Goose Island, from Chicago, is an important brewery. It’s one of the most widely distributed craft breweries, but it’s also a little controversial. That’s because it is now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer – maker of the likes of Budweiser, Stella, Becks and other uninspiring beers. It also means that by the US definition of craft beer, Goose Island is no longer a craft brewery (no more than 25% of a craft brewer can be owned by a non-craft brewer).
It all started in 1998 when John Hall opened a Chicago brew pup. The main brewery was opened in 1995, and a second brewpub in 1999. AB InBev bought the company in 2011, and everyone expected the beers to become blander and less interesting. After all, this is normally what happens when big brewers buy small ones. But, so far this hasn’t happened. The beers are still really good, and you can buy them in supermarkets.
Goose Island IPA Chicago
Bronze colour with a hint of red. Really hoppy with notes of pine, citrus, passionfruit and sweet malt. The palate is fresh and zippy with some malty depth. Lovely balance here with the hoppy bitterness keeping things in tension. There’s a little sweetness but overall it’s very fresh with pine needles and warm herbs adding complexity. 8/10