The brewmaster of Goose Island Brewery, Greg Hall, was caught urinating into a couple of glasses at a bar up in Wicker Park a week ago. Wow. As the story goes, he was seen leaning at the front of the bar looking down, you know how it goes. He then proceeded to kindly leave both the glasses at the bar, so the bartender could tend to them.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all used other places besides the designated bathroom. But never in a glass at a bar. Not even close. It’s not like this place didn’t have bathrooms. What would possess someone to do something like that you ask? Oh yeah, the $38.8 million they acquired when Goose Island sold out to AB. I actually gave them the benefit of my doubt. Not anymore. I thought about it anyways, what happens when Miller or Budweiser make “craft brews?” Budweiser Wheat and “triple hops-brewed,” whatever that means. What I’m saying is, I bet we’re going to see a Goose Island 64 or some Goose Island Light garbage come out. I really hope not. It seems a bit harsh, but what he did was unacceptable.

I’d be interested in hearing what really happened between Greg Hall and the bartender who exchanged words with him. I also read that the bar was asked if they were going to carry any Goose Island beers anymore to which they responded they were undecided but whatever they chose would be discreet.

And oh yea, Hall did come out and publicly apologize, but right after he publicly urinated.

Goose Island Brewery Sold

Goose Island Brewery, sold to Anheuser-Busch.

Chicago’s Goose Island Co. has been sold to Anheuser-Busch, according to this Tribune article. Also known under their legal name, Fulton Street Brewery LLC, Goose Island was bought out at $22.5 million. Superpower Anheuser-Busch owns 58% of the company’s stock from the purchase. Goose Island’s Founder and President John Hall was quoted,

“Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers and beer lovers,” and he claimed that the deal allowed them to, “strictly maintain our recipes and brewing processes.”

Apparently, and this I did not know, the other major shareholder of Goose Island was the Portland-based Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. They sold their 42% stake for $16.3 million. Seems like everyone was eager to give it up.

It’s cool that we had a local craft brewery, even if the majority of the beers aren’t the best you’ve ever had. I personally like Matilda and their other Belgian-style ales. Their restaurant was pretty good the last time I was there. After an acquisition like this, you usually think, “Oh no, there goes Goose Island;” that’s literally what I heard from the people I spoke to about it.

I’d like to think otherwise but I must admit reading the concern over “wholesale partners” from the President, I wasn’t very optimistic. Nonetheless, I will say I recently had some of their Green Line and it was actually pretty good. It’d be a shame if they let corporate take over, I hope the statement and promise made by President John Hall is made to be true.

Crooked Tree IPA

Dark Horse Brewing Company’s Crooked Tree IPA beer review by Beer Blog Buzz

Crooked Tree IPADark Horse Brewing Co. is a microbrewery in Marshall, Michigan. There’s not very much information out there about this place other than it has a sort of taproom and a small brewery operation. Unfortunately, I’ve never been, but after drinking this beer I’d like to visit! An interesting fact about the brewery, apparently there was a mysterious fire recently that destroyed some of their taproom. Hopefully they manage to keep brewing this great beer!

Michigan tends to export a lot of great craft brews, in my opinion. Crooked Tree IPA is no exception, it’s a pretty good brew! Definitely in line with what I want in an IPA.

This is another example of a beer I’m willing to try just because of the label. How else do you try new beers from the store anyways, right? After pouring a pint and taking it in, all I have to say is that I wish I knew where I could get a six pack. The smell was of fruity and/or sweet hops. Also a hint of some woodsy pine hops. It was very enticing. To be honest, I thought it had everything you come to expect with a rich IPA smell, a sweet tartness, and  I thought this would turn out to be just another ordinary beer review. After drinking the beer, my mind was changed because the taste was even better.

I could definitely taste the fruity hops, tasted like grapefruit and maybe some orange. Mostly pineapple, but only at the end. The prominent taste, for me, was the pine hops. There’s a noticeable sweetness, which has to be the malt they used. I also noticed that the beer was hazy. There was sediment Crooked Tree IPA Headin the bottle, I shook it to disperse everything. Glad I did, it tasted great! As you can see, the head on the beer was pretty frothy and thick, it left a lot of lacing on the glass. As mentioned before, everything you would expect from an IPA beer.

This is a beer you would drink with a nice steak, or red meat at least. Something rich because this beer is a good counterpart, it’s a different kind of rich; a sweet richness. It would be something to drink before eating your main course, to fill you up; so you eat your main course slowly. By doing this you appreciate both, appreciate the subtle and complex flavors of both. All in all, I add this to my favorite IPA’s list. As I mentioned, Michigan tends to export some good craft brews, one of which is my favorite, but after having Crooked Tree IPA, I think I have a new favorite!

Beer rating: 5/5

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Zywiec Brewery’s Zywiec Beer Review

First and foremost, Happy Paczki Day! Have you got your paczki yet? I hope so, here’s a picture of the paczki I had this morning, and throughout the day. Delicious! Paczki Day Chicago Now on to the beer review!

Polish flag

Żywiec Brewery was founded in 1852, and they currently brew beer in the town of Żywiec in Southern Poland. Apparently it’s one of the oldest breweries in Poland, brewing for over 150 years! Apparently the brewery was acquired by Heineken a few years back and transformed into one of the most modern breweries in the world.

Zywiec is one of Poland’s most exported beers. I picked a pack up as today is a Polish celebration. The beer’s appearance was pretty clear, actually. It looked similar to a Coors Light or something like that.

Zywiec BeerWhat always grabs my attention right off the bat is the can. It’s friggin’ sweet. They are always pints and always cold. You have to love it! They come in a plastic wrapper so there is never any dirt or grime on the mouthpiece. It also has a pretty unique logo, I Zywiec Beer Logothink. It depicts two Polish highlanders in traditional garb dancing. Call it what you want but I think it’s pretty cool. Not to mention the indents on the can; they outline pretty much everything, the pictures and writing. Something you don’t see on most cans of beer.

Sadly, it’s not the best beer I’ve ever had. It’s actually quite mediocre. I love my Polish beer, don’t get me wrong. It’s just, that, compared to most beers that are considered good by the craft brew standards, Zywiec would be considered just another mass-brewed beer.  While it might seem this way, it is quite different from most mass-brews I’ve tried.  Zywiec typically gets reputation as having a funky smell and flavor; and therefore, does not appeal to beer aficionados.  Okay, so it does have a funky smell.  Smell-wise, it’s pungent with grassy or hay aromas.  Another contributing ‘funk’ factor is the skunky smell, which is more common in beers in green bottles; beer that have gone stale. I can assure you this beer is not stale, it was in a can.

The taste is much better than the smell. I actually like it a lot and I drink it all the time. At first, it tastes sweet or like hay or some type of long grass. A bit of bitter hops shows its presence then dissipates back into sweetness.Zywiec Beer Head It’s definitely drinkable to me, almost like a fermented or yeast/wheat taste. Not overbearing, I’ve heard it described as wrong-tasting; not true. The mouth feel is more carbonated, much more bubbly than the last beer review we did. This beer goes great with paczki, obviously, but also kielbasa, gołąbki,hot dogs, anything fried; pretty much anything you eat while drinking a beer, this is the beer for you!

I’m biased in this review, but I don’t care.

Happy Paczki Day – Na Zdrowie!

Beer Rating: 4/5
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