I have not posted to the blog in awhile and have some catching up to do. I was working crazy overtime for a bit and then just got lazy. As you can tell by the title and picture of this post I was lucky enough to attend the 312 Urban Block Party put on by Goose Island. This event was free, but one had to win or acquire tickets somehow. They did not sell tickets to this event. I was lucky enough to come upon a guest list pass from @MarisaVictoria on twitter. The ticket was provided to her through @brokehipster and @do312. I can’t thank her enough for the generosity on this. For those who don’t know this event featured music, food, and rare Goose beers. We all know what rare Goose Island beers means. I shall get into what they poured in a minute. It was truly epic.
My friends Mike and Ashley had previously won VIP tickets so I hitched a ride with them to the event. Us being nerds and especially Bourbon County nerds we were the first people in line. Initially the whole thing seemed moderately unorganized and under planned for how many people may be showing up. It was a bad weather day with some drizzle and chances of storms which aided in keeping the crowd size manageable. The event was held outside Goose Island’s new barrel warehouse on Fulton.(thanks In-Bev money) The setup led us through the warehouse to get to the event. This was truly special seeing rows upon rows of Juliet, Lolita, and of course Bourbon County stacked up. I immediately went on the hunt for the “rare” beers they had promised to be pouring. Initially I came up empty and snagged a Matilda while figuring out the lay of the land. Eventually I noticed a young chap standing in front of a few barrels with taps coming out of them. I knew this was the spot I was looking for. They had a few selections from their Fulton and Wood line and yes of course a huge Bourbon County barrel! This wasn’t just regular Bourbon County either, it was a special barrel just for the event, Raspberry Bourbon County! After some issues with the initial pours because of raspberry seeds clogging the tapper I was finally standing with a solid 10oz pour of Raspberry Bourbon Count that only cost me $3 U.S. dollars. I could tell this was going to be a good night. The Raspberry Bourbon County, aged in a Rye barrel by the way, was delicious. It was basically the Bramble Rye without the blackberries, which made it much less cloying as far as sweetness. I could still taste the base beer which Bramble is almost all fruit and no Bourbon County taste.
As I stated before this event also featured music. The headliner being the incredible St. Vincent. This being a free event there was a great mix of people there for music, flagship lineup brews, and Bourbon County fans. You could easily pick out the beer geeks in the crowd because we all huddled around the barrel pours and had our various beer company shirts on to proclaim our allegiance to the sweet nectar of hops, malt and barley. As far as the beers being poured it kept getting more interesting. Goose obviously had their staple beers throughout the grounds but the barrel area kept ramping up quality throughout the night. Perhaps my favorite beer of the night was a wild ale version of 312. I wish they would bottle this beer, it was incredible the way the Brett interacted with the wheat forwardness of 312. My least favorite experimental beer was a sour version of their Belgian Style beer Demolition. This did not work at all for me. To me it just tasted like rotten pears and stale beer. Just before St. Vincent went on the event staff decided to kick it up and pour some fresh Intelligentsia coffee into the Raspberry Bourbon County to create a truly one of a kind brew. The flavors, while being all over the board and kind overwhelming, were fantastic. I wouldn’t want a lot of this by any means but being able to try it was a treat. Next up on the tapping list was another barrel of Bourbon County, this time with Ancho Chile. Honestly I wish I was a tad more sober at this point, the beer was delicious no doubt but I know I was missing out some of the nuance going on with it. I love chile beers and would love another shot at this one. After having a semi overwhelmed palate and sobriety this beer shined just as you would imagine it would though. I would have hoped for more spice in the finish, I know they make a Ghost Pepper version for special events from time to time and would love to have a go at that. At this point I wandered over to St. Vincent, had my mind blown by her amazing and then headed home. There were other beers drank, food eaten, amazing butts on waitresses, and people from the Facebook event page met as well. I think this was already long enough without going into all that though. Thank you to Goose Island for putting on a fantastic event for your fans and thanks again to @MarisaVictoria for making it possible for me to attend. Cheers!