Goose Island Beer Co. captured Champion Beer at the Festival of Wood and Barrel-aged Beer in Chicago, winning with Imperial Brown Goose.
More than 500 beer drinkers sampled nearly 70 different beer from 31 breweries in the third annual festival, held at Goose Island’s Wrigelyville brewpub. Breweries from 13 states sent beers to the festival/competition.
“We just came down (from Michigan) to enjoy the event,” said John Haggerty from New Holland Brewing, which won two gold medals and Best of Show Runner-up award for Barrel-aged Mad Hatter. “We are thrilled to do so well.”
Judges evaluated 68 different wood-aged beers in eight categories.
The festival spotlights beer aged with the intention of imparting the particularly unique character of wood and/or what has previously been in a barrel. Ultimately, a balance of flavor, aroma and mouthfeel are sought with the marriage of beer, wood and/or barrel characteristics. “There are still a lot of stouts and barley wines,” said festival organizer Jeff Sparrow, “but experimental beer was the largest category this year.
“The U. S. craft brewer has returned to one of the roots of brewing [wood] while still demonstrating creativity unmatched anywhere in the world,” said Sparrow.
Gold: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Warrenville, IL – Argus Brown
Silver: Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, IL – Hi Beam Stout
Bronze: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chicago, IL – Fourth Quarter Porter
Gold: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chicago, IL – Redline Imperial Bourbon Stout
Silver: Ram Restaurant & Bighorn Brewing, Wheeling, IL – Ice Breaker Imperial Stout
Bronze: America’s Brewing Company, IL – Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Gold: Onion Pub & Brewery, IL – Bourbon Big Game Barleywine
Silver: Big Sky Brewing, MT – Bourbon Barleywine
Bronze: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Cleveland, OH – Gukel’s Little Helper
Gold: New Holland Brewing, MI – Barrel-aged Mad Hatter
Silver: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chicago, IL – Bourbon Brown Beer
Bronze: Harpoon Brewery, MA – Harpoon Munich Dark
Strong/Double/Imperial Pale Beer
Gold: New Holland Brewing, MI – Barrel-aged Dole
Silver: Jolly Pumpkin Ales, MI – La Roja
Bronze: Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery – Ol’ Woody
Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer
Gold: Goose Island Beer Company, IL – Imperial Brown Goose
Silver: Glacier Brewhouse, AK – Beam Bock
Bronze: Goose Island Beer Company, IL – Goose Island Christmas
Gold: Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, IL – Angry Mike’s Stoudt Kriek
Silver: Boston Beer Company, MA – Samuel Adams Utopias
Bronze: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Chicago, IL – Imperial Coffee Surprise
Gold: Pizza Port, CA: Cuvee De Tomme
Silver: New Belgium Brewing, CO – La Terroir
Bronze: Bristol Brewing, CO – Skull & Bones Cuvee Speciale’