In this fall beer blog, we are going to take a look at one of the pioneers of the craft beer world in Chicago. The beer and brewery are Goose Island Brewery and the beer is Harvest Ale, which replace their Oktoberfest two to three years ago. Here is a belief history of this great Chicago Brewery. The brewery started in 1988 by John Hall in Chicago, Illinois. The first beer that was brew was their Honkers Ale, which is an English Style Ale. Greg Hall, who is John Hall’s son, took over as a brewmaster and came up with this recipe for their Vintage Line, their winter seasonal, which is Mild Winter and several other brews. Greg Hall stepped down as brewmaster when Goose Island was sold to AB InBev. He is now making Cider, which is sold in Midwest only. Let us get into the beer.
It has a clear dark copper color with a constant white head on the beer. There is some fall earthly orange smell to the beer. This Harvest Ale has a slight citrus to malty taste without an aftertaste. It is pretty drinkable beer.
Here is a description from their website (www.gooseisland.com):
Brewed in honor of the Harvest season this copper colored ESB is made with Cascade hops and the richest Midwestern malts. A fruity American hop aroma and a toasty malt character make Goose Island Harvest Ale an extra special beer worthy of your devotion.
Style: American Extra Special Bitter Alcohol by Volume: 5.7% International Bitterness Units: 35 Color: Copper Hops: Cascade Malts: 2 Row, Wheat, Caramel, Pale
Preferred Glass: Willi Food Pairings: Chicken, Pork, Turkey, Sausages Cheese Pairings: Cheddar, Aged Gouda Cellaring Notes: Enjoy within 180 days
Seasonal (September-October) Bottles: 6, 12 & 24pks Draft: 1/6 & 1/2bbl
Great American Beer Festival Recognition:
Judging Category: Extra Special Bitter 2011: Bronze Medal
Here is their website and twitter addresses:
In closing, I love the hoppy taste that is in this Extra Special Bitter. This beer was design to have that when the trend was the over hop beers. This beer gives you a nice balance from the hops and the malts. This is not my favorite beer for the fall but I will at least enjoy a few six packs of it. As a beer drinker, this brewery gives you two different Extra Special Bitters. Fall is the hoppy one. Mild Winter, which is their winter seasonal, will give you the next malt drinkable in the middle of the harsh winters. Being a fall seasonal, I would go and get some soon! Drink it! Enjoy it! Metal it! \m/