Friday, April 16, 2010

Swapping out the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs

Goose Island has been full of news lately. First, news that they're killing distribution of their Nut Brown & Oatmeal Stout. While I think both of those are good beers, I can't think of the last time I had either of them. I think Bell's Best Brown is a better option for an English Brown Ale (though is only available seasonally), but also quite enjoy Samuel Smith's Nut Brown as well. Regardless, I was initially surprised to see the brewery put an end to the distribution of beers that provide 40% of its year-round selection. But with such a heavy focus now by beer enthusiasts on limited and seasonal releases, it makes sense to focus on more lucrative and marketable products.

Additionally, Goose Island explained on Facebook that "in the competition for fermentation capacity, tap handles, and shelf space, Nut Brown and Oatmeal Stout have been disadvantaged by the increasing popularity of hoppy, wheat, sour, and barrel aged beer styles. We are grateful for the few loyal aficionados who have enjoyed our old friends until the end. To you, we can offer only assurance that the Goose Island brewpubs will continue to brew regular batches of both beers and offer them by the pint and by the growler to enjoy at home."

Presumably, that means we'll be on the lookout for more beers from Goose Island like Sofie, Bourbon County Stout (and its derivatives), and their newest release, Fleur: “A Belgian style pale ale blended with hibiscus and kombucha tea, Fleur is a beautiful, rose-colored ale with an aroma of strawberries and hibiscus flowers. Her flavor balance starts with a hint of sweet, ripe, berry and finishes tart.”

If you're interested in the evolution of Goose Island, you may want to attend Barleys' next Beer School this coming Monday (April 19th) at 6pm. It'll be held at the Overland Park location and costs $8 per person. To get your tickets, call 913-663-4099.


  1. Yeah, this isn't good news. I think both the Nut Brown and Oatmeal Stouts are really good, and I'm tired of drinking all the 10% extreme stuff. Just want something nice to come home from work to. Oh well; I guess I didn't buy these all that often, but it's still sad to see them go.

  2. That's a bummer, both of those are very enjoyable beers. The Oatmeal Stout is one of my favorite stouts, looks like I'll have to pick up a few of these before they disappear from the shelves.

    The head on that Bourbon County is Photoshopped. There's no way you'll get a head like that from that beer unless they've changed their recipe. I picked up a 4 pack a year or so ago and thought I had a bad batch because there was no head, but most of the BA reviews said that was the norm.


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