Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Brewery Review: Goose Island - Chicago, IL

This will be my first of many brewery excursions. I will list each beer, rate and have a BRIEF tasting description of each one. Some may have been previously tried in another trip and never rated, others I may avoid altogether (though rare). I'll try to do a Brewery every 10 beer posts.

This was a double trip to the Goose, one during a summer weekend home to see my grandparents and uncle in from Australia. The other was with Jen while I spent my last week in Chicago before school.
Here we go:
Chicago Saison: Ambered yellow. Yeasty, yet citrus aroma with hints of malt character.Similar to grapefruit along with some tropical notes.
Hex Nut Brown: Chocolaty aroma with subtle sweetness. Bitter at the start but strong bourbon/molasses's finishing maltiness.
Tripel: Yellow with pale cloudinnes. Bright and hoppy throughout, but transitions throughout the tasting to take on many notes. Finishes dry.
Farmers Special: Ambered and uniquely bitter with a toastiness of IPA caramel and toffee, hop combination. notes of raisins. -- Not sure what the special actually was though.
Shai-Tea: Lighter than the last but very prominent flower tones with lemon-like sweetness. Apparent ginger taste.
Oatmeal Stout: Black. Uncarbonated. Malty and burnt finish with roasted coffee bitterness. followed by creamy mouthfeel. Well done.
India Pale Ale: Pale amber. Tastes more like a pale ale. Floral notes. Finishes grassy. Aftertaste long and drawn.
Black Imperial IPA: Dark and potently robust bitterness. Finishing coffee flavor but overwhelmingly bitter from IPA and stout standards.
Greenline: Bitter and malty followed with raisin tannin like bitterness, yet somewhat fruity. Finishes smooth and caramel malt with mild carbonation.
Golden Jet: Crisp and refreshing. Tastes more lagered than anything else to note. Finishes yeasty but a clean aftertaste.
Goose-A-Peel: Wow. Uniquely delicious with sure notes of fresh orange. Never tasted something like it. Sweetness of clementines complements alcohol.
Liquid Inspiration Stout: Strong and very apparent coffee and chocolate taste/aroma. More sweet chocolate than other stouts. Finish is plainly bitter.
Hefe-Hawks Win: Rich caramel malt with wheat, banana, clove and raisins apparent with a tart nose. Longing aftertaste. Clouded. Spicy. Good in extremely limited amounts.
Willow St. Wit: Lightest beer. Lemon aroma and mild yeast to complement. Unique lemon peel, coriander bitterness.
Honkers Ale: Smells Nutty with toffee. Creamy texture and refreshing taste/mouthfeel. Finishes with a sweet and clean bitterness.
Grahampagne: Grape overtones. Blonde color. Wheaty taste followed by Belgian style beer aromatics. Flat at first but carbonation comes in to fill. Sugary.
Pere Jacques: Deep Amber. Really sweet, fruity and caramel malt help balance its complexity. Not even hot! Rich toastiness and biscuits. Finishes clean and refreshing.
Bordaeux Wheatmiser: Grape wine really penetrates this one. Extremely tart and mellow. Starts sweet and finishes dry. Same color as Pere.

Overall I really enjoyed the Goose Island experience. Though the service could have been better, their food is fantastic (pub chips) and it's an ideal hangout complemented with a restaurant, fully available bar, stocked apparel and memorabilia section, party room and back side beer room. Both times I got the back area with booths right by the bar. A great place to order a cheese plate and taste beer all day! We spent 5 hours there during one visit. Ultimately what got me the most was the way Goose Island is working things. They're actively incorporating the community with complementary running events and "beer fun runs" and using local ingredients from the farmers market each week and incorporating them into pilot batches for the public. Check them out:

Brewery experience: 47/50

1 comment:

  1. Goose Island runs the way a lot of the breweries in Colordo seem to run. Very cool. The Goose-A-Peel was my favorite. Refreshing and interesting at the same time. Often, those two adjectives don't go together in beer descriptions.