Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Event: Goose Island Preview at Hay Merchant

I've had some folks ask me when I was going to be doing some more Craft Beer focused posts.  And to be fair, it's come up here and there.  However, I was recently contacted by the folks at Goose Island Beer Company from Chicago.  They were coming into town with some uncommon beers of theirs.  Christina Perozzi, their Goose Island Educator was there as part of a tap takeover they were running at Hay Merchant in Montrose.  Just FYI--it was part of a week's worth of events at several local Houston craft beer bars as part of their Migration into Texas, if you will, to use Ornithological references.  While 312 and Illinois IPA are available pretty well in Houston, they had a couple of great beers I'd not had the chance to try before, but I hope they will be back in Houston VERY SOON!

Although I was running late, thankfully they still had plenty of this great beer on tap.  I got a chance to meet with the Goose Island team, as well as talk with a couple of beer bloggers/radio show hosts from the Houston area while enjoying 3 very distinct beers from Goose Island.  I snacked on a great soft pretzel with Redeck cheddar cheese spread and shared some Nacho Fries from the Hay Merchant while these beers were responsibly enjoyed.  So feast your eyes on these glasses and read my tasting notes on the 3 Goose Island beers I quaffed, if you please!!!

Sofie--A Belgian Style Saison
Sofie:  This beer was particularly interesting to me as it's classified as a Saison yet it has a citrusy nose much like a Belgian Witbier.  It's more clear than cloudy though and you do get a hint of yeast in the nose.  The front note is definitely more citrus, followed by a bit of a twang.  Although it's not aged in wooden barrels, it reminds me a bit of cured wood.  The finish is clean, mellow, and is an overall refreshing beer.
Grade: A

Dark Wheat Ale 
Rasselbock:  This beer is a lovely dark and cloudy liquid that appeals to the eyes immediately,  with a decent head too!  The nose has an air of malt, plums and wood.  The front note has a fruity ester essence that's followed by a malty, woody note.  The finish is all Bock--reminds me of Shiner back in 1989, but a little bolder at the end.  Although it's classified as an American Wheat Ale, it's like a fusion of Bock, Belgian and Trappist per my palate.  Liked it quite well!  Grade: A

Bourbon County Stout
Bourbon County Stout with Intelligentsia Coffee:  I unfortunately missed out on the Bourbon County Stout when there was a very limited supply available at Spec's Downtown last year.  This elusive beer has been on my list ever since and I was beginning to wonder if I would have to haul myself off to Chi-town in order to drink a few of them.  There were 3 kinds of Bourbon County Stout--two different years on Draught  plus the Coffee stout in the bottle.  The Draught was all out by the time I ordered, so I got a bottle of the Coffee version.  As Goose Island allegedly originated aging stout in Bourbon barrels, I found this one to be A LOT like Saint Arnold's Bishop's Barrel 1, mixed with espresso--very bold, very sweet, strong bourbon notes, with a huge hit of mellow, well brewed coffee in the mix.  My fave of the bunch, just wish more were available in Houston.  Grade: A+++

Besides the Goose Island Crew, I also ran into a couple of the producers of Drink of Ages on 92.1 FM who were hanging out and enjoying Goose Island's wares as well!  That show is on Saturday Evenings from 7 til 8 PM and has featured many great folks from Houston's Craft Beer Community.  I'll be listening for sure!!!

I want to thank Christina Perozzi and the Goose Island Crew for having me come out and enjoy their beers, and I also want to add, Hay Merchant has some great grub!  I'll be giving them a proper review VERY SOON!

Drink Craft Beer, Y'all!!!

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