Goose IPA — Goose Island Beer Co.

Let’s just get this part done and out of the way right now: Yes, I know Goose Island is owned by ABIB, and no, I don’t like ABIB in even the tiniest way. Yes, I know many people were outraged (OUTRAGED), when Goose Island sold to ABIB, but want to know a secret? I’ve had pre- and post-buyout versions of a few of their beers, and things are going just fine. Sofie doesn’t taste like Bud Light or corn or anything. If you’re really offended by the whole thing, feel free to tap-out here, but if you like balanced IPAs (which Goose IPA is), you might want to keep on reading.

Goose Island has been in Ontario now for at least a few years. Sofie and Matilda have been available at the LCBO, and Honkers has been a safe bet in many a rocky landscape of noun and firkin-type pubs. There was never a doubt that we would see more of their products make their way north from Chicago. So I wasn’t even a little surprised when I received a pair of Goose IPAs.

Goose IPA — Goose Island Beer Co.

Goose IPA — Goose Island Beer Co.

From a 341ml bottle, Goose IPA pours a lovely clear deep amber with the slightest traces of brown at the centre, reminiscent of Estonian amber jewelry. A generous tight white head of about 2.5″ drops to a dense layer of foam that leaves notable lace on the glass. Aroma is a classic American-style IPA, biscuity malts and pine resin hops. There is a touch of caramel, and some orange pulp and earthiness to the nose as well. Taste is actually a bit surprising. The immediate balance shows more kinship to an English IPA, though the hops are clearly new world. Still, there’s more focus on the balance of the clean sweet malts, showing some toast and biscuits, and a stiff, moderately astringent hop bitterness. The pine and resin are there, though not as pronounced as they were on the nose. The finish is a well-balanced linger that tends towards the dry hoppiness of the beer. It doesn’t show it’s 5.9% abv at all, and with it’s smooth, nearly creamy mouthfeel, it makes for a rather sessionable IPA. Not to be confused with a Session IPA….. I’m not sure if the discrepancy between the advertised “bright citrus aromas” on the label and my own notes are due to the distance/time it’s traveled (Chicago isn’t that far, but with the bureaucracy of getting beer on to shelves in the province, it might as well be Scotland), or if it’s just the differences of people’s palates, but regardless, as it is in my glass right now, this is a lovely IPA. Oh, this is a bit strange. I just noticed on The Beer Store’s website that this is listed as brewed in Canada. Okay, I guess I just get different things out of this beer. Still, I like it. If this starts showing up in sports bars and other cold-yellow-beer type locations, I’ll be a happy camper indeed.

Cheers to Goose Island!

Buy Goose IPA

At The Beer Store now, Yes, you will need to buy something at The Beer Store if you’d like to get your hands on this. I’m sorry. I just saw it at the LCBO too (Warden and Eglington)! But for some reason I can’t find it on their website.

Drink It With

The usual spicy/hoppy idea will work well here, but with Goose IPA’s more balanced approach, maybe go for a spicy dish that shows a more balanced approach too. I’m thinking blackened catfish. The hoppy bite will temper both the moderate spiciness of the fish, as well as the fattiness of the fish. For cheese, you don’t need to get too intense with the cheddars for this one, and in fact, you could even opt for something a bit more mellow. A 1 year old cheddar, or maybe even something totally different, like a lightly spiced gouda?

About The Brewery

It all started with a trip across Europe, when Goose Island founder and beer lover, John Hall, tasted what Europe had to offer. Pint by pint, he savoured the regional beer styles and selections of the continent. An idea was born.

Craft brewing wasn’t widely known at the time, but upon his return from Europe, Hall set out to change all that. He settled down in his hometown of Chicago—a city perfect for craft beer, with rapidly evolving tastes and the largest system of fresh water on the planet. And then he got to brewing.

Since 1988, Goose Island has been shaping the craft brew landscape with brews that define classic and innovative styles, win awards, and captivate the hearts, imaginations, and palates of beer drinkers. For more information, visit

Full Audio of this Review


  1. Matt
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Always liked this one. The BarTowel-ers seem convinced that draft and bottles are being brewed in different places, hence the slightly different flavours.

    I also am hoping to see it in a few ABInBev bars – Honkers is fine, but the IPA will give me much more pleasure should I be in such a place.

    (And yes, I know it’s “illegal” to have an ABInBev bar… so there couldn’t possibly be any anywhere, right?)

  2. Posted August 13, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Loving the beer!! On a related note we’ve got a competition to win a heritage set of Alhambra Reserva 1925 beer, check it out . If you like cooking with beer there’s also a recipe for Alhambra beer battered stuffed courgette flowers, pine nuts & honey – let me know what you think . . .

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