Saturday, October 26, 2013

Goose Island Releases Their Barrel-Aged Wild Ales

Goose Island announces the release of their limited batch barrel-aged wild ales, with two new additions to the "Four Sisters".

Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago
Press Release: Oct 16, 2013

 This month, Goose Island Beer Company is unveiling four Belgian-style wild ales from its diverse and creative portfolio.  The Chicago-based beer company will debut two completely new barrel-aged farmhouse ales called Gillian and Halia, and release the 2013 vintage of the much sought after sour ales, Lolita and Juliet. With select national availability, these Goose Island creations will be part of the brewery’s Vintage Collection, which includes award-winning beers like Sofie, Matilda and Pere Jacques. Each of the barrel-aged ales features a unique story, locally sourced fresh fruit and exceptional, complex flavor profiles.

Gillian was inspired by an amuse bouche that was often prepared by the wife of Goose Island Brewer Keith Gabbett. New for 2013, Gillian is a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale that brings together fresh ingredients sourced locally from family farms in Michigan and Illinois. Gillian is partially aged in wine barrels with 10,000 pounds of strawberries, 4,000 pounds of honey and white pepper. Its refreshing effervescent body is slightly tart and is complemented by a pronounced white pepper note that folds nicely into the sweeter hints of strawberry and honey. Gillian is 9.5% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.


Halia, Hawaiian for “remembrance of a loved one”, was brewed by Goose Island Brewer Brian Taylor in memory of a dear friend who loved peaches. New for 2013, Halia is a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale aged in wine barrels with 12,000 pounds of fresh peaches, sourced locally from a family farm in Michigan. The result is a bright, effervescent beer with a soft, hazy body that finishes slightly tart and a little sweet with the pleasant character of ripe, juicy peaches. Halia is 7.5% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.


Juliet is fermented with wild yeast Brettanomyces, and aged in wine barrels with 9,000 pounds of blackberries, sourced locally from family farms in Michigan. Tart and fruity, with complex notes of wood, tannin, dark fruit and spice, Juliet is a unique choice for beer and wine drinkers alike. Inspired by the sour beers from the Cantillon Brewery in Belgium, we named Juliet after the sister of the owner and fourth generation brewer of Cantillon – homage to a gracious host on many travels to Belgium. Juliet is 8.0% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.

Lolita is a rose-colored Belgian Style Pale Ale fermented with the wild yeast Brettanomyces and aged in wine barrels on 30,000 pounds of fresh raspberries, sourced locally from a family farm in Michigan. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and a crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise. Lolita is 8.2% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.

 "We’re incredibly proud of the depth and breadth of our barrel-aging program and excited to introduce two new and incredibly tasty beers to our fans with Gillian and Halia,” said Brett Porter, Brewmaster for Goose Island Beer Company. “The passion our brewers have for innovative brewing is unparalleled and it’s evident in their new creations.”The sours are part of Goose Island’s wine barrel-aging program, which began in 2007 with a small 10-barrel batch of Juliet. The brewery has introduced several more beers aged in wine barrels since then including the award-winning Lolita, Madame Rose and Sofie. Goose Island now ages a variety of styles in thousands of barrels each year. Over the course of a year - the brewers at Goose Island sample, score and test beer from the barrels on a weekly basis – waiting for the flavors to peak before creating the final blend.

 “Creating and blending our barrel-aged beers takes an incredible amount of skill, time and effort – as much art as it is science,” said brewer and Goose Island Head of Innovation Mike Siegel. “Creating these new beers is truly a labor of love; I feel lucky to be a part of a brewery where innovation is celebrated and encouraged.”

Friday, October 18, 2013

Jack-O Traveler Shandy

 In an effort to find new ways to bring you new content, this quick sampling is  brought to you courtesy of my new LG smartphone...
 Jack-O Traveler is the latest release from The Traveler Beer Co. As if we really needed another "Pumpkin Pie" Ale, our Shandy brewing friends have decided to toss their proverbial "Pumpkin Head" into the fray. With the scary number of beers already fitting this profile, it's become quite difficult to bring anything new to the table. "Jack" rides down the same cobble stone road traveled by many, many headless brewers before him. As you would expect, the story of this beer begins with a malty Amber Ale to which they add the usual array of characters, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove etc. The one twist is the addition of lemon peel, which adds a bit of tartness and gives the beer that signature shandy flavor. "Jack" shows his true colors as he warms up, becoming a much more complex sensory awakening. Although the flavors become more pronounce, all this does is make for an even more tedious "B" horror film.  Cheers!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Goose Island Harvest Ale

 Goose Island makes their way into Fall with the seasonal release of  "Harvest Ale". Harvest Ale is an American take on the traditional English ESB. ESB's, or Extra Special Bitter as they are commonly known, take "top dog" status in  the English Pale Ale category for their higher bitterness and gravity rating. However by U.S. standards these beers would be considered tame. Interesting to note that English brewers choose not to put their best foot forward with ESB, but rather in the "Best Bitter" category. Here they would brew their finest products using far more premium ingredients at lower IBU's and ABV's.

 Harvest Ale pours a rich copper color with a off-white frothy head. Its aroma is a blend of caramel and nut, with some musty hop overtones. Its flavor is malt forward with those sweet caramel and nut characters ever-present. The hops provide mild bitterness with hints of citrus and pine. The mouth-feel is mild in body with rather low levels of carbonation. This is a common characteristic of  English Mild's and Bitter's. Cascade is the Hop of choice, and well balanced against the 2-Row, Wheat, Caramel and Pale malts. Harvest Ale checks in at 5.7 %ABV and 39 IBU's and is available Sept.-Oct. I enjoyed Harvest Ale, because of its mild bitterness and crisp drinkability. It makes for a great transition from those hot summer months into the cooler weather leading into, well, OKTOBERFEST of course!  Cheers!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BrewDog Releases "Mix 8" & "How to Disappear Completely"

The awesome Mix Tape 8 our amped up, blended, barrel-aged triple IPA & the second outing of our killer imperial mild, How To Disappear Completely.


 An epic fusion of age old Belgian tradition, American new wave brewing and the world of Scotch whisky.
Mix Tape 8 is a blend of two huge oak aged beers – half a hopped up Belgian Tripel, and half a Triple India Pale Ale. These beers have both been aged in single grain whisky barrels for close to two years and finally blended to create a beer that our head brewer Stewart Bowman can most helpfully describe as ‘fucking complex’.


First seen back in 2009, How to Disappear Completely is back – but with a few new moves.
We’ve dubbed this 2.8% beer an ‘imperial mild’ because it’s mild on alcohol but unquestionably imperial on flavour. Dry hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo this is an ale with a big character that belies its small ABV.