I have always been a fan of Goose Island. 312, their wheat American Pale Ale, was actually the beer that started my love for beer. I know that many start with what we know as “cheap” beer AKA a basic lager. I know that I got lucky to begin my beer journey crafty! As my love grew for Goose Island so did my imagination which is when I began to adventure with their IPA and I found an even greater love! This was the beer that opened up my mind and pallet to all of the other goodness found in the craft beer world. Goose Island was established in 1988 by John Hall, who till this day, I’ve heard, still shows up occasionally to his breweries in Chicago and kicks back plenty of cold ones. I honestly cannot blame him!! John was actually one of the first to venture into the bourbon aged brewing world. In 1992 he was given six Jim Beam barrels and he began his craft. This is how Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout was born. True story and crazy fact is, this stout was actually kicked out of the Great American Beer Fest because… WAIT FOR IT… IT WAS TOO STRONG! It had to be made into its own category later on and now it is rated one of the best craft beers in the world! While on the Goose Island tour I spoke to a married couple where her husband always has to skip Thanksgiving dinner to make the Goose Island Black Friday line in order to get his hands on this stout! How crazy is that?!
Here is actually one of the barrels I took a photo of while inside the barrel aging facility.
Goose Island offers brewery tours. I did the one on Fulton which is their huge brewery with taproom. Goose Island’s barrel aging warehouse is right across the street. With your brewery tour you end the tour walking into the barrel aging facility where you’re also poured your last beer. Goose Island definitely saved the best for last, this is where you’re given their delicious (and my favorite) Saison called Sofie. Fun fact: John’s wife named this beer after their granddaughter.
This is me holding up Sofie after taking a generous sip. What?! I was thirsty and it was my birthday! They’re lucky I did not ask for seconds. Haha!
Aside from the fun story you get while on the tour, you get three beer tastings and at the end you also get a very nice Goose Island glass cup. I smiled from ear to ear when the tour was over because I had begged my boyfriend for a glass cup beforehand. Little did I know that we’d ended up EACH getting one included with our tours. I love Goose Island and the tour made me fall in love with Goose even more! I am also a huge fan of the city of Chicago. If I can move to any city in the world it would be Chicago. I love the people. I love the vibes. I come to Chicago once a year and I make sure that I come to Goose Island every time. It never fails too, the vibes are always better than the last visit. Just sitting down with my boyfriend at my favorite brewery meeting locals and feeling like one too was just everything I could’ve asked for my 29th birthday. Goose not only brews delicious beers they also teach you what it feels like to be a local. They treat you like family which is why I spent 4 hours here (1 being because of the tour). We could’ve stayed there all day if we could’ve.
Below are some photos of the brewery tour:
This is the first stop. There was a bar above what they call this “the hot room”. You’re greeted with your first beer tasting.
Goose Island brews, bottles and labels all of their beers in house. They are very up to date with state of the art machines that can bottle up to 500 cases and 50 kegs per hour!
The wall that has all of their WILD WOMEN beer names. All of which are delicious but as stated previously, Sofie has my heart!
Here’s a view of the brewery on Fulton. I was standing across the street about to enter into the barrel aging facility.
This is the other side of the building of the brewery.
I always love when I am walking towards this bright yellow building. I cannot help but smile… Its kind of my ‘welcome back to Chicago’ sign and the for me, its the Goose that started it all for me. I love you Goose Island. Stay wild and keeping making people happier (and hoppier) with every beer you brew.
Address I visited : 1800 W Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60612
I highly encourage that you book a brewery tour. For $12 you get a Goose Island glass cup at the end and you get a generous pour of three beers while on the tour. Worth every dollar! You can book your tour here : BOOK YOUR BREWERY TOUR HERE
Instagram : @gooseisland
Now if you’re a serious beer enthusiast check out Thirsty Samurai Piggy’s blog review on each of the beers we tasted. He is my partner in crime, forever plus one and a Cicerone certified beer taster. CHECK OUT BEER RATINGS HERE
RUN WILD . EAT . BE FREE
@littlemariii | #EatingWithLittleMariii