The Goose Island Beer Co. is an innovator and leader in the craft of brewing. In 1992, Goose Island was the first in the industry to age their beer in bourbon barrels. Don’t miss a Goose Island beer event at The Hoppy Brewer on Thursday, December 1st from 6pm-8pm. Learn more about the Goose Island Beer Company’s use of bourbon barrels below.
AGED BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE
In 1992, Goose Island gave the beer industry a new reason to belly up to the bar: bourbon-aged beer. We pioneered the process, and it begins with first-use bourbon barrels. Our brewers only choose those that have had held sweet, sweet whiskey in their bellies for an average of 8 years, then they age our beer inside for 8-12 months. This process takes place in a non-climate controlled space, allowing exposure to the extreme heat and cold of Chicago’s ecosystem, which contracts and expands the wood, pulling the barrel’s whiskey character into our brew. Each barrel is used only once, ensuring the best quality taste in every pint.
That first barrel-aging process yielded our ever-tasty Bourbon County Stout back in 2004. Three years later, we decided it was time to expand our barrel-aging program again. But this time our brewers brought wine barrels into the picture.
They started with beer that had undergone primary fermentation in stainless steel casks, then transferred it to wine barrels, soaked with flavor. Next came fresh fruit and wild yeasts, and the beginning of a secondary fermentation inside the barrel. Aging went on for 9-18 months, creating beer with unprecedented depth of character, increased acidity and a light essence of fruit without too much sweetness. The variety of wine barrels we use now yield some of our most unique brews, including Sofie, Juliet, Lolita, Madame Rose, Gillian and Halia.
Stay updated on our live music, beer events, and home brewing club meetings by checking out The Hoppy Brewer Events Calendar.
SRC: Read the full Goose Island Beer Co. story at: www.gooseisland.com/our-story.html