Goose Island Brewery

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I’ve loved beer since my first sip of a Belgian kriek in Brussels, on January 2nd, 2007. I knew at that moment, for the next 2

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weeks, I was going to have a beer with every lunch and dinner. It was as expensive as water sometimes, and tasted waaay better. Also, what better place to start drinking beer with seriousness than Belgium,

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Austria, and Germany? I tried as many as I could and when I came back, despite still only being 20, I knew I must continue to try different beers at school. I found friends who liked me enough to listen to exact and strange orders for beer runs. One girl kept asking me if I was sure it was called an Oatmeal Stout, “Oatmeal? Really? Oatmeal?”. ::sigh::

I quickly exhausted Walmart and Gerbes’ selections, and found myself going with my mom to Binny’s, Sam’s, Cost Plus World Market and Trader Joes when I was home and Arena and Hyvee at school.

A consistent goal of mine has been to “complete” a brewery. I’ve only done this a few times, as good breweries keep releasing new seasonals or testing new beers entirely. My stipulation is not to include trying beers available on tap only, though that would be ideal, it’s not really feasible as my beer wall relies on cutting out the box. For bottled beers, I’ve only finished Leinenkugel, New Belgium, and Goose Island. I am really close on Schlafly and Boulevard (just missing some seasonals). Of course, some breweries don’t make that many styles, so for example, Berghoff is much easier to get through than Schlafly.

I have incredible pride in my hometown, Chicago, and consequently, one of my favorite breweries is Goose Island. I hold many great memories of those boxes. The first time I drank Honker’s Ale in a keg at a friends party in Wrigleyville, the refreshing sips of 312 had outside Cloud Gate at Millenium Park, and many more.

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Celebrity Chefs and Housewares… Oh My!

Let me just get this outta the way. From what I’ve seen and who I’ve met, despite their celebrity status, the chefs at the IHA show at McCormick Place in Chicago were a.) really down to earth, and b.) really good chefs. Morimoto transformed a daikon into paper thin pasta sheets with just a knife by peeling and turning. Todd English can chop an onion faster than I’ve ever seen, with precision and calm I can’t imagine possible in front of a good 300+ people.

The real part of the show was the exhibitors and buyers walking around. Of course big names were there, KitchenAid, Wusthof, Pyrex, Lodge, Le Creuset (new colors are black and white, and they look nicer than it sounds, I promise). These booths looked like they could cost between 3,000 and 40,000 dollars, it was all pretty impressive.

This was also the first year restaurants were allowed booths, which was cool. Buca Di Beppo, Goose Island, and Lettuce Entertain You were there. I’ll write an entirely separate post for it, but I was given free beer wooden nickels to Goose Island plus a bag of potato chips (ironic if you read the preview post…).

Anyway, on to the chefs, that’s all you probably care about.

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Continue reading “Celebrity Chefs and Housewares… Oh My!”

Pepsi Throwback

Read this bit of news over at Daring Fireball. Pretty exciting, hopefully it will spur more of the carbonated beverage industry to use cane sugar. I love Dr. Pepper, and I’ve never tasted it better than in Galveston, TX because they bring it up from Mexico, and don’t use any of that High Fructose Corn Syrup crap. I don’t really know the whole explanation behind sugar import laws and whatnot, but I know it would be more expensive to use pure cane sugar on a large scale. (Do you have any idea how much soda we drink every year? Coca-Cola sold 22.7 billion gallons worldwide in 2007 alone)

My personal favorite beverage companies

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using pure cane sugar are Fitz’s Sodas from St. Louis and Goose Island’s Root Beer from Chicago. (Goose Island makes some killer real beers too, I’ve tried every style they have bottled except two of the special seasonal brews. Maybe one day I’ll write up a review on 312 Urban Wheat, one of my favorite wheat beers.)

Let’s hope Coca-Cola does the same thing as Pepsi, let’s use our dollar votes to stimulate this economy everyone is complaining about, and let’s make throwback the new hotness.

UPDATE

Gerbes sells Mexican Coca-Cola in glass bottles in the “ethnic” aisle. Unfortunately, it was like 1.29 or 1.79 per bottle… lame. Still, if you’ve never had it, I strongly suggest you at least try it once, see what you’re missing.