BREWVIEW ON GOOSE ISLAND SOFIE

GOOSE ISLAND SOFIE is the second beer from Goose Island’s beer series bearing women’s names that we are BrewViewing- (Sofie, Matilda, Matilda Lambicus, Gillian, Lolita, and Juliet.) NOTE: Although it was purchased by AB InBev 2011, the brewery is still holding on to its gritty urban image, even while it becomes more aggressive with its national advertising and marketing thanks to Chicago-based agency, VSA Partners. The ad campaign titled, “To What’s Next” is geared towards strengthening Goose Island’s brand presence in the Chicago area, and creating awareness in new markets. Later in 2014, all of Goose Island’s beer labels will be getting all new eye-catching labeling and packaging.

Here’s a sample of the new labeling (via VSA Partners):

HISTORY OF GOOSE ISLAND

In 1988, Goose Island beer Company opened its doors to a grateful public. In his days of travelling across Europe in the 80’s, Goose Island Beer Company owner John Hall discovered that the European countries offered a wide variety of different styled beers to its citizens in the form of small, family-owned breweries in district regions and neighborhoods. He found the quality of those beers to be at world class level, with a strong sense of traditions being held.

*According to his profile at Goose Island’s website, in 1986 fate struck John Hall in the form of a thunderstorm in Dallas, Texas. His flight delayed by the inclement weather, Hall flipped through an in-flight magazine to pass the time. There he found his future in the form of an article on boutique beers. “I must be the only person in history who made a major career decision on the basis of a Delta Sky article,” Hall chuckles.

Fascinated by what he’d read, Hall began to toy with the idea of starting a brewery. “I just loved the idea,” John remembers. “I mean, what could be better than making a product that I was passionate about, and nearly every American adult liked?” After two years of thinking, researching, and planning, Hall scrapped his 20-year career with Container Corporation and opened the original Goose Island Brewpub at 1800 North Clybourn Avenue, introducing the city of Chicago to distinctive craft beer.

Goose Island Beer Co. is now one of the largest craft breweries in the Midwest. The company distributes its beers to all 50 states, the United Kingdom, and Europe. “I’m working with people I love, and I love what I do,” says Hall. “I’m a lucky man.”
(* Text from: http://www.gooseisland.com/pages/john_hall/149.php)

AWARDS

Sofie has won the following awards:

2012: BEVERAGE TASTING INSTITUTE- Gold medal
2011: GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL- Bronze medal – French and Belgian-Style Saison
2010: STOCKHOLM WHISKEY AND BEER FESTIVAL- Gold medal
2009: WORLD BEER CHAMPIONSHIPS- Gold medal

OUR BREWVIEW OF GOOSE ISLAND SOFIE

APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
6.5 % ABV. Poured in a Pokal shaped glass (as the label suggests) at 51°F. The color is light blonde colored, hazy. The haziness of the beer almost resembles sugar particles floating in the beer. The head pours an easy 2-finger height that is dense, rocky, almost a whipped egg-white density. The meniscus is slow rising- which is very impressive due it being only a beer with an ABV percentage of only 6.5! because of the acidity of the beer, the head did collapse somewhat quickly, but the Brussels lacing left behind is very even.

AROMA / BOUQUET:
The bouquet has the classic Brettanomyces funk to it- very appropriate. The citrus nose from the orange peels used also is very forefront; heavy in the spicy phenolics. Hoppy, grassy, earthy, herbal, peppery.

TASTE:
Classic Belgian Saison flavors- tart, citrusy, grassy, dry, acidic. The acidity and hop flavors are very well balanced. because the bottle is conditioned with Brett yeast, it can be cellared up to 5 years, where the flavors will develop further and mature.

MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
The mouthfeel immediately hits the tip and the middle of the tongue due to the effervescence. The finish is refreshing, dry and hoppy.

FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: Blue veined cheeses, raw milk cheeses, high quality brie. ENTRÈES: Oysters Rockefeller, pastas, sushi, shellfish, Moule en Frite, rabbit.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
GOOSE ISLAND SOFIE is an excellent Belgian-Style Saison. (It seems that the purchase of Goose Island Beer Company by AB InBev has proved that they are not going to change their brewing recipes that their customers have come to appreciate.) You could introduce your white wine drinking friends to this beer- they would appreciate the tartness and dryness.  We found this bottle of Sofie at our local Food Maxx grocery store here in Redding, California for only $7.50 USD! What a bargain… This is a world class Farmhouse Ale / Saison- seek this one out.  

GOOSE ISLAND BEER COMPANY:
http://www.gooseisland.com/pages/sofie/28.php

 

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