Hello my faithful readers. I apologize again for the length between my reviews, but it is getting harder to find root beers to review in my area, so i have to branch out. As a result, this is a very special review for two reasons. One, this is the root beer i was unable to try in Chicago due to it being out of stock in the grocery store. Two, this is one of the root beers i have ordered online in my first round of mail order root beering. I finally turned to ordering new root beers online and having them shipped to me here in Phoenix, and this isn't ideal for me because it's expensive and i usually have to order at least a six pack (some sites require i order a whole case). The site i ordered this root beer from is called Straub's. They do offer some samplers, but regardless of what you order, it has to at least be a six pack, and shipping isn't the cheapest. But i gotta do what i gotta do, and this is what the next phase of my root beer reviewing requires of me. So anyway, let's get to it, shall we?
Goose Island Root Beer is native to Chicago. The Goose Island Brewpub first opened it's doors in 1988 and focuses on brewing beers and hand crafted sodas. In addition to root beer, Goose Island makes 4 other flavors of soda. There are two locations where Goose Island now maintains brewpubs, both of which act as a restaurant where visitors can go and grab a bite to eat with their custom made brew of choice. From the website, they seem like pretty decent places to go for an evening meal. Maybe i'll have to check it out if my wife and i decide to get back to Chicago any time soon.
The bottle is a dark brown glass, 12 oz. bottle with a stick on label. I like the design on the bottle, and it's apparently pretty new. I was looking at other reviewers and seeing what one in particular said about Goose Island (which was a sham of a review if you ask a professional like me), and the old label is kinda corny and less desirable. This new label is simple, bold, clean, and neo-classic. I dig it. It's very straight forward and doesn't waste time. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you unreviewed root beers out there. Don't waste my time!
This root beer is made with 100% cane sugar. I am not one that usually gets hung up on this aspect of root beer anatomy, but i know there are a lot of people out there who do. So with that i will say that this is probably the best of the cane sugar root beers i have had. This stuff is really good. It reminds me a little of Stewart's, with just a tiny touch of carmel, good carbonation, and a great, smooth root beer flavor throughout. This stuff definitely delivers. Another notable cane sugar root beers is AJ Steven's, but there is something about it that really kinda turns me off to cane sugar. It's not bad, it's just... different. Like drinking the milk at the end of a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Kinda sludgy; i don't recommend it. But Goose Island does a great job of tasting like a great root beer should taste. In the end, it has a winning recipe. Maybe not on level with Iron Horse, but definitely up there with the Saranac crowd.
My official review is that Goose Island gets 8 (eight) IBCs. It's a good root beer, and one that i think Chicago should run with. Berghoff kinda steals the claim that it's Chicago's favorite, but time and time again i am not that impressed with it. But i think Goose Island has the right taste. It's decent, and unfortunately the only way i found of getting it was to go online. But if you're willing to go to those lengths for a good hand crafted root beer, this one is worth the shipping.