I used to drink Goose Island beer only on my visits to Chicago. I thought it was a regional brewery limited to Illinois, but when President Obama was elected in 2008, I started seeing Goose Island on the shelves in DC. Coincidence? I’m not sure, but I thought it was cool that when President Obama arrived in DC, so did beer from Illinois and Hawaii (Kona Brewing Company) — Obama’s previous home and place of birth, respectively.
I’m a HUGE fan of Goose Island brews. I’ve been to the Goose Island Clybourn brewpub many times — its one of my favorite destinations in Chicago. I’ve also enjoyed many bottles of Goose Island, mostly Honker’s Ale. It’s my go-to brew when I’m in Chicago — you can always find Goose Island on draft at Chicago-area bars and restaurants. Goose Island is to Chicago what Sam Adams is to Boston.
So I was pumped when I started seeing Goose Island at Magruder’s, my DC beer store. On a recent visit, I picked up a mixed case of:
- India Pale Ale, a 2010 Gold Medal Winner at the World Beer Cup. Enough said about this excellent IPA (5.9%).
- 312, like the digits suggest, it’s a beer that’s densely populated with flavor and loaded with character; dubbed an Urban Wheat Ale (4.2%).
- Honker’s Ale, an English Style Bitter (4.2%); Immensely drinkable, Honker’s Ale is not only the beer you can trust but one you’ll look forward to time and again. I couldn’t agree more. This is a pleasant session beer.
In addition to these solid everyday beers, Goose Island makes some Vintage Ales and Vintage Reserve Ales. I’ve had a few of these at the brewpub and seen them on the shelves at Magruder’s but have never tried them in the bottle. I think I just added a new item to my beer to-do list!