Goose Island – Harvest Ale

Harvest Ale

Harvest Ale

From what I can see, Goose Island seems to be a rather enthusiastic brewer, and widely available in the Chicago area and even beyond. Producing a solid range of year round beers they also produce seasonal beers as well as craft beers. From anecdotal evidence Goose Island is somewhat popular in the Chicagoland area; it has two brewpubs, there seems to be a Goose Island tap in every bar (certainly the ones I go to), and the bottled versions are available in a huge variety of stores. This probably means that, from the point of view of these tasting, this beer will not be the last of the Goose Islands

The Beer: 5.7% abv, 33 IBU; Golden brown, copper in colour, matches the leaves at this time of year; little or no traces of gas rising; has a fabulous aroma, very earthy, somewhat fruity; I found the taste intensely bitter at first, the earthy tones are full on in the taste, smooth/soft in the mouth, almost ‘flat’ when it comes to the gas; aftertaste has the same bitterness, but does not longer too much

It reminds me of a version of the Opat ‘extra bitter’ I tasted a while back, almost as if the earthy tones came from extra hops added towards the end of the brewing process. If you can imagine doing some digging in soil at this time of year, the aroma you get from the soil as you lift it is reflected in the beer’s aroma and taste. Very different and a lot more enjoyable than the first mouthful suggested. From the point of view of being an ale, this hits the mark in its basic make-up and texture (and ale drinking experience); as a seasonal beer this fits in so well with the changing colours of the trees, the experience of autumn in a glass. This beer is like a seasonal opus.

Website: Goose Island

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