On our recent trip to Chicago, Michelle and I made a slight detour on the way home to stop off at the Goose Island Clyborn Brewpub. With 25 different beers available on tap or in bottle, we knew it was going to be fun to try beers that we cannot usually find back home.
This was our first visit to Goose Island and it was well worth the time. The layout of the beer menu has the beers divided up into categories of flavor: Refreshing, Session, Malty, Hoppy, Belgian and New World. The menu gives food pairings based on these categories and we split an order of Sweet Potato Fries which seemed to work with the different selections we had.
We each tried a sample of 4 different beers poured 4-oz tall. My selections were:
Six (Session) – This was my least favorite of the 8 samples. It seemed a little off and basic. For a low alcohol beer, it just didn’t have enough structure in my opinion and gets a
S.O.B. (Session) - A nice Bitter with good solid balance and very little hoppiness.
Naughty Goose (Malty) – This cask conditioned beer was one of my favorites, this had a nice chocolate malt flavor that exploded in the upfront taste. This was like a stop at UDF for a malt. Nice and smooth and easy to drink.
Midway IPA (Hoppy) – Nice citrus with hops up front, in the middle and on the end. Not much else to say, but this impressed with it’s flavor.
Michelle went a little sweeter and selected:
Willow St. White (Refreshing) – Unfiltered wheat beer had a little more bitterness than Michelle’s favorite (Bell’s Oberon) but still had nice spice to balance the usual wheat flavor.
Hefeweizen (Refreshing) – Another wheat beer, but it had more concentration on the banana flavors.
Fleur (Belgian) – I think this was the overall favorite of Michelle and high on my list as well. This was crafted with a similar approach to the Grassroots ale from Great Lakes. This uses hibiscus tea leaves to add an incredible amount of spice to the beer.
Wheatmiser (New World) – A 9.1% AbV was a nice finish to the two samples as the sweetness made this a desert beer. This was one to be enjoyed in small quantities (it’s sold in an 8oz snifter) It was also on the possible growler list, but we doubted we could finish it in time.
Overall, this was a great stop and we left with a growler of the Fleur and an extra empty growler for our friends over at Hoperatives. I’d recommend the trip if you are in the Chicago area and want to try more brews than we can get in the Cincinnati area. Goose Island gets a nice as both Michelle and I were able to find beer we liked.
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