Goose Island is always the subject of a lot of discussion amongst the craft beer people, in part because they were one of, if not the first, craft brewery that ABInBev bought. Perhaps they were just the highest profile brewery at the time-I don’t recall. While the pro side of this arrangement (we can drink Goose Island beer in Portland, they can produce more styles) and the con side (eventually, the macro-brew mentality will catch up and the beer will suffer) of the argument can go on forever, the proof is in the pudding. So to speak.
So let’s try their IPA.
The hops smell stale, old oranges coming up. The finish keeps with the start, a flavor like wet paper coming to round it all up. It’s practically vegetal, like celery.
I hate celery.
Note, this beer is in a can: It should last for quite some time, nearly impervious to light and air. That leaves heat and age as the likely culprits.
Because while I think Goose Island is a brewery that people should have conversations about, re: their ownership by ABInBev, and especially what that means for the quality of their product in the future, it’s difficult to have that conversation when I’m reviewing a beer that is so clearly off.
The notation on the bottom of the can lists 12/15. Four months in the can shouldn’t have that much of an impact, should it? According to my brief research on the internet: no. Four to six months, assuming you’ve kept a can of beer under proper conditions.
Which leaves some other weak link in the distribution chain. And that sucks, because I dropped $9.50 for 4 cans of beer that doesn’t taste very good and it likely doesn’t taste very good because didn’t do their job. But you know who I’m holding accountable for that? Goose Island, because they have all the support of the biggest brewery in the world now. There is no reason why their product should reach shelves in poor condition or stay on them after their date.