Willow St. Wit
Goose Island Beer Co.

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Wheat Beer - Witbier
Ranked #234
Ranked #35,525
3.71 | pDev: 11.59%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Notes: Bright yellow color, orange herbal aroma, sweet coriander flavor, medium-light body.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 52 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at GI's Clybourn brew house which, actually, is on the corner with Willow Street . (Hence, the wit's name.)
After a four year hiatus of this brew that is only brewed and served at this location, I get to do the first BA review. (and the recipe may have changed a bit as I read through the earlier reviews.)

Looks are more amber and clear than blond and cloudy; but this is an ok variation of the style's characteristic. Smells and Tastes are very similar; just a pleasant ale with perhaps more barley than is usual in a wheat beer. Hops and some spice provides balance, but they don't influence the flavor too much. I get a gentle, somewhat dry finish.

Went well with a flatbread.

I could have Willow Street Wit again in a few years... but what are the chances given that I used to live three blocks away and this is the first time I ever made it in here. But don't be slow like me; come see the newly renovated restaurant.

Aug 05, 2018
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Draft: Poured a hazy yellow color ale with a small foamy head. Aroma of wheat malt with light spices notes. Taste is a mix of lightly sweet wheat malt notes with some spices and some cloves notes are also noticeable. Body is about average with good carbonation. Not bad but doesn’t really stand out either.

May 19, 2016
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SD-Alefan from South Dakota

4/5  rDev +7.8%

Enjoyed on tap at Goose Island Clybourn. From the tap, it pours a hazy pale straw with a bubbly head that leaves plenty of lacing.
The aroma is nice, with some lemon and orange zest and funky Belgian yeast scents. Also some underlying spice notes.
This is a very tasty Belgian Wit. I get citrus and yeast first with the coriander and spice behind and a lingering tingle on the tongue. A nice funky presence as well.
It's fairly thin bodied with plenty of carbonation.
A tasty and refreshing brew.

Oct 15, 2014
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Very cloudy pale yellow, white head with polka-dotted lacing. Plentiful loose bubbles. Foggy residue is apparent at the end of the glass.

S: Wheat, orange peel, lots of spice, with a touch of sharp funk permeating everything.

T: Orange juice with a solid backbone of spice; the spice is assertive but heavy handed and not very balanced, the coriander is heated almost like cinnamon. Still, very flavorful, very refreshing, and overall pretty well constructed.

M: Possibly slightly flat, but light bodied and easy drinking.

O: A witbier with an original character: one that is not timid with the spices. You judge whether that's for better or worse.

May 13, 2014
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deebo from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Clybourn brewpub.
A-Extremely pale and clear with a ringing white foam.
S-Yes this is a Belgian wit. This one has a lemony estery yeasty quality. Light on the clean grain.
T-More like Hoegaarden than Blue Moon....lemon esters vs. orange.
M-Thin bodied with high carbonation.
O-This is an extremely drinkable wit. Crisp, clean and tasty. Can't ask for much more. Very well done. Probably my favorite beer of the night.

Jul 27, 2013
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin head on a cloudy straw colored body. Nice lacing. Strong lemon custard aroma with grain and pale malt musty notes. Flavor is more bland with club soda, grain, pale malts and little else. Light body and high carbonation. This one tastes like club soda. Not one of the better beers from this brewey.

Aug 11, 2012
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a willibecher at the Clybourn brewpub.

Let's keep the lightness flowing, shall we? This stuff pours a hazy pale straw topped by over a finger of white froth. The nose comprises wheat, light black pepper, light orange zest, very light lemon zest, and a kiss of coriander. The taste brings in more of the same, with the lemon and coriander really taking stronger roles. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta grainy feel. Overall, a generally enjoyable wit, nothing outstanding, but eminently drinkable.

Jun 07, 2012
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inlimbo77 from Delaware

3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Goose Island Clybourn Brew Pub. Poured into a 20oz imperial pint glass.

A: This came to the table a cloudy hazy bright yellow. Bright white thin layer of head. Fades to a ring. No lacing at all. Lower ABV.

S: On the nose I get lots of the traditional Wit flavors: Coriander orange zest and floral hop notes. Nothing mind blowing, but smells nice.

T: On the sip I get some of those spices up front, but then you get lots of orange and citrus flavors that you smelled. It's very easy to drink. Not as tasty, to me, as the 312 Wheat but a solid offering.

M: This is a light bodied brew.

Apr 11, 2012
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emerge077 from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Willibecher glass at Goose Clybourn.

Opaque pastel yellow, crowned with a thin layer of fine foam, depositing rings of lacing down the glass. Retention was ok, the foam eventually parted halfway through the glass.

Orange and sprite aroma, not especially sweet but lightly so, some mild earthy spice and wheaty presence round things. out.

Plenty of orange, definitely an Orangina character (spot on Adam), dry and minerally with plenty of orange peel and pith. Smooth with some effervescence to carry it, lightly sweet but definitely not cloying. Finishes clean, somewhat dry, lingering notes of orange peel and spicy Belgian yeast. Great quencher after 6.5 miles of riding today.

Jul 16, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the Clybourn location.

Pours a moderate golden yellow with a bit of haze. White head with a bit of lacing. The nose brings some light spicing as well as a good dose of citrus, mostly oranges. The taste is light wheat with a bit of sweetness as well as a tiny bit of citrus. A bit too sweet. Good body and carbonation and a nice wheat profile. Drinks well and is a solid brew for the style.

Nov 13, 2010
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jampics2 from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Goose Island Tap Takeover at Market in Rocky River.  After some detective work by Eddy, we have lift-off and we know we are drinking some rare geese, and the right geese. 

Willow street wheat is a yellow orange color with some nice head and lace.  Cloudy and really nice looking overall.

I put my nose in the glass and get a ton of green coriander, some nice orange peel, and some nice yeasty esters. A touch of lemon rounds things out and then a dry yeast takes over.  Some grassy hops also make their presence known.  Traditional and flavorful.

The taste is primarily composed of some great wheat, orange peel, bright citrus flavor with some nice, fresh coriander. Really, really nice but a touch too chalky and dry, with a Sahara Desert of a finish.   Orange liquor and honey also have some presence, adding a touch of complexity to an otherwise to-the-style beer.

Mouthfeel is composed of a creamy carb and medium body.  A really nice vibe is going on here!    But the chalk is a touch too much.  Still, this is an awesome, refreshing, great Summertime beer!  

Oct 19, 2010
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AgentZero from Illinois

2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a slightly cloudy yellow color with a decent sized head. No lacing.

S - Very yeasty and dry smelling, with a bit of orange peel and corriander. Not quite what I was expecting.

T - Little lemon, too much honey, really though, this is kind of boring.

M - Flat, somehow watery and syrupy at the same time.

D - It's not hard to drink, but it's not a good beer. Don't want this again.

Oct 09, 2010
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer has a clear yellow body with a gentle carbonation and a thin wispy white head that fades to a thin ring around the edge.
S- This beer has a dry candied coriander aroma and a light citrus hint but is otherwise pretty clean. There is a light cheese rind note that comes through as the beer warms.
T- The taste of field corn and raw fresh grain melds int a crisp dry coriander flavor. There is an orange quality to follow and a dry finish that has a carbonic acid dry note.
M- This beer has a dry crisp light mouthfeel.
D- The very light but full coriander flavor is not really overpowering but does take center stage. There is just a bit of watery flavor that comes though keeping this beer thin. As the beer opens up the light malt notes with the coriander spice give it a pumpkin pie "lite" beer quality.

Oct 01, 2010
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a five oz. sampler taster at the GIBC Clybourn location.

Pours an orange tinged yellow. Nice foaming, even in the sampler glass.

Very fruity taste, real nice blend in there - orange, citrus. Almost tastes like it has TripelSec in it.

Smooth mouthfeel. Nice beer. Only had 5 ounces, but could easily see ordering a full one.

Sep 05, 2010
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Sweetmambyjamby from Indiana

3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap

A- The color of a florida perfectly ripened orange. With two finger thick fluffy off white on the orange side head.

S- This is just a plethora of fruit hitting the nose. So many there all in the citrus family.

T- I think that it has a fruity pebbles taste. There is only one other beer I've ever drank with a taste like that. Luckily this one is not as strong. The orange is prevalent. It's a souped up Blue moon.

M- Thicker than expected when ordering. But after the appearance not so much. I wanted a lighter fruitier beer, but didn't get that of course.

D- Just average, I mean in Chicago so many other beers are offered even at GI that I wouldn't drink it again. But not terrible.

Aug 21, 2010
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mothman from Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Farmers Market Series

Pours 1/2 finger of bright white head . Color is a clear dark golden orange.

Aroma: A fairly large wit. Lots of fresh fruits and spices. Coriander, lemon, oranges, and wheat flavors.

Taste: Much bigger beer than I was expecting. Lots of wheat flavors with coriander, orange peel, and some other spices showing. Also get some lemon zest.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry with grassy hops.

Overall, a very large wit. Big flavors with a larger than normal body. Fairly drinkable. A nice summer treat.

Jul 31, 2010
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ghostee from Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a funky yellow with a large creamy head, which leaves a bit of lacing. Head retention is good.

Smell is dominated by citrus.

Taste follows the nose. Citrus flavors, some lemon and orange, slight sweetness. Some grassy notes. Crisp and refreshing, and finishes slightly dry.

Mouthfeel is lighter bodied, medium/high carbonation. Refreshing and bites the tongue a bit.

Drinkability is high. This is a perfect beer to session on a summer afternoon. Goes down super easy.

This is an excellent beer that reminds me somewhat of blue moon, but way better. I wish they bottled this.

Apr 29, 2010
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spointon from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at the Clybourn pub today, served in a tall narrow pint glass.

A= This ale poured a cloudy yellow color with some light orange highlights. The all white head rose just 1/4" and then dropped to a skim quickly. No lacing to speak of.

S= Had a surprisingly funky aroma, almost like saison horse blanket. Pleasant, but unexpected. Some malty sweetness and fruitiness in there as well as some light spicing.

T= Much like the aroma, but with the horse blanket funk less prominent. Malt sweetness and fruity esters played well against the coriander and spice flavors. Finished dry and nicely tart.

MF= Light bodied with a modest carbonation level and great refreshing feel.

D= A damn drinkable and refreshing summer ale. I would happily drink many of these on a hot day.

Jul 12, 2009
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mynie from Maryland

1.98/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

(I distinctly remember this being billed as a wit...)

Gorgeous pour of cloudy yolk and electric yellow. Big head, for a weizen glass.

Smells harsh. Not in a good way. Pepper, but not wheatmalt-type pepper so much as "let's pour some black pepper into this beer"-type pepper. It's overwhelming, no citrus sweetness or anything to cut into the bitterness.

Tastes like it smells, unfortunately. I had to re-check the beer menu to make sure this wasn't of a much higher ABV, since it tasted so intense and unpleasant. Loads and loads of pepper, light yeast spice, fiery alcohol. Nothing else.

How do you nail a smoked Maibock, of all things, but then fumble when it comes to a simple wheat? Maybe I just got spoiled drinking a whole growler of Live Oak a few days before, but this beer wasn't even mediocre--I couldn't finish it.

May 19, 2009
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GbVDave from Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at Goose Island-Clybourn 8/6/08. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Served a completely unfiltered muted peach color with a tiny, bright-white head and no lace.

S: Characteristic aromas of coriander, orange/citrus, spices, and fragrant yeast.

T: See above. Tangy citrus, spicy coriander, lemon-y hops, and lightly toasted/biscuity malt.

M: Dry and spicy and very sticky.

D: Awesome summer beer. They should bottle this instead of 312 (or at least as a summer seasonal in six-packs...)

Aug 13, 2008
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botham from New York

4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the Wrigleyville Brewpub in Chicago, poured into a pub glass. pours a vellowish color, resembling lemonade with a touch of amber. little to no head is present, with no lacings.

aroma is light and fruity, with fruit notes of lemon, banana and a bit of grape are present, with a bit of orange as well. a wheat malt base base helps the fruit come to the front of the palate, while a subtle backbone of citrusy hops rounds out the profile.

taste is more of the same, with a more pronounced wheat malt character and a finish of sweet malt and lightly bitter hops in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel is light bodied and mildly tart, with a lightly spiced quality at the back of the palate. aftertaste is of residual lightly spiced hops.

drinkability is good. this is a solid white ale, without an overly sweet profile or too much citrus. not bad for a white ale. cheers!

Aug 11, 2008
Willow St. Wit from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 52 ratings