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Review: Goose Island Brewpub, Chicago


My visit to Goose Island Brewpub was one of the culinary tourism features in my Destination Guide Beyond Boystown: A Perfectly Gay Weekend in Chicago

Founded in Chicago in 1988, Goose Island is one of the most successful craft breweries in the Midwest and produces some of the most popular, and award winning, beers in America. Since 1989, Goose Island beers have won a variety of awards at acclaimed beer events including the World Beer Championships, World Beer Cup, World Expo of Beer and the Great American Beer Festival. 

The Windy City’s  famous craft beer began with a trip across Europe, when Goose Island founder John Hall took a tour across the continent. Pint by pint, he savuored the styles and selections of brews in every region, and thought to himself, “America deserves some damn fine beer like this too!” Largely recoganized as the grandfather of the American craft beer movement, upon his return John settled in Chicago and got brewing. He first made stellar beer and then invited his customers in to watch his process at the brewery, bringing them behind the scenes every step of the way. The result was a new fascination with craft brewing, and beer that not only catered to people’s tastes, but challenged them as well.

Last year I was first introduced to Goose Island at a media tasting at Nota Bene. I had the opportunity to sip through glasses of Sofie and Matilda, the brands two iconic brews, sold in stoic wine bottles. Was love at first sight! I made a promise to the brewer who had flown in that morning, “next time I visit Chicago I’ll be sure to pop by your brewpub.” Seriously, twist my arm.

Goose Islands lively brewpub can be found at Clybourn in Lincoln Park. My visit felt a bit like a pilgrimage and featured a memorable sud sloshed beer tasting paired with spicy sriracha wings and  fromage + charcuterie board duo. The visit was made extra special as the World Cup Final Argentina vs Germany played out during the course of our visit. While sipping through the brewpubs exclusive Willow Street Wit and Victory IPA we were entertained by hoots, hollers and the odd F-Bomb as a rowdy crowd sat glued to the boob tube. Footy fans splished and splashed hop forward ale which offered an aromatic perfume, an energized ambiance and stellar culinary experience I won’t soon forget.

Special thanks to Choose Chicago for hosting me as their guest.

The Feast:

Beer Tasting

lanesplitter, willow street wit, victory ipa, 72-72, hagglethorn, sophie, matilda

Whiskey Business

heaven hill bourbon, house sour, all purpose ipa, bitters

Local Lemonade

veev acai spirit, lemonade, green line pale ale

Spicy Sriracha Wings

wasabi aioli

Charcuterie Board

cotto salami, country pork pate, nocciola salami, lomo, house pickles, grainy mustard, artisan bread

Cheese Board

bellavitano cheddar, big ed gouda, blue paradise, strawberry preserve, artisan bread

Goose Island Clybourn on Urbanspoon

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