For the 3rd Year in a row, Goose Island Brewing Company has descended upon the Bay for their Annual Migration Week events. Their goal, according to events manager Jesse Valenciana is to “Take the culture of Goose Island on the road with an event born out of passion for beer.” Look for Goose Island to be showcasing some of their newer, rarer and unusual beers, as well as some classics. One of which was one of the most deliciously complex beers I’ve ever had…
Think of it as a big beer roadshow. And I know what you might be thinking though…”Isn’t Goose Island owned by Anheuser-Busch?” Yes, they are. But AB has allowed Goose Island to remain largely autonomous in their business and process, while stepping in only on macro-business processes. Point is, there’s still quality beer being made by quality people. So it’s time to get over your beer hipsterdom (I did) and relish in the goodness of Migration Week. Here’s why:
The Bourbon County Stout Series
I could probably make this entire post The Bourbon County beers and it’d be enough reason to get excited. Holy shit! All of these imperial stouts are aged in 8 year bourbon barrels from Heaven Hills distillery (Elijah Craig, et al) and boast a chocolatey flavor and complexion that linger boldly after every sip. (Rumor has it, that a beer aged in 30 year bourbon barrels could surface in the near future too.)
Yesterday’s kick-off event at Amsterdam Cafe featured the classic Bourbon County Stout, a Bourbon County Coffee Stout and the big winner of the night, in a Bourbon County Vanilla Rye Stout. The latter of which is one of the most complex beers I’ve ever had. The vanilla was bold, yet balanced. There was the subtle aroma of the rye barrels in which it was aged in to go with a creamy head and true vanilla flavor. Cellar Master Brian Taylor, explained that "Bourbon county is already notorious for having vanilla and we added whole vanilla for this one...40lbs per barrel." The beer got tastier as time wore on and I even woke up with it on my mind (real talk). It’s a beautiful beer from a fine series.
Classic and New Beers From Goose Island
Like the excellent Sofie Farmhouse Ale, partially aged in wine barrels with orange peel. Or The Ogden Tripel with solid bite and flavor and the innovative “My Shout,” a killer Australian sparkling ale that finished my Monday night off like a champ. It’s slightly tart and super lively...I coulda drank a hundred (maybe.)
Events Galore All Week
- Tuesday (5/5) “Celebration of Beer” at the Willows (1582 Folsom, 7-9pm) - Meet the brewery team and try some rare and classic Goose Island Beers
- Weds (5/6) “Barrel to Bottle: The Bourbon County Stout Timeline at 83 Proof (83 1st St 5-7pm) - get schooled on Bourbon County Stout, barleywines AND bourbon. Sample rare bourbon and beer.
- Weds (5/6) “Sweets & Sours” at Soma Eats (186 2nd St, 7-9pm) - Learn about and try wine barrel aged Goose Island Beers paired with desserts from Soma Eats.
- Thurs (5/7) “Celebration of Beer at City Beer Store” (1168 Folsom St #101 7-9pm) - yet another opportunity to come out and drink more Goose Island Beer.