Goose Island Brewing in Chicago is now in their second year of Migration to Canada (Check out last year’s event). On Tuesday May 24th 2016 Goose Island held their second Migration Week event in Vancouver. This year the event was held at BierCraft at their Cambie Location.
This hoppy hour event started at 5pm for a small group of local bloggers, industry people and beer media. This was a closed education event to inform us of 4 of their special barrel aged sour beers. The beers included Lolita, Halia, Juliet and the highly sought Madame Rose. When we arrived we were given a pint of Goose IPA to settle in.
Like I said all 4 sour beers are highly sought after barrel aged beers using wild yeasts. Each of the 4 sours came with a in depth explanation of what kind of barrels were used (usually wine barrels that are treated to make sure now wine is left), what wild yeasts they use an what they add for flavour. Three of the beers use only one wild yeast but one used 7 different yeasts or bacteria. Lolita is a Belgian Style Pale Ale that is aged with raspberries. Halia is a Farmhouse Ale aged with whole peaches. Juliet is a beer aged with blackberries. Madame Rose is a different animal all together and the most complex beer that Goose Island Brewing makes. This beer is a Flanders Brown Ale aged with cherries using 7 different wild yeasts and bacteria that has to be aged from 1.5 years to 3 years. All of these beers were great but Madame Rose was next level good.
On top of the education on this beer we were informed how rare these beers were. Especially true for the Madame Rose. Sadly these beers are not available in Canada and this event and other Migration Week events were the only way to try them on tap (or bottle) in Canada. These are also very expensive beers from what I have gathered. Once 7pm rolled around the event was opened up to more industry people. At that time the amount of beer available increased. on tap included the 4 sours Lolita, Halia, Madame Rose and Juliet. On top of those though there was Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose IPA, Honkers Ale, Four Star Pils, Goose 312 as well as The Illinois a Double IPA. This is a great introduction into what Goose Island has to offer. They have their standard fare made by their parent company with their barrel aged beers only brewed and barrel aged in Chicago. There was also some amazing food to pair with their great beer including pulled pork and duck tacos, cheese, vegi pakoras and a tasty vegan friendly option I don’t remember.
Goose Island beer is becoming for prominent in Canada and it is well worth picking up. The more beer we drink the better chance this high end rare barrel aged beers make it to the Great White North. Fingers crossed everyone can drink these beers sooner than later!