#gooseisland – PorchDrinking.com
When calendars turn to a new year, the barrel-aged beer craze tends to die down just a little with most of the breweries having already released their clean bourbon barrel-aged rarities to the public. With so many breweries now producing barrel-aged beers not just in the winter months, but year-round, where does this style go from here?
With Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout now fully released and Revolution’s Deep Wood series with one more small release in January, we can take a step back and see how these beers stacked up against one another this year.
In no way am I saying that these are the best and only barrel-aged Stouts coming out of Chicago that we should talk about this season. However, when you have two behemoths like Revolution and Goose Island in one city, it’s hard not to compare them side-by-side with their biggest releases.
If Greg Hall hadn’t been at a Beer, Bourbon and Cigar dinner with Jim Beam’s Booker Noe when Goose Island was nearing its 1,000th batch of beer, who knows if we would have Bourbon County Stout today?
Eight different Bourbon County Stout variants will be available come Black Friday this November, however, the official announcement from Goose Island had several surprises.
While there are still 137 days until the 2018 batch of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout will be released, the hype has started with the approval of a variety of labels by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau last week.
When Goose Island was sold to Anheuser-Busch in 2011, the craft beer industry was a sliver of what it is today. Just a handful of breweries were operating in the city and the idea of a hazy beer would have been blasphemous.
While it seems that Illinois is celebrating craft beer every week of the year, there’s one week in May that is set aside to specifically recognize the role that the Prairie State is playing in the greater world of craft brewing.
With more than 200 breweries within its city limits, Chicago’s brewery scene can be a bit overwhelming for newcomers or tourists visiting the city for a weekend. Thankfully, many breweries have started to take the guess work out of where to visit by joining together to create uniquely branded brewing “neighborhoods” that offer beer drinkers a structured map of several breweries in close proximity to each other. It’s more a branding play than anything, but it does help each brewery in the allotted “district” brand themselves as being part of the collective – adding extra appeal to those who want to make a day out of walking to several spots in one day. The breweries in the Ravenswood neighborhood were the first to pioneer the idea in Chicago, as the adeptly branded “Malt Row” offers drinkers a robust list of unique breweries and beer styles from the likes Dovetail, Begyle and Band of Bohemia, all located within a near mile radius. Now, Chicago’s quickly growing West Side is getting into the picture with the newly created “Chicago Brewing District,” which includes beer giant Goose Island, GABF-winner On Tour Brewing, large contact brewer Great Central Brewing Company, All Rise Brewing and Finch Beer.
Chicago has always been a weekend destination as people look to explore the city’s rich history, culture and of course, have a slice of deep dish pizza. It’s also now a place where craft beer fans can indulge in the wide array of breweries that the city offers. If anything, it might be overwhelming when trying to think of how to tackle all the breweries within the city limits. Spoiler alert—it would be virtually impossible to visit every single brewery in a weekend.
So if you’re coming to Chicago for a weekend, here’s a guide on how to get the most out of the Chicago craft beer scene in a limited amount of time. Understand that like I said above, it would be virtually impossible to do every brewery, so I had to leave some out. It’s nothing personal and you can alter this itinerary however you like. You’ll also notice that there are no suburban breweries on this list. I’ll be doing another itinerary in a couple of weeks that will focus on just suburban breweries—don’t worry guys, I didn’t forget about you!
All the big names were at the Goose Island Brewpub for the return of Stout Fest. While well-known and established breweries like Half Acre, Pipeworks, Goose Island and Revolution were pouring some great stouts, it was a small brewery from Bloomington, Ill. that stole the show.
About a year ago I wrote how in 2017 I was going to stop cellaring beers and enjoy them fresh. The article got way more exposure than I would have ever thought and it brought out some pretty strong emotions in people—both for and against cellaring.
2017 will undoubtedly go down as the year of the tap room for Chicago craft beer. Big names that have become synonymous with beer in the city finally opened their doors to the public. Off Color Brewing, Metropolitan Brewing, Maplewood and Half Acre’s new production facility are just to name a handful of places you can now go drink where you couldn’t before.
As you rub your eyes and nurse that pounding headache, it’s time to reflect on another year of FoBAB. The nation’s largest gathering of barrel-aged beers is always the marquee event to hit Chicago’s beer scene. Once again, FoBAB lived up to the hype by bringing together some of the country’s most sought after beers and putting them under one roof for thousands to enjoy.
With the 15th annual Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beers (FoBAB) less than a week away, the weeks and months leading up to this year’s event have been different than in the past. With a price increase and the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild releasing the brewery lineup before the event for the first time ever, there seems to be more talk about FoBAB than in recent years.
Surrounded by bottles of past years’ Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout and the Sisters in their Barrel Warehouse, about 30 people or so prepared to taste the entire lineup of 2017 BCBS. After a conservative release of just four variants in 2016, in front of us were six snifters of the black liquid that so many covet every Black Friday.
The pillars are gone. John Hall is gone. The cozy, public house atmosphere is gone. But, the revamped Goose Island Brewhouse oozes elegance; it’s clean, modern and sophisticated. You won’t see any Anheuser Busch InBev (ABI) signs in the taproom, but evidence of the company’s influence is impossible to miss. It’s hard not to ooh and ahh at the grander things in life, like an expensive sports car or a large home — the new Goose Island Brewhouse exemplifies that concept.
Quick Sips is our way of highlighting beer events, tap takeovers and other notable beer news around the city of Chicago. If you’d like to submit something to be included in the next Quick Sips, please email us at [email protected]
Quick Sips is our way of highlighting beer events, tap takeovers and other notable beer news around the city of Chicago. If you’d like to submit something to be included in the next Quick Sips, please email us at [email protected].
On Monday July 3, Goose Island will have its largest release of the year. Alright, maybe there is a bigger release in November; but Goose will release four new beers into the market on Monday.
In 2016 Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout release was subdued over the issues that plagued the 2015 release which saw four of the six variants have souring issues. With a smooth release last year, Goose has ramped up the BCBS release for 2017 and will introduce seven different versions of the beer.