Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beer Review - Goose Island IPA

Welcome to my very first beer review! In this particular field, I'll defer to the experts - the Albino Rhino Beer Reviews and Ben's Beer Blog are two that I tend to frequent for expert opinions on beer reviews.

So please bear with me on this maiden voyage into beer reviews. The folks at Goose Island were kind enough to send me their new IPA to try, which incidentally now available in the Beer Store and LCBO.

Full disclosure - Goose Island was initially a craft brewery based in Chicago. Since then, Goose Island was bought up by Anheuser-Busch, but they continue to market themselves as a craft beer.

While some craft beer drinkers absolutely loathe macros that masquerade as micros, I really can't take issue with Goose Island here as they initially established their roots as a microbrewery. Goose Island wasn't purchased from Anheuser-Bush until 2011.

So with that bit of background and information in mind, on to the actual beer itself. If you're not an IPA fan, a beer like this is certainly an acquired taste. At 5.9 ABV, it's on the lower end of boozy IPA's, but I wouldn't necessarily consider Goose IPA as an entry-level IPA.

As the Albino Rhino said in his review, it's a graduated step above entry-level IPA's. If you've had something like a Muskoka Detour and want to venture a little further down the rabbit hole, Goose Island IPA would be a natural progression.

As far as IPA's go, it's really not all that bitter which leaves it on the lighter side. The typical hophead may not gravitate towards a beer like this, but this may be a good gateway for someone looking to expand their beer horizons.

At 52 IBU's, it provides a hoppy flavour but doesn't leave an overly-hoppy finish. Once it leaves your mouth, there's relatively little aftertaste and doesn't leave a lingering feel on the tongue. There are other IPA's I've had where it seems like my taste buds were shot after only one beer.

With Goose Island IPA, I feel like I could still drink a few of these and I wouldn't get what I've dubbed as the "fuzzy tongue effect" that some IPA's cause. As an IPA fan that tends to drift towards the hoppier beers, this one seemed fairly middle-of-the-road.

The colour itself on the beer was nice as it had a mild amber tone to it. In this instance, it was poured from the bottle, so I'd only be working from memory as to what it was like on tap.

If I had to compare this beer to another on the market, it would probably be Alexander Keith's Hop Series. I can't exactly place which one Goose Island tastes most like (the Cascade Hops maybe?), but it's definitely close to them.

It should also be noted that Goose Island is now one of the new offerings at the Rogers Centre for Blue Jays games. I tried it at the Home Opener and thought it was miles better than the usual selection at the dome. In my opinion, if you're going to fork out the $11.25 for a beer at a Blue Jays game, it should be for one of these.

Unlike most of the beer offerings at the Rogers Centre, Goose IPA actually has some flavour. Now that this beer is available, I'm going to find it extremely difficult to justify spending $9.75 for a Bud Light that's a mere $2.40 at the LCBO.

To the best of my knowledge, Goose Island is fairly prominent at most of the Major League ballparks in the United States, and now Goose Island is slowly infiltrating its way north of the border as well.

According to Beergraphs, Goose Island IPA ranked as the highest rated beer in three of the 30 MLB ballparks last season. It topped the charts at Citi Field, Yankee Stadium and the O.Co Stadium.

I kind of wish this IPA was available in single tall cans at the LCBO, but at the moment it's only around in 6-packs at the LCBO and 12's in the Beer Store.

I don't know if I could commit to drinking a 12-pack of these myself, but at the very least ... if you frequent Blue Jays games, you should definitely give this one a try.