Image from GooseIsland.com

Grab a tasty pint in the Windy City at Goose Island Brewery. Whether you are making a connection at O’Hare International Airport or visiting the original location at Clybourn Avenue, Goose Island Brewery offers internationally recognized craft beer by the bottle and by the pint. Discover all the information you need about Goose Island with this guide to customer ratings, reviews and what’s on tap at the Chicago-based international brewery.

History of Goose Island Brewery


Like many good adventures, it started with a trip to Europe and a variety of pints. John Hall, the founder of Goose Island, discovered his passion for craft brewing there and returned to the USA to share his international experiences with his hometown. Since 1988, Goose Island has been brewing craft beer at its Clybourn Avenue location.

After some very successful years of satisfied customers, Anheuser-Busch acquired the company and dramatically expanded the market.

International Craft Beer


Today, you can sample Goose Island beer at a variety of locations worldwide. Whether you try one of the original two brewhouses in Chicago or the Chicago airport location, there’s great beer to be had in the Windy City.

You can also check out the Philly brewhouse, located on Canal Street in Philadelphia. Goose Island has flown international, with breweries in Monterrey, Mexico; Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai, China; Sao Paulo, Brazil and Toronto, Canada.

You can find bottled Goose Island beer in any of the 50 states, as well as many international locations.

Goose Island Beer


Barrels

Choose from a range of classics, like the Goose IPA and Four Star Pils, or try one of the more unique seasonal offerings. Despite its international reputation, Goose Island still offers high-quality options. Use the online interactive beer list to search for beers by flavor profile, beer type or award winners.

The Goose IPA remains one of the most popular Goose Island beers. Made with Pilgrim, Centennial, Styrian Celeia and Cascade hops, this IPA balances fruity and dry hops for a sharp and refreshing beer. It was the gold medal winner of the 2012 Great American Beer Festival in the English Style India Pale Ale category.

Another beer lover's favorite is the 312 Urban Wheat Ale. This creamy wheat ale uses the sharp finish of Cascade hops to give a well-balanced flavor for any occasion. This beer has won multiple Great American Beer Festival awards, including the 2010 English-Style Summer Ale Gold Medal.

Unique Offerings


Goose Island was the first to create bourbon-aged beer and continues to offer excellent selections of this uniquely American craft beer. Try the famous Bourbon County Brand Stout for a taste of this now-popular craft beer. It started as a special batch to commemorate the 1,000th batch of Goose Island Brewery beer. Jim Beam barrels and Goose Island aged beer resulted in a beer style that is still popular today. The 2017 Bourbon County Brand Stout uses Millenium hops and dark-roasted barley to create an oaky and smoky beer with great foam and a mixture of chocolate and vanilla notes. It’s a limited release, so grab it while you can or look out for newer vintages of this popular beer.

Continuing the barrel-aged theme, Goose Island has a series of wine barrel-aged beers that combine the fruity taste of wine with the heady hops of beer. Each beer is aged up to 18 months for a range of subtle and bold flavors. A popular choice is Matilda, which is inspired by Trappist ale from Belgium and has a spicy mix of cloves and dried fruit.

This international brand is still trying new things every year, so take a look at some of the seasonal or limited release beers, like Caution Tape, a session sour ale that’s citrusy and crisp for all-day sipping on a slow weekend.

The Process


Despite the commercialization of Goose Island, the brewery still pays attention to the finer details of its craft. The hops for Goose Island beers come from Elk Mountain Farms. This massive hops farm in Idaho uses 50 hops varieties grown on 1,700 acres. Because of the range of hops available, each of its craft beers can be tailored to include unique flavor profiles.

Once brewed, each beer gets packaged in the Goose Island Brewery production line. It churns out 50 kegs and 500 cases of beer bottles each hour, which gives this craft brewery a definite commercial feel. If you’re looking for a quaint, local microbrewery, this isn’t the brewery for you.

Goose Island Food


Chinese Pork Recipe                                                                          

 Image from GooseIsland.com

 Image from GooseIsland.com

While the brewery is far more famous for its beer, several locations offer a traditional selection of pub fare. The tap room doesn’t serve any food except a simple cheese plate; instead, it focuses exclusively on beer and brewery tours. Check out the Clybourn location for a sample of the menu. The international and Philadelphia locations also offer traditional pub food and appetizers.

Goose Island Brewery Ratings


Depending on the location, Goose Island customer ratings can vary wildly. Overall, it’s an excellently rated brewery and definitely worth a trip. The Fulton Street pub has earned 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and 4.5 stars on Yelp. However, the O’Hare International Airport location only received 2 out of 5 stars.

A number of independent rating sites rate Goose Island beer highly. Customers gave Goose Island a 3.8 on Untappd, with Goose IPA and 312 Urban Wheat Ale as some favorite options. BeerAdvocate offers similar ratings, with 312 Urban Wheat and Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale as some favorites.

Consider each factor of Goose Island locations and see reviews for each site below.

Fulton St. Brewery


The highest-rated Goose Island experience, the Fulton Street Brewery offers a taproom and guided tours of its brewing and bottling facility. Customers love the informal and informational tour experience and found the bartenders to be very knowledgeable and friendly. Many beers at the taproom cost less than the other breweries, and the selection is always rotating.

Each tour lasts about 45 minutes and includes a pint glass and three beer samples. For $12, it’s a great experience that is rated 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and 4.5 stars on Yelp.

The only food available at the Fulton Street Brewery is a small cheese plate, but Goose Island encourages customers to bring food to enjoy the taproom experience.

The highest-rated Goose Island experience, the Fulton Street Brewery offers a taproom and guided tours of its brewing and bottling facility. Customers love the informal and informational tour experience and found the bartenders to be very knowledgeable and friendly. Many beers at the taproom cost less than the other breweries, and the selection is always rotating.

Each tour lasts about 45 minutes and includes a pint glass and three beer samples. For $12, it’s a great experience that is rated 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and 4.5 stars on Yelp.

The only food available at the Fulton Street Brewery is a small cheese plate, but Goose Island encourages customers to bring food to enjoy the taproom experience.

Clybourn Brewhouse


Goose Island Clybourn Brewhouse

                                                                          

Image from GooseIsland.com​​

For a more traditional brewhouse experience, check out the restaurant and pub on Clybourn Avenue in Chicago. Stay for a while at the modern restaurant, and enjoy the familiar pub fare. Customers love the beer selection, atmosphere and range of simple, yet enjoyable, food. Whether you are looking for burgers and appetizers or more upscale choices like mussels, this brewhouse has a reasonable selection.

Some customers dislike the modern decor, preferring a more traditional pub atmosphere. Drinks at this location can also be more expensive than the Fulton Street taproom. It received 3.5 stars on Yelp and 4 stars on TripAdvisor.

O’Hare International Airport Brewpub


The least favorably rated location in Chicago, the busy O’Hare Airport brewpub offers the same excellent beer on tap with food that is average at best. Most customers felt the food was inedible, and many customers experienced rude or inattentive service. You may not expect excellent quality from an airport location, but this brewpub still leaves much to be desired.

This location offers a range of simple salads, sandwiches and paninis. However, many customers felt the food was poor quality, even tasting microwaved. As expected of the location, beers here are more expensive than other location. Consider this place if you have time in between flights, but otherwise, wait until you are in the city to experience true Goose Island food, service and prices.

Philly Brewhouse


If you’re craving brewpub fare and can’t make it to Chicago, check out the Philadelphia location of this popular brewery. Great food, a stylish location and the same, quality beers make this brewhouse a great feature in the Philly brew scene. Whether you need a dinner out or just a few drinks and some appetizers, this brewhouse is a worthwhile stop.

For those who have visited the Chicago Clybourn Avenue location, you may not see anything particularly unique about the Philly brewhouse. It is, however, a great way to experience the brand if you aren’t in Chicago.

Customers on TripAdvisor give this location a 4 out of 5, and Yelp raters give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

CONCLUSION

Whether you are a fan of microbreweries or commercial breweries, Goose Island offers a great balance between the two. Try a beer that was once brewed lovingly as a small batch and is now made with the precision and quality control of a commercial brand. While it may not have the same vibe as a microbrewery, Goose Island beer is definitely worth trying. Sample some bourbon-aged and wine barrel beers for a unique experience.  Wherever you are, Goose Island can offer some of the traditional beers of Europe mixed with the rugged sense of innovation from Chicago.

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