After expanding into Toronto with a Brewpub in July 2017Goose Island Beer Company announced today that it will enter into a Canadian brand partnership with Afrim Pristine, Maitre Fromager and co-owner of the renowned Cheese Boutique.

Goose Island and Pristine will work closely together to expand Goose Island’s presence in Canada, beyond their award-winning beer portfolio. Pristine, the only Maitre Fromager in Canada, brings unparalleled experience and enthusiasm to the Canadian food and beverage industry and will be an integral member of the Goose Island team in 2018. The collaborative partnership will include recipes and pairings, education around the pairings, events and ongoing brand support.

“Afrim felt like a natural fit for Goose Island and shares our passion for both classic and innovative methods of creating products that Canadians love,” said Bernard Priest, Head Brewer, Goose Island Toronto Brewhouse. “We are looking forward to collaborating and exploring new opportunities together this year.”

Cheese Boutique has been family-owned and operated since it opened on Toronto’s Bloor St. in 1970. Cheese Boutique is a 10,000-square-foot gourmet food store with an impressive cheese vault that Pristine manages thoughtfully.

“Cheese Boutique and Goose Island have a lot in common,” added Afrim Pristine, Maitre Fromager, Cheese Boutique “We are both growing and expanding while still celebrating our heritage and the pioneers that have provided the foundation we are working from.”

Goose Island is no stranger to innovative collaborations. From 1988 to today, Goose Island beers have won a variety of awards at acclaimed beer events including the World Beer Championships, World Beer Cup, World Expo of Beer and the Great American Beer Festival. The Chicago-based craft brewery opened its first Canadian Brewpub in Toronto with a state-of-the-art brewing system and 12 draught taps that feature Goose Island classics like Goose Island IPA, Goose Honker’s Ale and 312, as well as new varieties and beers brewed in-house by the Toronto brewing team.

About Goose Island
Goose Island Beer Company is Chicago’s original craft beer company. Since 1988, the brewery has thrived on continual innovation and a reliance on quality of ingredients. Goose Island pioneered barrel-aged beer with the renowned Bourbon County Brand Stout which sits alongside the well-balanced and award winning portfolio of beers including: Goose IPA, Goose Four Star Pils and the barrel-aged Saison, Sofie. Access to the largest contiguous hop farm in the U.S., Elk Mountain Farms in northwest Idaho, provides the Goose Island brewers with everything they need to live up to their mantra: We don’t need to be the only beer you drink. We just want to be the best beer you drink. For more information on Goose Island, please visit and be sure to follow the Brewhouse @goosetoronto on Instagram

About Cheese Boutique:
Cheese Boutique, a 10,000 square foot gourmet food store located in the west end of Toronto, has continued to provide a wide range of gourmet ingredients to customers and Toronto’s culinary community. A store that once started as a small mom and pop shop, expanded and grew into a family operated business providing a unique shopping experience, all due to the Pristine patriarch, Fatos Pristine. Now, in its 48th year, Cheese Boutique contains the cumulative knowledge of four generations whose expertise and influence has earned accolades locally and abroad from the culinary community and Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste FromageFrance.

At Cheese Boutique prosciutto hangs from the ceiling, truffles are flown in every Wednesday, foie gras locked away, beef is dry aged minimum 40 days, 80 different terroirs of olive oils, jams made from green walnuts and Artisanal breads baked in-house daily. With 500 cheese selections, Cheese Boutique is one of the original retailers who double as “affineurs” inside the Cheese Vault, curing some of the oldest wheels in North America.  Cheese Boutique is located at 45 Ripley Ave, Toronto. Hours of operations: Mon to Fri 9am to 7pm and Sat and Sun 8am to

Afrim Pristine Bio:
Afrim Pristine is Canada’s premier cheese expert and owner of the Cheese Boutique, with over 23 years of experience in the art of cheese making. From studying with some of the world’s greatest cheesemakers like Luigi GuffantiStefano SartiCarl SchiltJean-Paul Morin as well as hands on training from his father and world’s most renowned dairy farms, Afrim’s passion and commitment stems from his father and family business of 48 years, Cheese Boutique.

As one of the world’s youngest “Maitre Fromager”, an honour bestowed in February 19, 2013, by the France based Guilde Internationale des Fromageres, an exclusive association representing more than 5,000 dairy professionals worldwide, Afrim is the only Canadian to receive this title, awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional cheese knowledge and recognized within their community.

Prior to that achievement, Afrim was also the youngest Canadian recipient to the “Chevalier,” a distinction from the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste Fromage de France (March 2007), following an upgraded status to “Officier du Fromage” in April 2010. He was also awarded with Top 30 Under 30 in the Food Industry by Ontario Hostelry Institute.

Afrim is actively involved with charities and foundations he’s passionate about including CAMH, Sick Kids Hospital, Women in Capital Markets, Toronto & Etobicoke Humane Society, St. Joseph’s Hospital and more. He’s also instrumental in continuing to build relationships and collaborations with some of Canada’s top chefs and restaurants including Momofuku, Langdon Hall, Canoe, La Palma, Scaramouche and Piano Piano to name a few and chefs such as Michael Bonacini, Mark McEwen, Daniel Boulud, David Chang and Lynn Crawford.

Afrim’s media appearances include The Marilyn Denis Show, City TV’s Breakfast Television, CTV’s Your Morning, Food Network, and expert consulting for Top Chef Canada, MasterChef, Chopped Canada and more. Most recently, he was honoured as top 50 Most Influential People in Canadian Food by the Globe and Mail, July 2016, and named top 10 Most Influential People in the Food Industry by LCBO Food & Drink Magazine.

When he’s not busy making cheese in nine different countries, Afrim enjoys spending time with his dog Henry and catching a few Chicago Cubs games. Afrim is currently working on completing his cookbook focused on all things cheese, available October 2018.

SOURCE Goose Island Beer Company