Time after time I’ve seen people combing through their cellars struggling to figure out what Goose Island Brewpub bottle they have.
Goose Island’s original Brewpub previously started 750ml bottle releases in 2013. The bottle art has changed but one thing has not, the name of the beer is never on the bottle. The only way to differentiate beer from beer is the wax colors.
Below is a list of previous Goose Island Brewhouse (formerly known as Goose Island Clybourn) bottle releases sorted by name, description and wax color of the bottles. This list only does not include Proprietary or Vainglorious, but does include Night Fights
Last Updated: 4/5/18
BA Big Lazy Joe
Imperial brown ale with coffee aged in bourbon barrels
Imperial stout with coffee
Imperial Rye Porter aged for 10 months in Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve barrels
Sour wheat that was aged 13 months in oak barrels
Wheatwine aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels and finished with Tart Cherries
Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in an 18 year Elijah Craig Barrel
Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in an 18 year Elijah Craig Barrel
Imperial stout aged in Woodford Reserve barrels
Belgian Quad aged for 10 months in 12 year Elijah Craig barrels.
Flemish red ale aged in wine barrels
Belgian Dark Abbey Ale aged 2/3 in red wine barrels and 1/3 in bourbon barrels.
Barrel aged strong ale
Lilac, light purple
Hazelnut Oatmeal Stout
Double Pale Ale
Photos courtesy of Untappd
There was 2 releases of Cthulhu, but they are the same beer from the same aging period. Copper is the first release, and the Periwinkle Blue is the second.
Yellow Umbrella and Brettanomite are both Yellow wax. If the bottle has a 25th anniversary logo on it, it’s Brettanomite, if it doesn’t, then its Yellow Umbrella
BA Impervious, Big Train, and Ground Control all kind of a vague brown/gray/green going on. They can easily run together so check them closely if you’re unsure. A lot of photos make those wax colors look different depending on how well lit they are.
The 2018 Tournament Bracket is live, with the event less than a day away.
Who are your picks? Who is the Cinderella to watch for? Does a stout or dark beer take the title for the 4th year in a row? This years field includes entrants from 4 countries. A selection of the pastry-est stouts going today, world class lambic, incredible coffee beers, and an event that’s always filled with surprises.
The full bracket is below, but the PDF above is easier for zooming into regions
Every year we change the theme for region names. In the past it has been favorite Facebook beer groups, friends who have participated but not been able to join, and beer cliches. This year our theme we’ve chosen is Beer Fests we personally have been to and like. Note, there is no specific connection to beers in each region with the Region Name. It’s merely done to throw in some color rather than calling them East/West/Midwest/South. With that out of the way, here’s a short breakdown of the regions.
Great Taste of the Midwest
The #1 overall seed Prop 14 looks to have a good potential run through to the Elite 8. The bottom of the region is clustered with impressive coconut beers and 2 great stouts out of St. Louis breweries. This region features only 2 wilds and is the most stout heavy. Two Fremont beers are represented in this region, including Coconut B-Bomb, descendant of 2015 winner Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb. Look for Prop to get toppled by the fresher coconut energy of Coconut B-Bomb to take the region.
The Wakefest region is lead by Shared Mexican Coffee Shop Vibes and Willet Bourbon Mexican Cake. This region includes 3 wilds. There’s a pair of Rum barrel beers with Rum Black Tuesday and J Wakefield Darkbier. Though one of my own personal bottle submission is in this region, I strongly think Omnipollo BA Extra Maple Lorelei will be the star of this region.
This region is headed up by the highest ranked wild in the event, 2015 Fou Foune, and an old classic, Chocolate Rain ’14. This region has the biggest cluster of wilds with 6, and has the only IPA in the field with the freshly canned You’re Derek Jeter from The Veil. This region has the only 2 lambic bottles in the field. This is also probably the most diverse region as every beer is very much different in style or adjuncts. I’m a little biased, but I think Fou Foune takes the bracket. If Hommage can break out of its first round 3-way matchup, it might pose the biggest threat to take the FOBAB region from the #1 seed.
Mikkeller Beer Celebration
One of the hottest beers of February from Modern Times leads the way with #1 Modem Tones followed by Central Waters XX. This region includes 3 wilds including 3 of the best American Wild Ale producers in the country, Side Project, Holy Mountain, and De Garde. This region feels like the most wide open of any of the regions. This feels like region where a Hailstorm Maple BA Vlad could sneak through and go on a deep run. The relatively unknown Cycle Brinner with its maple and coffee might be able to over power the less adjunct laden Medianoche, and XX. With that being said, Vanilla has done exceptionally well in previous years including last years Champion, Grimm Sumi Ink, so I’ll take the chalk Modem Tones to come out of this region.
Biggest Potential Upsets
BA Cocoa Shake has a relatively small amount of reviews and is kind of an unknown. If I had to pick a #9 seed, BA Cocoa Shake beating Modem Tones Vanilla would be the one
In the 2-7 matchups, the biggest potential upset I see is You’re Derek Jeter beating Chocolate Rain. Through the years, we’ve found that new beers previously not had by the group have generally outperformed against beers that people have had previously. While a hoppy beer has never won a March Madness Bottle Share Tournament match, the combination of The Veil’s You’re Derek Jeter being released 4 days before the event and being ridiculously fresh, and a triple IPA at 10% could stand up to the enormous 18% and well known and traveled Chocolate Rain.
From the 3-6 matches I like the potential of the coconut lead Benthic surprising the Coffee rarity Perennial BA Sump. Though I’m picking Omnipollo BA Extra Maple Lorelei to win it all, I would not be shocked if the sneaky underrated J Wakefield/Bottle Logic Rum Matusalem Dark Bier pulled off the upset
Looking at the 4-5-8 three way matchups, these are always challenging and historically don’t have a lot of upsets from the low seed. If I had to pick a #8 to move on past the challenging three ways, I’d go with Hill Farmstead Works of Love: Tired Hands, if its nuance and balance can stand the test of 3F and the DFPF/Miami Madness Cuvee de Wakefield, it might make it to another lambic match against Cantillon Fou Foune.
Want to follow along with the action? Posts on social media will have the hashtag #MMBST
I had some time to burn before I started a position at a new company so I decided to take a bit of a solo beer road trip. I started planning about a week in advance, with an aim to be able to hit some of my favorite breweries from the Mid Atlantic and Northeast on their release days. Here’s a recap of The Big Ferowcious Beer Run
Saturday 9/23/17 – Zwanze Day – Jolly Pumpkin, Dexter, MI
After only doing Zwanze Day previously in Chicago, I wanted to get out and do a new location. Jolly Pumpkin is relatively new as a hosting location. This turned out to be a great decision. Cantillon pours of everything available only had a long line for the first 45 minutes or so, and every selection including the Zwanze beer were available for more than an hour. Beers like St. Lam and Viggy lasted almost 3 hours.
There were many guest breweries, so much so that this felt more like a conventional beer fest. As it turned out, multiple breweries I planned to visit in the upcoming week were here like Other Half, and The Veil. The cost was appreciably higher than other Zwanze events in more costlier markets, but I did feel I got my money’s worth.
Monday 9/25/17 – Columbus, OH
I departed from my parents Michigan home for a quick 2.5 hour drive south to Columbus. This was my first time, which unfortunately was hampered by many closures of prominent beer spots in Columbus. This stop was planned though for 2 reasons: 1 to see my friend Jim who I always enjoy crushing bottles with up in the Northern Lower part of Michigan. Always great to see good friends you knew, before you both got into craft beer. Secondly I was able to pick up an allotment from the previous day from Hoof Hearted. They released a peach milkshake IPA called Who’d Like to Hold My Clipboard (Peach.) Given this was only a Monday, we did some bottle sharing of some Seventh Son items, and a few Chicago items I brought, but had a short evening.
Tuesday 9/26/17 – The Veil, The Answer – Richmond, VA
The build up of cans, crowlers, bottles and cases continued in Richmond. The Veil does their weekly can release on Tuesdays and The Answer does their controversial Joose crowlers the same day. Following a 7.5 hour drive from Columbus through West Virginia and Virginia, I arrived at Richmond stop #1: The Veil.
The Veil released DIPAs If You’re Drinking This It’s Too Late, and Human Adult collaborations with Drake, and Trillium respectively. They also released a marzen called Deathless and a fruited gose called Never Together. I arrived around 5:30 and the line was about an hour. I tried a couple of their impressive Triple IPAs on tap that all somehow walk the line of not being too malty, perfectly. The space feels very modern with a lot of gray and unusual taxidermy.
Immediately after, I rolled over to The Answer for my first time. I loaded up on Joose crowlers and sat down at the bar to try some of their stellar IPAs and Andall stouts. The Answer is very large as a brewpub. Unfortunately I arrived too late to try the food I’d heard so much about. I bought a nice stemmed glass and prepared to leave. As I walked to my car outside, I walked by An Bui, owner, face, and namesake of The Answer. He asked me if I’d like some more glasses to take with me. After a quick trip inside, he returned with 6 pieces of various glassware from mini tasters, to an Andall tilt, to multiple video game glasses, that had been recently released. A very generous surprise no doubt. We spent the next while chatting about beer experiences and sobering up via a large bag of Costco Steak Strips
Wednesday 9/27/17 – Tired Hands – Ardmore, PA
A 5 hour ride from Richmond, through DC, and Baltimore brought me to suburban Philadelphia to Tired Hands. I first loaded up on the can release of the day which was a DIPA called Why Laugh When You Can Cry, and the new classic Alien Church. Tired Hands has 3 establishments in a small area. This includes their production space that also has a full service brewpub restaurant. They also have a full retail store with tons of merch and bottles, and their smaller original brewpub space with a more limited menu. There are entirely different beers between their different sites.
Thursday 9/28/17 – Tree House – Charlton, MA
After waking up in Philadelphia and checking out Independence Hall, I got back on the road for a 4.5 hour drive to make my way to Massachusetts. Strategically I tried to make sure to drive through the late morning and early afternoon, to not get hung up in trying to pass through the New York metro area. This was my first time at the new Tree House location. I was fortunate enough to try the previous location and the differences were vast. Tree House feels like a monument to the idea of what they hoped their brewery could be. It really is impressive with how the owners chose to carry out their vision in this secluded hillside brewery. It’s rural, but the grounds are manicured and the wood work everywhere looks incredible.
Alter Ego, Green and Haze were all available with better limits than I was used to seeing. Even though it was very slow on a Thursday and they did open the on-site taps, I had to get to Boston for my first Fenway experience.
While this is a beer blog at its core, I’m nearly as much of a baseball fan as I am a beer nerd. Going into this trip I had been to 18 stadiums. A cold, windy late September night made for #19. Highly recommended if you haven’t been to Fenway or Boston previously.
Friday 9/29/17 – Trillium, Tree House – Canton, MA
Waking up in suburban Boston, I hit a few bottle shops before my first Trillium experience. It was a very chill Friday afternoon with lots of tasty double dry hopped items available. Trillium is so much different from all the other current popular producers. While they do case limits of their beers like many others, they had so many different options that the idea of getting limits for several items becomes untenable, well for most customers anyway
I’ll also say Trillium’s merch sales area definitely needs some work. All glassware is stored behind the bar of their retail/growler sales so you can’t touch it or pick it up for a closer look. Their sales people will show it to you individually piece by piece, but it feels like you’re clogging up the line. That’s my only strike on their establishment.
Next up was a quick trip back to Tree House. They had all 3 can selections as the day before, but also added bottles ofDouble Shot Costa Rica Santa Rosa. This Tree House experience was vastly different from the previous day. The line was an hour long wrapping around their top parking lot around 3 sides. I was fortunate enough to get everything available while enjoying the setting sun and then jumped back in my car to make my way to Brooklyn for the Saturday morning Other Half release.
Saturday 9/30/17 – Other Half – Brooklyn, MA
After staying in one of the most sketchy lodging choices I’ve ever made, I went to Other Half bright and early for the 3 beer Saturday morning release. I was able to make it to Other Half back in May for the first time during a long weekend in NYC, but I didn’t arrive early for the release that time. Here, I arrived 2 hours early and found a fascinating Beer Can swap meet taking place in the line around Other Half. I hadn’t ever read anything about this previously so it was certainly new to me.
These swappers mostly had cans of recent releases from other breweries in the Mid Atlantic/North East. This included breweries like Equilibrium, Alchemist, Bissell Brothers, and the previous weeks Other Half cans, as well as other more far flung breweries like Monkish. Luckily I had a Jeep full of comparable items so I made some on the spot trades for previous weeks Other Half.
Yankee Stadium is everything you’d think it’d be. Palatial, expensive, and modern, Yankee Stadium for a team on the upswing was a decent place to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Following that, I ducked into Fools Gold for some pours before heading back to Brooklyn.
Sunday 10/1/17 – Finback – Brooklyn, NY
I wasn’t ready to begin driving West, so I dropped in to Finback. It’s a terrific space. Above average beers that still have a ways to go. Picked up some Human cans in a mostly short visit. This concluded the beer acquisition portion of the trip, as I now had about 14 hours of driving to get back to Chicago.
All said, I drove nearly 2800 miles, somehow surpassing my estimate by about 700 miles. In total, in purchases made for friends and myself, we collectively spent well over $2000 amassing over 350 cans, crowlers, growlers and bottles. It was a wild week with very little downtime which I do regret that facet of. The trip was so goal oriented and laser focused on releases that I didn’t get to spend more time exploring cities I’d never seen before, specifically Richmond, and Boston. Getting to tick 2 new baseball stadiums helped make it more worthwhile though.
The trip netted weeks of great hops and a great bottle share for those that helped to fund the trip. Shout-out to those of you who kicked in to make this trip sting a bit less on the bank account. Hope you enjoyed the fruits of the trip!