Sunday, March 16, 2008
Goose Island Stout Fest 2008
The fest was a really fun time, lots of nice people, great beer and the staff at Goose Island was very welcoming. We came in for brunch beforehand and basically were allowed to camp at the same table for 4+ hours, ordering some pretzels here and there.
It is VERY hard to taste little nuances after you have had a few stouts, so imagine how I felt sampling fifteen. At the end of the fest I was just drinking whatever and hanging out with my buddy Andy. I'll throw a few highlights out there for you guys who couldn't make it.
Flossmoor Station- The Milky Way stout was a nice change of pace after the five or so high ABV and very dry stouts I had tried at this point.As you would expect it was exceptionally creamy, I plan on grabbing a growler of it when I go to the station in mid April. The Iron Horse was a very good but average tasting brew that helped me kick off the day. It was pretty roasty with some chocolate in there. Good stuff. According to their blog they are starting to bottle some stuff, if this is the case I hope to see both of these beers on shelves soon!
Blue Cat brought their 'Anniversary Ale' which I kept going back to as a palate restart, but damn it was good stuff. I liked their Irish stout too, but at this point of the week I was sick of anything with the word 'Irish' in it.
America's- They had a killer Bourbon Barrel Imperial that had been 'taking up space' for 2 1/2 years. I am a real sucker for this style of beer, being a big fan of bourbon and stouts. Their Sweetness Stout tasted bland in comparison, but after a few buffer drinks I came back for another and it turned out to be great. At this point in the afternoon my mouth tasted like all sorts of nuts so sadly everything started to blend in. I would definitely purchase this beer to check it out and give it the proper review treatment.
I also had a few rounds of the Goose Island Bourbon County Grand Stout once I decided my memory was done. I love this stuff, have since I first tried it. It is not something I could drink every day but it goes a long way to warm the cold in your bones. I'm going to save a bottle or two for rainy days when I am ok with being knocked out by two beers. Strong stuff, tasty stuff.
Probably the highlight of the day was Harrison's Black Diamond Stout. It isn't flashy but it is a beer I could drink year round, with pleasure. This was a discovery that made my entrance fee worth every penny. Another place I am going to have to check out! my list is getting awful long.
I will definitely attend this event next year as it was a lot of fun. Stout Fest put an end to 'fake Irish beer week' because I sure as hell didn't even want to look at a beer for two days, let alone another stout. Poor planning on my part, but I doubt any of you will mind much.
PS. The drunk guy who clapped me on the back in order to say 'Fuck the Cubs' made my evening. Thanks dude.