The term IPA or India Pale Ale describes a beer that was designed to withstand the long voyage to the far reaches of the British Empire. To survive the often harsh journey to the four corners of the earth, particularly the Indian sub-continent, a much higher level of hops was used in the brewing process than more traditional ales – hops act as a preservative. This is what gives us the typically bitter and powerful flavour of IPAs.
On the Goose Island website, they state: “Because no preservatives are used in the process and the beer is not pasteurized, Goose Island feels it’s important to remain close to home despite their huge success.”
PIFFLE! I can buy this in my local supermarket and the only thing near here that slightly resembles Wrigley Field is the minefield-like gloops of discarded chewing-gum adhered to the pavements everywhere.
What we have here is a paradox. If their beer is for consumption close to the production site, why are they brewing India Pale Ale? – That’s a rhetorical question by the way.
To tell the truth, I don’t give a hoot. As long as they mistakenly think Scotland is close to Chicago, they can ship as much beer here as they like. Let’s just hope they are better at brewing beer than reading maps!
GIPA pours to a slightly hazy, pale golden to amber colour with lots of bubbles rising to a long-lasting, but thin and whispy, white head which doesn’t leave a tremendous amount of lacing on the glass. On the nose, it’s very flowery with a strong aroma of pine resin, a heavy fruit presence of orange peel and lemon, with hints of honey and a residual, sweet sherberty feel.
It’s medium bodied with a moderate carbonation that adds some crispness. Upfront, there’s a nice hop twang that smacks you square in the face with spicy, herbal zest. It doesn’t feel overly carbonated and has a pleasant, smooth mouthfeel. It does turn a little sweeter as the malt makes its presence felt with just a little toastiness. The finish is long, dry, hoppy and faintly bitter.
At 5.9% ABV, I like it….BIG TIME! I don’t know if it is in fact a hop lover’s dream, but if it is, don’t wake me up! It’s not very similar to many IPAs I’ve had, in fact it reminds me more of a wheat beer because of the big fruity flavours. But, let’s not be pedantic, when it tastes this good, who cares what it’s called.
I really haven’t given a thought to food pairings, for me, this is a beer for drinking just for it’s own sake…. oh all right, BBQ’s, burgers, pizza etc.