Tag Archives: news

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, ‘First Ever Whiskey-Barrel-Aged Brew,’ 2012 Edition Released Today

Goose Island's 2012 Bourbon County Stout

Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Co. today released its much-lauded Bourbon County Stout (BCS), according to ChicagoTribune.com. Goose Island’s BCS is notable because it is said to have been the first whiskey-barrel-aged beer, and it’s fairly difficult to get your hands on each year, especially if you don’t live in the Chicago area.

From the brewer:

BCS is “[a] liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.”

Goose Island’s BCS should be a bit easier to find this year, too; company spokesman Mark Mahoney told The Tribune five times more BCS was brewed this year compared to 2011, and 10 times as much will be available in Chicago.

That’s good news, but the reason why the company was able to produce more BCS this year isn’t so pleasant. Shit-beer-giant Anheuser-Busch purchased Goose Island Beer Co. last year for more than $38 million. Last March, after news of the sale broke, Goose Island’s CEO said the deal wouldn’t change the beer his company produced, but even if that’s true, Goose Island is now part of AB, and as such, it’s part of the U.S. craft-beer-problem, in my opinion. The worst part about these behemoth-owned breweries is that they try to hide their ownership because they still want to be seen as craft breweries even though much of their beer is brewed right next to all those gallons and gallons of piss-colored swill. (Note that you find no mention of AB on Goose Island’s website.)

Anyway, the 2012 BCS is still apparently brewed at Goose Island’s Chicago brewery. The 14.5% ABV imperial stout comes in four packs, and initial availability outside of Chicago will be as follows, according to The Tribune:

Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Virginia (week of Sept. 17); Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Delaware (week of Sept. 24); Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota (week of Nov. 26); Tennessee and Kentucky (Nov. 26); California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. (Week of Nov. 27).

I’ve never had Goose Island’s BCS, but I’m definitely intrigued. I really like the company’s Christmas Ales and its Matilda Belgian-style pale ale. Unfortunately, it looks as though the 2012 BCS is coming to every New England state except Mass., so I may be out of luck this year.


(Image credit: Zagat.com)

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Container Shortage Could Ruin Munich’s 2012 Oktoberfest

A German beer boot

At Oktoberfest, an empty Bierstiefeln is a sad Bierstiefeln

This year’s annual Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany could be a lot less fun than the Oktoberfests of yore. That’s because Munich brewers say they’re running low on bottles and kegs to contain and serve all the beer fest goers will demand, which could result in a beer shortage at one of the world’s drunkenest annual parties—and a lot of sober drinkers.

Munich’s 2012 Oktoberfest is set to begin on September 22, and it will last for two weeks. But the city’s brewers are scrambling to find additional bottles and kegs, according to a report on NPR.org.

The problem isn’t a German beer shortage; there’s plenty of that to go around. It’s the supply of bottles and kegs that’s waning.  Because there’s a very limited supply of containers, brewers are starting to bottle only their most popular styles of beer, which could mean few or no dark beers will be available—lighter beers are apparently more popular there. Munich can’t just ship in more beer from neighboring counties—or from, gasp, the United States—because Oktoberfest is all about German beer. (Last year, almost 2 million gallons of beer were consumed during Oktoberfest, NPR says. That’s a lot of hangovers.)

Heiner Mueller, from Paulaner and the Hacker-Pschorr brewery, spoke to a German news site about the issue in an effort to get German drinkers to return whatever beer bottles they may have lying around. These Munich brewers apparently rinse and reuse bottles up to 50 times after customers return them. That seems rather strange to me, but what do I know, I’m just a lowly urban beer nerd.

I’ve never been to an Oktoberfest celebration in Germany. And I’m not really sure I want to attend one anytime soon. They kind of seem like big, German frat parties, and that’s just not my scene. At frat parties, the fun quickly comes to an end and everyone leaves when the beer runs out. The situation at Munich’s 2012 Oktoberfest might not be much different if the brewers don’t find a whole bunch of bottles in the coming two weeks.


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