I got a chance on a business trip to Chicago yesterday to make a side trip to Goose Island Brew-pub on 1800 Clybourn. It's not the OG large-scale brewery, but they are brewing out of what looks to be 6 or so 15 barrel systems on-site none the less. Needless to say, I sampled quite a few...
312 Urban Wheat (4.2%)
The clearest wheat beer I've ever seen. I think they mean this to be a classier alternative to the American macro-adjunct beers. And it was quite serviceable as such. A refreshing light bodied ale, with a hint of wheat.
Green Line Pale Ale (5%)
Just as they billed it. A lighter styled American Pale Ale. Hops were more citrusy and a light bitterness. Not altogether different from the 312 (minus the wheat, plus a bit heavier on the mouth).
Hex Nut Brown Ale (5.5%)
Very nice English style brown, cask conditioned. Earthy and tobacco on the nose, but quite smooth and almost sweet tasting through the finish. Could've had several of these if I didn't have to make a flight out of O'Hare.
Black Imperial IPA (8%)
I had this one with their steak sandwich (one of the recommended parings off the menu), and it was great! Black like a stout, some roasted flavors, but still had a very traditional American hop flavor and aroma. Great with the food. On its own, probably not a beer to stay with for a whole evening.
This is their saison brewed with a rare lemon meritage tea. It was quite well rounded for a saison, I thought. Lots going on in the nose/flavor, but nothing really dominating. Well balanced for that style.
Bourbon County Brand Stout (13.5%)
I wish I could say I had this for desert, but it was what I started with, and IT had ME! This is a bourbon cask aged imperial stout. Comes in a snifter, full up to the brim, and when I saw condensation on the glass I was thinking it was coming out of the tap too cold for the style. Turns out, it was just really humid in Chicago yesterday because that beer was amazing! It was HUGE, and th balance of the bourbon/oak, alcohol heat, malt roast, hops, et al were spot on for my taste. I'll fess up to being a stout drinker in general, but this was my hands down favorite of the trip. mmmm... memories.
-Hoping (in vain) to see some of these on shelves out east.