Friday, August 6, 2010

Recap of BA Event at Goose Island-Part 1

I finally made my much awaited trip to the monthly Beer Advocate event at Goose Island Clybourn.  In typical fashion I got there way too early and ended checking out the massive Binny's (formerly Sam's) adjacent to GI and picked up some Metro Krankshaft Kolsch to add to my haul (for future reference I'll bring larger format bottles and try to get a little rarer outside of Surly goodness). Seeing that this recap is going to be plenty long, I will split it into two parts with my thoughts on GI brewpub and their beers in part one.

Goose Island Beers/Brewpub Notes

After checking out Binny's (and again failing in the brief quest to get a beer tulip glass), I headed back to GI just in time for their weekly new beer release.  Following the sampling of the new Grahampagne (sp) Belgian Blonde (solid, the guys next to me at the bar loved it), I went for the brewpub only Midway IPA.

Flying away on a fun, beer filled night
A hoppy red colored IPA (6.8% ABV) similar to Surly's Furious, I gladly discover that Goose Island's brewing versatility includes producing a great IPA that deserves to be in the conservation with renown American IPA's like Furious.  The hoppy kick in Midway balances out nicely with citrus notes and makes for a relatively smooth drinker that I wisely consumed in small doses.

Sadly a small breeze of flavor on this street
Having time for one more beer before BA event begins, I choose another brewpub only offering in the Willow St. Belgian Wit (5.0% ABV).  Flavors of coriander, orange peel, and citrus notes dominate the traditionally styled Wit.  However, the flavors fade quickly in each sip and I would rather have the fruity/spicy flavors go overboard instead of underwhelm.  Proof that the brewers at Goose Island are indeed human (and giving them a pass on 312 as a necessary evil needed to lure non-craft drinkers), I do not plan on ordering Willow St. on future trips to Goose Island.

Late in the night I finally got some solid food to complement a night of full beer drinking (did enjoy their kettle cooked BBQ bar chips with Midway IPA).  After choosing the wrong but right Chorizo Quesadilla (tastes great, but the surprising spiciness did numbers with my stomach), I enjoy a dessert Oatmeal Stout as I remember loving this GI offering from the bottle.

Again, this blog needs to invest in a digital camera
Stout beers, even ones with relative low ABV's like the 5.2% of this one, do better with age and are not always best fresh (of course, I'll gladly keep trying new ones fresh on tap).  It was still quite enjoyable fresh, but I do not taste the sweet, chocolaty notes as much that I love in the bottled offering.  Also, after admirably soaking up my gluttony at the annual Pat and Vinnie Thanksgiving shindig last November, the Oatmeal Stout lost the admirable fight last night as I gladly did not have to worry about a motor vehicle on my way home (and hiccuped away entire bus ride back).

On that note, I will sum up my thoughts on Goose Island experience.  Along with GI's usual strong beers, I must commend the tremendous service and friendliness by all the employees (especially as well as I play the out of town tourist role at times).  The quesadilla was a little much on a booze filled stomach but still rather tasty and recommended for those stomachs that do not have the backbone of a politician.  Finally, the bar chips also tasted greatm but the BBQ flavor may have subtly started tying knots in my stomach from the jump.

Coming soon, Part 2 on the awesome BA event itself and reviews of the brews I sampled and enjoyed.

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