Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amazing Democratization for Beer Lovers

As a follow up to my last post about BA events, I did attend the Second Chicagoland beer trading event last Thursday at Goose Island Clybourn. Starting around 6pm, with the introduction of two new beers from Goose, namely the new Juliet, and a Saison (to be sold in 650ml bombers soon), we then had some 50 - 60 attendees who each brought a beer or two to try. More amazingly, as the night went on the Chicago Beer Society (a homebrewer group, not sure if the name is right) folks came in with samples of their recent tries. Overall a great selection. No reviews here, but some highlights:

- Several home brewed Pilsners, each decidedly better than anything I've had in commercial beers.
- a 1994 vintage Cuvee Renee, the straight lambic from Lindeman's ( the guy said he bought it off the shelf last year!)
- Viking Hot Chocolate, a mellow chocolate beer that had a spicy kick
- 2003 Bare Trees, an aged wheatwine from Two Bros. (Warrenville)

Ignoring the highlights, if you had a discerning taste for certain styles (say Belgian blond ales), you could probably have had some 5-10 different beers. I had a few more. And some decent pizza was provided.

Point being, this is a savvy play by Greg Hall and Goose Island to continue to be the center of the Chicago Beer scene. As they move to update their menu and offerings, they want to connect with more influential customers - good thought!

The monthly beer school tastings are nice for the "amateurs", this one is for the "pros". With a combination of food, samplers from Goose, homebrews from the CBS folks (an a few BAers too), and not to mention FREE, it's a low cost way to keep "early adopters" interested in Goose's beers and operations. CBS is old school, BA's are new school, and together it's all good for the Goose, and the customers.