I’m certainly not having a problem drinking at least one beer a day. Yesterday, I had 4 different beers. But I am sometimes having a problem with wanting to write.
Sunday is usually a pretty relaxed day in our household. We wake up whenever (although it’s usually around 7:30), sit around for a while, read the paper, maybe exercise, and then head out to our bar. I call it our bar because we have been there every Sunday for the last two years, minus 2-3 times when we weren’t in the state. We get brunch, possibly stay for dinner, and then head home. This past Sunday, as in yesterday, we had our Fantasy Football draft. Steve and I are both in the league so we asked “our bar” if we could rent out the upstairs for the draft, which we did. The upstairs has two sections, a separate set of tables almost like a second dining room, and a couch, TV, large table area that reminds me of a living room. We had that section. And let me tell you, we were so comfortable that we didn’t want to leave.
If you’ve ever been in a Fantasy draft, you know that they can take hours. I was assuming 4 hours would be the minimum for 12 people to get together, compare notes, and draft teams. I was way off. Somehow, we were finished in 2 hours. But the room was ours for the entire day and evening. So, of course we stayed, and of course, we drank.
After drinking a few hoppy beers, the group switched to sours. And that my friends, is where I will take you on today’s journey. Goose Island is a unique brewery in my opinion. They make a lot of really average beer, and then they make a lot of really superb beer with nothing falling in between. They have their Classic and Urban beer lines, which include those that you frequently see on the shelf, 312, Honkers, etc. Then they have a relatively rare line of Vintage Ales (one of which I will be reviewing below) and finally their extremely rare beers, in the line of Bourbon County. One of these days, I will review a Bourbon County, but today is not that day.
Within the Vintage Ale line, Goose Island created three “sister” beer that are all aged on wine barrels and different fruits. All three of these beer fall into the category of a Belgian sour. Depending on which sister you are consuming, you can either have a sour aged with cherries (Madame Rose), raspberries (Lolita), or blackberries (Juliet). If you have never had a sour beer before, I content that it is an acquired taste. Goose Island believes that wine drinker will more easily enjoy sours, but not being a wine drinker myself, I can’t agree or disagree with that statement. I will tell you that it took me almost 2 years of drinking craft beer and continually trying sours before I decided that I enjoy them. There are also two different kinds of sours, at least according to my palate. There are fruity sours and there are pickly sours. I still am not too fond of pickly sours, but fruity ones are a pleasure to drink.
Goose Island Juliet
Juliet is the blackberry sister aged in cabernet barrels. This beer is a red/rose color with a decent amount of carbonation. It smells like a tart cherry. And while I can’t recognize or distinguish blackberries, I can definitely taste some sour fruit. Juliet does a great job of not being overly sour or overly fruity. It is just a perfect balance of both. I would say that this is a good starter sour for anyone who is just getting into them or who has never had one before. Juliet also seems easier to find. Just remember that even though this beer tastes fruity, it does register as an 8% beer. The sour flavor lends itself to sipping though, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.