Monday, January 28, 2013

1/28: Goose Island Mild Winter

After yesterday's tasty beer made with rye, I thought I'd try another today in Goose Island's Mild Winter.  The label describes it as "American mild ale brewed with rye," and that is what it is.  This is an ale with some rye bread-y notes.  It isn't bad, but it doesn't create the same magic with the rye that Canoe Paddler did.  But still, a solid 3. 

But the label that so clearly described the beer also confused me.  Was this the same Goose Island Brewing Company that made 312 Urban Wheat Ale?  "312" is Chicago's area code, and Goose Island is a Chicago beer... but this Goose Island says "Brewed and Bottled... in Baldwinsville, New York."  The Chicago Tribune set me straight; Goose Island was purchased by Anheuser-Busch a few years back and starting in the second half of 2012, Chicago's Goose Island is going nationwide - being brewed at A-B plants from Colorado to New Hampshire, including their facility in Baldwinsville, NY. 

I prefer this truth in labeling to just printing the address of the home office.  The consumer has the information, and can decide if they care that Chicago's beer is now being brewed elsewhere.  And they can also judge if quality control is up to their personal standards.  Does NY's Goose Island taste the same as CO's, and taste the same as the original.  Granted a bunch of long-time fans are likely to come to the knee-jerk conclusion that only Chicago's Goose Island (or Chippewa Falls' Leinie's, etc.) is the real deal and the others are impostors, so I understand why a brewery might not be as revealing.  But at the end of day, beer is a food product and I want to know both where and when it was brewed.  Kudos to Goose Island for clearly labeling the bottled date of this beer as 11/10/12, as well as saying it is "brewery fresh" for 180 days after that date.  I much prefer that than giving an expiration date, or worse yet a coded bottled date.

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