dining Hall
With the removal of The Loft and the Cellar Hall there was a lost of about 70 seats in this room. From the process side there is now a big shiny imposing brewhouse to admire from this room. A 15 bbl two-vessel steam system replaces the direct fire unit before it. Everything brewed here will be served in-house. The cooler system sits below the Private Dining Room. The new open kitchen layout means that now the main bar area has more table space.

Keller Marzen


new open kitchen layout

Private Dining Room

Fulton and Wood draft only, Chicago only series

The Patio
Back in the late 80s this was an actual outdoor space where staff would take buckets of beer to drink after close. The most photographed piece in the old space was the Goose tile art entrance way piece installed into the wall. That piece is now the only artwork in The Patio. ..also not complete sure we are still calling this space the patio room.


The new Director of Pub Operations, came from 10 Barrel Brewpub in Portland that opened the week of Craft Brewers Conference 2015. After spending more than 20 years there he and his wife are excited to live in other parts of the country. Mike will oversee the Philadelphia Goose Island Pub after Clybourn reopens to the public. He was with Cascade and Deschutes prior to 10 Barrel and comes from the hospitality/ consumer experience side of the business.



reclaimed wood and no TVs in the Vintage Ale Bar

merch booth, host stand

Stilton Burger in slider form

Chef Marcus Rassmussen


Other Notes:
-Monterrey (Nuevo Leon, Mexico), London, Shanghai, Toronto, Philly, Sao Paulo all now have Goose Island locations.

Limited Release 750ml bottle releases, The Farmers Market Infusion Series, The Holiday Toy Drive, Stout Fest and Belgian Fest are all scheduled to return.

-Both Goose Island Fulton and the original Clybourn Pub opened on a Friday the 13th

-Brussel sprouts flatbread with marcona almonds and honey was my favourite food item from the preview event.

-Infrastructure needs like new brewing system and a total gut rehab of the kitchen, new HVAC and networking are what drove conversations about closing for renovations. It made sense to just add a facelift and get rid of the old English pub feel of the original bar.

-Chef Marcus Rassmussen has been on board since March, he came from Perennial Virant and the JP Parker Chicago Rooftop Bar before that.  

-The classic Stilton Burger was in slider form just for the launch it will return to full size the public opening.

-No more Pub Chips they are being replaced with house cut fries.

-The closure was estimated to last 3 months but ended up taking 10.

-Capacity is now 330 down from 400 persons

Welcome Back Clybourn


Beverage Consultant, Co-Host of the Chicago Beer Pass Podcast, The Neat Pour Podcast, Co-Founder and heartbeat of the Chicago Beer Geeks..@nkosio on twitter

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