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Goose Island Beer Co.

Place Score:

Type: Brewery, Bar

1800 W Fulton St
Chicago, Illinois, 60612-2512
United States

(312) 226-1119 | map

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 157
Photo of Beginner2
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

I'm reviewing my visit to bourbon barrel-aging warehouse, the Belgian-style brewing plant across the street and the wild ale barrel-aging warehouse around the corner.

These production buildings were opened to the public for Open House Chicago in October 2012 and included a hard-hat tour of the taproom. (So, our samples were in the wild ale warehouse.)

I've selected this to review to continue an earlier thread that I responded to about AB (GI's parent) buying up too many little guys with the implication that it is undermining the craft brewing industry. (Preview on my opinion: it's have the opposite effect, acquisition by "big guys" is making the industry grow in multiple ways as it brings in capital and expands markets.)

Back to the tour... I ride my bike by the open bourbon barrel and the smell totally draws me in. The tour is being led by a new marketing staffer who seems sincere about GI remaining and becoming a bigger part of the community. (They are.) He introduces the head brewer who, I believe, was the son of GI's founder. After about 15 minutes of inhaling the fumes in an enclosed space (we didn't need samples at that point), they bring us around the corner for wild ales... most of which are in wine barrels. Their aroma is milder and I can actually concentrate on the explanation of the chemistry of wild ales. They give us samples. Good enough then and good enough since then (although they are not the best value... but also are expensive to make.)

We go to the Belgian brewing and bottling plant across the street and then the front room of the taproom.

So, here's the question: Is all this acquisition good for craft brewing? It absolutely is. I continue to track GI's premium beers to see if they are following AB's pledge not to alter recipes. My notes over the years indicate no decline in quality. My main wonder is if AB will release the capital so Bourbon County can expand to the point that we can find the offerings on the shelf again.

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Photo of dukeandduke
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

2/4/16 - First trip to the tap room and definitely won't be the last. About 10 offerings, many of which are limited releases / productions which allow beer lovers to sample a wide range of offerings. Their Bourbon County Series is outstanding. Great place to sample a few beers. Would like to take the tour someday as well. Staff knowledgeable and friendly. Prices reasonable. Near downtown and the stadium. Cheers!

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Had a great time at the Goose Island tasting room at 1800 W. Fulton. I'm not a huge fan of GI's non-barrel aged offerings, but they had a nice selection of non-distro stuff on tap, including their old oatmeal stout and a nice double IPA brewed with orange juice. The staff is really nice and helpful and the hour-long tour is definitely worth it.

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Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Although I've been to the Fulton brewery a number of times, this was a visit to the public taproom preview yesterday. I'm not sure why there are so many place ratings for a brewery not open to the public until this weekend.

Lots of friendly staff on hand, lots of tour groups, sharp looking modern space, all about the corporate branding. Subway tiled walls, a wheelchair accessible ramp, full view of the bottling line past the bar. A few goose drafts, nothing too wild. A Dunkel with cascara and cacao nibs was on cask. A small nook in the back with assorted swag merchandise.

Overall an ok experience, probably will be a nice spot during off hours minus all the tour groups.

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Photo of Wobbly
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4

A good brewery that used to be much better. If not for their excellent Bourbon County Brand series, I would give much lower marks. Their base line beers are completely uninspired and their mid tier (Sofie, Pere Jacques, Matilda, etc.) are good but overrated.

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Goose Island Beer Co. in Chicago, IL
- out of 100 based on 5 ratings.