Goose Island Clybourn
Active Beers: 295
Beer Ratings: 56,839
Beer Avg: 3.87
Taps: 18 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 294 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by 4thoseabout2bock:
4.3/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$$
Goose Clybourn has a couple of rooms with very different feels. If you come in from the parking lot that it shares with Bed Bath and Beyond, you walk past a restaurant area that feels like any other brew pub or TGIF. The Siebel beer school room is on the left when you enter.
If you walk straight back and to the left you will find the bar. (or enter from the Sam's side, and walk in past the brew kettles). (Sam's is a liquor and beer store directly across the street with 2 full aisles of quality beer)
The main bar room has the full bar in the round -- like Cheers -- really. There are something close to 40 barstools and sets of goose-necked taphandles on the three sides (the fourth side is used as a wait station). Plus there are some high bar tables around the walls now on 2 sides, and booths on the other two. TVs are located throughout the bar room for easy viewing of sporting events. On special occaisions (Bears or White Sox playoff games), they'll put the sound on. Otherwise, the free juke box is the background.
There is a patio off the bar room on one side, and also a downstairs with couches and a large screen TV, and a loft with pool tables. With these varied options, whatver your ambiance preferences, there is a room for you.
Sitting around the bar from early afternoon into the evening you will find everyone -- beer travellers, contractors who are supposed to be at home depot and stopped off here on the way or way back, shoppers and employees from surrounding stores, other regulars and local beerophiles (many of whom have earned their MBAs -- masters of beer appreciation a few times over) and often the owners.
The bartenders are friendly and knowledgable. They will know your name by your second visit.
The food is fine -- its bar food -- a little expensive. The burgers and pulled pork sandwich are good options. The potato chips are addictive, but I can't order them because they used to be free bar snacks once upon a time, and I can't reconcile paying for them.
This leads to the major negative about Goose -- the prices. The strongest beers are $7-8 per snifter. We've been all over, and noticed two things. Goose Clybourn has the best housemade selection, with the most beers and most seasonals of any brewpub we have visited. Most usually only have half a dozen beers or so at a time (except maybe Pizza Port in San Diego and Selin's Grove in PA), while Goose usually has a dozen or so (with something on handpull). But bar none, its the most expensive. The glass sizes are getting smaller for the better beers, and the prices are also getting higher.
Despite that, I have to recommend it highly. The beers are top quality. They have an Ed on tap right now (smoked imperial brown goose) that is wonderful and Will's currently aging another version of it in Bourbon barrels. The Belgians are strong examples of the form. Sometimes bubblegummy, sometimes light and dry and spicy. The Bourbon County Stout is excellent to exquisite, depending on the batch. The selection on any given day will include a half dozen standards (312, Honkers, Kolsch/Summertime. Nut Brown, IPA) and then several seasonals. From hophead offerings and American Barleywines, to Belgian, German and British styles, Will Turner has been doing a very nice job with all of them. Surely Goose Clybourn is a destination that should not be missed. Plus its easy to reach on the red line (North/Clybourn stop).
Also, its fairly close to both Piece and MapRoom, which would make a great Chicago visit Beer Trifecta.
08-21-2006 03:04:28 | More by 4thoseabout2bock
More User Reviews:
Goose Island Clybourn in Chicago, IL
94 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.