I spent the past weekend glamping for the first time in Goose Island’s hop farm. One of the highlights of the weekend was a dinner between the vines cooked by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard, and paired with some of Goose Island’s barrel-aged beers, including the newest addition to its lineup: Brasserie Blanc.
I hadn’t had the opportunity to try this one yet, but once I did, our little section of the table had to ask for another one. Technically, it was released with three other beers last month: The Cooper Project No. 2, Juicy Double, and Imperial 49.
Brasserie Blanc is fermented with Napa Valley Orange Muscat grape juice and then aged in oak wine barrels for 14 months with Brettanomyces claussenii. That grape juice makes this one interesting, and exceptionally drinkable.
From the second the beer is poured, you get some of that muscat on the nose, along with citrus and other tropical fruit. The brett pairs really interestingly with the tart fruit, leaving you with a really well-balanced beer with a dry finish that just begs for you to take another sip. It’s light-bodied, but with a ton of flavor.
I typically have a hard time drinking more than one bretted beer in a sitting, but this one I could have very easily drunk all night (except that it’s 8.6% and I would have eventually ended up on the floor — or ground in this case).
If you happen to come across a bottle, it’s definitely worth a try.
Brewery: Goose Island Beer Company
City: Chicago, Illinois
Style: Barrel-Aged Golden Ale