“Sour Home Chicago”
On one of the coldest days it can remember, Dwink brings you exciting news of beers hailing from the Windy City.
Do you see what it’s done there? Melded three weather references into one hard-hitting sentence. Boom. Charlie Brooker and Caitlin Moran couldn’t do that.
Anyway, down to business: James Clay, the speciality world beer importer based in the soot-soaked city of Leeds, has struck a discerning deal with Goose Island Brewery in Chicago, situated roughly between New York and Los Angeles.
Founded in 1988 as a brewpub (making it Chicago’s oldest brewery), Goose Island began making crafting proper beer in a region renowned for big brand bland ‘beer’. Ploughing a lonely furrow for years, it provided inspiration for the plethora of MidWest micros currently making seriously quality craft ales.
Recently, it was bought by AB INBev - the behemoth global brewer behind Budweiser and other lacklustre liquids. People were worried. They thought beancounters would usurp brewers and stuff up Goose like an over-forceful Frenchman making food GRAS. Well, only time wil tell whether this is the case but – having tasted the range at excellent Bull brewpub in Highgate this week – Goose Island beers have still got it going on, girlfriend.
Goose Island’s has been delivering its ales across the Pond for quite some time now and you may well have had its Honkers Ale, a British bitter-style beer but with biggger balls, its hop-heady IPA, and 312 – a Belgian-style witbier rumoured to be the favourite beer of Barack Obama, America’s El Presidente.
But now, things are turning a bit sour. Don’t be fooled by that sentence – that’s just another cunning bit of wordplay – because they’re turning sour in a good way. For James Clay has imported two American takes on the traditional Belgian Sour Beer style or, as nerds like to name them, ‘new world’ sour beers.
The beers, available in the UK for the first time and in limited quantities, are called Lolita (7%) and Madame Rose (6.5%) – and both are fermented with wild yeast strains and aged in wine barrels stuffed with cherries.
Not content with sharing the name with a naughty Russianhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlou_2lMLAc“> novel Dwink once read under its bedcovers, Lolita is a Belgian style pale that blows raspberries up your nose and brings bright, jammy flavours to your mouth. It’s tart and akes an ideal aperitif beer – not that anyone has apertifs anymore. And like the really fit young girl in Lolita, you can either have it now* or
keep it in the cellar and wait five years until its a bit more mature.
Madame Rose, meanwhile, is named after Rose Blanqueart, a ballet dancer turned brewer who produced Liefmans. She was also a distant relation of the famous cyclist Eddie Merckx. Anyway, the beer is a crimson coloured Belgian style brown ale aged on cherries in French and American red wine barrels. It develops in the bottle for up to 5 years but few are capable of waiting that long.
And, one more thing, get hold of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout if you can. Aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for eight months, its a vinous vortex of smoke, wood, cherry, a bit of coconut and toffee. It’s also 13% ABV so, you know, drink it responsibly. And be nice to people.
Both beers are great with a little bit of dark chocolate. Waffles? Chips and mayonnaise? Not so much.
If you want to buy these beers then call 01422 377 560 or send an email to email@example.com. Tell them Dwink sent you and you may get a discount. Alternatively, you may not.