Beer number two on our journey, and we’re already globetrotting. It’s straight across the Atlantic to Chicago to see if our American cousins can knock up a decent India Pale Ale.
I do like a good IPA, and am instinctively sceptical about the idea of this most British of beers being brewed abroad, but I know IPA is all the rage on the thriving US craft brewing scene, so let’s give it a try.
There’s a huge white head straight out of the bottle, and this is certainly an aromatic beer, with plenty of floral, citrus and of course hop aromas. There’s no doubt that this is an IPA. There’s also something a bit soapy about the nose, but it isn’t overpowering.
This beer is apparently made with water from Lake Michigan, and is bottle conditioned, so there’s a tiny amount of yeast collecting at the bottom of the bottle. This is a very good sign indeed.
Goose Island IPA is a little fuller-bodied and much sweeter than the modern British IPAs, as exemplified by something like Thornbridge’s excellent Jaipur (which we’ll encounter in the fullness of time), but I think that’s quite typical of the American approach to the style.
There’s a pleasing, lingering bitterness, but for me the sweetness does mar the overall flavour. I just don’t want beer to make my teeth hurt.
Overall, a perfectly decent example of the style, but perhaps not one I’ll return to in a hurry.
Facts and Figures
|Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago, IL
|India Pale Ales
|Sainsbury’s, Westow Street, London SE19