Goose Island Migrates to District Commons

The award-winning Chicago based brewery, Goose Island, is making the move to DC’s District Commons. As a craft beer pioneer that opened in the Midwest over two decades ago, Goose Island has since expanded to all 50 states. The local Meridian Pint bar and restaurant played host to a tasting event called Migration Invasion that included a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale. Known as Sofie, this craft brew is aged in wine barrels and earned a medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011.

World-traveler John Hall is the mastermind behind the craft beer explosion. Hall works with Goose Island’s brew master and head brewer, Brett Porter, to create a wide range of beer styles and types; from the dark, chocolate flavored Stout called Big John to the very hoppy Imperial India Pale Ale (IPA) named after Illinois. Another Imperial Stout, the Rare Bourbon County Stout, also claimed the chocolate flavor and, as its name suggests, a strong Bourbon taste. With an intense Bourbon aroma, the chocolate flavor was noticeable but, thankfully, not overwhelming. The Rare Bourbon County Stout is no longer brewed and this exclusive beer tasting at the Migration Event is just one example of Goose Island’s acts of appreciation to the welcoming DC Craft Brew community.

Matilda, Minx and Sofie were the names of beers offered at the Migration Invasion event, to name a few, and also of important members of the founding brew master’s family. Similarly, Porter fondly refers to his beer as, “his children.” Porter is particularly proud of his sour beers and Matilda is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale with a fruity aroma and taste so powerful, it borders sour. The Matilda’s appearance of a dark straw color with more than a finger of a head was certainly appealing. Fruit flavors, typical of a Belgian Style, complimented the undertones of a hoppy bitterness that revealed itself at the finish. Although hopheads might be disappointed, fans of lighter beers will enjoy the Matilda.

The Minx was another Belgian Style beer but, as an IPA, boasted a much stronger aroma of hops. Similar to the Matilda, the Minx contained several fruity flavors such as a very prominent grapefruit taste. Although the Matilda did have a pleasant, clean finish, the Minx had a definitive crisp finish. A self-declared fan of malty beers, Porter impresses malt lovers and haters alike with the beer selection.

One last fruit flavored beer worth mentioning, again, is Sofie, the Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale. The citrus aroma and small amount of head gives way to a complex beer that definitely leaves the mouth happy. An orange peel is one of the more robust flavors but the malt and Belgian Style yeast are noticeable and appreciated as well. In regard to the nationwide expansion of the Goose Island Brewery, Porter says, “I grew up Goose Island, grew up Chicago beer but I’ve realized my backyard is a lot bigger than Chicago,” a realization that has craft beer drinkers cheering, clinking and enjoying across the country.


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