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Goose Island Public House Brewery Tour

On Sunday, December 12th, 2004, Ben and I righted a long-standing wrong. For many a year, we have been Goose Island fanatics, earning our MBAs and downing countless varieties of delicious beer. We had never, though, taken a brewery tour. This day, we rectified this situation, and had a swell time in the process.

John Hall is the head brewer of the main Goose Island brewery down on Fulton Street on Chicago's near west side. John Hall is also the owner/founder of Goose Island, but that's another John Hall. No joke, the founder and the head brewer share the same name, but are not the same man (and not related). Regardless, the John pictured below is a nice guy and readily shares his vast wealth of beer knowledge.

After the explanation of the brewing process, John brought us back upstairs and we got to sample seven different current Goose Island beers. At any time, the brew pub will have around twelve different on tap, perhaps with a cask-conditioned or two. About once a week, they cycle out one tap and load up a new one. So, they have a lot of beers and a lot of variety. Here are the pitchers before the ravenous tourers got to them.

We moved from light beers to darker ones. We started with GI's latest marketing push, 312, which is a clean wheat beer. From there we got Honker's and the standard IPA. Seasonals Autumn Ale and Christmas Ale were next, and delicious. We wrapped up with good ol' Hex Nut Brown Ale and the Honest Stout. Pretty much everything was to our liking.

As the tasting wore on, John just left us with some pitchers. Ah, free beer!

It was gone too soon..

Ben and I had to get a shot of the two of us enjoying the goings-on.

Compared to Boulevard's tour, Goose Island's was very unstructured. We just went into the brewing area, talked for a while, and then sat down with a few beers and talked some more. It was tons of fun, and free. What more do you want?