Tasting: March 26, 2012
Style: Belgian (Double)
According to Beernews.org the biggest craft beer story of 2011 was the purchase of Chicago’s Goose Island by behemoth corporation – AB InBev or more familiarly, Anheuser Busch. They purchased a 58% share for about $39m. If you read message boards and comments, it seems that craft beer enthusiasts are fearful that AB will dismantle the reputation of what has become a landmark craft brewery in favor of higher profits. Early indications are that AB has decided to simply pump money into the operations and increase their distribution. AB president has said that they need to rethink their “high margin” offerings and it seems that Goose Island is another piece to that end.
For now, one major benefit is that we are seeing Goose Island beers here in New Jersey for the first time. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see some of their limited edition highly acclaimed annual release “Bourbon County Stout”. While on a trip to Stew Leonard’s last week, I saw a guy with an armful of Goose Island offerings. He told me that he was from Chicago and the first sight of this beer on New Jersey shelves brought a little bit of his old home closer to his new home. If that’s all AB has in mind – I’m all for that kind of reunion.
Pere Jacques pours a nice rich brown — quick label check tells me an ABV of 8.7% and a warning of a possible yeast colony at the bottom of every bottle (eeew). Not much of a nose – some sweet breads. First taste impression is of caramel, raisins and bread. Mouthfeel of Pere Jacques is of slightly elevated carbonation and rich stickiness. You know I’m not a big Belgian fan – so for me to dole out an 87 is saying a lot.