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Eric Strader
Eric Strader
Eric Strader writes about the craft beer scene in Indiana and Michigan. He's a dad, husband, potter, soccer coach, special education paraprofessional, who likes to read, bike, hike, and canoe.

Goose Island Beer Company to release The Illinois

Chicago based Goose Island Beer Company will soon be releasing the first beer in their new Imperial Series


Posted on Feb. 19, 2014 at 5:33 p.m.

Beginning February 24, Goose Island Beer Company will release The Illinois (imperial IPA, 9% ABV, IBUs 95). Here is a bit of a description from the brewery - “Big, like our edgy-but-dependable home Chicago. Big, like the sprawling imagination of our brewers. Big, like the flavor, aroma and mouth feel of our latest series of beers that were created for our beer loving fans.”

This beer is an homage to “The Mile High Illinois,” a skyscraper designed for the city of Chicago in 1956 by Frank Lloyd Wright, but was never built. Had it been built, it would still be the tallest building in the world today – standing 528 stories and 1,600 meters tall.

Here is more information provided by Goose Island Beer Company:


Like the beer’s namesake, Goose Island has crafted The Illinois to be big, bold, and to push the limits of hop flavor and aroma.

Color, Aroma and Taste: Deep gold in color with a complex citrus aroma and a taste that is balanced with clean bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body

Hops: Chinook, Cascade, Citra and Meridian

The Illinois will be available in 12 oz. bottle 4-packs and draft with limited national distribution starting on February 24. I do not yet know what bottle shops or bars in Michiana will be lucky enough to get this, but we can be sure that Michiana will not be left out in the cold.

For more information Visit GooseIsland.com, Twitter.com/GooseIsland and Facebook.com/gooseislandbeer

Other Brews about the town.

I have it on good authority that there is a keg of Lagunitas IPA that will be delivered to the Constant Spring very soon. This will be the first keg in Elkhart County. This has already been tapped at Legends of Notre Dame and O'rourke's, and Bar Louie has 2 ½ barrels that will be tapped as soon as the last drops of New Belgium Spring Blonde are tapped out.

While it did not arrive in time for Valentine's Day, Boulevard Chocolate Ale (9.1% ABV, IBUs 24) will hit Michiana shelves very soon. The brewery collaborated with Christopher Elbow , makers of artisanal chocolates, who recommended a rare variety of chocolate from the Dominican Republic, prized for its robust flavor and aroma. This chocolate was introduced into the brewing in the form of nibs or crushed, roasted beans. Only 14 cases of 750ml bottles and five 1/6 barrels of Chocolate Ale will be distributed in Michiana, so if you see it on the shelf, don't think twice.

Are you ready for some really great news? There are some quarter barrels of Bell's Black Note (bourbon barrel aged stout, 11.5% ABV) that are ready to hit Michiana. This is among the most sought after Bell's beers and is a blend of their Expedition Stout and Double Cream Stout. I do not yet know where they will show up, but with only three, they will not last long.

Founder's Smoked Porter (8% ABV) was released recently as a part of their Backstage series, and although no bottles made it to Michiana, we will see some draft. It was not on the original tap list for the Founders tap take over at O'Rourke's Public House , but they pulled a surprise and did tap this. If you are lucky, it might still be available. If not, you will get a second chance at Fiddler's Hearth in South Bend.

Lastly, one of my favorite beers, from one of my favorite Michigan breweries will be available later this week. According to Short's Brewing facebook and website, Goodnight Bodacious (double black IPA, 9% ABV, IBUs 90) will hit distribution starting Wednesday, February 19th. Shorts does not distribute outside of Michigan, however, Kalamazoo is not that far away


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