Beer: India Pale Ale
Brewer: Goose Island Beer Co.
Style: English IPA
Description: Goose Island's India Pale Ale pours a clear amber gold color with a slight off-white head that has great retention. In the nose, you will smell lots of citrus, a great punch of grapefruit with a slight hint of biscuit and caramel from the malt. Upon the first sip, you realize that the nose matches the taste perfectly. Your taste buds get waves of citrus, grapefruit, and slight floral characteristics followed with a pleasing balance of biscuit and caramel malts. The body of this beer is exactly what you would want from an IPA, some heft but not enough to overpower the hops, just perfectly balanced. Also, this beer is extremely dry; as quick as the citrus flavors hit the taste buds, the flavor disappears almost immediately after you swallow. I love a great dry IPA; this can really showcase the hops, and Goose Island's IPA certainly does this with flare.
Food pairing: English-styled IPA's are different than their American counterparts – why you ask? Well, the English style uses much less aggressive hops than the American ones. This use of less aggressive hops provides a smoother beer drinking experience without fear of palate exhaustion from the overabundant hopping many of us are used to. This characteristic makes this beer a great match for roasted dishes due to the malty character within this beer; dishes such as roasted chicken or turkey are perfect. Goose Island's IPA is also a fantastic lunch beer, not only because of its mild ABV, but it also goes perfect with a nice turkey sandwich, hamburger, salad, or feel free to have it with your favorite less-than-healthy fried dish. This IPA is certainly a drink that you can experiment with due to its dry character and lack of a coating left on the palate. The beer will not overpower many dishes and will meld perfectly into most.
Is it worth trying? Yes, so do not write this beer off simply because it is produced by InBev because this IPA is very approachable and can be enjoyed by newbies to craft beer and beer snobs alike. This IPA fits wonderfully into the style guidelines for an English IPA. Goose Island has certainly entered into our market area with strength and is doing quite well, but don't confuse this beer with many of the other watered-down beers that are mass marketed. While Goose Island's IPA is certainly marketed for the masses, it is still undoubtedly a beer that can be enjoyed by the masses!
Rating: W W W W
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Krugel's Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Wegmans, Dickson City, and J & H Beer, Wilkes-Barre.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be reached at NEPABeerGeek@gmail.com.