Goose Island is far from an island unto itself these days. Thanks to its 2011 sale to Anheuser-Busch and its parent company, Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate InBev, it's expanded its reach—you can now sip beers from Chicago's "craft brewery" in all 50 states and all over the world, from São Paolo to Shanghai.
Yet the brewery says it want
to remain connected to the city where it all started for founder John Hall in 1988. So for its 30th-anniversary celebration this month, Goose Island has a host of local events and beer releases in store.
The new brews include a limited-edition 30th Anniversary Ale, an English-style pale ale (aka ESB, for "extra special bitter") made in collaboration with Fuller's Brewery of London. In March, Goose Island released a dry-hopped version of its classic wheat beer, 312, and it's also got Soleil on the way, a saison
with a distinct taste of ginger and kombucha. Of the five beers I tried at a R&D
night on Tuesday at Goose Island Tap Room, my favorite was Next Coast—an IPA with 7.3 percent ABV that tasted bolder and hoppier than anything I've had from Goose Island in some time.
You'll be able to try some of these beers at Goose Island events here this month. Some highlights include:
- 5/11: RJ Grunts's 30th-anniversary celebration, R.J. Grunt's, 2056 N. Lincoln Park West
- 5/12: A Beer With John & John (Goose Island founder John Hall and John Keeling from Fuller's Brewery), Goose Island Brewhouse, 1800 N. Clybourne
- 5/13: Crosstown Classic—watch the Cubs-Sox game and see Hall throw out the first pitch. (Also, cake and Bourbon County Stout), Goose Island Brewhouse, 1800 N. Clybourne
- 5/17: A 30th-anniversary party with Action Bronson at Concord Music Hall, 2047 N. Milwaukee, free with RSVP
- 5/19: Goose Island's "312tunes," music, and beer at Subterranean, 2011 W. North, with guests Born Ruffians
- 5/20: Battle of the Breweries Dodgeball Tournament, Goose Island Barrel House, 603 N. Sacramento
For a full list of events, visit Goose Island's website