Thursday, December 07, 2006

Review: Wrigleyville Goose Island Pub

Wrigleyville Goose Island Pub
Reviewed by AC

[AC note: This is my first entry for Kevbrews, and it’s more than one month late. Now, I know that Kevin will read this and he might say to me, “You needed a month to do this!?” And I most likely would reply, “maybe.” ]

Chicago is a big town—a feast for the senses. Why, in just one day, I saw a man being arrested, a protest at a McDonald’s, a 26th-floor view of Lake Michigan, and the Goose Island brewpub in Wrigleyville. If you’ve been down (or up) Clark Street, you know that it is just one of the thousands of bars lining the road. Goose Island also has a very famous neighbor—Wrigley Field. These two conditions mean that parking is a fruit enjoyed by the crafty and resourceful. (Another Goose Island sits along Clybourn Ave.)

The Wrigleyville Goose Island also is a sports bar—wide screens are everywhere. This may disappoint more traditional pub hounds. But the best thing about this place is the beer. I had the IPA because I’m addicted to the bittersweet tang of hops—and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was giddy from the luscious, hoppy goodness. It was sensuous and delightful . . . I had beer from the source . . . I was Ponce de Leon at the fountain of youth—I was hopped up! At this point, it is was clear to me that comparing beer from the source to its bottled cousin is like comparing the experience of being in a riot to hearing about one from a friend: It just ain’t the same.

Alas, not all of my companions fared as well. Larry, the Northside balladeer, ordered the cask-conditioned ale, but he sent it back. “It tastes like soup,” he complained. He’s not a beer enthusiast and apparently doesn’t know much about soup either. I tried to sample other beers, but because of the raging blister on my lip, everyone seemed reluctant to let me touch their glasses.

I did have two problems with Goose Island. The bathrooms are unavailable to patrons without legs. I must have climbed 46 flights of stairs to get to the loo. That’s right—every time you have to piss, you must climb stairs in order to access the urinals. But more disappointing is the fact that Goose Island will not fill up your growler—unless you have an authentic Goose Island growler! I didn’t have one. So I grudgingly bought the big brown GI growler and had it filled with Honker’s Ale. I then hauled the brew many days across wide rivers and through dark forests only to be splashed over the spoiled palate of Mr. Kevbrews.


Butch said...

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Goose Island Wrigleyville a couple years ago. It was too long ago to recall specifics other than how impressed I was with their Summertime Kolsch (it was in the middle of a heat wave in summer and we’d been walking all day, so yeah) and that their food was very reasonable priced. I plan to visit again the next chance I get to return to Chicago.

kelly said...

so for those looking to chicago and something a little different try the hopleaf in andersonville (my old neighborhood, ok ONE of my old neigherboohds). if it tells you anything both the draft and bottled beer menus are in pdf form to assist you in making a selection. they specialize in belgian region but have a nice selection from elsewhere as well.

as for Goose Island I seem to prefer the clybourn location unless everyone was on CTA. But both locales are a great for beer afficionados and the not so refined friends to find a good common ground. advantage of clark GI is that there is an amazing all night coffeshop / pastry place right down the street. always a bonus after a night of good beer.

KevBrews said...

It's been a while since I've been there, but when Kelly lived there, I went with her and Jasmine. Don't remember a whole lot, but remember good vibes from the place.